Favre announcement good for all sides

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- No one had quite the same perspective on the Brett Favre saga as Ryan Longwell did.

The former NFL kicker was Favre's teammate with the Green Bay Packers, and he was Favre's teammate with the Minnesota Vikings. In fact, he helped convince Favre to come out of retirement and play for the Packers' archrival in 2009. He was alongside when Favre returned to Lambeau Field -- and beat the Packers -- wearing Vikings' colors.

And he no doubt heard all the ugly details of breakup between Favre and the Packers in the summer of 2008, and he would have heard them from Favre's perspective, which at the time would not have been favorable to the Packers.

And even Longwell knows that what will happen at Lambeau Field on Monday, when it will be announced that Favre will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame next year and later have his jersey No. 4 retired, was exactly what was needed for all parties involved.

"This is really good for him," Longwell said Sunday night. "He deserves it. The fans deserve it, and the community deserves it."

Yes, Longwell knows that the Packers Hall of Fame is independent of the team itself -- something that has always seemed unusual (and perhaps unknown by many) -- but that's nothing more than a meaningless detail in this long-awaited reconciliation.

The Packers Hall of Fame (launched in 1967) has been housed at Lambeau Field since 2003, when it moved from a stand-alone location across the street, and will be rededicated next spring as part of the stadium's atrium renovation project. If team president Mark Murphy, general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy were not ready to embrace Favre again, this induction would not take place.

At some point, there will be an actual handshake between Favre and Thompson -- the man responsible for signing Favre’s trade papers to the New York Jets on Aug. 6, 2008. But Monday's announcement -- at which Favre will speak via teleconference -- will represent a metaphorical reunion between the Packers and their former quarterback.

Perhaps it should have happened sooner. Maybe Favre should have come back for a game last season as was discussed by him and Murphy last fall.

It's hard to gauge what took longer, Favre's retirement or the reconciliation.

But it's finally here.

Or at least it can be seen from here.

And, as Longwell suggested, it's time.