When Brett Favre retired from the Packers in 2008, it started the fracturing of a relationship that had been 16 years in the making. Favre played for the Jets and the hated Vikings to help satisfy his itch for football; however, to Favre, he never felt he abandoned his green and gold roots.
"I was always a Packer. It was like borrowed time playing elsewhere. I played my heart out, I am proud to say this I am a Packer, will always be a Packer and it's an honor that I even go the opportunity," said Favre in a teleconference at the future site of the Packers Hall of Fame in the Lambeau Field complex.
For those in charge, the time has come now to mend those fences.
"I think everybody knew that eventually we would be at this point," said Mark Murphy. "It was really just a question of timing and I think as time goes on emotions subside, this is the right thing for everybody and we are really excited to have him back in the fold"
The deal was brokered in part by Packers president emeritus and hall of fame board member Bob Harlan, who says Favre's importance to the franchise and the community cannot be underestimated.
"I think what you have to focus on what did he do here for 16 years to bring this franchise back," sad Harlan. "If people remember how bad it was before Brett Favre, have a greater appreciation for him."
Former Packers quarterback coach and current NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci hopes we will see a Green Bay where Brett Favre can once again become part of the community. "I hope he comes back every year, to golf here or hunt here," said Mariucci. "That he feels welcome to walk in the locker room."
Favre says he is honored to be included among the other Packers greats, something he never would have expected when he first picked up a football.
"Its just an amazing honor, I'd always dreamed of playing pro football as a kid," said Favre. "But I never dreamed of hall of fame and jerseys being retired."
Favre posted this video on his website earlier Monday.
Favre said he would love to have former coach Mike Holmgren and general manager Ron Wolf with him for the Lambeau Field number unveiling. He also said he would be open to coming back to Green Bay during the 2014 season.
The hall of fame banquet is set for July 18. Tickets will not be sold until next year and a waiting list is not being established, hall of fame leaders say. Hall of fame officials are looking for alternate locations within Lambeau Field and the atrium to maximize capacity.