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Ethan Hammerman '13: Favre as hate-able as ever

It's hard to believe the NFL season is half over.

It was only two months ago when NFL fans still thought the Tennessee Titans had a legitimate chance of winning the Super Bowl, the Indianapolis Colts could have trouble adjusting to the new regime of Jim Caldwell and the Buffalo Bills — with the addition of Terrell Owens — would become one of the top passing teams in the NFL.

But instead of any of these possible storylines, another one, just as intriguing if not more so, has emerged: the increased hate-ability of Brett Favre.

To be fair, this started two off-seasons ago. You know, the first time Favre retired. Favre had played out his career in Green Bay and truly was, and is, one of the best quarterbacks to ever play. With his charismatic leadership, strong arm and iron-clad gut, Favre led the Packers to success after success.

Even more interesting was the relationship between Favre and his cheesehead brethren. Green Bay is the smallest city in the country to host a major professional sports team. The team is publicly owned by fans as shareholders. Football Sunday at Lambeau Field is like a religion, and Favre was the Jesus-like figure to propel them to victory.

Then, the 2007 offseason came around, and Favre said he wanted to retire. Finally, he was leaving the game. The city of Green Bay treated it like a day of mourning. Flags were flown at half-mast, and the true cheeseheads were profoundly saddened but proud of all that Favre had done for their small organization.

But come training camp, Favre wanted back in. And, mind you, this was after Aaron Rodgers had been entrenched as the starter, the heir to Favre's throne. Favre came back to Green Bay and started to create a ruckus. He whined about not getting the opportunity to play.

And then general manager Ted Thompson had enough and shipped him off to the New York Jets, where he languished through a 9-7 season and missed the playoffs.

Now, I was a little bit surprised about, well, the lack of reaction that came with Favre's trade.

Sure, some people were upset that he had been spirited away in the dark of night. But others actually defended Favre, saying that he just wanted to play and was treated unfairly by the Packers' management. Besides, he did go to the AFC — he wouldn't have to face his former team. So the season went on as usual and people ended up ignoring it for the most part.

Then Favre retired again. And rumors spread of him meeting with coach Brad Childress of the Minnesota Vikings.

This was a problem. I know that when I first saw this on ESPN News, I was appalled. How could Favre do this? Turn on the team that had supported him for so many years, the fans that had named their kids after him, the religion that had been spawned in Green Bay due
to his great play? It seemed impossible.

And then, eventually, he signed with the Vikings. Now they are 6-1 after beating Green Bay for the second time this season on Sunday.

There was once a time when Favre was considered one of the nicest guys in the NFL. He was thought of as a good role model, someone who stood for something more important than 60 minutes on a football field.

But now that has all changed. Favre was corrupted by money, like so many are. His desire for more power overcame his loyalty to the city that he called home for so long. And now the people who once loved him booed him as he came onto the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field last Sunday evening.

Favre was once an all-time champ. Now, in my book, he's an all-time chump.


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