What's the rush with Brett Favre?
Bob Harlan is a smart man who helped turn the Packers into a competitive football team again, both on the field and financially.
But I'm not with him as he and others in the organization try getting the team to bury the hatchet with Brett Favre.
The former Packers president tells ESPN/Milwaukee that Favre's agent, Bus Cook, didn't return the team's call asking if the former quarterback wanted to come to Green Bay for Mike Holmgren's induction into the Packers Hall of Fame. Harlan thought such an occasion--honoring the man who Favre himself gives so much credit to--would be softer occasion for Favre's return, as opposed to a stadium full of fans who might not receive Favre as graciously, especially after they'd been tailgating for some six hours.
Harlan's successor, Mark Murphy, has also said things of late about getting Favre's number retired in a year or two--at least, that's what he told the Journal/Sentinel last May.
What's the rush?
Favre is one of the greatest Packers of all time. His number will join that of Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke, Don Hutson, Tony Canadeo and Reggie White on the Lambeau Field wall. Favre will be part of the team's hall of fame, just as he'll have his bust on display in Canton.
It just doesn't have to be tomorrow.
Ted Thompson is still in Green Bay. So is Mike McCarthy. Aaron Rodgers, too. All played huge parts in the drama that was Favre's grisly Fox Valley dismount and might have good reason NEVER to want to see Favre at Kroll's, much less inside Lambeau getting his laundry retired. The wound is still fresh to a lot of people, hence the Harlan offer: if a team isn't safe bringing a certain hall of famer back in front of a stadium of avid fans, is the healing process really over or is the time truly right?
There've been other messy Green Bay breakups, none more bitter than the one that saw Curly Lambeau leave town in a huff. Lambeau didn't like butting up against the Packers board of directors and resigned, but not before trying to assemble a group of investors to buy the team and move it to Los Angeles. The estrangement continued as Lambeau coached elsewhere, the Packers co-founder shunning team requests to reconcile. Lambeau died before that could happen, holding true to his pledge not to want to have his name associated with the franchise he helped create. It was only after his passing that others in Green Bay got the Packers to put Lambeau's name on its stadium. It was done despite the protests of a man who reportedly had no use for Lambeau, that being the Packers coach at the time, Vince Lombardi.
Favre seems healthy, so the issue of giving him his props isn't time-sensitive. He remains an open wound, though, and there hasn't been enough time for it to properly mend, at least not according to the clock I'm watching. The guy he wanted to "stick it to" is still the Packers GM. The man he bucked in the locker room is still head coach. The successor he wanted nothing to do with remains the quarterback.
Favre's time will come and it will be deserved. Things didn't have to be this way, though, and he had a lot to do with creating this circumstance. The fact he didn't even return the call with the Holmgren offer speaks volumes about where his head is at in regard to the team.
There will be a time when this is right. It's just not right now.