Last Saturday's "NFL Honors" show featured a stunning pair of presenters: Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre took the podium together and handed out the Comeback Player of the Year Award, which Peyton Manning won.
The result was a comical scene, a somewhat touching scene, and an awkward one too. Though it turns out, Rodgers said on his weekly ESPN 540 Milwaukee radio show with Jason Wilde, that the awkwardness was mostly intentional. And Rodgers/Favre -- who thought about hugging and saying "too soon?" -- were both enthusiastic about taking part in the skit.
"It didn't take a lot of coaxing for me to do it," Rodgers said. "I did want to sit and think about whether it was the right thing to do. I really feel very secure in my position with the team and feel good about the things that we've been able to accomplish in my five years as the starter -- and feel good about the direction the organization is going in."
It's a very ambassador-esque move from Rodgers. And though Favre stabbed Packers fans in the back when he signed with the Vikings, he's still one of Green Bay's all-time greats. Rodgers understands that and realizes that he's not far removed from a period of time where the NFL will celebrate his legacy; he needs to be right with Packers fans when that happens.
"Brett is two years removed from the game," Rodgers said. "He's going to obviously be in the Packers Hall of Fame. He'll get his number retired, and he'll be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the next few years. It's important, I think, to make sure that he's recognized for all the accomplishments that he's achieved in our organization especially.
"He's still very dear to many of our fans for the things that he's done for the Packers on the field. You can never take that away."
The two sides of Favre's legacy are very much split. His constant flip-flopping on retirement late in his career and his playing for the Jets and Vikings turned many folks against him. Rodgers indicated it occurred to him that his legacy wouldn't always be safe and that he believed it was time to for the Packers and Favre "move forward."
"As the face of the franchise, I felt like it was important that I took a leadership role in that," Rodgers said. "Not that one was needed now, but I thought it was good timing to just let the fans know, let Brett know, let's move forward. Let's heal things up and let's move forward."
There will still be plenty of healing to do, but with the blessing of Rodgers, it's a good bet that Favre and Green Bay will be at peace by the time Favre really starts getting back into the limelight.
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