4 More Years! 4 More Years! 4 More Years!

Little did I know at the time, that this scene from Oakland, California -- after Brett Favre's 'Game of a Lifetime' -- would be tagged by the Catholic News Service. As a result, it was posted in the majority of Catholic diocesan newspapers throughout the nation at Christmas, 2003.

After Brett's announcement on Friday that he would return to Green Bay for his 17th season with the Green Bay Packers, I thought of this scene taken just 24 hours after the death of his father, Irv. No doubt, similar scenes came to other Packers Fans' minds as so many rejoiced in Friday's good news of Brett's return. While the scene that played out on the field that particular December night came to my mind on Friday -- and many triumphant scenes before and since that hallowed night in Oakland -- one other scene came to my mind as well.

It was the scene of Brett with Deanna, Deanna's Mom, and their daughter, Breleigh, at dinner with a few other friends at Saint Agnes Rectory in Green Bay. Breleigh became a little bored with the length of the dinner, so it seemed, so she began to recruit participants for a quick and spontaneous game of hide and seek to be played throughout the first floor of the house. Forever the competitor, Brett was the first to volunteer.

The evening was simply wonderful; Father Getchel pulled out all of the stops: the dinner, an easy $400 worth of food; the window treatments in the rectory living room, $3000; the price of Brett Favre "on all 4's" hiding behind those drapes: PRICELESS! That night I couldn't help but think that he naturally embodies all that the Church hopes for in family life.

Over these past 17 years, we've all watched Brett grow before our very eyes -- on the field and off. We've seen his family grow and we've seen his love for family, friends and fans grow in exponential measures. Brett and Deanna have won the hearts of all of us -- especially in the midst of adversity, illness and loss. But his simple, down-to-earth goodness and love for others is what distinguishes Brett as a true MVP.

Welcome home, Brett! May 2007 be all that you hope for it to be -- both on the field and off. Your passion for football, family life and your Catholic faith reminds me that, "God's flock is in your midst; give it a shepherd's care!"


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