From 1992 to 2007 Brett Favre was THE man in Green Bay. He was the Packers’ franchise superstar and unquestioned leader who helped guide them to eight division championships, five NFC championship games, and two Superbowl appearances, winning one (Superbowl XXXI).
He gave his all for the Packers and it paid dividends for them, but the organization knew that the beloved quarterback was eventually going to retire, so they sought out his heir apparent when they drafted Aaron Rodgers with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft.
One would think that Favre would have no problem mentoring the player that would eventually replace him as the signal caller in Green Bay, but an excerpt from Jeff Pearlman’s upcoming book Gunslinger, revealed some new details about the rocky relationship between the two.
While it would be easy to understand things from Favre’s perspective about how tough it must be watching the very team that you devoted nearly two decades of your professional life to pick out the person who would eventually become your future replacement, the book reveals that Rodgers did not help things get off to a good start.
The book highlights several issues between the two quarterbacks that not only soured the relationship between them, but also created a rift in the team, including Rodger’s first words to Favre which were “Good morning, Grandpa.”
Favre did not appreciate the comment and Rodgers was met with a puzzled glare and some silence. Things would only get worse from there as Rodgers would constantly remind Favre about how his Wonderlic test score was higher than his. Rodgers scored a 35 while Favre only managed to score 22. According to the book, Rodgers came in as a brash and arrogant rookie and rubbed many of his teammates the wrong way.
Rodgers would also make it a point to always sit in the front row during team meetings and constantly raised his hand to answer all of the coaching staff’s questions. Eventually, Donald Driver – a veteran wide receiver and one of Favre’s closest friends on the team – pulled Rodgers aside and said to him:
“Aaron, we get it. You’re smart. Now shut the f*** up!”
Favre, however, was not helping things either as he would constantly ridicule the rookie and refused to offer him help where he needed it. He even went as far as to tricking Rodgers into signing his own helmet, which he then had to wear throughout practice. Aaron spoke to ESPN.com about this particular incident, and from reading the report it would appear that he took the prank well despite how embarrassing it was at first, but the book says otherwise.
According to the book, Rodgers was devastated by this incident and retreated to his locker after practice, nearly on the verge of crying. When it was time for Rodgers to finally get his shot during his rookie season, Favre did not provide him with any help so he could understand the offense or tell him what to do. Instead, he just watched from the sidelines as the rookie struggled. Rodgers would only appear in three games during his rookie season and the Packers finished with a 4-12 record and failed to qualify for the playoffs. Favre would throw for over 3,000 yards for the 14th consecutive season in 2005 to go along with 20 touchdowns, but it was marred by the 29 interceptions he had that year.
Favre would announce his retirement in 2008, making Rodgers the Packers’ starting quarterback. The team had already made plans to retire his number 4 during the 2008 season opener, but had to drop those plans after Favre came back to play for 3 more seasons, first with the New York Jets in 2008 and the Minnesota Vikings in 2009-2010. Favre helped lead the Vikings all the way to the 2009 NFC Championship game where they were defeated by the New Orleans Saints 31-28. Rodgers would experience continued success in Green Bay after Favre’s departure and led the team to victory in Superbowl XLV where he was named the game’s MVP.
While it seems that the Aaron Rodgers-Brett Favre relationship has mellowed over the years after both appeared on stage in 2013 during the NFL Honors show, this latest revelation might come as a surprise for some fans even though Favre has repeatedly stated that he and Aaron “got along great” despite what others have been reporting.
[Featured Image by Morry Gash/AP Images]