Forgive and forget? The case for No. 4

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Matt's Take:

Oh Brett, you never really go away, do you?

Yes, you are a Packers’ legend, and a future Hall of Famer, but I don't think now is the time to bestow upon you one of the greatest accolades in professional sports.

Now is not the time to hang your No. 4 jersey in the sacred grounds of Lambeau Field. The people of Green Bay are not, and should not, be ready to accept you back to the team where you spent 15 years blazing trails as the "gunslinger."

He left amid a cloud of dust, confusion and hard feelings. Instead of playing journeyman quarterback in New York and Minnesota you should have hung up the cleats gracefully, then we wouldn't be having this debate.

But here we are.

Only five Packers have had their jersey retired since 1919. Those men include Tony Canadeo, Don Hutson, Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke, and Reggie White.

Brett Favre is one of the best quarterbacks to play the game. Don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure he was the best quarterback to play for his franchise. Sure, he has three NFL MVP awards and a Super Bowl title, but we shouldn't roll out the red carpet already.

So, calm down Aaron Rodgers, there is no need for the continual cheerleading on Favre's behalf.

Having his jersey retired will eventually happen, but there is no need to rush into a hasty decision because it would be a feel-good moment.

Favre's in no hurry. Why should we be?

Andrew’s take:

It’s not easy to forget about your past, even when you’re consumed with the present.

Fifteen years is a long time. And when you consider another person to be infallible for so long, it’s hard to change your perception.

But Brett Favre solidified his reputation as a “thing of the past” with ease.

The Gunslinger basically volunteered for one of the most dramatic downfalls in sports history. Five million Wisconsinites would have jumped into traffic for the man, because of one measly Super Bowl. But he didn’t care. The bulb in Brett’s spotlight still had a couple of years, and he was going to use every watt.

Keeping sideline reporters aware of his “stature” was just a little publicity insurance. But “redshirting” a year in New York, just to come back and play for the rival Minnesota Vikings should have garnered an “express ticket” to hell.

After their unconditional love was deflected, back in their faces, Cheeseheads could have basically restricted Favre’s access to America’s Dairyland.

But Midwestern values are going to win out. I’m not necessarily Midwestern, though my Green Bay Packers fandom is unwavering. So I know what is going to happen. Brett Favre’s No. 4 jersey will be retired at Lambeau Field, if not this season, the next.

Aaron Rodgers is a freaking unicorn. When I’m watching a Packers game, I really have to pinch myself. The best player in the NFL is the quarterback for my team, and I love the fact that I don’t have to search my memory for high-quality football.

But, like I said, 15 years is a long time. I’m ready for that moment, when 80,000 people forget about Brett’s shortcomings, and remember how much fun he created for a decade and a half.

 There won’t be a dry eye in the house.