And to think, I spent Thursday night wondering if there'd be a noteworthy Packers story for Friday.
Yesterday, Brett Favre appeared on Sirius XM NFL radio with Bruce Murray and Jim Miller to discuss his relationship with the Packers and the quarterback who succeeded him.
"I understood that they had a young quarterback who had tremendous potential, that they had to find out what he could do. And, quite frankly, I had probably my best year in 16 years that past season and there's two ways to look at that. If you're in the organization and you're making decisions you got to feel like, 'OK, he had a great year, but can he really duplicate that again at this age? Probably not. He's probably maxed out.' That's kind of what I would have been thinking. Now, obviously my side of it is, 'I think I still can play.'"
"The way it went down was not the best of ways and I think people have learned from it and, again, I'm over it. Aaron has played extremely well, probably even better than anyone anticipated, but I knew he was capable of that and that's why they drafted him. Barring any injury he'll shatter everything I ever did there except for maybe consecutive games. But the guy has been tremendous, great move on their part."
(Bold emphasis ours)
Wow. There's a lot to take in here.
To start with, Favre's recounting of the events that ultimately led to his departure is surprisingly balanced. Favre both acknowledges what he and the team thought at the time, and even admits the Packers made the right call by siding with Aaron Rodgers. For most people, it's incredibly difficult to admit, say, that the company they work for was right to promote someone else instead them. Favre is an undisputed future NFL Hall of Famer and one of the greatest to ever lace up cleats. Publicly stating that his former team was right to pick another player over him is a tremendous concession. Not only should this mean a lot to Rodgers, but fans on the fence about Favre should also lower their defenses. This is as contrite and conciliatory as someone in Favre's position could possibly be.
Speaking of Rodgers, Favre's analysis that barring injury "he'll shatter everything I ever did there except for maybe consecutive games" seems a bit hyperbolic. That said, it's a nice gesture by Favre. While he won't admit to it, being hung out to dry by Favremageddon stung Rodgers considerably. Favre stating publicly that Rodgers will break all of his records is another step in putting the past behind them.
Lastly, it's safe to say last week's expression of regret wasn't a fluke. Favre genuinely seems like he wants to extend the olive branch and embrace the Green Bay Packers once again. Favre was always going to come back, but many of us wondered how soon that would be. While still on the early side, 2013 could indeed be the year Packer fans see the retirement ceremony for #4.
The final obstacle in finalizing this reunion appears to be the minority of fans who haven't gotten over watching Favre put on the purple jersey. Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette conducted a poll asking fans when they want to see Favre's number retired. The results demonstrate that while the most will welcome back the 3-time MVP, those who oppose his return are still fairly numerous:
When should #Packers retire Favre's #? Our poll results (4123 votes): 49%-not yet but before '16; 30%-this year; 13%-never; 6%-after TT goes— Mike Vandermause (@MikeVandermause) June 13, 2013
It's quite unbelievable that 13% of polled fans do not wish to see #4 retired and thus won't accept a Favre reunion. Yes, everyone's entitled to their opinion, but ignoring the player most responsible for revitalizing the Packers and bringing home the Lombardi Trophy is something I'll never understand.
Ultimately, the Packers will take the temperature of the fanbase and decipher when the time is right to officially welcome Favre back into the fold. For all practical purposes, however, the heavy lifting is already completed. Favre should be a part of the Packers again in the very near future.
Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is also currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter: @JBHirschhorn