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Odds and ends on Favre announcement

8/4/2014

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- There were so many elements to Monday's announcement that Brett Favre will be inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and have his No. 4 jersey retired next summer.

Let's take a look at some of the details that did not make it into the news story:

Favre and the fans: Once and for all, Favre sounded hopeful that he could convince everyone that he is not concerned about the reaction from Packers' fans when he returns to Lambeau Field. The last time he stepped foot in the stadium, it was in 2010 as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, and he was not well-received.

"Not everyone's going to like you, not everyone's going to be pleased, and that was the case some years back," Favre said. "Will 100 percent of the people be for you? That's never the case. But I know Packers fans as well as anyone, and there's no one like them. That's what makes them such a special organization, city and fan base worldwide.

"I'm not concerned about it one bit because I know the true Packers fans and what their hearts are about, and that's what I am is a Packer and will always be remembered as that, and that's the way I want to be remembered. I'm not concerned about it one bit. In fact, I look forward to it."

Harlan's role: Bob Harlan probably thought his final imprint on the Packers' organization would be the hiring of Ted Thompson as general manager in 2005 and his subsequent contract extension before Harlan retired as team president following the 2007 season.

But perhaps Harlan will now be remembered as the man who repaired the relationship between Favre and the Packers. Favre credited Harlan for being the liaison between him and the organization in recent times, and Harlan revealed after the announcement that this has been in the works since last November.

"Brett's just always been important to me," Harlan said. "I can remember sitting down with Brett before I hired Ted Thompson and told him I was going to do it and I said, 'I want you to know ahead of time because I know you're giving some thoughts to retirement, and I want you to know how we're going to restructure the football operation by bringing Ted Thompson in.'

"And he said, 'I like Ted; that's good.' We talked just before we went home that year. So I feel very close to Brett, and I have a lot of respect for him and just very thankful for what Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren and Brett Favre did, and I'd put Reggie White in there too, did for this organization. If you talk to our fans back in the 80s, it was bad. Those guys, they truly did resurrect [the organization]. They lifted it right out of the ashes."

Texting Ted: The relationship between Favre and Thompson was thought to be a stormy one by the end.

After all, it was ultimately Thompson's call to trade Favre to the New York Jets in 2008.

But it might not have been as frosty as some thought.

Favre said Monday that although he has not spoken with Thompson recently, the two have maintained some semi-regular contact.

"Ted, over the last couple of years has sent some messages periodically, very good messages, even back when I was playing elsewhere," Favre said. "Just complimentary, which I returned as well."

Mooch's take: Steve Mariucci was more than just a media member in attendance on Monday.

The NFL Network analyst, who was in town to cover training camp, was Favre's first quarterbacks coach with the Green Bay Packers. He tutored Favre during his formative years, beginning in 1992, through his first MVP season of 1995.

What's more, Mariucci grew up as a Packers fan in the nearby Upper Peninsula of Michigan, so he knows how important the relationship between Favre, the fans and the organization is. To that end, he hopes Monday's announcement isn't just the end of whatever bad feelings existed between the two parties but the beginning of a long association.

"Let's not stop there," Mariucci said. "I hope he comes back every year -- golfs here, hunts here, or whatever that is -- and he feels welcome to walk in the locker room or the coaches offices or downtown and shop a little bit so he feels, 'I helped build this stadium,' and feels at home here."