Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Thanksgiving Thrill

I've been a Green Bay Packer fan just about all my life, ever since I started collecting football cards in first grade.

I was born on Thanksgiving so every once in awhile, my birthday falls on Thanksgiving, as it did this year. But the Packers don't always play on Thanksgiving — nor, for that matter, do they always play on my birthday when it falls on a Sunday.

This year, however, they played the Chicago Bears tonight, which is both Thanksgiving and my birthday, in order to honor Brett Favre by inducting him into the Packers' Ring of Honor. (Actually, the game is still in progress as I write this so referring to it in the past tense really isn't appropriate, is it?).

And one of the highlights for me — probably the greatest highlight for me — was to see Bart Starr and Brett Favre embrace each other on the turf of Lambeau Field. My two favorite quarterbacks of all time.

I have known for a long time what a struggle it was for Starr to be able to be in Green Bay. He's been battling the effects of some pretty severe strokes, but he looked pretty good tonight.

The two quarterbacks could hardly be more different, I suppose.

I have always admired Bart Starr, going back to when I was a kid. He was the kind of guy who is worthy of admiration. He didn't seek the spotlight the way so many players do today. He didn't put up gaudy numbers — except on the scoreboard, where he was the perfect captain for Vince Lombardi's offense. Lombardi devised the game plan, and Starr carried it out. All he did was win.

Favre was a free spirit, a winner who made the people around him winners by sheer force of will. Favre was a force of nature, refusing to be benched during his phenomenal consecutive games played streak even if you thought there was no way he could be playing.

I suppose my ideal quarterback would be a combination of Bart Starr and Brett Favre.

But since that will never happen, I'll settle for the next best thing. That was what I got tonight.

For this I am truly thankful.

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