When the Green Bay Packers eventually retire Brett Favre’s number at Lambeau Field, his career will have come full circle. And if the boo-birds are out on that day, so be it, the legendary quarterback said.
“I’ve heard that was a concern of mine, and I’m here to tell you I’m not,” Favre said Monday after he was asked in a radio interview with ESPN if he was worried people would boo him at his jersey-retirement ceremony because he played for the Minnesota Vikings -- the Packers’ bitter NFC North rival -- the last two years of his career.
“I’m not worried about that. I’m well aware that you can’t please everyone. Not everyone’s going to like you regardless, and you know what, so be it. But I think the 16 years that I had in Green Bay speaks for itself.”
In 16 seasons, No. 4 led the Packers to the playoffs 11 times, made two Super Bowl appearances and lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy once for the Green and Gold at Super Bowl XXXI in 1996 -- the team’s first title since 1967, when the trophy’s namesake coached the Pack from the Lambeau Field’s icy sidelines.
Since 2008, Favre’s jersey-retirement ceremony in Green Bay has been on indefinite hold because the then-38-year-old decided, after announcing his retirement, he wasn’t done with the game -- though the Favre era in Green Bay was certainly over.
The 11-time Pro Bowler was eventually traded to the New York Jets where he played one season and then retired. Then he unretired, and signed with the Vikings, for whom he played out the end of his career.
Favre completed more passes (6,300), threw for more yards (71,838) and had more touchdowns (508) during his career than anyone else in the history of the NFL, thanks in part to his gunslinger mentality. He’s also thrown the most interceptions (336) for the same reason.
He’s a lock as a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he becomes eligible in 2016. At some point before that, the Packers plan on retiring his number, though they announced earlier this month they have no plans to do so in the coming season.
“As time goes by, that’s how I will be remembered, as a Packer, and that’s how I want to be remembered,” Favre said. “I think the true Packer backers, which there are tons out there, feel the same way. I’m not the first player to play for other teams or rivals.”