And the worry, of course, is that Packer Fan will boo. As if Brett Favre gave them any reason to do that, what with the huge number of season ending picks, then the retirement dance, then going to a hated rival and taking them to the NFC title game. Why, it's as if they'll be afraid of their fans having memories or standards!
However, honestly, there's absolutely no chance of this happening. I've been to Green Bay, and the reports of relentless Midwestern Kindness (at least on the surface) are 100% true. Road Eagle Fan was in clear evidence and doing his best to earn his reputation as the NFL's best Soccer Hooligan, and Packer Fan was having none of it, in that they just didn't take any of the bait. If you think of Wisconsin as more like Southern Canada, it makes sense, really.
It's also telling that the team is floating the press worry of how they hope the fans won't boo as a master stroke of PR. If it worked in Philly when Donovan McNabb (more or less occupying the same kind of place in the fan's franchise history) had his laundry raised, it will work here. (Sending out the Sainted Brian Dawkins with #5 didn't hurt, either.) Give everyone a month's worth of warning over how booing would be really really bad, and they won't do it.
But there's a better way to show your disapproval.
I get that Packer Fan got a ring out of Favre. I get that his first decade there was revelatory, and that as good as Aaron Rodgers and Bart Starr were, his best days there might have been the best days of anyone to ever play for them.
But for heaven's sake, you can like what a man does without liking the man, and a jersey retirement isn't about cheering his accomplishments; it's about cheering the man. And this man was, as the back and forth nonsense about retirement and the Jets' dong shot and the dollar chase to a hated rival showed over and over, concerned about nothing more than what was best for Brett Farve. Not the Packers.
So, Packer Fan?
I've got your out here.
Don't boo him.
But don't cheer him, either.
And if you really want to get dramatic about it, don't be in the stands for it.
Isn't the ceremony a wonderful time to visit the bathroom facilities, or get yourself more, beer, meat, cheese, or some kind of merch?
Imagine, if you will, just how fantastically awkward it would be if Favre's Special Day was greeted with deafening, polite, Midwestern silence.
Or maybe three to five seconds of applause, stopping with powerful precision to well and truly make the final point, for the rest of Favre's life, that these people know what he's all about.
And they don't approve.