View Full Version : Brett made the trip to Lambeau

07-20-2008, 12:32 PM
Packers: Favre back, if for one night only

By JASON WILDE-Wisconsin State Journal
July 19, 2008

GREEN BAY True to his word, and despite the event being rife with potential awkwardness, Brett Favre showed up at Lambeau Field Saturday night.

Participating in the annual Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame induction ceremony inside the Lambeau Field atrium, where he presented friend and former center Frank Winters for enshrinement and received the Hall of Fame's MVP award for last season, the legendary quarterback didn't talk about anything but his award and Winters' honor.

Not his unretirement plans. Not asking the team for his release. Not his criticism of the team and general manager Ted Thompson in an interview with Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren last week. Not his rift with the organization he'd come to embody during his 16 seasons in Green Bay.

But while Favre stuck to the script, you can bet his presence and that of Thompson, who also attended the event was the talk of the night, despite everyone's best efforts to make the evening all about Winters, nose tackle Gilbert Brown and video director Al Treml, the three inductees.

According to several people at the event reporters were not allowed inside and only could watch a one-camera closed-circuit telecast of the ceremony outside a satellite truck Favre and his wife, Deanna, sat at a table up front with Winters, while Thompson sat with coach Mike McCarthy and other Packers staff four or five tables away.

"You wouldn't have even known anything was wrong," said former Packers tight end Mark Chmura, who sat nearby.

The only passing reference to the controversy during the ceremony was made by emcee Larry McCarren, who said, "There are bigger problems in the world than the one the Packer Nation is wrestling with now."

Early in the program, when Favre received the MVP award, he thanked his teammates something he admitted he'd failed to do while receiving an award at the ESPYs last week. Favre also said he didn't know he was receiving the award until a few hours beforehand.

"(At the ESPYs), the most important thing I wanted to say I didn't say at all. And I was reminded of that as soon as I sat down from Deanna," Favre told the crowd of 1,300, which gave him a standing ovation.

"It's all about the team. I hope I have never lost sight of that, although I did the other night. But hopefully I'm redeeming myself tonight."

When he introduced Winters, the night's final inductee, Favre repeated what he'd said during a news conference before the festivities. There, Favre spoke for a little more than 3 minutes about Winters before exiting the auditorium stage right without taking questions.

Dressed in a gray suit and button-down shirt no tie, of course Favre retold the story of when he met Winters in 1992 at a nearby hotel shortly after both players joined the team (Favre in a trade with Atlanta, Winters as a Plan B free agent).

At the end, Favre called Green Bay, "a special place. There's a lot of tradition. ... To be a part of that and I know Frank feels honored is a special thing. I'm thankful that he asked me to be here."

He then turned the podium over to Winters, who said he never doubted Favre would show.

"There's a lot of people around the NFL and the United States probably thinking Brett wouldn't show up today, but I knew deep down inside he would," Winters said. "I told him if he didn't want to come, it'd have been all right. I didn't want him to be harassed or make it a hassle, and he said, 'No, it's no big deal.' "

But the iconic quarterback's recent decision that he wants to play in 2008 and is willing to do so with a team other than the Packers, whom he said told him a return "is not an option" was a big deal.

"He could've come here and just introduced Frankie and then said, 'I'm out of here.' But he doesn't do that, because he wants the attention, too," retired safety LeRoy Butler said of Favre. "But, to be fair, he had to come. I didn't think he would, but he had to come. You can't sell out your best friend in the whole world."

"I just wish (Favre and Thompson) would have scheduled a meeting after this, to talk about things. Even if it's (about) a trade. Go upstairs and talk about it. That's the only way you can get it solved. But neither one of them wants to do that and be a man about it."

Retired GM Ron Wolf, who made the trade to bring Favre to Green Bay from Atlanta, said he has spoken to Favre since the news broke of him considering a comeback but hasn't spoken to Thompson.

Asked how tough a position Thompson is in, Wolf said, "Hey, this is real. You're getting paid a lot of money. It isn't all smooth sailing here. You get paid the big bucks, you've got to ride the tide. Not everything you do is right, not everything you do is correct."

For their parts, Brown and Winters said they didn't want to discuss Favre's clash with the organization, but both admitted they struggled to fill the void left by their retirements.

"It was very hard for me because someone told me I couldn't play (anymore)," said Brown, whose last season in Green Bay was 2003. "The thing about it was, I wasn't going to play for nobody else. I couldn't fathom myself with another logo on the side of my helmet."

"I've said (it) before 60,000 fans ain't cheering for you taking out the garbage on Wednesday, you know?"

Asked if he thought the night would be awkward, Winters, whose final Packers season was 2002, said: "I asked (Favre) a long time before this (unretirement talk) even came about. ... I don't think it's awkward. I'm sure there's a lot of people out there who'd like to ask him a lot of questions. But this is a special night for a lot of guys, and we're just going to keep it to that."

I thought you guys might be interested in this. There were some interesting quotes in here from some Packer greats. No big confrontation:box:

iam brett favre
07-20-2008, 12:50 PM
"(At the ESPYs), the most important thing I wanted to say I didn't say at all. And I was reminded of that as soon as I sat down from Deanna," Favre told the crowd of 1,300, which gave him a standing ovation.

"It's all about the team. I hope I have never lost sight of that, although I did the other night. But hopefully I'm redeeming myself tonight."
I wonder what that means..

and I'm glad to see Favre came, it was classy.

Ryan Diesel
07-20-2008, 01:11 PM
He forgot to thank his teammates when he accepted his award at the Espy's, so he thanked them on Saturday in GB.

07-21-2008, 03:20 AM
Its good to see that Favre put his current issues aside for one night and showed up for his friend at Lambeau. It was probably a good thing that the awards at Lambeau were given out the day before the ESPY's aired as well. At least his teammates had fair warning that he had forgot to thank them. I think it was an honest mistake though, no big deal