GREEN BAY — Brett Favre couldn’t help but notice the names jotted around Lambeau Field each time the future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback walked out the tunnel.
Don Hutson. Bart Starr. Ray Nitschke. Reggie White.
As many successes as Favre enjoyed throughout his 16 years in Green Bay, the three-time NFL MVP didn’t believe he was in the same class.
Those were legends. He was just the fun-loving quarterback.
Yet, there Favre stood with his family on Sunday afternoon as his name was unveiled among the 23 other Pro Football Hall of Fame players on the Lambeau Field façade.
Still, none of it felt real as the more than 75,000 cheered his name during a ceremony in which Favre received his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring during halftime of Sunday’s Packers-Cowboys game.
“Never once did I think what it would be like for my name to be up there,” said Favre afterward. “I never looked at myself then or now as an equal to Bart Starr or one of my idols, Roger Staubach. So when I look up at Don Hutson, Ray Nitschke, Fuzzy Thurston, Willie Wood, Willie Davis, I place myself at a lower level than those guys.”
In a short speech, Favre said he could not thank the fans enough and lauded Lambeau Field as the greatest place in the world to not only play football, but also watch the game.
Favre said all of the post-career accolades – the Packers Hall of Fame, his No. 4 jersey retirement and his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame – have yet to sink in.
He likens it to the Packers winning Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans in 1997. It wasn’t until years later that Favre fully grasped the accomplishment.
“I feel like five years from now – and who knows the exact time – but all of us when you look back at your high school days or college days, you look back on them more fondly,” Favre said. “Sometimes you kind of take for granted when you’re in the moment.”
Favre added that it’s his hope that Packers legend Jerry Kramer may still join him one day in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a belief he shared with Kramer as they sat in the alumni box during the first half.
He isn’t sure when he’ll return to Green Bay next. His daughter, Breleigh, is a high-school senior who has committed to play volleyball at Southern Miss.
Favre said he actually ran into Cooper Manning at a tournament over the weekend where the two laughed about fatherhood.
Meanwhile, Favre is pleased to know his name will be displayed forever on the Lambeau Field façade.
Even if it hasn’t settled in yet.
“I saw it unveiled. I read my name, it made perfect sense but it doesn’t register yet,” Favre said. “That might take some time much like the Hall of Fame itself.”