Former Green Bay Packers president Bob Harlan called him the “greatest player we’ve ever had,” but on the day Brett Favre was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame and his No. 4 retired, the legendary former quarterback was more humbled by the fans.
More than 67,000 of them packed Lambeau Field to watch Favre’s induction on the stadium video boards, a sign that all had been forgiven for the way Favre’s career in Green Bay in the summer of 2008, when he unretired and was traded to the New York Jets only to play two more seasons for the rival Minnesota Vikings.
“It was like I never left,” Favre said Saturday of walking back onto Lambeau Field. “It was a great feeling.”
Favre is the sixth Packers player to have a number retired by the team, joining Tony Canadeo (3), Don Hutson (14), Bart Starr (15), Ray Nitschke (66) and Reggie White (92). Another jersey number retirement ceremony for Favre will take place on Thanksgiving night, when the Packers play the Chicago Bears.
It was Favre’s first time at Lambeau Field as a member of the Packers’ family since 2008. The response was much different than the boos he received when he played here with the Vikings in 2009 and 2010.
His youngest daughter, 16-year-old Breleigh, perhaps said it best shortly after the event sold out within a few hours.
“She comes home and uncharacteristically says, ‘Hey Dad, did you hear they sold 67,000 tickets in an hour and a half?’ Favre recalled. “And I said, ‘Yeah.’ She goes, ‘They must really like you.’ And for her, that’s saying a lot. But it really says a lot about the whole situation. If there were ever any doubts prior to the tickets going on sale, there’s not anymore. And what a way to show that you’re welcomed back into the family. Just what an honor.
“And I’ll be honest with you, I mean no disrespect by this, I am more honored by that than by the Hall of Fame induction in itself. I think that is such a tribute to the fans, and that’s why Green Bay is Green Bay. Simple as that.”
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