We loved you unbearably even and especially when you expressed the desire to come out of retirement after that tearful goodbye earlier this year. I continue to respect that and, therefore, won’t ever again consider ceremonially burning the autographed SI cover from the Snow Bowl which we paid good money for (because D and I were there and you made us proud, dammit!).
Here’s something that those who don’t have experience being a real fan of this unique team and you will never understand. The ball that you play and the legend you have become are phenomenal, but that’s not why we loved you. We’re Packers, we know all about losing and famines. Remember that 4-12 season from just a couple of years back? We would defend and depend on you because you embodied the youthful, fun-loving, hard-working, uncomplicated and honest ideals that form the foundations of this team and Lambeau Field, these tenets unconsciously held true by the entire Packer nation.
Here on out, you’re on your own. This is not because you don’t want to play for the Packers but because you broke a lot of our hearts by acting in a manner that tore down your inherently honorable image and began to hack away at that huge rock that is the unity of the Packer family. There’s a multi-billion dollar sports league and then there’s being a Packer. Your agent and you can mess around with the NFL, the press and even management for all I care, but not with the team and not with Packer reputation. Not with the family that gave you so much. That’s where I draw the line.
It’s not about you, it’s about the team. That most prestigious trophy is named after someone a lot older than you, someone who made this team bigger than any one player. So, as you move on, just remember this: the next time you retire and then get an “itch,” buy yourself some Lotrimin and save another team and its fans a lot of trouble.
Goodbye, Brett, and good luck. Despite ourselves, we will always love you, but only in our memories will your legacy live on.
And here’s something for you Packer “fans” who were at training camp a couple of days ago booing Aaron Rodgers and telling him he sucks. Way to be supportive. Go #12!
… when you watch the Packers this season and wait for them to implode without their former starter, remember one thing: This isn’t the NBA, in which you can just add a Kevin Garnett and a Ray Allen to a lousy team and win a title. In football, you need 53 men to be focused on the same goal — instead of one man carrying a team. The Packers have that going for themselves today. And that’s reason enough for them to not regret parting ways with one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.