Vikings Corner: Packer fans still looking for closure with Favre
The divorce between Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers became official last month, when he ran out of the tunnel of the Metrodome, all decked out in Vikings purple.
The awareness that Favre had moved on was evident when he pulled off a flying chest-bump with Ryan Longwell to celebrate the first of three touchdown passes.
Green Bay fans though, haven't quite had the closure they've been seeking. Still waiting for Favre to fail miserably they boo every sight of him.
They boo his accomplishments on local talk radio, they boo his likeness on the scoreboard at Lambeau Field, the crowd even breaks into chants of "Favre sucks" every time they show a Vikings highlight.
On Sunday, Packers fans will get a chance to find that closure, but how will Brett be embraced in Green Bay?
No one really knows, but in the spirit of Halloween, expect a lot of boos.
"I will just say that I think that our fans here in Green Bay are first class," said coach Mike McCarthy Wednesday. "I think that they will do what they feel is appropriate."
Favre is prepared to hear his former fans dismay.
"I've heard boos in that stadium before," he quipped. "There were some times where we struggled and that was kind of a kick in the stomach hearing those boos and it wasn't often. There were way more cheers and I suppose there will be a little bit of both this week."
Leading up to the initial rematch at Mall of America Field, the hype-machine was working overtime. Driven not only by local media, ESPN announced in the days leading up to the game that they were expecting the largest cable television audience ever.
Restaurants joined in on the circus, too, with some in Wisconsin and Minnesota holding impromptu Favre exorcisms.
Outside of The Park Tavern in St. Louis Park, fans used a wood chipper to pulverize their seemingly useless memorabilia.
As you moved closer to the Metrodome, it was an even more mind-bending sight.
Brett Favre jerseys were everywhere and they came in all colors and sizes. Packers, Vikings, Jets, some had sewn together two jerseys or used dye to make half-green half-purple jerseys.
"I am a huge Packer fan," said one. "But I am showing respect to a legend." The Green Bay hat on his head answered any questions of where his true loyalties were.
I have to believe that the scene in Green Bay will be much the same. There will be those that can't forgive Brett and will boo him incessantly, there will be others will direct that displeasure at General Manager Ted Thompson and a select few will get stuck outside the stadium booing the scalper that sold them fake tickets.
Seems as though no one will be happy.
It doesn't deserve to be that way though. Favre's homecoming at Lambeau Field should be similar to when he broke the all-time mark for touchdown passes in 2007 at the dome.
Coming into the game with 420, Favre needed only one more touchdown pass to break the record. He connected with Greg Jennings early in the first quarter and the game was immediately stopped.
It was stopped so the NFL could recognize the achievement, stopped so Brett could celebrate the moment with his family, stopped so 64,000 fans, most of which had hated Favre for 16 years, could give him a standing ovation.
No matter which team you rooted for that day, everyone stood together. It wasn't because they were starting to like Brett, they went back to hating him quite quickly actually.
It was because they respected his accomplishments.
Sunday should be the same, Green Bay fans shouldn't boo Favre just to prove they're over him. They should stand and give him an ovation, welcome him back to the franchise he helped rebuild. Then, when the game starts they can go right back to hating him.
"The Packers fans will boo him," said receiver Donald Driver. "But when it is all said and done this guy will come back, and when he retires they are going to retire his jersey and do all those sorts of things. The Packer fans and Brett Favre fans will love him just the same."
Then they'll finally have closure.