Open letter to Brett Favre's Doug Ritchay provides many reasons, in a form of a letter to Brett Favre, why the veteran quarterback should return to the Packers next season.

Anyone with a pulse these days is offering an opinion on whether Packers quarterback Brett Favre will return in 2007. Like many Packers fans, I'm on the side of wanting Favre to return.

So, I have decided to write Favre a letter, regarding his upcoming decision on 2007.

Here it goes:

Dear Brett:
I watched your final game of the season on New Year's Eve against the Chicago Bears, and while sipping champagne from my Packers No. 4 mug I couldn't help but hope your decision to return in 2007 will be an easy one. With an 8-8 team, a coach entering his second year and the NFL's youngest roster, it seems next season could be one to remember for the Packers. Then after the 26-7 massacre of the Bears, I see you go "Dick Vermeil" on national TV, blubbering about how much you love the team. Afterward, I'm thinking your gone quicker than a wide receiver runs by Marquand Manuel. Then in your post-game press conference you field a question about your Vermeil-esque performance and decide it's not the time to talk about 2007. You were more composed, knowing a life-changing decision (for you and Packers Nation) can't be made moments after a game.

Because of this, I have hope you'll be back under center in 2007. And why not? Although your passer rating was in the bottom 10 of the NFL (72.7), you cut your interceptions down from 29 in 2005 to 18 this season. You managed the game better. Also, the wide receiver position, outside of your buddy Donald Driver, was never settled. Greg Jennings was stellar early, but was slowed the last half of the season with an ankle injury and hitting the rookie wall. Beyond Jennings, you had Ruvell Martin, Carlyle Holiday and Chris Francies to throw to. Who? Then there was Koren Robinson, who is suspended for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, and Robert Ferguson, who attracts injuries at the same pace Jessica Alba attracts looks from men. Let's see how Peyton Manning does with this group of receivers instead of Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, right?

Furthermore, the tight end position was useless. Bubba Franks, David Martin (who made his usual seasonal cameo appearance before getting injured) and Donald Lee held onto footballs like they were hot potatoes. Your targets can only get better in 2007. Maybe GM Ted Thompson signs a tight end like Tony Gonzalez (wow, would that be something) to go with a healthy and experienced Jennings. Then, Thompson can add depth at receiver through the draft, while trying to develop Martin and Holiday, who reminds me of Anwtaan Randle El, in the fact he's making the transition from college quarterback to wide receiver. The offensive line, which at times had three rookies starting, will be better after experiencing the rigors of an NFL season.

And, don't forget about Coach Mac. This was his first season as an NFL head coach. Certainly he was learning on the run and should only be better in 2007.

And the two biggest reasons you should return are the NFC and you can still play. First, who's any good in the NFC? Da Bears? You just wiped up on them. New Orleans? Good, but not great. Philadelphia? If Donovan McNabb returns 100 percent from a torn ACL, the Eagles will be good. That's an "if," though. Seattle? The Seahawks are hardly scary, right now. Second, did you see some of the plays you made this season?

How about that audible and fade pass to Ruvell Martin against Minnesota, which set up the game-winning field goal on Dec. 21? Pretty. How about that laser you threw to Driver against Chicago for the first TD on New Year's Eve? You're no knuckleball pitcher. How about back-to-back 340-yard games against Detroit and New Orleans? You're no Cleo Lemon. I've never been in the NFL and I have never retired (although I wish I could), but something I've heard from retired athletes is if you think you can play, keep playing. Once you walk away from football, there's no going back.

This is a game you've played since you were practicially in diapers. You're playing a game for millions of dollars, although judging by your T-shirts, hats and flip-flops, the money's being spent elsewhere or saved. And you're living a dream 99 percent of us will never live. You play in front of packed stadiums every Sunday, and in your case everywhere you go, you're loved.

I know family is a concern in the decision, but I'm thinking the Favres will allow you one more year in the green and gold. Your return has nothing to do with you breaking Dan Marino's TD record. It has everything to do with me and millions of others wanting to continue to see a legend play.

You don't owe anybody another season, but from a longtime admirer, who has covered the Packers since 1993, I can't imagine anybody but No. 4 under center in 2007.

So in conclusion, Brett, I hope I have cleared your head about a return. Tell the Packers it's a go for 2007. And if you do, maybe another bottle of champagne will need to be popped. I'm OK with that.

Doug Ritchay

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