GREEN BAY – It appears the former leader of the Packers won’t be receiving a special honor anytime soon.
Mark Murphy says Brett Favre likely won’t return this season to have his jersey retired at a game. He indicated a fear of boos might be a reason.
Stadium View Bar and Grill owner Jerry Watson says he was close with Favre when he was a Packer. He hasn’t talked with Favre in a few months, but Watson says things are better between the former MVP and his old employer.
“I know they’ve patched up most of their bad feelings towards each other, but I wish everybody would get in the sandbox and play like big kids rather than little kids,” said Watson.
Watson doesn’t think Favre would care if boos greeted him in a return to Lambeau Field.
“Because for every boo there is going to be a lot more people yelling and applauding,” said Watson.
“I think there’s going to be a good response,” said Tracie Medrano, an usher at Lambeau Field.
Medrano has been an usher at Lambeau since Favre left the team. She says the reaction in her section 316 will be much different than it was in 2009.
“People I think wanted him to always be a Packer,” said Medrano. “Hopefully now enough time has passed where people feel and remember all the wonderful things that he did for us and thank him for the memories and all the dedication.”
If fans don’t remember Favre’s impact on the Packers, St. Norbert College Professor Mark Glantz says the organization should remind them. Glantz has researched and written about professional athlete’s image repair.
“It would really benefit over the next year or so to remind fans of all the good times they had with Brett Favre,” said Glantz. “That’s a strategy that we call bolstering.”
The Packers know the more time that passes the possibility of booing decreases, but there is somewhat of a deadline on retiring Favre’s jersey. The team has said it wants to do it before he is inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in two years.
“That stadium up there is still the house that Brett built,” said Watson. “If we didn’t have Favre for those 16 years, we wouldn’t have that new stadium.”
Whether the fans in that house agree will remain a mystery for at least one more year.