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Star-studded guest list expected at Brett Favre's Packers Hall of Fame induction

3/3/2015

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- When the Green Bay Packers announced last week that they would open up Lambeau Field to fans for Brett Favre's induction into the Packers Hall of Fame, former team president Bob Harlan offered a glimpse into what this summer's ceremony might entail.

"We have featured people coming in to participate in the ceremony," said Harlan, who now serves on the Hall of Fame's board of directors. "To say it's going to be a historic evening when you see the people who are going to be here, you can't say enough about how historic it is."

The guest list is typically left up to the inductee, but it's safe to say plenty of Favre's old coaches and teammates will be present.

In fact, the invitations for the July 18 event already have gone out.

Thanks to Indianapolis Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who began his career as one of Favre’s understudies, we can see exactly what the invites look like:

In a telephone interview, Hasselbeck said he will do everything in his power to make it back for the event and expects many of Favre's former teammates to do the same.

"I think there's just a lot of respect for certain things, and that's a dead time in our offseason," said Hasselbeck, who spent three seasons (1998-00) in Green Bay. "Aside from some family commitment that I don't know about yet, I'm going to do everything in my power to be there. I think it's really cool. Thanks to Brett for [the invitation]."

Hasselbeck was one of several quarterbacks the Packers drafted, developed and then traded away during Favre's 16 years with the team. The list also includes Ty Detmer, Mark Brunell and Aaron Brooks. Hasselbeck, a sixth-round pick in 1998, said he actually became closer with Favre after the Packers traded him to the Seattle Seahawks in 2001.

"My first year, Brett was still a wild man," Hasselbeck recalled. "That second year he was trying to quit drinking and then the third year he did, so that third year it was a totally different experience. All those other guys that Brett had been with -- Chewy [Mark Chmura] and Frankie [Winters] -- were gone."

Like Favre, Hasselbeck got his first chance to start under coach Mike Holmgren, who left the Packers after the 1998 seasons to coach the Seahawks.

"When I left, Brett was really, really helpful," Hasselbeck said. "It was really hard for me that first year in Seattle. I had gotten hurt. I essentially got benched for Trent Dilfer and Holmgren was so, so hard on me. The only thing that gave me hope was that I knew that Holmgren had been harder on Brett. So I can remember phone calls with him [talking] about that."

Hasselbeck said he was on the fringes of Favre's inner circle during his time in Green Bay.

"I did Thanksgiving with the Favres and Christmas with the Favres, but it was probably Chewy, Frankie and Deanna [Favre] that got me the invite," Hasselbeck said. "And I was probably closer in age to Brett's daughter, Brittany. When I'd do Thanksgiving over there, I'd end up playing Battleship with Brittany while everyone else sat around watching football."