Most Packers fans gathering in Hudson, Wis., still cherish their former QB, but that could change if he ever dons purple.
HUDSON, WIS. - There are signs placed around Lakefront Park intended to prevent behavior that some people might find offensive: No Smoking, No Feeding Ducks or Geese, and No Loitering (an odd restriction for a park).
The city fathers have not yet ordered signs reading: No Wearing Favre Jerseys. Presumably, these will be erected should it come to pass that Brett Favre, Green Bay's famous No. 4, signs with the cross-river Vikings in the hours before the start of training camp.
On Tuesday, a Packers promotional tour made a stop at Lakefront Park's bandstand. A program was scheduled to start at 6 p.m., featuring team president Mark Murphy and players Nick Collins, Brady Poppinga and Jordy Nelson.
The parking spots within several blocks of the park were occupied a couple of hours early. Members of the organizing committee were found near an entrance.
"This is the first time the Packers brought their tour to Hudson," one organizer said. "We had 650 tickets for the autograph party, and they sold out the first day. We'll have more than 1,000 people, compared to about 300 people that they had last night in Marshfield."
Patrick Johnson, 16, from Hudson was placing a framed Favre jersey in the back of his family's truck. The garment was autographed and under glass.
"Are you selling now that Brett's going to wind up with the Vikings?" Johnson was asked.
The young man shook his head and said: "I just want people to be able to see it. I'm not selling."
The group parked next to the Johnsons had a large Favre cutout. They had placed a paper bag over Brett's face.
A visitor said: "You thought he was a god for 15 years, and now he's covered with a paper bag?"
Denise Boron said: "He's still a god. No matter what happens, the years in Green Bay are what everyone will remember about Brett."
Tom Boron, her husband, said Packers fans are comfortable with the idea that they will have a better quarterback this season in Aaron Rodgers than will the Vikings, even with Favre.
"The Vikings could've had Rodgers, and instead they drafted [Erasmus] James, the defensive end from Wisconsin," Tom said. "Do you think they would like to do that over?"
Last season, the Vikings opened the regular season on a Monday night at Lambeau Field. Rodgers made his first start.
A Minnesota reporter walked through several blocks of tailgaters. The most popular jerseys were Favre's No. 4 for the Packers. And there were more Favre/Jets jerseys than Rodgers' No. 12.
That has changed. On Tuesday night, Rodgers' 12s were more in evidence than Favre's 4s. Dillon Rutten, 11, was among those honoring the current Packers quarterback.
Tim Rutten, his father and a Packers' season-ticket holder, said: "Dillon's not a front- runner. He got this jersey before the start of last year."
The older Rutten said he will remain a Favre admirer, even if he were to sign with the Vikings. He admits that could put him in a minority with the team's zealots.
"If he ends up with the Vikings, there are going to be a lot of hard feelings in Packerland," he said. "Most of the Jets games were on television in Wisconsin last year. I don't think there will be demand for Vikings games on TV because of Favre."
Doug Martinek, a Packers fan from North St. Paul, was wearing a Rodgers jersey. He works in Mendota Heights and has been hearing a daily stream of "Favre in purple" conversation from his co-workers.
"It's their [Vikings fans] time to get on us," Martinek said. "All I can say is, 'We got the best out of him.'
"I hear some Packers fans say, 'I'll always be a Favre fan, even if he signs with the Vikings.' That's baloney.
"If he goes with the Vikings, he will have thrown away his legacy as a Packer. I've been done with him since last year, when he said he wanted to play for the Vikings.
"I saw some quotes this week from [former Packer] LeRoy Butler that I agree with 100 percent. LeRoy said that Brett going to the Jets was sticking it to [Packers GM] Ted Thompson, but going to the Vikings ... that will be sticking it to the fans."
Patrick Reusse can be heard 5:30- 9 a.m. weekdays on AM-1500 KSTP. firstname.lastname@example.org