3.06.2008

Taking a Moment

As I have been blogging for less than a year and haven't really been noticed I didn't feel like it was my duty to immediately post on this. My initial reaction is best described by My Official Green Bay Packer Blog. I just wanted to take some time out, try to gather my thoughts and experience this totally from a fan perspective.The mood is almost like Favre died, you would think he did from some reactions. But that's just how deep it goes with Green Bay's fans. Very few athletes manage to not only transcend their sport, but weave themselves into the very fabric of the community their team represents the way Favre did.

Take for example the famous pain killer addiction phase of his career. When the situation became public there was almost no wavering in support from the fan base. We treated him like we would treat our son or brother or uncle. He was human, despite what some of his perfomances on the field indicated. He made mistakes. He was one of us.

I talk to a lot of Packer's fans these days who are too young to remember the days of utter futility. Well now that I think of it things weren't too bad for the rest of Wisconsin sports back then. The Bucks had the misfortune of being in the same conference as the Celtics and Sixers, and the same division as the Bad Boy Pistons but still were one of the upper tier NBA teams of the '80's. The Brewers made a World Series appearance and were pretty good with future HOFs Robin Yount and Paul Molitor. Marquette was decent with Rick Majerus coaching and Doc Rivers in the backcourt. But the Pack experienced nothing but inept coaching, teams bereft of NFL caliber talent, and losing season after losing season. I remember the Randy Wrights, Anthony Dilwegs (out of Duke for Godssake!), Brent Fulwoods, and Rich Campbells.

Hard to believe that one guy could change what had been going wrong for more than 20 years, but that's what he did. And it was destined. Ron Wolf is a good football guy but he took a chance. Not a huge one for just a draft pick but he had no way of being sure a guy who thought it would be ok to come to practice drunk would turn into one of the best QB's ever. That part was dumb luck. And since I don't really believe in the concept of luck I believe it was destiny. It was time for history to repeat itself and for the Green Bay Packers to once again be a dominant force in the NFL. And we were ready for that ride and embraced the player that sparked it all the way he embraced us.

A lot of people say Brett Favre was way overrated as a quarterback. I ask overrated how? Too many interceptions, critical turnovers? Too many mental errors that cost games? Well yeah he is human remember? That's the gunslinger mentality; he can't waste time overthinking the play he has to follow his instincts. I'd rather have a guy like that than a guy who is so worried about not making a mistake that he doesn't know how to recover when he does. A lot of times Brett has made some of his biggest plays after turnovers. I think the overrated argument ultimately comes from jealousy. Fans of other teams wish they could have a quarterback that good who was also a good enough person that they could idol-worship him and he wouldn't end up leaving in free agency or because of a contract dispute. Orjust turn into a douch in general.

So thanks Brett. For everything. For restoring a once great franchise to it's rightful place as one of the most revered teams in professional sports. For bringing back memories of the old Packer heydays for grandpas who have had season tickets for 30 years. For giving us another example of how cool it is when an athlete is identified only with a specific team for their whole career. For showing a young man who had grown up thinking that bad situations very rarely get better that the universe can turn life around when you least expect it. Thank you for that gift.Enjoy a secure retired life and the love of your family. And if in a couple of months you find yourself some Sunday wondering why you are not in someone's stadium somewhere know that in the hearts of true Packer fans everywhere there will always be a #4 on the field.

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