(Photos courtesy of Green Bay Packers)
Talk of Fame Network
Before Brett Favre joins the Pro Football Hall of Fame he will be enshrined in the Green Bay Packers’ Hall of Fame, and, yes, that's a big deal to the former star quarterback.
Favre, who’s eligible for Canton in 2016, will be inducted into the Packers’ Hall of Fame on July 18, with thousands of Packers’ fans and a star-studded list of guests expected. The occasion represents a welcome and long overdue reconciliation between the Packers and Favre, who left the club after the 2007 season ... only to return to Lambeau Field in 2009 as quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings.
He was booed then. He will not be booed now. And when Favre joined the Talk of Fame Network’s radio program last weekend, he sounded as relieved as he is overjoyed to be welcomed back by the club, the town and the fans he could never forget.
“It means a tremendous amount,” he said. “I felt like once my career was over, just like with anything else, time heals a lot of things. I knew that going to Minnesota and having to play against Green Bay … how could you sit there in Lambeau Field and root for me? Maybe under your breath you could. So I knew that that would be a difficult couple of years.
“But I felt like when time kind of moved on a year or so after I retired that things would get back into a better pattern. And that has been the case. I say getting it behind us … I mean, I think we’re well beyond that now, and everything to me is fine. The fan support has been tremendous. In fact, it’s been better than tremendous, with an outpouring of this Hall of Fame induction.
“So I could not be more pleased where things are now. But I’m not surprised. The Packers’ fans are different; they’re like no other. And it’s a special place.”
So, of course, is Canton, where Favre is expected to be a first-ballot Hall of Fame choice next February. But he was refreshingly candid when asked what the gold jacket would mean to him, saying he never envisioned anything more than playing in the NFL – an experience he called "an honor."
“I tell people this all the time,” he said, “and this is no disrespect or nothing negative, but I always dreamed as a young child of playing in the National Football League. If you had asked me at seven years old what I was going to do, I would’ve told you, 'Play pro football.' If you had asked me at 17, (it was) the same thing.
“I never wavered from my dream. But I never dreamed of Hall of Fame. I never dreamed of Pro Bowls. And I never dreamed of MVPs. I really didn’t. So all those things to me are tremendous honors and achievements that were way more than I could’ve dreamed of.
“So, I’m not hanging on a phone call to being in the Hall of Fame. I think it’s a tremendous honor to even be considered first of all, but to be able to play in the National Football League itself, to me, is an honor not too many people get to experience. So my career doesn’t have to be capped with the Hall of Fame.
“That’s not to say I don’t want to be in the Hall of Fame. I think every player would love to … me included. But, what I’m saying is: I’m just honored I got a chance to do it, do it for so long and achieve so many things I never dreamed of. I don’t know what else to say. And to be capped off by not only the Packer Hall of Fame but the NFL Hall of Fame it’s just … words can’t describe it.”