Once word quickly spread that the Green Bay Packers planned to announce that former Packers quarterback Brett Favre would be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame and have his number four jersey retired next summer, it has created a buzz within the state and the community.
In La Crosse, there are many Packers and Minnesota Vikings fans, and fans from both sides expressed their indifferent opinions on the Packers' Monday announcement.
“He was a great player for the Packers and did a lot of great things, but with him going and playing for the Vikings kind of left a bad taste in my mouth,” Packers fan Noah Hammes said. “There's only (five) numbers hanging up in Lambeau and if he is going to be the (sixth), I want him to be a dedicated Packer and not really have that Viking side to him.”
Favre played for the Packers for 16 seasons, briefly retired, and played one season for the New York Jets before finishing his career playing quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. Favre still holds 26 team passing records for the Packers, and La Crosse-area Vikings fans say with those accolades, it's “about time” the Packers honored Favre.
“He's been hemmed and hawed around so much and went so many different places,” Vikings fan Kathy Tiffany said. “It should be retired to the Packers because he played his best years there.”
“He gave them 16 years of quality service. He took plenty of bumps and bruises for them and won them a Super Bowl, and got them close plenty of times,” Vikings fan Al Peterson said. “I'd say it's probably the right time. It's long enough where people have a chance to get over the fact that he played for Minnesota and the Jets so it seems reasonable.”
Some Packers fans are still not over the Favre-saga from many summers ago. “I think he acted kind of like a spoiled baby and he shouldn't have really left the way he did. The Packers are not fully without fault, but I believe that it's too soon to retire the number,” Packers fan Tony Herbert said. “They should give it a little more time. I couldn't really say how long, but I definitely think it's too soon.”
When asked whether Favre should be booed or cheered by Packer fans when he is honored by the team, both Hammes and Herbert say he still deserves respect from the fans. “At the end, I'd want to see Brett Favre coming out to Lambeau (Field) and everyone giving him a standing ovation,” Hammes said.
“I don't really believe in booing anybody to tell you the truth,” Herbert said. “That's not the way Packer fans behave.”
Favre will be inducted into the team's hall of fame July 18th, 2015. The team has not yet determined which game Favre's number four will be retired during the 2015 season.
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