With Brett Favre entering the Hall of Fame tonight, a few thoughts from a Wisconsinite in his early 40s.
I think if anyone told soon-to-be 18-year-old Jake when he entered Witte Hall in the Fall of 1992 that the Packers were about to start a run of consistent winning that has made them a model franchsie over the last 24 years. (the only other team that compares is the Pats, and they had more down years in the 1990s than the Pack), I'd have laughed in your face. It would have sounded as unbelievable as UW football and men's basketball becoming national powers with numerous 1st-round draft picks.
But it did happen, and that guy along with the signing of Reggie White in 1993 announced that the Pack was truly back, and it wasn't a joke this time. Within 5 seasons I got to see THIS happen, an image I think most Gen Xer Wisconsinites never thought they'd ever see.
Yes, the Packer thing does often devolve into the type of mulleted redneck that wore Cheeseheads and Zubaz as regular outfits 20 years ago (ah, who am I kidding, they wear them now), and they remind me of the type of meathead who kept Walker in power. Also note the number of Packer jerseys and Cheeshead hats that were broken out by the trash who attended yesterday's Drumpf rally in GB, an act that should not be found acceptable by anyone that is a fan of the Greatest Professional Sports Franchise in America (as I still believe the Pack to be, not only because of their tradition but because of their public ownership).
And yes, Brent had his drama queen elements and bad in-game decision-making that made me often roll my eyes, and he was dead to me for a couple of years when he went to the Vikings as revenge for the Packers (rightly) dumping him at the end of his career for Aaron Rodgers. But he seems to have learned from it, has become kind of a badass in retirement, and I can't deny the greatness of the man's play, and the fact that he truly didn't change who he was, no matter how much success he had. And don't let the "good ol' boy" act fool you- Favre had a football IQ that was off the charts. I've watched this "QB Camp" special with Jon Gruden (former Packer assistant) a couple of times, and love the part where he and Favre are discussing plays and reads of a defense, and it's great stuff to watch. And Brett still looks like he can throw it.
And you know Brett will kill his speech in Canton tonight. Yes, sometime the Packer thing is a bit off-putting, but it's still pretty great to say that they're in my state. And I'm a damn lucky sports fan to be able to have seen Brett Favre's career from start to finish.