The 15 Most Influential Green Bay Packers of All-Time


Brett Favre by Paul Cutler [CC BY-SA 2.0 (] – Image Cropped
1. Brett Favre, QB:

One man stands above the rest in this category.

Brett Favre became bigger than football during his time in Green Bay. He was iconic. He truly did transcend football; everyone in the country knew who he was. The unpolished, good ‘ole southern boy quarterback made the Packers “cool” again and brought the franchise back to prominence. It can’t be overstated how important he was to this franchise. 

The Packers hadn’t been championship contenders since the 1960s — Favre changed that. Favre was the first and only player to win three consecutive AP MVP Awards and the first quarterback to win a Super Bowl for the Packers since Bart Starr. In the 1990s, the NFL became a league of individual star players and Favre was the biggest. Phenomenal players like Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders, Troy Aikman, Barry Sanders, Steve Young, Emmitt Smith, Reggie White, John Elway, Derrick Thomas, Rod Woodson, and more starred in the decade. Favre was bigger than them all. Way bigger. And he didn’t play in a major city and wasn’t part of a dynasty. His character grew that big organically.

No. 4 brought ample national attention, and national television, to small-town Green Bay again for the first time in decades. He publicly admitted and overcame pill addiction, he played through pain and gained the nicknames “Iron Man” and “Gunslinger”. He took chances, often too many chances, but was a wonder to watch. He played with unbridled joy. Most of all, he was human — the good and the bad. And the fans identified with him, hell, they still do. “He’s just as damaged as us, but somehow overcame it all” many fans must’ve thought.

His influence on this franchise is second to none. And everyone has a few favorite Favre memories.

His legacy is this: the Packers have gone to the playoffs 19 times in 27 seasons since he became the starter in Green Bay. The Packers made the playoffs just two times in the 24 seasons before he got to Green Bay. He reinstated the Packers’ pride and stature as an organization, rewarding a long-loyal, but suffering fanbase. Favre influenced a whole generation of football players and football fans; he was a part of pop-culture and players simply don’t get more iconic than him. He’s still one of the most recognized names in the NFL nearly ten years after his retirement. Remember when rival Minnesota Viking Randy Moss just had to see Favre in action, as if he was a 10 year old kid? Yeah, Favre was that big.

Four times he led the NFL in passing touchdowns, twice he led in interceptions, and the memorable moments and drama that he (and everyone else, fans included) celebrated and endured while he was in Green Bay are well-documented. Despite leaving unceremoniously and infamously joining the rival Vikings, the relationship is now restored. His rocky departure only added to his unparalleled and influential story for the Packers and the game of football. The ups and the downs that Favre lived through, Packers fans lived through. Yes, the highs were historically high and perhaps the same can be said of lows. But no player has influenced a franchise quite like Favre influenced the Packers.

For 15 years he was synonymous with Packers football. And synonymous with fun. And he probably still is, even with Rodgers’ success. Time heals all wounds, and once again people just see Favre as a Green Bay Packer. As their Green Bay Packer.

Some don’t want to hear it, but there’s a very real chance that the small-market Packers wouldn’t have survived into the next millennium without the influence that Favre wielded while wearing the green and gold. You still get to watch the Packers play each fall without the threat of the team folding or leaving.

Can anyone really ever top that influence?

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We seek to bring more context to, and share interesting stores about, the history of the Green Bay Packers and the NFL as a whole. Clickbait be damned. "We" are Daniel and David Zillmer; hit the about or contact to learn more.

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