Fans divided on Favre bombshell

Just don't show up in Minnesota, they say at ‘Tailgate Tour' stop in Marinette on Friday evening.

MARINETTE — A sigh is worth a thousand words.

Asked during the Packers' "Tailgate Tour" stop here on Friday evening whether he was relieved a resolution seemed near in the Brett Favre saga, receiver James Jones cracked a small smile, sighed and said, "I can't say it any better than that."

As for the rest of Packers Nation — many of whom have never seen a Green Bay quarterback wearing a jersey number other than 4 — plenty of fans were shocked that the owner of every meaningful NFL passing record seems destined to finish his career elsewhere.

"It almost makes me sick to my stomach to think about it," said Marinette's Kim Behrendt.

Fans seemed split on whether the Packers are right or wrong to turn down his comeback overtures.

"Are they nuts?" Noelle Delfosse of Menominee, Mich., wearing a Favre jersey, said of the Packers' apparent decision to sever ties with the 17-year veteran.

"I think they should take him back. Why not give him the opportunity to compete for the starting job?" asked Green Bay's Joe Chaldry, noting the Packers might need a veteran to back up the presumptive new starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.

Alongside Chaldry was Marinette's Keith Neubert, who was wearing a Favre jersey.

"I don't think what he's doing is fair to Rodgers, but they do need a backup and a healthy competition," he said.

"I'm sure (Favre) could take them to another championship or at least to the game," said Marinette's Jay Dehlman, also wearing a Favre jersey.

Many fans, however, said cutting ties with Favre was a necessary evil.

  "He retired. I love him but he retired, and they have to move forward," said Menominee's Penny Lemire, wearing a Favre T-shirt.

"I think he should stay retired," agreed her husband, Ron. "I was glad he stepped away when he did because he went out on a great year without being injured, and that's all you can ask for. I just hope he doesn't come back and go out the wrong way."

Behrendt was holding his 1 1/2-year-old son, Gabriel. Both were wearing Favre jerseys, but Behrendt also supported the Packers' position.

"I've always been a huge Favre fan. I love the guy, but he's done this three years in a row now," Behrendt said. "‘I'm going to retire, not going to retire; going to retire, not going to retire.' I'd love to see him come back and I wish they could work that out, but it doesn't sound like the Packers are looking at it that way.

Menominee's Guy Arnold took a pragmatic viewpoint.

"Not entirely surprised but somewhat disappointing," he said. "They took him at his word when he said he was done and they planned to go ahead with the future. We've seen it before with Joe Montana in a different uniform than the Niners, but I don't think Packer fans ever thought there would be a possibility (he plays for another team)."

Regardless, the vast majority of fans don't wish Favre any ill.

"If he truly wants to play, I hope he finds somewhere he can play and be successful," Arnold said.

"I love him," Penny Lemire said. "He's a good person, regardless of what he does."

Just don't suit up for the hated Minnesota Vikings, a team with several marquee players but without a proven quarterback.

"Keep him out of the purple, if possible," Behrendt said.

Bill Huber writes for Packer Report. E-mail him at

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