Brett Favre: 'Exciting to be back'

ByRob Demovsky ESPN logo
Monday, December 8, 2014

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- His official return to Lambeau Field won't happen until next season but if Monday's event was any indication, Brett Favre will be welcomed back by Green Bay Packers fans.

Favre, who spoke during a fundraiser Monday at a local restaurant that bears his name, ended a 30-minute presentation along with Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young with five words.

"It's exciting to be back," Favre said in his first public appearance in Green Bay since he retired from the NFL in 2010. At that point someone from the crowd of several hundred people shouted: "Welcome home, Brett."

What followed was a standing ovation. Favre's return to Green Bay -- even if only for a couple of hours -- sent a buzz through the NFL's smallest city.

Favre's private plane landed at Austin Straubel International Airport at 12:28 p.m. local time. He was shuttled to Brett Favre's Steakhouse, where he and Young were the featured speakers at a fundraiser for the Rawhide Boys Ranch, a local home for troubled youth that was started nearly 50 years ago with the help of former Packers quarterback Bart Starr.

Although Starr could not make it, his son Bart Starr Jr., attended and said his father took his first steps on Monday since he suffered multiple strokes and a heart attack three months ago.

Young was on the list of scheduled speakers, but Favre's appearance was to be a surprise. He was not expected to attend Monday night's game between the Packers and Atlanta Falcons, team president Mark Murphy said.

At the end of the event, Favre and his wife, Deanna, presented a check for $20,000 to the Rawhide Boys Ranch. Favre did not speak to reporters on his way out.

Murphy said the plans announced this past summer to officially bring back Favre into the organization remain on schedule. Favre will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame next July and have his No. 4 uniform retired. He will return to Green Bay at some point next season for a game, at which point Favre's name and number will go up on the stadium facade.

The following summer, Favre would be eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Favre said Monday he has not given the Pro Football Hall of Fame much thought.

"I know in the immediate future, next July I think it's the 17th or 18th, we're going to do the induction here and then the following season, so roughly a year from now, maybe even less, we'll do a game where we unveil the jersey at halftime," Favre said. "And then I guess the following year, the following summer, I think, would be potentially the [Pro Football] Hall of Fame. Also, the Mississippi Hall of Fame is coming up a week after Green Bay next year. So there's a lot of stuff in the works. Yeah, I am looking forward to it."

Murphy said it was "great to have Brett back" in Green Bay. Murphy was early in his presidency when the Packers traded Favre to the New York Jets in August 2008.

After the event Monday, Murphy and Favre shook hands briefly. Several other members of the Packers organization were in attendance, including one of Favre's former teammates, Rob Davis, who still works for the team on the administrative side.

"Obviously the history with my departure from Green Bay and all those things has made wonderful news, good or bad," Favre said. "But I think we're well beyond that."

Young, who famously replaced Joe Montana as the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, told Favre and the crowd those things tend to fade.

"I would have said 15 years ago, we'll never speak, ever," Young said of Montana. "And we speak. It just happens over time. Really it's about football."

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