GREEN BAY, Wisconsin — The Green Bay Packers will give thanks to Brett Favre during their Thanksgiving night game.
The Packers announced Monday what had been long expected: Favre's dark green No. 4 jersey will be unveiled on the north facade of Lambeau Field at halftime of the Nov. 26 game against the rival Chicago Bears.
The Packers and Bears have the NFL's longest-running series, dating to 1921. Favre played for the Packers against the Bears 32 times in his storied career, going 22-10.
"It will be an incredible honor to be in Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving night with Packers fans and have my name and number placed among the greatest players in Packers history," Favre said in a statement from the team. "With the great history and tradition of the Packers-Bears rivalry, and remembering the great matchups we had during my career, it seems only fitting to have Chicago as the opponent."
The ceremony will come more than seven years after Favre's contentious breakup with the team he quarterbacked for 16 seasons. After waffling on retirement for several years, Favre held a tearful goodbye news conference in 2008 only to ask to come back months later and force a trade to the New York Jets. The following year, he was wooed by another one of his original division rivals, the Minnesota Vikings to further the rift with the Packers. In two games at Lambeau Field with the visiting team, Favre was booed loudly, winning there in 2009 and losing in 2010.
Time heals wounds, though, and the relationship has been gradually repaired.
Favre hoped to attend Green Bay's game against Chicago last season and participate with fellow former Packers quarterback Bart Starr in a pregame coin toss, but his long-anticipated return was put on hold then because of Starr's poor health.
Favre's jersey will actually be formally decommissioned July 18 at the Packers Hall of Fame induction banquet. He'll join Starr (No. 15), Don Hutson (No. 14), Tony Canadeo (No. 3), Ray Nitschke (No. 66) and Reggie White (No. 92) with retired numbers.
The man responsible for bringing Favre to Green Bay, former general manager Ron Wolf, will also have his day of honor this season. Wolf, the team announced Monday, will have his name unveiled next to the other Pro Football Hall of Fame members on the stadium's east side during the Nov. 15 game against the Detroit Lions.
Wolf, who will be inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer at the ceremony Canton, Ohio, made the trade with the Atlanta Falcons in 1992 that acquired Favre for the Packers.
"The Packers are fortunate to have had many great players and general managers in our storied history. You would be hard pressed, though, to name any that have had a bigger impact on the organization than Brett Favre and Ron Wolf. It is fitting that they will be honored in the same season, since they teamed together to return winning football to the Packers in the '90s," Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said. "We're looking forward to two very memorable ceremonies to honor these men for their accomplishments."
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