Yes, I Did Want Green Bay to WinWhen this blog posts to Facebook and Twitter, I'll be curious to see how many people fire off comments such as: "Blasphemer!" or "Traitor!" or "I bet you eat hot dogs with ketchup on them." Rest assured, these comments will be based upon the title alone. So, let's issue a pre-emptive strike and address those comments now: No. No. I hate hot dogs and only eat them when faced with no other alternative which is extremely rare.
Now, to the point of this blog.
For all intents and purposes, the Chicago Bears were eliminated the moment Jay Cutler broke his thumb making a tackle against the San Diego Chargers in Week 11. After that, there was a minuscule possibility they would qualify for the postseason. Losing Matt Forte shortly after sealed their fate. The Green Bay Packers ran away with the NFC North Division title and finished the regular season with a record of 15-1. If not for a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, they potentially could have run the table and breezed through the playoffs with a perfect season. The Detroit Lions swept in and claimed a wild card spot. The Bears were done. Possessing no strong feelings for or against any of the teams in the playoffs, I craved an ounce of revenge against Brett Favre. I'll admit to that.
Yes, that meant rooting for the Packers. Yes, Favre's former team. Yes, Chicago's biggest rival.
During Favre's final few seasons with the Packers, he held the team hostage. Will he retire? Will he return? It seemed like the circus rolled into town each time the season concluded. Like clockwork, there was Favre in a teary-eyed press conference speaking with his southern twang. For three seasons, Aaron Rodgers loomed in the shadows. Favre eventually retiredfor a moment. Then he decided to play. Since Green Bay made the move to Rodgers, Favre bolted to the New York Jets in the AFC. He pulled the same act for two seasons in the Big Apple. He had a bit of texting scandal, too. Then he retiredagain for a moment. Then he decided to play again and ventured off to the Minnesota Vikings back in the NFC North. Eventually, he did retire and sit out the duration of the 2011 regular season. Whew!
Besides Sandy Koufax's retirement from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the mid-1960s, I can't recall when a superstar walked away from his career in such a classy manner. Last year I read a Sports Illustrated article about Stan Musial at the tail-end of his career. It dealt with the topic of benching a legend who isn't ready to hang up his cleats, even when he isn't performing to his high standards. That story seems to apply to Favre.
Without a doubt, Brett Favre ranks among the most accomplished quarterbacks of all-time. But during his tenure with the Packers, Jets, and Vikings, he only won one Super Bowl. He played in a second, but lost. Last season, Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to a Super Bowl victory. In his third full season as quarterback, he matched Favre's career total. I wanted Rodgers to win his second this year. Just an ounce of revenge.
Thanks, Eli Manning. Now that won't happen. Not this season anyway.