I didn’t think I would ever go back to Green Bay after my Dad died.
Truthfully, I knew I would never go back. There was no reason to go back. What made Green Bay so exceptional and so very special to me was gone. My Dad was gone, and as silly as it might seem to you reading this Brett Favre was gone, the two things I loved most about that special place were gone, I had no intention of ever going back. I mean sure, in passing I would talk about going to a game but I never sought out tickets, I would talk about the upcoming games on social media but I could barely watch most of them.
Then something happened.
After all the turmoil, after all the hurt feelings, after all the trades, talks, jerseys, trash, arrogance, blood, sweat and tears I saw something I thought I would never see.
Brett Favre and the Packers were talking. Talking about him coming back to Green Bay to retire his #4 and induct him into the Packers Hall Of Fame.
Well, I wasn’t planning on that curveball Brett…WTF?
I remember watching an interview with Greta Van Susteren (who has covered Brett for years) during that interview he said something about being inducted into the Packers Hall Of Fame and what a special moment it would be. Then Greta asked something about opening it up to the fans of Green Bay, to be able to see one of the best quarterbacks ever to play come back to where it all started in Green Bay and see it all for themselves.
I think Brett said “well hell, why not?”
It was almost like he was daring the Packers organization on national television to say no, which I really enjoyed, because if they said no, it would just give me more ammunition to not buy the NFL Sunday Ticket this year.
But the Packers said yes…and my mind exploded.
I remember telling Mr D, if they open this up, I’ll be there. That’s exactly what the Packers did, they opened Lambeau Field to the fans to watch Brett Favre get his number retired and get inducted into the Packers Hall Of Fame (which has never happened at the same time for any player – by the way.) I remember sitting on my bed watching the timer tick down on Ticketmaster, the moment it hit zero I hit refresh and began to enter in my info. I held my breath until I got the ticket confirmation, once I had the email, I sat in the middle of my bed and thought what have I done?
Getting the tickets was easy, even though 67,000 seats were sold in two hours, that part, piece of cake. Going to that stadium, being there, I didn’t really think that part through.
I told everyone though, I told every person I knew I was going to Green Bay. It seemed like some kind of dream I was daring life to take away from me, I never really thought it was going to happen, at least that is what I kind of told myself. Then I saw this on the Packers website the day I came back to Green Bay:
Seriously…What The Hell?
One thing I do know about myself is that I’m a stubborn ass, but I also hold passion, conviction and loyalty in high regard. I can understand why Favre left the Packers, I can understand why people in Green Bay hated him for it. There was a line drawn across Lombardi Avenue, not necessairly when he went to the Jets, but when he went to Minnesota that some Packer fans could not understand, but I could. In my opinion he was left with no options, I know what that feels like. So he did what he could do at the time under his circumstances while still doing what he loved to do, again.. I understand that logic.
Entering Lambeau Field was suffocating, it was like all the hurt, all the tears, all the mistakes, all the pain, everything that has happened since my Dad died was on the back of my Favre jersey on display for everyone to see. I cried, wiping away the tears trying not to draw any attention to the panic I was feeling.
Then it happened, Brett Favre walked out of the tunnel in Green Bay and 67,000+ people couldn’t stop cheering. He was speechless, he looked around the packed stadium with tears in his eyes like everything that happened since the summer of 2007 suddenly the universe made right.
He said “I could thank all of you until tomorrow, and it would never be enough.”
Because of Brett Favre and the Packers forcing my hand I was able to go back to Lambeau Field. I was able to experience something with my husband and son that otherwise probably would have never happened. I was able to go back on a tour of the stadium and see the absolute wonder in my son’s eyes as he came out of the Packer’s tunnel into the sunlight of that magnificent stadium my dad and I loved so very much.
Before we left, we were able to find my Dad’s brick outside of Lambeau, a present for his 60th birthday.
Thank you. I could say it until tomorrow, but it would never be enough….