Wednesday, March 05, 2008

"Sorry Kid, We Already Have a Kicker."

It had to happen sometime.  You can't play forever, even if your name is Favre.  But it sure was fun to watch.  And I hope that I truly did appreciate watching perhaps the best ever play for my favorite team.  I mean, I like watching Tom Brady, but it's different when an icon plays for 'your' team.
The universe seems to line itself up every once in a great while, and things seem like they couldn't have happened any other way... but don't kid yourself.  While a generation of Packer fans don't know any other other universe than that with Favre at QB... it could have gone a different direction.  But it didn't.  And the southern country boy that seemed right at home in the Wisconsin north woods took advantage of a situation that was given to him, and in the end, everyone benefited.  How long will it be before the universe lines up just right again, and gives the Packers another Super Bowl winning caliber QB?  We don't know, which makes you appreciate what happened over the last 16 years here. (although they had a scary thought on the radio this morning on the Bob-n-Brian show... 'What if the next Super Bowl QB for the Packers isn't even ON the planet yet???' I dunno if Nort could take that reality)
One measure of a person's impact is how people relate to that individual, and here in Wisconsin it seems everyone has their own 'Favre' story... and I'm no different.  I had the chance to meet him on a couple of occasions, with the first time being the most humorous.  Back in college, I worked for a guy named Ted, who owned a performance development company.  Ted specialized in speed training, working mostly with college guys getting ready for the NFL draft.  But he did work with several of the Packers, and at the time was working with Travis Jervey, who played RB for the Packers.
One of the perks of that line of work, is that you get to spend time at the NFL facilities, and Ted took me along one time when he did a workout session with Travis.  After the speed work, Travis went to go lift weights in the Packers weight room.  Ted ( who played a little college football ) was actually lifting with him.  My ( at the time ) skinny self, was relegated to spotting them as they lifted.  This happened to be in the dead of the off season, so we were the only ones in the weight room, and it seemed, the whole building.
Then, just before they were finished, two guys came walking through the weight room.  They didn't need an introduction, but they offered one anyway.  It was Brett Favre and Reggie White.  They were in the building doing some PR/charity/ad campaign for the Packers that day.  They weren't going to work out, but were just passing through the weight room.  Reggie was on his cellphone and nodded his head as he walked past, but Travis stopped Brett for a moment.  Travis introduced Ted and myself to Brett, and Brett extended his hand and said, "Hi, I'm Brett".
Like he needed to say that.  I wanted to say to him that it was silly for him to introduce himself in this city, that everyone knew who he was... but I thought better, and didn't say that to him.
Since Ted was working out with Travis, Brett kinda gave him the 'once over', and asked if he was a free agent in for a workout.  We got a little laugh, and Travis explained that his agent hired Ted as a personal trainer.  While Travis was explaining that, Brett turned his attention to me.  Right about when Travis was about to explain that I was one of Ted's employees, Brett gave me the 'once over' a couple of times.  Now, I'm not easily intimidated by anyone, but it was a little intimidating watching Brett Favre size me up... not once, but twice.
Then the gem came out.  After looking at me from head to toe, then doing it again, Brett got a smirk on his face and said, "Sorry kid, but we already have a kicker."
And with that, he left.  Ted and Travis thought that was the funniest thing ever.
I don't see Ted all that often anymore, but he still never lets me live that one down.  And I'm okay with that.  All the other stories I hear this week about him and his sense of humor seem to ring a bit more true after getting a personal jab from him.
So let me add to the collective well wishes to not only Brett on his retirement - but to Aaron Rodgers as well.  He's got some big shoes to fill, and is gonna need all the encouragement he can get.


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