Packers have turned it around

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Three years ago, Packer Nation was in disarray – Brett Favre had been traded to the Jets and the fan base was split 50-50.

I know Packer fans who wanted to buy Jets jerseys and abandon the green and gold, I know some former Packer fans who sported ‘Ted the Tool’ shirts in mockery of Packers Vice President Ted Thompson.

Last year, it got worse. Favre signed with one of Green Bay’s biggest rivals in the NFC North and took to the Vikings to the NFC Championship game, where his team was a blink of an eye from the Super Bowl.

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Many fans were still claiming that Favre should’ve stayed a Packer and that Aaron Rodgers was just a stat-piling quarterback who didn’t ‘lead’ his team.

A year later everything is full circle. Father time caught up to the old gunslinger and Rodgers has helped the Packers get to a place that they haven’t been to in 13 years – the Super Bowl.

It’s only Rodgers’ third year as a starter and he’s about to play in the big game. Favre played in the Super Bowl just twice in his whole storied career.

I’d say ‘Ted the Tool’ has some bragging rights and some of those Jets jersey buyers need to admit some foolishness.

Through it all, the Packers have been classy and Favre’s name has not been brought up in a negative fashion. They understand that time marches on and it’s a new era.

As for Rodgers, he may be the very definition of redemption. He wasn’t recruited out of high school, had to play at a community college for two years and he was an unpopular pick for many Packer fans when they drafted him out of California in the first round.

In many Packer backers minds, he was a wasted pick, when they could’ve taken an impact defensive player to get to Favre to another Super Bowl.

When he was named the starter over Favre a few years ago, he was treated quite harshly by fans in Green Bay, at one point he was even cursed out by a young kid at practice. They saw him as the reason that No. 4 was headed out the door and wanted to take it out on him.

During the first season of No. 12, I went to the game against the Colts and was a little surprised by what was allowed to remain standing right next to Lambeau Field.

Behind one of the signs which was close to where the player enter, some person wrote down Rodgers’ stats on family fun night (it wasn’t a good night) and it said he would never be anything.

I wonder if that sign is till there.