When Brett Favre decided to retire earlier this year after his ill-fated season with the New York Jets, Packers fans breathed a small sigh of relief. The future Hall of Fame quarterback who holds just about every record in the book (including most interceptions) spent 16 years in Green Bay, cultivating a god-like status among Cheeseheads around the world. That is, until this year, when Favre decided to come back, again, to play for none other than Green Bay conference rival, the Minnesota Vikings. Though the Packers and the Vikings have already faced off once this season, a prime time Monday night game that resulted in a win for the Vikes, today's matchup--arguably the biggest game to be played all year (Superbowl excluded)--means much more. Why? Today is the day that Favre returns to Green Bay's home field, Lambeau. While game analysts are predicting a hodge-podge of results, sports pundits are weighing in with the biggest question of the game: How should Green Bay Packer fans receive Brett Favre?
- Boo him, says the Sporting Blog's Dan Shanoff. "Favre gleefully enlisted with the Packers' biggest rival — you would be a sorry excuse for a Packers fan if you didn't jeer him when he stepped back on to your hallowed frozen tundra...The worst thing a Packers fan can do is repress their natural — and much-deserved — urge to boo Favre. It isn't about Favre himself — does everything always have to be about Favre? — it is about the fans' catharsis. An exorcism, if you will, of their hostility for him."
- Cheer him, and then boo him says the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal sports columnist Garry D. Howard. Why? "Brett deserves it....This is the man who never missed one single, stinking start during his 16-year career with the Packers. This is a man who suited up for a "Monday Night Football" clash against the Oakland Raiders six years ago, just one day after his beloved father, Irv, died of a heart attack, and proceeded to put on a performance that stands as one of the most riveting in the history of that television show. This is The Man, quite frankly, who brought the Lombardi Trophy back home to Green Bay."
- If you cheer him, put a bag over your head, says former Favre teammate and current Packer LeRoy Butler. In a Q&A with Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal writer Tom Silverstein, Butler tells conflicted fans exactly what they should do when Favre enters the field. "If you want to cheer Brett, just bring a bag, put it over your head and you can cheer, and no one will hear you and that’s fine. This is [current Packer quarterback] Aaron Rodgers’ show. Don’t let somebody come into your back yard and cheer against you. You don’t cheer for another guy to beat your team. I hope I’m crystal clear with these fans who say they love to see Brett Favre. Well, Brett Favre is gone."
- Be silent, suggests MJD at Yahoo Sports. "If you want to get to him, it's going to take the unexpected. I see only two ways to accomplish this. First would be the usual hate, taken to an ugly, extreme, violent level. I'm talking about throwing things, things that might hurt a man if they hit him, threats, the most boorish, personal and hateful of signs, etc. Obviously, we can't have this, as it's illegal, dangerous and wrong.T he dead silence, though, I think would be equally effective. There's no way that wouldn't jar Favre and everyone else. It would be unlike anything he's experienced in his career, and it would produce a chilling effect in the stadium and on television."