Tonight was history in the making for Green Bay Packer fans and Brett Favre fans alike. Monday night football was head lining the age old rivalry of the Green Bay Packers vs the Minnesota Vikings !
Two of the oldest football rivalries around.
What made tonight bitter sweet was that beloved Quarterback Brett Favre was playing against us with the Vikings ((shudders)).
Many who follow football know of Brett's "decision" to retire after the 2007 season where he lead the Packers once again to 1 game away from the Super Bowl. His announcement was full of tears and questions... and to me and hubby something just did not feel right. Brett had always had times of showing emotion during some interviews, but he seemed genuinely more distressed to us, and other Packer/Favre fans. What came to pass by the next season is still not fully disclosed... Brett still felt he could play, and he sure proved it during the 2007 season, and had always said that he would retire himself if he felt he was not physically able to lead the team to win or if it was no longer fun.
Fun being a big part of watching Favre play!
You can see the little boy joy in him every time he plays. The leaps and bounds and whoops and jumping on other players over a touchdown or just another amazing pass that made it into a receivers hands for a first down, Brett loved the game! But sadly for Packer fans he was instead "traded" to the NY Jets. I do not think he was totally happy about it, as I feel he should of had more of a choice where he could go, as he still could play and he still had years left on his contract. It was never about money either, as Favre had given back part of his salary to give the organization more head room in the NFL rules to hire better players. But he went willingly and took NY from a losing franchise to one that was just 1 game out of the playoffs! He helped them turn their team and game around. I think the Packer organization sent him there as they did not want to have to face Brett on the field in the same league. This year after much more questions , mystery and anticipation it was announced that Favre would be indeed playing for our division rivals the Vikings!
So tonight's Monday Night Football game was highly anticipated by fans of both teams and Favre fans. Would Aaron Rodgers, Favre's QB backup for a couple years ( and the one ultimately chosen by the Packers management to 'Go' with the younger gun, instead of the proven Pro) be able to out run, out throw his once mentor? Or would Brett become over wrought with conflicted emotions of seeing old friends and teammates on the other side of the playing field?? or would he want sweet revenge and pound them into the ground??
Brett said in many interviews before and after the game that he had no interest in revenge, just winning - what he always loved to do.
Lots of many predictions and media frenzy all around. I did not listen to the 'gossip' I just wanted to see Favre play, all-be-it in Viking purple. It turned out to be a very exciting game. Both quarter backs doing their job and marching the teams down the field... touchdowns tied up with matching touchdowns... it left us on the edge of our seats! Cheering for both teams.. it felt weird but exhilarating at the same time.
Favre had been not playing the long rocket balls he was know for in previous games... but he came out in old "True" silver-bullet form in the 2nd half. I think he even surprised himself. His shoulder surgery showing a major success from the off season.
In the end Rodgers could not avoid the smashing defense of the Vikings, getting 'sacked' 8 times. Something that Favre had endured many a year as a Packer, yet somehow the Packers still have not gotten it into their heads they need players that can protect the QB and give him time to throw. And it showed.
Game final score Vikings 30 Packers 23. After the game you could see the old team mates all waiting their turn to say congrats, hello, shake hands, get a pat on the back or a big hug, like in Donald Drivers case. As QBs met theirs was handshakes and well wishes too. Both recognizing the others work and ability. Farves' interview after was peppered with questions, still the media trying to wrench out a tabloid tale of sweet revenge and back stabbing games... Brett would not fall into that.. he still has many friends on and off the field in Green Bay. You could the tears again well up in his eyes several times tonight.. and he admitted yes he was emotional, but he did what he set out to do... Win. And prove his worthiness to be playing and saying his hopes to get the Vikings a winning season.
Asked about how his arm felt, he replied 'Good', most likely better than other parts of his body, in true Favre humor. Always the little kid, the jokester and the sly smile. I wish him well, as I still am a Brett Favre fan. I will always be a Packers fan, a cheesehead ( we actually like the nickname, once meant to make us feel lessor but doesn't), But Brett Favre will be 'My' quarterback, the one who made the game interesting and fun to 'actually' watch for me. Sigh ...
I leave you with two more photos... we were lucky enough to get tickets for a Packers game (last regular season home game December 2007) When even regular home game tickets are scalped at high prices!! Our youngest son (Neil) and DIL were home that Christmas for the first time in a long time from San Diego, and one of #2 sons' co-workers had a relative with season tickets they were not going to use and sold them to us for face value! How great is that!
This was Neil's first ever 'live' Packer game (as well for DIL Julie), and they were anxious to see the 'Pack' and the great Brett Favre. Little did we know that this winning game for the Packers the NFL North Division 2007 Champs, would be Brett Favres' last regular season home game as a Green Bay Packer.
We had a great time parting with the crowds, everyone was happy even though we were frozen practically solid!! I think I had a icicle hanging from my nose for awhile.... So I share with you that moment of the 4 of us during the game.
Neil and Julie, hopeful for more Favre!
'Favre' photos credit to the Milwaukee JournalSentinal
I am not and do not pretend to be a profession sports writer, I just had to share my feelings and Joy of getting to see my "heart" Favre playing and having fun once again. Until the next match up which will be on the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field!