The Packers and Brett Favre are inching and lurching toward an inevitable reunion, with Favre returning to Lambeau Field as the prodigal son who is celebrated, not shunned.
Favre has now weighed in, via a radio interview with WGR 550 in Buffalo.
“[T]he things that transpired that led to us ‘breaking up’ if you will, to me, are over and done with,” Favre said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “When will that happen? I don’t think either side is trying to push the issue . I think Mark Murphy — and Mark really came in the last few weeks of my career in Green Bay — he kind of came into a hornet’s nest if you will. He’s been extremely great in trying to make this work. In our discussions, it will happen. I think both sides are genuine. I know they are. And that’s the way it has to come across because that’s the way it should be. We don’t want to go out there waving to the crowd with our backs to each other. And I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Favre added that he “really [doesn’t] hold any regrets” about his entire career, but he realizes that the final days in Green Bay were awkward and ugly.
“It is what it is,” Favre said. “It’s over and done with. I was at fault. I feel that both sides had a part in it. If you could go back would I or them have done things differently? I’m sure both sides would. But you can’t.”
He’s right that both sides were at fault. Favre’s annual indecision about retiring compelled the team to draft Rodgers in 2005, and after three years on the bench the Packers were ready to use him. So the Packers, instead of cutting Favre or trading him in the offseason, pushed Favre for a definitive answer as to his plans for 2008 in February, knowing that if pressed for an answer in any February his answer would be, “I’m done.”
And then the Packers hoped to create an outcome in which Favre played neither for them nor anyone else — especially not in the NFC North. The Packers, once it became clear Favre wanted to play after the calendar reached the months when his desire typically returned, set up a clumsy showdown, forcing Favre to show up and putting him on the sidelines and ultimately engineering a trade to anywhere but Minnesota.
Which of course made Favre even more determined to play for the Vikings and stick it to the Packers. Which he did in 2009, sweeping his former team.
But Green Bay had the last laugh. After watching Favre’s Vikings blow a chance at getting to the Super Bowl, the Packers swept Brett in 2010 amid embarrassing revelations about his alleged texting habits — and then won the Super Bowl without him.
So, yes, both sides were at fault and, yes, the Packers and Favre need to publicly reconcile, not via sound bites but from the middle of the 50 yard line at Lambeau Field.
The problem is that, with the cover that comes from being in a crowded stadium, there will be plenty of boos. Enough to be heard. And the only thing that will make them less audible will be the passage of time.