On September 30, 1992, a cocky young fireball was thrown into a game between the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals to replace injured Don Majkowski. With 13 seconds left in the game, that kid threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Kitrick Taylor. Thus began the Brett Favre legacy in Green Bay.
Me? I could not have cared less at the time.
I was eight-years-old, a Philadelphia Eagles fan -- somewhat to spite my parents, like when Kevin Costner's Ray Kinsella revealed in the opening monologue of Field of Dreams: "...Dad was a Yankees fan then, so of course I rooted for Brooklyn." Mostly, I liked them because of a guy who once sacked Favre (and whom I cheered on to do so): Reggie White.
So the following year, when the Minister of Defense became a Packer, I also switched my allegiance and became a Packers' fan. I was nine, these things are normal, right?
While other Packers' fans were buying up No. 4 jerseys, I wore my No. 92 jersey and hung posters of Reggie in Green & Gold all over my room.
When Reggie retired from the Packers following the 1998 season, my fanship stayed in Green Bay, and it did not switch again to the Panthers two years later when Reggie returned from retirement.
But I think that's the difference between me and a lot of the people in this area who call themselves diehard Packers fans. I learned to let go.
Since that late September day, Brett Favre is all most people know. Sixteen years of seeing No. 4 at the helm. Sixteen years. That means kids who are getting their drivers licenses these days have only known one quarterback since they were born.
I did come to "love" Brett Favre as the legend he is, but the "face of the franchise" will not become the "face of my fanship." I will always appreciate what Favre did for the Packers the last 16 years. I'm ready to let football's A-Rod take over behind center for my beloved team, much like I was ready for someone to take over at defensive end in 1999 (though the Packers clearly weren't ready, as that "someone" turned out to be Vaughn Booker).
Yes, seeing Brett Favre in another jersey will never look right, but I'm not about to go cheer every time A-Rod makes a mistake. That's not being a fan of the team. I love the Packers, therefore I root for who they put on the field and say my fond farewell to whomever they leave off it (or whomever chooses to stay off it).