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Getting Past #4 was Crucial in this Packers Run.
Brett Favre is the greatest player to ever put on a Green Bay Packers uniform. For nearly two decades, he embodied everything I believe the franchise stood for.
His record of consecutive starts is, to me, the most impressive record in all of sports. He returned glory to a franchise that was starving for it for over 30 years.
While in Green Bay, Brett Favre was one of us. He was part of our Thanksgivings and Christmas dinners. The town named streets after him, and the fans named their children after him. That's why it hurt so bad to watch him put on that ugly purple Minnesota Vikings uniform.
Everything written above is concerning the fans' relationship with Brett Favre, but the players had a unique relationship with him, too.
For a long time, Brett Favre was the Packers. The team went where he took them, and arguably, no player represented an entire NFL organization the way Brett Favre did. When he left, especially under the circumstances with which he left, the team lost its identity.
Aaron Rodgers' first season as a starter was handcuffed by the lingering drama leftover from Brett Favre. Unnamed veteran starters were talking about wanting "their quarterback" back.
Rodgers had to change the culture and start erasing the negative legacy that Favre left in the locker room. Rodgers started having team get-togethers at his house.
He remembered the way Favre treated him and other young players and did the opposite. Rodgers got to know the players on his team, not as teammates, but as friends. When they step on the field now, they trust each other because they know each other.
As great as he was and as great as those teams were, that never happened when Favre was the quarterback.
After erasing the negative Favre legacy leftover in the locker room, the next step was to erase that memory on the field. Favre signed with the Vikings to start the '09 season and beat Green Bay in the two games they played that season, allowing the stigma to linger.
In 2010, the Packers were 3-3 heading into a Sunday night showdown with Favre at Lambeau Field, after having lost their two previous games on overtime field goals.
Their season could go either way, and this was the last time they would get a shot at him in front of the Lambeau faithful. The game was a classic and, in my opinion, the greatest Packers game I've ever seen.
Up until A.J. Hawk's interception, Favre had played two flawless games against the Packers. When I look back on the 2010 Green Bay Packers, it is clear to me that play changed everything. In one moment, Favre was invincible, and in the next, he was lying on the ground watching A.J. Hawk run away with his ball.
Favre would throw two more interceptions—one of them for a touchdown—in the game. The Packers won on a failed Favre-to-Moss Hail Mary, exercising not only the Favre demons, but erasing the Randy Moss memories as well.
In time, I'm sure the significance of that victory will be revealed by the players involved. For now, we know that after that game, the Packers went on to win 21 out of 23 games (and counting) where Aaron Rodgers started and finished the game.
Nowadays, Packers fans are naming their children after Aaron Rodgers, including one of my closest friends, Amy P., whose son Aaron has only been a part of one loss in his lifetime. Of course it could be that he is somewhat of a good luck charm, but that's something to be decided in the playoffs!