Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo held his football camp this week. Romo is from Burlington, Wisconsin, so fittingly, that’s where his football camp was.
And if you’re a football player — or really a pro athlete of any kind — and you’re in Wisconsin, you’re going to get asked about Brett Favre at some point.
That point in this visit was on Wednesday for Romo. And oh my god, did he GUSH!
First, there’s this rambling diatribe about how the Green Bay Packers wouldn’t be the Green Bay Packers without Favre.
“Without Brett Favre, the Green Bay Packers really aren’t the Green Bay Packers, even though they have a great history and [Vince] Lombardi and everything else that goes into it,” Romo said Wednesday at his football camp. “I was watching football before they had Brett Favre and Green Bay was not someone that you had to worry about on your schedule if you were playing in the NFL. I think he brought them back to prominence and made that organization’s standard of excellence and from there all the pieces started to fall into place. What you see today, that is a byproduct of him, his talent, his ability, his knowledge of the game, his passion, his work ethic and really his willingness to compete.
“Really if there’s one thing you look at that shows up is that he competed at the highest level. When he was on the field you had a chance. There wasn’t a lot of games Brett Favre played in that his football team didn’t have a chance, not necessarily to win it but in the season. When you go back and look at it, I’d probably say there’s a handful of games in his career that were meaningless, which is really an incredible stat. When you think how hard it is to get to the playoffs, maybe one year, maybe two years they had games that were meaningless. The others meant something about the playoff picture. That’s a unique thing for a fan base to have.”
Did you make it through that?
While Brett certainly had a hand in bringing the Packers back to prominence and re-establishing the organization’s standard of excellence, anyone who was actually paying attention would tell you general manager Ron Wolf is the man primarily responsible for those two things.
But good story, Tony.
He’s got more. Don’t worry.
Romo still loves him some Favre!
“I still look up to him,” Romo said. “Anybody who grew up in Wisconsin, everyone knows who Brett Favre is and what he’s meant to Green Bay and Wisconsin life. They come around once in a generation. Green Bay’s been lucky enough to go from Brett to Aaron [Rodgers] and that’s just unrealistic in real life to have that happen in professional sports. But Brett getting inducted is one of the most no-brainer things that’s ever taken shape. I’m just glad to see the reunion of that two that has happened.”
Alright, enough hero worship.
I’d rate Bob Harlan right there with Wolf and Mike Holmgren. Reggie White comes next and then Favre last in order of importance to the organization. Reggie came only because of Favre, but it is possible the Packers could have had more success without being hitched to Favre’s wagon and the risks that came with him.
You have to respect the ironman Favre was and his toughness, year after year of the media predicting he would miss time due to injury. Like someone else posted in another thread though, all those wasted opportunities and interceptions at inopportune times. What if Detmer, Brunnell or Warner had been “the man”? Would have been interesting to see how it played out having someone more disciplined and football aware. That entire “Whats a nickel defense?” and “Who gives a shit?” story shows just how much better Favre should have been had he applied himself on that side of the football equation. Not that spiteful redneck hick traitor he became at the end of his career.
In 1996 there was a QB that took a two year old expansion team to the AFC championship. He had an average defense, no record setting, Super Bowl MVP return specialist, and he didn’t have a pair of Pro Bowl tight ends. His offense was #2 by yards, ahead of the Super Bowl Packers.
That guy was Mark Brunell, who the Packers drafted. I have no doubt that Brunell leads the Packers to the Super Bowl if Favre isn’t around. Brunell and other good Packer QBs wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for Harlan and Wolf.
Brett Favre didn’t turn around the Packers.