It’s been nearly five years since Brett Favre wore the colors of an enemy and stood on Lambeau Field facing a wall of boos from fans who for 16 years so dearly loved No. 4.
On Saturday, the sound will be noticeably different when Favre returns to Green Bay where he will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame and good ‘ol jersey No. 4 will be retired from use.
He’ll be eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next summer.
“It’s overwhelming,” Favre told the Sun Herald in Mississippi this week. “This has been in place for a year, and there has been a lot of buildup and anticipation.”
Favre holds the NFL all-time record for completions (6,300) and yards passing (71,838), though Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning stands a decent shot of taking down those records this season if he stays healthy. The legendary Packers gunslinger also has the second-most touchdown passes (508).
Favre was drafted by the Falcons with a second-round pick in 1991 out of Southern Mississippi and spent one year in Atlanta before he was traded to Green Bay. With the Packers, Favre became a three-time NFL most valuable player and a Super Bowl champion. Along the way he set Packers records in yards passing, completions, touchdowns and, as a product of his aggressive style, interceptions.
His passion for the game made him a fan favorite, but it also made it hard for him to walk away. In 2008, after going back and forth with the decision to retire or keep playing Favre was eventually traded to the New York Jets so the organization could move forward with Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
Favre did the unthinkable in 2009, signing with the Packers’ rival the Vikings. As a member of the NFC North once again he twice had to take the field at Lambeau Field through the visitors tunnel and face the wrath of Packers fans.
“I hope no one takes this the wrong way but it’s almost more of an honor than the Hall of Fame itself,” Favre said. “It’s a great honor, an outpouring of support. Especially the way I left Green Bay. The response of the Packers fans, that’s what makes Green Bay special.”
On Saturday, in front of 67,000 fans, he’ll be cheered, celebrated and welcomed home for good.
“I can’t wait till it gets here,” Favre said.
Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme