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Have Favre, Rodgers Initiated a Mending of Fences?

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Have Favre, Rodgers Initiated a Mending of Fences?

The first step in bringing harmony to an important stretch of Green Bay Packers' history might have been completed Saturday night in New Orleans.

Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre, who have combined to start 331 of the Packers' last 333 regular-season games over the last 20 years, shared a stage at the NFL's Honor Awards Show to present the AP's Comeback Player of the Year. The two former teammates worked in a well-placed joke about a certain comeback story, and then resorted to an awkward and clearly-staged handshake/quasi-hug before announcing Peyton Manning as the award's winner.

While one shaking of hands does not heal a thousand wounds, the sharing of that stage Saturday might be the initiation Favre needs to mend the fences with the Packers. It's clearly time to put that process in motion, and Rodgers agreeing to do Saturday's presentation with Favre could be the signal to all parties—Favre, the Packers franchise and the fans—that it's past due to let bygones be bygones and time to recognize a piece of franchise history that will transcend one dreadful summer in 2008.

Everyone knows the back story of that earth-rattling summer: Rodgers is drafted in the first round in 2005, Favre tearfully retires in early 2008, the Packers give the starting job to Rodgers, Favre un-retires, the Packers send Favre to New York, Favre eventually returns to Green Bay wearing purple.

Few break ups in the history of sport have burned as many bridges.

However, the last remaining embers of that destruction are slowing running out of steam. Rodgers beat Favre twice in 2010, won the Super Bowl that next February and then a year later came on stage at the first annual awards show to accept his first NFL MVP. The transition was a rocky one, but the Packers successfully moved on from one certain Hall of Famer to another who is rapidly building his own case for enshrinement in Canton someday.

Favre did get a few over-analyzed quips in here and there along the way, but to say he's still shadowing over Rodgers' reign as the Packers starting quarterback is giving too much credit to Favre and too little to Rodgers. Without much doubt, the Packers are Rodgers' team and Green Bay is Rodgers' town.

However, that current reality doesn't paint over the fact that Favre created a legacy and history in Green Bay that deserves to be celebrated.

Regardless of your personal opinions of Favre, a few certainties remain: In three years, Favre will be inducted as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and, eventually, Favre will have his No. 4 jersey retired by the Packers. Immortality, both on a league and franchise level, is coming for Favre.

The Packers know it. Favre knows it. Rodgers knows it.

The time is quickly approaching when a somewhat petty war waged in the summer of 2008 will be put on the backburner, and the career of one of the greatest Packers of all-time is rightfully recognized with a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and 10 letters on the facade of Lambeau Field. Favre should become the 23rd member of the franchise in Canton and the sixth to have his jersey number retired.

Before that happens, however, fences need to be mended. Relationships must begin the restoration process. Simple conversations are required.

Maybe Saturday night's handshake was nothing more than an awkward moment between two grown men who still hold a touch of resentment towards the other. Maybe the moment was completely and utterly fake, a creation used by the NFL to get people to watch their otherwise meaningless awards show.

Or maybe Saturday's handshake will initiate the start of a much-needed repair process. Maybe it opened up conversation between two legends of the Packers franchise who suffered through an equally maddening and trying time during the summer of 2008.

Maybe, just maybe, Favre and Rodgers opened the door for the comfort of harmony between the two—a mending of fences that can help restore a relationship between Favre and the franchise that shared 16 seasons, three MVPs, two Super Bowls and countless records.

If so, Saturday was worth infinitely more than just a 30-second skit designed for a few cheap laughs.

Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at zachkruse2@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (18) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

NoWayJose's picture

Nice article. It may be the beer talking, but I'm genuinely a little heart-warmed by the Favre reunion. Best I've felt about Favre in a long time. Looking forward to the day you describe.

Joe's picture

Bravo. Great article. Writing skills are top notch

alfredomartinez's picture

...he was sitting down next to Leslie Frazier the whole entire show, yeah he's headed to immortality in the hall of fame category, but he will always be tamed as a traitor by playing for the purple people...nuff said...

Jamie's picture

Yeah, it's one step forward, and two steps back. The dude was sitting with the Vikings. If he wants his number retired by the Packers in the near future, he should start acting like a Packer.

I still loathe him. Even if some of the bad blood is washed away and his number is retired in the near future, I'm still not going to remember him fondly.

Mike's picture

You guys are idiots. Give the guy a break already.

Bearmeat's picture

no. He's getting what he deserved.

Chris's picture

Sure, officially fences will be mended someday, probably rather soonder than later. But we, the fans, will never forget what happened after his first retirement. Noone can blame him from playing somewher else, but it was the way it has happened that upsets people up to this day.

Kevin VG's picture

As a fan of Favre (at least at one point in time), I can totally understand that he hates TT for moving on without him. I can understand that 25 million a year is a good chunk of money and not something to turn your nose up at. But what hurts as a fan is that he went to the Vikings for the purpose of trying to hurt the Packers. Before I see any sort of Packers/Favre reunion, I really hope Brett apologizes to the fans for "spitting in their faces" by playing for the Vikings.
A good act of faith and one that I'm sure many (if not all fans) would like would be if Brett publicly says the NFL should erase any of his stats recorded during his years with the Vikings. I don't think that will actually happen, but if Favre did this, he would garner a lot of Packer fans' love again!

Bomdad's picture

I wonder if the "big announcement" AR teased during his radio show last week is related to this? If he is the first in the organization to reach out in a public way to BF, that's just WOW.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

I wondered the same thing.

redlights's picture

I've always said that the first step is for BF to shut up for one year. Just go away and not attract attention. This year, he finally did. So last nights skit was more like a second step.

AR is maybe now starting to see that winning championships, not that he thought it was easy, is even harder to accomplish than he thought. This increases his respect for BF.

I see GB retiring his number in the future; then at the last minute, adding Horning too. The we'd look at them as the tarnished greats.

All this is wasted energy.

Jamie's picture

umm, I'm pretty sure AR's opinion of Bret Favre has very little to do with how many Super Bowls Bret Favre won....

June's picture

Agreed. Especially since they've won the same amount.

James Tweedle's picture

Nice article.

I was thinking similar things after reading/seeing images on what happened.

I went to YouTube, and tried to find a video if it. I couldn't, but I ended up listening/watching back to the time when BF said he was "surprised" that AR hadn't won the Superbowl sooner than he did. Then I remembered why I hated BF in the first place.

Lars's picture

Wow, TWO articles on Favre? On the same day Packer great (who doesn't hold an enduring grudge) Dave Robinson is finally admitted to the HOF? More Robinson/Driver, less diva favre, please!

Bearmeat's picture

I said it in the other article, and I'll say it again here.

BF should (and will) not be brought back into the fold until after TT/MM are long gone and AR is retired with at least 3 SB rings on his fingers.

The Dongslinger will be in the NFL HOF LONG BEFORE the Packer HOF.

And until then, assign #4 to every backup punter/training camp body to come through GB every July.

dawg's picture

Sitting with the Queens? Nuff said!!!
Diva ass.

Lou's picture

Brett at some point deserves to have his number retired, I agree with Terry Bradshaw when he said Favre wasn't the best QB ever but the best "football player" to play QB, that is the case, nobody loved the game more than #4. However, the Packers need to retire Paul Hornung's #5 before #4. The man who's name is on the Super Bowl Trophy said no one would ever wear #5 again, if that isn't interpreted as retiring his number then the people on the 2nd floor at Lambeau Field need a reality check.

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