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Brett Favre inducted into Packers Hall of Fame

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  • By Marc Sessler and Jeremy Bergman
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All eyes were on Brett Favre as Green Bay's former star quarterback drew closer to Saturday night's induction into the Packers' Hall of Fame.

Meeting with reporters before the ceremony, Favre expressed gratitude to be back in the city that lauded him for years as a hero prior to his thorny split with the team in 2008.

"I'm extremely honored and that's probably an understatement," Favre said. "By the end of the night, I think we're probably all going to be tired of hearing Brett Favre stories."

The Super Bowl winner and 11-time Pro Bowler paused to reflect on his 20-year career, saying: "I've always dreamed of playing pro football, no different than any other kid across the country. 

"All I dreamed about as a kid were Archie Manning, Roger Staubach. I never dreamed of being in the Hall of Fame, never dreamed having my jersey retired, never dreamed of Pro Bowls," said Favre. "Yes, did I dream about playing in Super Bowls? Absolutely. All of the dreams I ever had have come true, and then some."

Here's what else we learned from No. 4 on his ceremonious day:

1. Favre showed no ill will toward the Packers franchise and faithful. He wore his emotion on his sleeve when taking the field in front of over 67,000 onlookers and dedicated his career to the fans and the organization.

"Playing at Lambeau Field, running out of the tunnel, throwing a touchdown at Lambeau Field, there's nothing like it on the Earth," he said. "Believe me, I have played elsewhere, there is absolutely nothing like this place. Where else can you can get this many people in a stadium when there's not a game?

"All I can say is I hope it was as much fun for them watching me as it was for me to do it every week."

2. The Packers fans returned the favor. Favre received a much warmer welcome to Green Bay on Saturday than he did in his last visits to Lambeau in 2009 and 2010 when the crowd considered him a traitor. This time, nearly five years later, Favre received an uninterrupted four-minute standing ovation, which caused the gunslinger to well up.

When Favre joked about running out of the opposing team's tunnel, as he did with the Vikings -- "That was scary" -- the fans reacted with chuckles, not boos. 

3. In his Hall of Fame induction speech, Favre left no stone unturned and no name unnamed. The Packers quarterback put his legendary memory on display during the hour-long speech, thanking a slew of people including every one of his quarterback coaches, Packers PR icon Lee Remmel and specific Lambeau Field janitors.

Earlier in the day, Favre hinted that he would end up rambling, saying: "More than likely I'll just go off the cuff. ... I don't know what that'll be. I really don't. But much like the way I played, who knew what was gonna happen?"

Brett Favre was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame on Saturday. Take a look at all the best photos.

4. It's not a day to dwell on what could have been, but Favre went there when asked about his time under coach Mike Holmgren, a run that peaked with Green Bay's 35-21 win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.

"One of the only regrets I have," said Favre, "is that I didn't get to play with Mike longer, which I can put that blame off on him, but he and I both know -- because we've talked about this numerous times -- that had we had a chance to play and he coached me for more years, then I think there would have been, I truly believe there would have been more championships."

5. Favre went out of his way to call Reggie White "the greatest player I ever played with," saying: "All you had to do was chant his name and the right tackle was in for a world of hurt."

6. Speaking of his father, Favre told the room: "Lord only knows what my dad would say (if he were here). ... I know he would be proud. And the same thing with Reggie."

7. On his legacy, Favre said: "I haven't thought a lot about it. As you get older, you find things that really mattered don't really matter at all," adding: "What we did, I know, is very special. It's not four Super Bowls, but in my mind it's equally as important because ... a resurgence, if you will, of this organization."

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