When you become the all-time leader in interceptions thrown, you learn to let stuff roll off your shoulders.
It's thus unsurprising that Brett Favre told ESPN 1000 in Chicago that any sort of hostility from the Lambeau Field crowd wouldn't put a damper on his return to the Green Bay Packers, via ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky.
I've heard that was a concern of mine, and I'm here to tell you I'm not. I'm not worried about that. I'm well aware that you can't please everyone. Not everyone's going to like you regardless, and you know what, so be it. But I think the 16 years that I had in Green Bay speaks for itself. Yeah, you're right, I have played with other teams, but I will be remembered as a Packer. I feel that. I think the true Packer backers, which there are tons out there, feel the same way. I'm not the first player to play for other teams or rivals.
This comes after team president Mark Murphy claimed a jersey retirement ceremony for Favre would have to be another year because the reaction from the crowd might be too negative.
"That is an issue. He doesn't want it, and neither do we," said Murphy, per ESPNWisconsin.com's Jason Wilde. "He wouldn't want to come back and get booed. You can't control 80,750 people … [but] I really think as time goes on, every year that passes, it's less likely that he would get booed, but that is an issue."
Wilde wondered from where the confusion between Favre and Murphy stems:
Fans of any team are notoriously fickle. Favre is undoubtedly a Packers legend, but his two years with the Minnesota Vikings were an almost unforgivable sin among the Green Bay faithful.
If LeBron James has taught us anything, though, it's that many will welcome back past stars with open arms sooner or later. Time heals all wounds. James was persona non grata in Cleveland following The Decision, but after his article in Sports Illustrated, the entire city has rolled out the red carpet for his return.
Favre and the Packers had an extremely fruitful partnership.
In his 16 years with the team, No. 4 won three straight Associated Press MVP Awards from 1995 to 1997 and became one of the best quarterbacks of all time. The Packers also went to two straight Super Bowls in 1996 and 1997, beating the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XXXI.
Yes, it was annoying to have news crews camped out on his front yard as he vacillated between retirement and playing another year and, yes, going to the rival Vikings didn't endear him to the Packers' die-hard fanbase.
But that doesn't change what Favre did in a Green Bay uniform throughout his illustrious career. He's one of the best players in NFL history and deserves to be honored appropriately.
More than likely, a jersey retirement ceremony is in the offing at Lambeau Field. Perhaps come 2015, both Favre and the team will be a little more comfortable with the idea.
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