Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
I continue to be underwhelmed by the hype heading into Sunday’s game between Brett Favre, er Minnesota, and Green Bay at Lambeau Field. I think everyone recognizes it’s a critical matchup in terms of NFC North standings, but to this point, the sideshow has yet to transcend reality. (Yes!!!)
You offered some funny suggestions and a few thoughtful ideas this week in response to our request for how Green Bay fans should handle Favre’s return. Aliahdayne1005 suggested a “waffle” station, manned by former Packers defensive tackle Gilbert Brown, be set up on the Vikings sideline. Exileondaytonstreet would love the Packers to use only two songs on the public address system: “Mississippi Queen” (Mountain or Grand Funk versions) and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” by The Band.
Aliahdayne1005 might have had the coolest idea:
“Bring back the entire '96 team: Butler, Freeman, Levens, Chmura, ... all of them. Seat them right behind the Viking bench. Give Brett a little something to think about and remind him what a special team he used to be a part of. A distracted Brett turns into a turn-over machine.”
But the appetite for such stunts seems muted, I’m happy to report. (Seriously.) Pinter Neesbak writes: “It is my sincere hope that the fans are as classy as they have been historically, showing respect for a man who they supported for almost two decades while cheering their beloved Packers on to victory Sunday.”
MiracleMan720 went Allison Krauss/Ronan Keating on it and wrote: “You say it best....when you say nothing at alllllllllllllllllll.” Mjschaefer260 had a simple plea: “Is playing the game a possibility? I'd be fine with that.”
My take? As I’ve said, I don’t sense the same tension heading into this game as I did for the Oct. 5 "Monday Night Football" affair. Maybe that’s because I haven’t gotten over to Green Bay yet. But I’m assuming some of the commenters on the original Have at It entry are there, and I didn’t scroll through any evidence of mass hysteria or anything beyond the anticipation of a big game.
Green Bay mayor Jim Schmitt’s insertion into the hype makes me feel a little dirty. I suppose he could be concerned the city will be perceived poorly if fans erupt in, say, a non-traditional fashion on Sunday. But like most politicians, he hasn’t allowed an opportunity for attention to pass him by.
I know this is going to sound quaint, perhaps even silly and out of touch. But I think the best thing fans can do Sunday upon seeing Favre is to cheer the bejeezus out of the Packers. Showing class is always nice. But just as important is this: Every moment directed at Favre, no matter how creative, is another moment suggesting you haven’t gotten past his departure. Essentially ignoring him, while channeling excess emotion toward the team you actually root for, would be the highest form of fandom and a reminder that your support is based on the team, not individual players or components.
Stepping off the soap box …. now. See you all Sunday.