Packers to give thanks for Favre

Stu Courtney
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Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre looks to make a pass during a game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field in 2003.

Brett Favre ushered in an era of Green Bay Packers prosperity that reverberates to this day. On Thanksgiving night, Packers fans will get another opportunity to express their appreciation.

The three-time MVP quarterback will be honored at halftime of Green Bay’s game Thursday night against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. The nationally televised event will be the culmination of a two-part jersey retirement ceremony that began July 18 with Favre’s induction into the Packers Hall of Fame.

Favre’s No. 4 was retired as well during the sold-out festivities that night at Lambeau, and Thursday it will join the franchise’s all-time greats on the north end-zone façade.

“He loved the game, loved being around it, especially loved playing on Sundays and always brought great energy to the field,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said of Favre.

Making the night even more special will be the anticipated attendance of legendary Packers quarterback Bart Starr, who at age 81 is battling health issues but planned to make the journey from Alabama to Green Bay to help Favre celebrate.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy called the presence of Starr, Favre and Rodgers in Lambeau Field on the same night “a once-in-a-lifetime event. This is obviously a very special time in the Green Bay Packers history.”

Rodgers excited for Favre, Starr reunion

Favre played 16 seasons in Green Bay (1992-2007) and won three consecutive NFL most-valuable player awards (1995-97). He led the Packers to two straight Super Bowls, beating the New England Patriots 35-21 to win the 1996 season title and losing to the Denver Broncos 31-24 the following year.

Favre never missed a start after becoming the Packers’ first-string quarterback in Week 4 of the ’92 season. He went on to establish NFL records for passing attempts (10,169), completions (6,300) and consecutive starts (297).

Favre’s acquisition in a 1991 trade with the Atlanta Falcons, along with the signing of future Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White and the hiring of coach Mike Holmgren, began a run of Packers’ success that continues under the guidance of McCarthy and two-time MVP quarterback Rodgers.

Favre became the sixth Packers great to have his number retired, joining Starr (15), Don Hutson (14), Tony Canadeo (3), Ray Nitschke (66) and White (92).

What’s next for Favre? First-ballot induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which is on tap for the week of Super Bowl 50 in February, with enshrinement coming next summer in Canton, Ohio.

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