Dear Brett Favre,
I grew up in the Village of Allouez, which has a population of approximately 15,000 people. My house was a 10 minute car ride to Lambeau Field. In many ways, I was a loner. Often times, I played "my games." In my backyard, I would throw the football to myself. After I caught it, I'd make noises of applause as I sprinted down my imaginary sideline. I'd spike the football and pump my fists as I ran into the end zone. In real life, the Packers were accustomed to winning 4-5 games a year. In "my games," the Packers often went 15-1 (I idolized Mark Clayton and often Clayton would score the game winner to beat the Packers. Plus, to me, it was too unrealistic for a team to go undefeated.) The Packers would always win the Super Bowl. The Packers were my favorite topic. Football was life. In fact, my favorite pre-teen memories are waking up on Sunday morning. Sitting with my Dad at the kitchen table and discussing who would score TD's for the Packers. Will it be Eddie Lee Ivery, Gary Ellis, Paul Coffman or James Lofton? During the game, Chad, my brother, would sit on one chair. I would sit on my Dad's lap. When Bob, my other brother, was old enough, he'd grab the floor. Together, we'd celebrate 1st downs. We'd rejoice when the Packers scored. Unfortunately, the Packers were rubbish and the celebrations were few. Nonetheless, we lived for Sunday afternoons and our support of the Packers was undying.
In 1992, Brett, you brought hope to a small town. I'll never forget the Cincinnati Bengals victory in your 1st appearance at Lambeau Field. You were magical in the 4th Quarter. The bullet that you threw to Sharpe down the sideline on the final possession was beyond amazing. So pure. So real. The following week against the Steelers, you made Rod Woodson look like a fool. Not once, but twice. Your toughness against the Eagles was legendary. Instantly, you were a role model.
In 1993, Mark Clayton was a Packer. And his first game as a Packer, my Dad took myself and Ben Wehner to Milwaukee County Stadium for the game against the Rams. Favre found Clayton for a TD. I'll never forget it. The bomb to Sterling Sharpe at NO to pull off the improbable victory. Brett, you knew how to deliver the late game dagger at a young age. The magical victory against Detroit in the playoffs on the across the field TD to Sterling in the back of the end zone.
In 1994, we were 6-7 and essentially out of the playoffs. But, it was you, Brett Favre, diving into the end zone in the last game at Milwaukee County Stadium. My Dad took me to this game as well. I'll never forget the youthful exuberance you displayed as we marched down for the game winning TD. We won the last 3 games and once again won a playoff game. Plus, we swept the hated Bears for the 1st time in my living memory - outscoring them 73-9. The Halloween game at Soldier Field in the mud. Your fantastic run down the sideline as you flew through the air for a TD. I'll never forget it.
In 1995, you made us all believe. We believed that the little town could really compete against the big city boys. Again, we swept the Bears. You were epic in the Lambeau victory. Hobbling onto the field. 5 TD's later. I was sitting in section 10. I'll never forget it. In the Regular Season finale against Pittsburgh, you were drilled by Kevin Greene and Greg Lloyd throughout. You were spitting up blood. One play later, you found your good buddy, Mark Chmura, in the back of the end zone. I was sitting in section 10. I'll never forget it. Rumor had spread that you were about to win your first MVP as we were clobbering the Falcons in the Wild Card game. I was sitting in section 22. I'll never forget it. The 49er game was a thing of beauty.
In 1996, "my games" became real life. I attended 16 games (if you include pre-season, post season, and the Super Bowl). The 2nd consecutive MVP. Another sweep of the hated Bears. A brilliant performance against Detroit when the starting wide receivers were Terry Mickens and Don Beebe. I was sitting in Section 30. I'll never forget it. The audible to Andre Rison in the Super Bowl. Rison ran his post right in front of the section that my Uncle Pat and I were sitting in. I'll never forget it.
In 1997, you destroyed the Cowboys at Lambeau Field. Boy, was it great to get Dallas back at Lambeau. I was sitting in Section 22. I'll never forget it. Again, you led a sweep of the Bears including a dramatic comeback in Chicago. The Divisional Playoff game against Warren Sapp and Tampa Bay was one for the memory banks. It added to your legacy as you were staring Sapp right in the face. I was sitting in Section 22. I'll never forget it. Oh, did I forget the 3rd consecutive MVP? The Super Bowl did not end the way we wanted, but once again, you led us on a dramatic opening drive and you hit Antonio Freeman for a score in the end zone in which I was sitting. I'll never forget it. Oh, and Brett, if I ever see Gabe Wilkins, I'll tell him off. He's responsible for that loss. Bob Kuberski should have been active.
In 1998, once again, you were amazing. I'll never forget when you approached me at Nicky's in the bathroom during your bye week after the home loss to the Vikings. Brett, you didn't have to apologize to me. I know that you gave it all that you had. I'll remember the beautiful Christmas game against the Oilers. You and Freeman were on the same page. I was sitting with my brothers in Section 22. Man, did we celebrate. I'll never forget it. The following week, once again, you completed the sweep of the Bears in Week 17. My Dad took my family down to Soldier Field for the game. It was a great day in our lives. I'll never forget it.
The start of 1999 was arguably the most exciting individual portion of your career. In Week 1, the comeback that you led against Oakland was phenomenal. I was sitting in Section 10 with my Mother. When you hit Jeff Thomason for the game winner, we jumped in each others arms. I'll never forget it. In Week 3, you hit Corey Bradford in the closing seconds for another winner. This time, I jumped in the arms of my cousin, Ryan Meisinger's, arms. I was sitting in Section 21. I'll never forget it. In Week 4, when you did it again on a deep pass to Antonio Freeman against Tampa...well, I was in Section 22 and my Mother and I were screaming with joy in each others arms again. I'll never forget it.
In 2000, we witnessed your dramatic OT throw to Antonio Freeman on MNF against Minnesota. I was sitting in Section 21. I enjoyed the game with my sisters Marni & Melissa, my Mom, and my good friend, Stack. I'll never forget it. When you outlasted Peyton Manning at Lambeau Field, I was sitting in Section 36 with my good friend, Damon. I'll never forget it.
2001 brought another sweep of the Bears. It also marked another 30 (+) TD season. My most memorable game was when you torched the defending champion Ravens for 300 (+) yards and 3 TD's. I was sitting in Section 22 with Damon. I'll never forget it. I also have fond memories of the December game against Cleveland. The beautiful snow fall. Three more TD's. I was in Section 10. I'll never forget it.
2002 was another vintage performance for Brett. I relish my memory of opening day. I was sitting in section 15 with Dave Perkins, Stack, and Damon. Favre outfought Vick. I'll never forget it. I especially remember sitting with my cousin Ryan and other family members in Section 21 when Favre torched the Lions. Nearly 300 1st half yards. I'll never forget it.
2003 was highlighted by the game for Irv. The MNF game against the Raiders. I've relived this moment on a number of occasions. I'll never forget it. There was also another sweep of the Bears. My Dad and I went to the game at Tampa Bay. You played with the broken thumb and you were magical. A gutty performance. Consistently picking up big 3rd downs. I'll never forget it. The victory against Denver. I was sitting in Section 22 with my brothers Chad and Bob along with Rafael. I've never experienced such a jubilant crowd. Complete electricity. I'll never forget it.
In 2004, I watched you play with complete resiliency. The team was dead at 1-4. But, you pulled us out of the water. It was another 30 TD season. The late wins against Minnesota, at Houston, and against Detroit. I'll never forget them. But, most importantly, the Christmas win at Minnesota. I watched with my Family in the porch. 365 yards and 3 TD's. I'll never forget it.
In 2005, I learned that you were human. Injuries devastated the team. But, you never gave up. I watched the Seahawks game in a bar in Savannah with my wife. Your energy and thrill for the game - even though we had nothing to play for - helped teach how to deal with troubling times. I'll never forget it.
For me, the highlight of 2006 was the Packers trip to Miami. Vargas threw a tailgate party. My Dad, A*, and I raged the stands. We were loud. We were proud. We were heard. You were terrific. The 4th Quarter drive that led to the David Martin TD was a classic. The third down pass to Chris Francies. Brett, you played with pure confidence no matter who you threw the football to. I'll never forget it.
Ah, the 2007 season. Thanks for it, Brett. The journey was fantastic. My trip to NYC was unbelievable. Your performance was spectacular. I was with Jessi, Joe, Vargas, Cheddar, and A*. I'll never forget it. I'll never forget the win record. I'll never forget the yardage record. I'll never forget the completion record. I'll never forget the TD record. I'll never forget Favre to Jennings at Denver. And then again at KC the following week. I'll never forget you dominating the Lions on T-Day when I was watching the game at my in-laws.
In closing, Brett, you are my hero. You brought hope to a town that lives for football. You are an icon. I am a better man for having watched you play. It was a treat to watch you grow from a carefree man to a mature, grown man. I admire the way you matured. In my lifetime, you are the greatest football player to have played and I'm thrilled that you have touched my life. Thanks for the memories, Brett. Happy trails, #4. The #4 will never be the same.
All My Love,