Brett Favre embraced the Green Bay Packers’ past Thursday night when he hugged Bart Starr at midfield. In the media auditorium underneath Lambeau Field, he also gave a nod to the Packers’ present.
For the umpteenth time, Favre said there is no animosity between him and current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Favre’s divorce from the franchise in 2008 originated with indecision regarding his future, but also the Packers’ conviction to move ahead with Rodgers as the starting quarterback.
The breakup was messy, but Favre had nothing negative to say about Rodgers on Thursday night.
“There hasn’t been any problems,” Favre said. “Not that I know of. I’ve also said this, do I talk to Aaron all the time? No. Do I talk to (former Packers center) Frank Winters all the time? No. Frank and I are good friends.”
Favre became the sixth player in Packers history to have his jersey retired Thursday night. During a halftime ceremony, his name and number were unveiled in yellow lettering on Lambeau Field’s north façade.
Near midfield, Favre and Starr shared a hug while the crowd of 78,488 rained down cheers. Rodgers said he spent some time with Favre and Starr before kickoff against the Chicago Bears.
“That was fun to see that Bart’s doing well,” Rodgers said, “and Brett looks great as well. He’s pretty slim. He’s running triathlons.”
Rodgers’ promotion ushered in a new era of quarterbacking in Green Bay. No longer led by the gunslinger Favre, Rodgers uses his legs to help keep defenses off balance. The biggest difference between the two is stark.
If Favre is among the most exciting quarterbacks to ever play, Rodgers is the most efficient. Rodgers has the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history. Favre retired with the most passing yards and touchdowns, but he also threw more interceptions than any quarterback ever.
“Is Aaron a different quarterback than I am? Sure,” Favre said. “He’s a lot more polished than I am. He has his own style, his own personality. And that’s fine. I have no problems with that. And I think Aaron feels the same way.
“I think this misconception that I didn’t mentor him or whatever, he would say as well as I do say that that was not my job. I didn’t mentor Matt Hasselbeck or Mark Brunel or Ty Detmer. The list goes on and on. So I have no problems with Aaron. I think he’s a tremendous quarterback. As long as he’s playing, they’ve got a chance to win it all.”