Ask my close friends and family and you will understand that Green Bay Packer football runs deep in my blood. I fell in love with the Green Bay Packers on December 31, 1967, during the famed Ice Bowl game…and decided by my fifth birthday, that someday I would be the first female coach of the Green Bay Packers.
Okay, so I decided to take the long road.
As I approach the age of 45, maybe instead I will write a book on how I would have coached Brett Favre during his 17 year football career.
I will say that this is the year that Brett Favre had the right coaching! In fact, with the exception of three games this season, Mike McCarthy coached Brett to perfection! I especially love the five-wide-out. I have been screaming for it for years. But Mike, please give up the delay draw!
Aahhh, yep, I dream about Green Bay Packer plays all year long and have been known to talk Green Bay football for hours on end!
I met Brett once, June 12, 1993 (of course I remember the date) at Rosie’s, a bar on Water Street in Milwaukee during the Harley Davidson 90th reunion. I will always cherish that conversation. It has become one my life’s defining moments.
We were in a yuppie bar that wasn’t the usual home for bikers back in those days and as the only female in a group of big male bikers, I was getting some interesting glares from the ‘beautiful people.’ Gorgeous girls were lining up to fall over Brett and Frankie Winters, the Packer’s center (you know, the guy who snaps Brett the ball).
That first season, Brett was throwing the ball all over the field with lots of crazy plays…some good, many bad. So while all these people were lining up to pat him on the back, I gave him a piece of my mind.
“Brett, I have a bone to pick with you! If I see you” … (I struck a pose here – me intimating Brett Favre, on the wrong foot, my head cocked and unable to see down field and me pretending I just released the ball to disaster) “with your head cocked back and your gun-slinging arm really to hammer the trigger deep…with your eyes not down-field, one more time, I swear I am going to come through my television set and knock you to the ground.”
Frank Winters exclaimed, “Finally! A Packer fan who actually watches the game!” He burst out laughing and said I was “the only honest girl we have met tonight!”
Brett laughed and said, “You sound just like my dad. He says the exact same thing about my head position. You know, he was my football coach when I was growing up.”
“I know, Brett. I have followed the Packers since the Ice Bowl and I always wanted to be the first female coach of the Packers,” I replied.
And then it was just Brett and I talking football about specific games with Frank quietly listening.
“Brett, I have never seen someone throw the ball 60 yards down field, on the wrong foot, facing the wrong direction, like you.” I said.
He laughed, “I even amaze myself sometimes, but I just believe that I can do this and I love what I do.”
“It shows,” I smiled.
“I really believe that on any play, I can throw a touchdown and be the difference in the game,” Brett admitted.
“You can and you should keep believing that because that is what is going to make you one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play this game,” I exclaimed.
Frank Winters snickered.
“Seriously! You can be the next MVP of this league,” I said.
Frank laughed. Again.
“No, really!” I said.
Joe Montana had just won his second MVP so I immediately said, “Heck you could be the leagues first THREE TIME MVP.”
That really make Frank laugh, but Brett and I just smiled. We both believed!
I also told him he should get a Harley. Remember, it was during Harley-Fest…way before Mike Holmgren had his Harley.
“I don’t think the Packer’s and Coach Holmgren would like me riding around on a motorcycle,” he chuckled, highly amused by the thought.
So today, I sit in my office, writing this blog post, very sad. I look at the three autographed framed pictures of Brett Favre that adorn my office wall. Yes, as I predicted I have a picture of THREE TIME MVP, Brett Favre riding his Harley.
Was I surprised about his retirement?
I should have been surprised but honestly, I was not. I am one of those extremely fortunate Green Bay fans who have family connections to a sky box on the same level as the Favre family. I came out of the box to hug Doris, the amazing elevator lady, after that NFC loss to the NY Giants…at the same time as Deanna, her girls and others were leaving the Favre box. It was evident that all had been crying. I felt that I needed to say something and blurted something like, “It was a dream season — truly a dream season and we should hold our head up high and embrace this amazing season. No one expected us to be here at this moment only one step away (from the Super Bowl) — it truly was an amazing season and I am so happy for Brett. But, he has an entire team with him to shoulder this loss.”
I hugged Deanna and said, “I pray that we will see you back again (meaning Brett back again as QB) next year,” and she never said a word back…she just hugged me tight. It came to me during that hug that it truly could be the end, so I panicked — I mean really panicked and told her to tell Brett how much we love him and how amazing he is and how amazing he made us all feel for this wonderful season and career. I begged her to tell Brett that we love him. I made her promise me a few time to tell him that we love him.
She probably thought I was one loony bird!
The elevator door closed and that was it — I felt like I knew that it was to be his last game!
So. Please let me thank you, Brett, for all your boy-like antics and making us all feel your love of the game. You are truly the IRONMAN of the NFL and my THREE TIME NFL FAVORITE of all time!