After one of the most bitter breakups in NFL history, Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers are calling a truce. Favre announced that he will return to Lambeau Field this year to have his jersey retired and join the Green Bay Packers’ Hall of Fame.
“Well, we actually have been talking about it for quite a while,” Favre said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “You’re right. I almost went back this year. I was trying to do it with Bart (Starr). Unfortunately, his health is not great. So (we) just chose to not go back, and Bart was not able to go this past year.”
Favre spent the bulk of his 20-year career in Green Bay, where he won a Super Bowl, three MVP awards and set numerous records in the process. His jersey will be retired at a game to be determined during the 2015 season.
“We’ve been in long discussions about it, trying to do the right thing,” Favre said. “We’re looking forward to it.”
Favre, 45, was then asked about Green Bay’s 2014 season – the NFC Championship, specifically. Green Bay lost to Seattle, 28-22, in overtime after leading 19-7 with less than three minutes to go in regulation.
“Man, that was a terrible way to end – much like Seattle’s way of ending against New England,” Favre said. “I, like most people, thought the Packers were going to walk away with it. And I actually thought they would win the game even before I started watching it. Of course, as I watched, they just looked like the dominant team. It’s just a terrible way (to lose). I know what that’s like because it’s happened to me as well. Those type of losses, you’ll never get over. You’ll never get over them.”
The average NFL fan can probably guess the most crushing loss of Favre’s career.
“The 4th and 26 is probably (it),” Favre said, referring to Green Bay’s 20-17 divisional road loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in January 2004. “I think everyone assumed that was one we had. I mean, 4th and 26 – you just don’t convert that. Of course, they did. That one more than anything sticks out to me.”
Facing 4th-and-26 with the season on the line, Donovan McNabb inexplicably completed a 28-yard pass to Freddie Mitchell, setting up a game-tying field goal by David Akers, who won the game in overtime following a Favre interception. Philadelphia went on to lose, 14-3, to Carolina in the NFC Championship.
Favre has struggled to make sense of Green Bay’s loss in the 11 years since.
More recently, he’s struggled to make sense of Seattle’s final offensive play call of Super Bowl XLIX, when the Seahawks called a pass play on 2nd-and-goal from the New England 1. Russell Wilson was picked off by Malcolm Butler at the goal line, and the Patriots won, 28-24.
What would Favre have done if he were Wilson in that situation? Would he have run the play as called?
“Well, I would’ve done what my coach wanted me to do, especially as young as Russell is,” Favre said. “There’s no guarantees, but I would say the closest guarantee there ever has been, especially in that situation, is to get the ball to Marshawn Lynch. I’ve never seen him get tackled for negative yardage. And being the stage that was there in front of them, I don’t see them stopping him. It’s an unfortunate way to lose, but it is what it is.”