From the Archive is on its bye week, as Kyle Orton got held up at the bar and couldn't make the game. I wanted to report on my observations from enemy territory - Northern Wisconsin. Up here deep in the heart of Packer country, people take football about as seriously as possible. Houses are painted green and gold, everyone is decked out in Super Bowl gear, and even with the Brewers making a run for the Central, people still talk about the Pack more than the Crew. After their Super Bowl run, which happened despite the loss of many of their key players to injury, you would think the talk would about the dynasty-to-be. While I have heard some trash talk about the Bears and chatter about how the Packers are set up for a strong couple of seasons with their young roster, most of the talk I have heard is (still) about one man: Brett Favre. Follow me below the fold for the latest gossip on the man's legacy and the deep divisions he causes between Packers fans.
Favre: even Packers fans either love or hate the man. The older guys I have talked to in town are still Favre fans to the bone, to the point where they rooted for the Vikings over the Packers because of how the Packers front office handled his departure. You can't blame them too much: as much as it pains me to admit, he was one of the greatest quarterbacks of his generation. One Favre loyalist went so far as to say that Rodgers isn't fit to lick Favre's cleats, a claim which I can put some stock in. While both have a Super Bowl ring, Favre's miraculous ability to stay healthy and continued production throughout his career puts him in a class that Rodgers won't be able to reach for a long time. Defying my expectations when I came up here, most of the insults I would have expected to be directed at Cutler and his knee I have heard thrown at Rodgers, albeit by a small (but very vocal) minority. Rodgers didn't have an easy job when he first got the call as a starter - Favre's shoes are ones that no man could fill right away - but even after three productive seasons and a Super Bowl run, he still hasn't won over some Packers fans.
There are, of course, many people who are Packers fans no matter who is wearing the jersey. These are the people talking about dynasty (gag) and point to the Favre-to-the-Vikings betrayal as proof that Brett was about Brett and not the team. At least from my outside perspective, the question is the same with the fans as it was with management: do you side with the youth movement or the veteran? Younger Packers fans, who came into the game after Favre's great run of seasons in the early to mid 90s, are less inclined to side with the old man as the old men are. As for me, I don't see why fans are still going back and forth about the issue. It's no better than if we were to start a Orton vs. Grossman war here on WCG - while the argument might be interesting, it has little to do with what the team is doing today. In any case, it's good that Packers fans are still up in arms about #4, as it keeps them distracted enough that they don't harass us Bears fans!
I don't suggest that we start yet another Favre conversation here, but if you have any good stories of crazy Cheeseheads feel free to share. See you back here next week, where I promise that I will drag Orton away from the bar and share some of the glory that is still the best rookie quarterback season record in NFL history.