The unfortunate comeback of Brett Favre just settled it.
I root for a particular colored jersey, not necessarily the people wearing them.
I grew up 40 miles west of Chicago rooting for the Cubs, Bulls, Blackhawks — and Green Bay Packers. (There is a pocket of us Chicago-area sports fans who found greater appeal in Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr and Ray Scott on national television than George Halas, Jack Concannon and Irv Kupcinet on radio.)
Although by law of the press box I was forced 24 years ago to stop cheering and start impartially observing, long-buried green-and-gold tinged nerves became agitated this week with the revelation Favre’s retirement announcement in March was a complete waste of time and newspaper space.
Favre was a great player in the first half of his career and wonderful despite his imperfections in recent years. Everyone except maybe Bears fans admired the joy he exuded during competition.
But just because Favre is the greatest player in modern team history (era to era, there was never a more dominant player than Don Hutson) doesn’t mean he’s bigger than the team.
Despite gushing pronouncement the past dozen years or so, Favre is not the Packers. Jim Brown might have once been the Cleveland Browns and for decades Joe Namath was synonymous with the New York Jets.