"It was a tremendous honor to play 16 years for the Green Bay Packers," Favre said on his Web site. "Now to have my name placed among others such as Starr, Hornung, Kramer, Taylor, Lambeau, Nitschke, Lombardi, Davis, White and Hutson is a special honor that I share with all of my teammates and coaches, and that would not have been possible but for the foresight of Ron Wolf, the greatest GM In the history of the NFL."
Favre will talk to reporters via a conference call, and Packers Hall of Fame President Perry Kidder and Packers presidents past and present, Bob Harlan and Mark Murphy, will speak at a press conference at the new, still-under-construction Packers Hall of Fame.
Favre, the only player in NFL history to win three consecutive NFL MVP awards, owns most of the Packers’ career passing records during a remarkable career that likely will get him elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016. Among them: Favre’s 61,655 career passing yards in a Green Bay uniform are 12,740 more than Bart Starr and Aaron Rodgers combined, and his 442 touchdown passes are almost as many as the combined total of 473 by Rodgers, Starr and Lynn Dickey. His celebrated ironman streak exted to 297 consecutive regular-season starts, including stints with the Jets and Vikings.
Favre, who was acquired for a first-round pick in 1992, joined Harlan, Wolf and coach Mike Holmgren as four of the central figures in the Packers’ rebirth. By helping the Packers win Super Bowl XXXI, Harlan was able to persuade Brown County voters to foot the bill on a renovation of Lambeau Field. That renovation has kept the Packers among the league leaders in revenue and given them the ability to consistently compete and beat big-market teams with deep-pockets owners.
Favre retired after the 2007 season but changed his mind. By that point, general manager Ted Thompson had hitched his wagon to Rodgers and drafted Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn. Favre was traded to the Jets, where he played in 2008. He retired again, only to change his mind and sign with the Vikings.
That created a deep rift among fans, which widened in 2009, as Favre beat the Packers twice and almost guided the Vikings to the Super Bowl. Rodgers, however, led the Packers to a Super Bowl championship in 2010. Emotions have cooled in the last several years, though Murphy admitted last month that the team feared Favre returning to Lambeau Field, only to be booed.
Harlan has been working behind the scenes to give Favre a fitting salute and an overdue welcome back.
"In spite of what people may think — and I really don't pay attention to what people are saying, I just know the facts — the facts are that I feel like the relationship is a good relationship," Favre told Chicago's ESPN Radio affiliate last month. "I've had contact with Mark Murphy on a regular basis in regards to how we're going to do this, the ceremony. Bob Harlan ... is working diligently. He's kind of spearheading the Packer Hall of Fame/jersey retirement ceremony, and I have been working with him diligently on getting this done."
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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.