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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Brett Favre series - Part 5

Roberto Ruiz-Maki

I have been tough on Brett Favre thus far, and it bothers me. When Favre would run onto that field on Sunday, fans would be filled with hope. When Favre would throw a touchdown and lift his hands in the air while sprinting all around the field in celebration, our heart rates would match his beat for beat. I will never forget the night that Favre was traded to the New York Jets because my heart shattered into a million pieces. While there will be many great memories of Favre, there will be too many sad ones to ignore.
Perhaps if I had seen Favre when he first started, my opinion would be different, and I would be a relentless advocate for his hall of fame plaque to read “Best Quarterback of All Time.” Alas, I was not born in an earlier year, and I instead injected myself into the Packers endless fan base in 1997, making my first experience the gut-wrenching loss to the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.
Already, Favre's records are starting to fall to Aaron Rodgers, his heir to the throne. Bart Starr paved the way for great Green Bay quarterbacks, and Brett Favre reignited those sparks 30 years later. The torch has now been passed to Aaron Rodgers, though things would have been very different if Favre had never stumbled into Green Bay as a young southern boy with NFL aspirations. There would be no tradition for Rodgers to uphold, and the grooming seasons that were so imperative to his growth would have never occurred.
The Green Bay that Rodgers inherited was much better off than the one that Favre received, and Rodgers has Favre to thank for that. I speak for every Packer fan when I say that I hope Rodgers can bring Green Bay to new heights, heights that even Favre could not achieve. I just hope that Rodgers also realizes the heart and soul that Favre left on that field in order to give him that opportunity.
This is the last part of the Favre series, and I hope that readers see that my goal is not to detract from Favre's legacy, but instead to bring it into a clearer view. Favre will always be remembered as the man who brought football back to Titletown. The only mistake Favre ever made was that instead of realizing his flaws and working to correct them, he decided that mistakes were bound to happen when someone played the game with the level of chaotic enthusiasm that he did; and because of that, we love him.

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