Favre never dreamed of call to Hall of Fame

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Brett Favre waves to the crowd as he is introduced at halftime for his number retirement ceremony at Lambeau Field November 26, 2015.

Everyone already seems to have Brett Favre penciled in as a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer.

Well, everyone except Brett Favre, that is.

The former Green Bay Packers’ quarterback, sporting a gray hoodie and matching beard, made the rounds on Super Bowl radio row on Thursday. He flew into San Francisco Wednesday in preparation for this weekend’s Pro Football Hall of Fame selection ceremony.

The three-time NFL MVP was asked by a number of different outlets about his emotions and feelings going into this Saturday’s vote. One of 15 finalists for enshrinement, Favre said he was humbled by the possibility, but wasn’t making any guarantees.

“I would say nothing is ever a lock, but I’m honored to be here,” Favre told NFL Network. “I never dreamed of (how many) years (I would play). I dreamed of playing. I never dreamed of MVP. I never dreamed of Hall of Fame. I dreamed of playing and running out with my helmet off like I did in the Super Bowl. That’s all I ever dreamed of. All the other stuff. Pro Bowls, MVPs, Hall of Fame potentially are things that over and beyond what I ever dreamed of and I’m extremely thankful for that.”

If voted in, Favre would become the fifth player in franchise history to be selected on the initial ballot besides the inaugural class of 1963. It’d also be the first time since 1981 that the Packers have had individuals selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in consecutive years (Herb Adderley, Willie Davis/Jim Ringo).

Former Packers general manager Ron Wolf, the man responsible for bringing Favre to Green Bay, was voted in last year as a member of the inaugural contributor class.

It’s been an emotional year for Favre, who was welcomed back to Green Bay with open arms in July during his induction into the Packers Hall of Fame. He returned again on Thanksgiving when his retired No. 4 was added to the north end-zone façade at Lambeau Field.

As many accolades as he’s received this past year – he also was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in August – Favre told CBS radio’s Doug Gottlieb that he’ll always remember and cherish this year's reconciliation with the Packers after being estranged from the organization for seven years.

If the reunion wasn't enough, the presence of Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr at his jersey retirement in November made the moment all the more special.

“Going to Green Bay both times, it was better than I (could’ve imagined),” Favre told Gottlieb. “To include Bart, I’ve always considered myself a historian and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the guys before me. To celebrate that with Bart meant more to me than anything. It was extremely special and it just shows why Green Bay fans and the organization itself can thrive when others can’t.”

Throughout the day, Favre took photos with the likes of Joe Montana, Rich Gannon, Dan Marino, current New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and former Packers coach Mike Holmgren (1992-97).

Wolf, Favre and Holmgren’s seven seasons together represented the rebirth of Packer football. Together, they were at the forefront in producing 75 regular-season wins, six consecutive playoff appearances, two NFC championships and the Super Bowl championship that previously eluded the organization for 29 years.

In the process, Favre became a legend. It all adds up to a rather improbable journey for a quarterback who rose from a backup buried on Southern Mississippi’s depth chart to one of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL history.

“It says anyone can make it,” Favre told NFL Network. “My dad was my coach and we ran the wish-bone offense. We never threw. I came from a town not known for football and was kind of a forgotten recruit. Went to Southern Miss, played four years there and didn’t throw every much, but yet up until recently had every passing title good and bad. That’s what I would say to kids. It could happen to you.

“I wasn’t the biggest. I wasn’t the strongest. I wasn’t the fastest. I always felt like I had a better arm, but it can happen. For me, it’s proof that it can happen to anyone.”

Along with Favre, former outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene (2009-13) is also among the 15 finalists for enshrinement.

whodkiew@pressgazettemedia.com and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.

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