SHEBOYGAN FALLS, Wis. -- Brett Favre may be long gone from Green Bay, but the Packers organization has no intention of ever forgetting him. That includes bringing Favre back to Titletown to be formally honored and having his No. 4 uniform retired.
That's the word from someone who certainly ought to know - retired Packers President and CEO Bob Harlan. Harlan was among the many Packers alumni participating in Monday’s Packer Hall of Fame Golf Classic at The Bull Pinehurst Farms. Harlan was part of a foursome that included general manager Ted Thompson.
Though Favre and the Packers went through an ugly divorce following the 2007 season, Harlan made it clear that the team has every intention of giving Favre his due in terms of publicly honoring him for all of his accomplishments. Favre helped put Green Bay back on the football map, leading the team to two Super Bowl appearances and one championship, capturing an unprecedented three straight NFL Most Valuable Player awards along the way and setting a boatload of team and league passing records.
“I think regardless of what happened in New York and what happened in Minnesota the last two years with Brett Favre, I think you’ve got to go back to the 1990s when this franchise was resurrected,” said Harlan. “The foundation of that comeback was Ron Wolf, Mike Holmgren, Brett Favre and Reggie White. That was what got us started. I don’t think as Packer fans we should ever forget the contributions Favre made to this franchise. The day is going to come when he’s going to have to walk out onto Lambeau Field, be applauded and cherished and have his number retired because he’s going to go into the Hall of Fame in Canton very, very soon.”
Favre, who is eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016, would be the sixth Packers player to have his number retired. The others: Tony Canadeo’s 3, Don Hutson’s 14, Bart Starr’s 15, Ray Nitschke’s 66 and Reggie White’s 92.
Though the Packers have not set a timetable for bringing Favre back to Green Bay, Harlan believes that honoring Favre in this fashion is the right thing to do.
“I can never forget what he did for us in the ’90s when we were trying so hard to win and, like I say, that was our foundation,” said Harlan. “Those four gentlemen were the ones who got us back to where the fans want us to be and where they expected us to be. I will always have a love for Brett Favre.”
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.