It is official: Brett Favre will be inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. The Packers franchise will retire his No. 4 jersey the same night, July 18, 2015. He will be the only inductee into the Packers Hall of Fame this year.
Ending rumors of hostility between the Packers and Favre, he stated he will be in attendance at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin for the festivities. Leaving the Packers at the end of 2007-2008 season, he planned a life of retirement in his native Mississippi. That retirement was short-lived. He came back in 2008 to play for the New York Jets – officially he was traded by the Packers to comply with his contract at that time – but his season there sideline by injury. The Jets released him from his contract and to the dismay of many Packer fans, Brett Favre became a Minnesota Viking for the final two seasons of his football career.
When asked about being inducted in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, the famous quarterback said, “I’m speechless.”, though he was not for long. He followed up with, “I’ve always been a Packer.” He said he would like to come to Lambeau for a game this season, prior to his induction, possibly opening a game with a coin toss in conjunction with former Packer legend Bart Starr. He mentioned the possibility of photo ops with current quarterback Aaron Rodgers and walking through the tunnel with former manager Ron Wolf and former coach Mike Holmgren. He says he knows he will not have the support of 100 percent of the fans, but will have the support of the ones who are true fans. Favre has not been to Lambeau since he played there as a Minnesota Viking’s quarterback in 2010. Green Bay won that game 28-24.
His former teammates have plenty to say about his return to Wisconsin. Tramon Williams, one of only six remaining Packers on the team who played with Favre, believes the Green Bay crowd will come out to applaud him and does not anticipate any negative reactions. He was booed when he took the field as a Viking at Lambeau Field in 2009. As for those who think he acted inappropriately when leaving the team, former teammate Jarrett Bush says, “He was just trying to play football.”
Packers president Mark Murphy confirmed that this is not the first time he has tried to retire Favre’s No. 4 jersey. Feelings of animosity among members of management remained in the clubhouse after the quarterback’s departure in 2008. Former Packers president Bob Harlan was instrumental in getting the jersey retired in 2015, and getting all parties, including Favre, in agreement.
Despite how he may have left the franchise, his record stands on its own. He leads the league in passing attempts, interceptions, touchdowns, yards, and completions. He also won a Super Bowl, played in two, and won three MVP awards. He becomes eligible for the NFL Hall of Fame in 2016. After sixteen seasons with the Green Bay Packers, and nineteen career seasons, Brett Favre will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame next July.
Commentary by Stacey Wagner