Aaron Rodgers: I was ‘on the forefront’ of getting Brett Favre ‘back into the fold’
When the very ugly divorce occurred between Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers in 2008, folks opposed to taking the longview — especially those Pakcers fans who were heartbroken by Favre’s so-called betrayal — believed that the damage done by the iconic quarterback’s decision to go play for the New York Jets was irreparable.
The already-acrimonious attitude Packers Nation had towards Favre was further exacerbated by the Gunslinger’s decision to play two seasons for the hated rival Minnesota Vikings. When that occurred, many suspected there was no turning back and that Favre burned the last bridge he could have crossed to reconcile with the Packers organization and its fans.
But time heals all wounds, especially when Favre’s departure led to the ascension of Aaron Rodgers as the team’s unquestioned starting quarterback. A Super Bowl title and an NFL MVP award of course served as a pretty soothing salve for Packers fans, as the gaping psychological wounds turned into a barely noticeable scar.
With that in mind, Rodgers suffered the most due to an increasingly wishy-washy Favre vacillating between continuing his Hall of Fame career and hanging up his helmet for good. The young quarterback had to wait Favre out for quite awhile. But when he got his opportunity, he more than seized it.
The tremendous amount of success Rodgers has enjoyed once he got a shot probably has helped alleviate any remaining antagonism the 30-year-old superstar felt towards his onetime quarterbacking mentor/career saboteur.
So much so, in fact, that when it came time for the Packers to seriously address what to do about the elephant in Lambeau regarding Favre’s future affiliation with the team, Packers News reports that Rodgers says he played an integral part — in his own way — in getting the ball rolling in getting Favre back into the good graces of Packers fans and the organization.
Favre will have his No. 4 jersey retired and at long last gain admittance into the Packers’ Hall of Fame sometime in 2015, and Rodgers says he’s 100% behind it, arguing it’s high time to finally mend the fences.
“I’ve kind of been on the forefront of getting this thing done, you know, in my own way,” Rodgers said. “I wanted to make sure my voice was out there and behind Brett coming back. I think it’s important to bring him back into the fold. It was a great thing to be able to announce that and retire his number and put his number in the Packer Hall of Fame, which is obvious – of course it’s going to happen. He’s one of the greatest Packers of all-time and one of the greatest NFL players of all-time. It’s good to get him back here and hopefully get him here in the fall, as well.”
With how much Favre meant to the Packers organization as the team returned to relevance and enjoyed an enormous wealth of success, it was only a matter of time before Favre and the team would enjoy a delayed but inevitable reconciliation. Favre’s jersey retirement and induction into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2015 will put all the ugliness of the past in the rear view mirror. And it certainly does not hurt that Rodgers, the face of the franchise and the most popular player on the Packers, claims to have something to do with moving forward.
Again, a Super Bowl title, an NFL MVP Award and the adulation from legions of Packers fans certainly puts Rodgers in a better position to play the role of nice guy.
Furthermore, who’s going to argue with a guy who looks like a steroid-addled hobo, for crying out loud? That’s just asking for trouble.