The day the music died....August 6, 2008. For the Brett Favre zealots, the date will live in infamy. That was when Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson traded the unquestioned king of the quarterbacks to the New York freakin' Jets. He wanted back with the Pack, yeah he retired, but he only changed his mind. The number four loyalists couldn't believe he wasn't welcomed back with open arms and they felt that bratty Aaron Rodgers would just have to wait his turn another year or two. It was as a divisive a day as I ever remembered in my lifetime in Green Bay and the 35 years I've covered the team.
Time does heal most wounds, including this one. The differences have been reconciled. Yes the divorce was ugly, the bitterness ran deep but this week of course, the Packers announced they'll retire number 4 and enshrine him in the Packers Hall of Fame next July.
We've heard from nearly all the principals and today, we heard from two more. GM Ted Thompson held his weekly training camp media session. He was in attendance for the Favre announcement Monday and was asked about how this fairy tale, like every other one, has a happy ending:
Audio: Ted Thompson.
And then there's Rodgers. He was Ted's very first number one draft choice. He patiently played understudy for three years and almost immediately after Favre's first retirement in March of 2007, was given the keys to the franchise car. The misguided Favre fanatics directed their anger toward Rodgers. Who can forget the venomous boos that rained down on Rodgers that first practice when Favre tried to work his way back to the team?
Standing in front of his locker after practice, Rodgers was asked to comment on the Favre celebration to come and the turbulent, painful passing of the torch.
Audio: Aaron Rodgers
Whether it's one game or 16 years, there's something to that, once a Packer, always a Packer. The Green Bay Packers have been unbelievably blessed to span what is now 22 years and counting of excellence at the game's most demanding position.