The Green Bay Packers would never allow another player to wear No. 4 again, but on Thanksgiving night they’ll make it official. Former first-team All-Pro Packer quarterback Brett Favre, 46, will have his esteemed and legendary number retired and his name will adorn the Ring of Honor on Lambeau Field’s north façade during halftime of Thursday’s matchup with the rival Chicago Bears.
Following up on his induction into the team’s Hall of Fame in July, Favre and the Packers will put a bow on an incredible 16-year run that resulted in seven division titles, two NFC championships, three MVP awards, and one Super Bowl victory in 1996.
Favre joins a short list of five former Packers to line the historic franchise’s Ring of Honor. Late defensive end Reggie White and his No. 92 was the last to be inducted alongside linebacker Ray Nitschke’s No. 66, quarterback Bart Starr’s No. 15, wide receiver and defensive back Don Hutson’s No. 14, and halfback Tony Canadeo’s No. 3.
Eighty-one-year-old Starr, who forever changed the quarterback position and led Green Bay to five championships including victories in the NFL’s first two Super Bowls, will be on hand at Favre’s request despite his declining health. More than a year ago the two-time Super Bowl MVP suffered a heart attack and multiple strokes but he and wife Cherry Starr will make the trip from his home in Birmingham, Alabama to Green Bay for the ceremony.
Cherry Starr told ESPN her husband does not remember his Hall of Fame career but that the experience of returning to Lambeau’s hallowed confines could be beneficial.
"I hope when Bart walks on the field that it will bring back a lot of really nice thoughts and experiences," Cherry said. "I just think it will be really stimulating to him to see all the lights and all the people and to hear the cheering. I hope it brings back memories for Bart, even if it's just for that moment. It's been a long road to get to this point, and we're all very excited about it."
Though Favre left Green Bay amidst controversy and hurt feelings in 2008, over the years he’s made amends with the franchise that helped mold him into one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.
Current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who took over for Favre, said Wednesday how much of an honor it will be to reunite with Favre and Starr. However Rodgers isn't expected to take part in the ceremony and will be back in the locker room making adjustments to the Bears' defense.
Over the course of his career Favre collected numerous Packers records including: most career games and most consecutive games played (255), most passing yards (61,655), most passing touchdowns (442), highest career passer rating for a retired Packer (85.8), passes attempted (8,754), passes completed (5,377), and career completion percentage for a retired Packers (61.4).
Favre’s honors will likely continue next year. On Wednesday Favre was named one of 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2016 class and based on his incredible resume he’s likely to be inducted his first time on the ballot.
The game will be broadcast nationally by NBC on Thanksgiving night starting at 8:30 p.m., and halftime is expected to take longer than usual to honor Favre properly. A live stream is available on SNF All Access.