Favre Returning Home, But On The Rival Team
JACKI LYDEN, host:
The prodigal quarterback returns to Green Bay. Last month, Brett Favre, now quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, defeated his former Packer teammates on Viking turf in a spectacular game. Today, the two teams meet again, this time at Green Bay's legendary Lambeau Field. It won't be pretty for the 40-year-old quarterback.
Patty Murray of Wisconsin Public Radio reports.
PATTY MURRAY: Number 4, Brett Favre, wore Green Bay Packer green and gold for 16 years. Now, he's crossed state lines and is wearing Minnesota Vikings purple. The teams have already met this season, and the Vikings won by seven points. That was at the Minneapolis Metrodome. Today's game is in Green Bay at Lambeau Field. It's a weird sensation for long-time Packer fans like Bob Green, who traveled here from Pennsylvania to come to today's game.
Mr. BOB GREEN: I think it's going to be more emotional for Brett than what he's letting on. I think it's going to be emotional for everybody. It's a homecoming.
MURRAY: The Packers have other rivals in the league, but the Vikings are now considered the team's nemesis. They're both in the NFC North and they're nearly tied for division title. The fact that Brett Favre was once the soul of the Packers makes this a most unusual game.
Tony Walter writes for the Green Bay Press Gazette and says Midwest nice may go out the window today.
Mr. TONY WALTER (Green Bay Press Gazette): Oh, we'll hear booing. There's so much attention, so much drama. It's really off the charts.
MURRAY: Part of that drama is because of Favre's long-winning history with the Green Bay Packers. As a Packer, he became the NFL's only three-time MVP, taking the team to two Super Bowls and bringing home one championship. But to some fans, that's ancient history.
Mr. MARTY LEONARD (Owner, Lenny's Tap): I'll boo as loud as I can. Everybody in my section will 'cause we're all Packer fans.
MURRAY: Marty Leonard owns a neighborhood bar called Lenny's Tap. He's wearing a green and gold T-shirt with a likeness of Favre in a tri-cornered hat with a traitorous logo - Benedict Brett. He's selling another shirt that claims: We'll never forget you, Brent. Get it? His name is Brett. Leonard will be in the stands at Lambeau Field today. He says Favre's a big boy and can take the booing.
Mr. LEONARD: I boo the Bears. I boo Detroit. I boo whoever the Packers are playing. Nothing obnoxious, but goodheartedly having fun.
MURRAY: Goodhearted fun was what the mayor of Green Bay was after when he solicited ideas for ways to welcome Brett Favre back to town. One bit of vandalism expressed some fans' unhappiness with Favre. Near the stadium, someone crossed out the P on a street sign that had said Brett Favre Pass.
For NPR News, I'm Patty Murray in Green Bay.