GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy admitted the Lambeau Field Atrium, where Packers Hall of Fame ceremonies usually take place, wouldn't hold the crowd expected to attend the Class of 2015 induction.
Not under these circumstances.
Maybe it would be most appropriate to hold it right inside Lambeau Field because that's where Brett Favre had his biggest impact on the organization. Maybe that would be the best place for Favre and the Packers to reunite.
"I think it should be here (stadium)," Murphy said. "Whether it's broadcast on TV or broadcast from the Atrium and people can watch it from other areas of the stadium on our scoreboards, I don't know."
The space just needs to be big.
On Monday, the Packers and the Packers Hall of Fame, announced in a joint news conference that Favre would be inducted into the Hall of Fame and have his number retired at the July 18 induction ceremony.
The combined event was the brainchild of former Packers President Bob Harlan, who now serves on the board of directors of the Hall of Fame. It was the best way he could think of to honor Favre and also bring him back into the franchise's embrace after six years of estrangement.
"I'm speechless," said Favre, who spoke via telephone from Mississippi.
Harlan said he sensed Favre was more than ready to put the hard feelings the two sides felt over his drama-filled separation after 16 years together. Murphy had been reaching out to Favre every so often to talk about retiring his number, but it wasn't until Harlan called around Thanksgiving that the ball got rolling.
"He was so good the first day I talked to him," Harlan said. "He and I have exchanged phone calls and emails and Deanna (Favre's wife) and I have talked all winter, and I could see them getting more and more excited all along."
This will mark only the sixth time in the Hall of Fame's history that only one player will be inducted, and it is the first time it will coincide with the retirement of the player's number. Another ceremony, where Favre's name will go up on the facade inside Lambeau Field will take place at an undetermined game next season.
If there were any hard feelings left over on Favre's part, they were not evident from the nearly half-hour he spent speaking about the event and answering questions from reporters. He talked as though the animosity he showed during his two years as a Minnesota Viking were way behind him.
"I always dreamed of playing pro football as a kid, but I had never dreamed of Hall of Fames and jerseys being retired and things of that nature," Favre said. "I just thought about playing and how much fun that would be. To be able to play one game is Green Bay is enough. To be able to play 16 years wonderful years in Green Bay is just an amazing honor.
"There's no place like it. It's rich in tradition and to be associated with that organization and the names that have been placed in the ring of honor, the names that have been placed in the Hall of Fame is more than a dream come true. I'm truly honored and it is nice to come back."
In addition to Murphy, Harlan and members of the Hall of Fame's board of directors, general manager Ted Thompson, coach Mike McCarthy and Favre's former quarterbacks coach, Steve Mariucci, were in attendance. Thompson and McCarthy did not speak.
The news conference took place in a construction area where the new Hall of Fame will reside. Two color photos of Favre in action were on easels next to the dais, one showing him running off the field helmet in hand after throwing a touchdown pass to Andre Rison in Super Bowl XXXI and another of him playing in a blizzard at Lambeau Field.
Favre talked appreciatively of the honors soon to be bestowed upon him, but he also made some requests. One was that Bart Starr be present at the ring of honor ceremony and be allowed to take part in the coin flip with him.
"I've got chills right now thinking about it," Favre said. "I just think that fans, that would be an electric moment, and again, another honor, and I've always said that about Bart. If we could get that done it would be an amazing moment."
Asked if he would be willing to take a photo with Starr and current quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Favre said: "Are you kidding me? Absolutely."
The other request Favre had was that former general manager Ron Wolf, the guy who brought him to Green Bay, be present.
"Without Ron I would not be on this phone right now having this discussion," Favre said. "This ceremony would not take place. I've told Ron over and over again how thankful I was that he believed in me when many people did not.
"I would love to have, along with Deanna and (daughters) Brittany and Breleigh alongside me, I would love to have Ron Wolf walk out with me. And I'd love to have (former coach) Mike Holmgren. If they can work that out at that time, that would be such a special moment."
Favre and the Packers needed some time to get over the circumstances that led to his departure in '08. There was his retirement, his decision to come back at the start of training camp, his trade to the New York Jets and his eventual signing with the Vikings.
Many fans remain angry at Favre for the drama he created and the difficult situation he made for Rodgers, who became the starter in '08. Murphy had said that Favre was concerned about being booed when he came back, but Favre later said on a radio show that he wasn't.
Both Murphy and Harlan said they expected the reception to be warm for Favre next summer. Favre said he hoped to attend a game this fall but was aware that there are some who haven't forgotten.
"Will 100 percent of the people be for you? That's never the case," said Favre, who indicated he had not chosen his inductor yet. "But I know Packers fans as well as anyone, and there's no one like them. That's what makes them such a special organization, city and fan base worldwide.
"I'm not concerned about it one bit because I know the true Packers fans and what their hearts are about, and that's what I am is a Packer and will always be remembered as that. And that's the way I want to be remembered. I'm not concerned about it one bit; in fact, I look forward to it (the ceremony)."
The impression all along has been that Favre has been slower to put things in the rearview mirror than the Packers, but Favre said that wasn't true. He said it became pretty clear to him after his career was over that his place was as a Packer.
"In all honesty, I was probably more ready sooner than maybe everyone else was, just because I know my heart and how I feel about my career," he said. "My goodness, 16 years in Green Bay, wonderful years, and playing almost every single game which I suited up for. That's what I am, that's how I look at myself and how I will be remembered, as a Packer.
"Not long after I retired from playing, I felt it was time. It's amazing how quickly time passes by, it seems like the older you get, the quicker it goes, and here we are several years later talking about it. But now it's in stone, I don't really dwell on the whys, the whats and whens. Here we are, it's going to be done and I'm truly honored for that."
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