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Columnist
Even Packers fans don't deserve this
By Mike Imrem | Daily Herald Columnist

Quarterback Brett Favre, left, and Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress drive off after Favre arrived at the St. Paul Downtown Airport in St Paul, Minn, on Tuesday. The 39-year-old QB arrived in Minnesota on Tuesday to meet with the team.

 

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Published: 8/18/2009 1:52 PM | Updated: 8/18/2009 8:34 PM

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Brett Favre stood at a podium late Tuesday afternoon, held up a No. 4 Vikings jersey to his chest and smiled for clicking cameras.

All I could think was that Favre's children better be careful. If their father has an argument with their mother, he's liable to disown them and move in with the kids next door.

OK, so maybe that analogy is a bit extreme.

But Favre did have a fight with Packers management, disown Green Bay fans and move in next door with the Vikings.

"This isn't about revenge," Favre said after signing with Minnesota.

Good for Favre coming back to play at age 39. Boo to him for coming back to the NFC North. His options included retirement and 28 teams outside the division.

Favre is putting Packers fans who treated him so well for so long in the middle by playing for a team in the NFC North.

Think of Michael Jordan going to play for the Pistons, Ernie Banks for the Cardinals or Dick Butkus for the Pack.

Packers fans dislike the Vikings almost as much as they dislike the Bears, yet Favre had the audacity to join Minnesota.

"If you're true Packer fans," Favre said, "you understand."

Do you, Cheeseheads? Do you really?

Anyway, just about everything else about the Favre follies is OK with me. His wavering? No problem. He can't stand to give up the game? No problem. He's a diva? No problem.

But how can Favre do this to Packers fans? How can he be out of Green Bay but back in the NFC North? How can anybody switch allegiances with so little sensitivity?

Personally I hope it's a long time before Favre's green-and-gold No. 4 jersey is retired and awhile before Green Bay welcomes him back warmly as a player or person.

By going to Minnesota, Favre essentially is sticking his tongue out at Packers fans who worshipped him. It's callous enough to make this Chicagoan root for the Pack against the Vikings this season.

So much tempted Favre: The Vikings want him; the offense suits him; the coaches fit him; everything is comfortable.

What I don't understand is why it isn't more uncomfortable for Favre to go to that team in this division.

"The pieces are in place," he said of the Vikings. "I don't have to do as much."

Favre playing for the Jets last year wasn't a big deal - different conference, different region and different world really.

Johnny Unitas finished in San Diego instead of Baltimore, Joe Namath in Los Angeles instead of New York, Joe Montana in Kansas City instead of San Francisco - different football universes in each case.

Jim McMahon, the Bears' Super Bowl quarterback, backed up Favre on Green Bay's Super Bowl roster at the end of his career. But McMahon wasn't Favre. Hardly any athlete has been associated with a place as much as Favre has been with Green Bay.

Thankfully we'll never know whether any circumstance would have driven Michael Jordan to Detroit, but sadly we know that Brett Favre is in Minnesota.

Whoever would have thought he could demonstrate as much disregard for Packers fans as a Bears fan can?

mimrem@dailyherald.com