"One More Year! One More Year!"
The chant directed at Brett Favre started among the 69,928 Lambeau Field attendants with just more than six minutes remaining in the third quarter and continued through much of the Green Bay Packers' 23-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
The cheer became louder as Favre exited the game with 41 seconds left, and Aaron Rodgers entered to take the final kneel-down. Favre waved to the crowd with both hands before jumping into the arms of 11-year-veteran William Henderson.
Some observers may view that scene as an indication that Favre will retire after his 15th year in the NFL, but he has made such curtain calls before.
"I didn't find it odd at all," Head Coach Mike Sherman said. "It's an acknowledgement of the love affair that he has with the fans."
An equally emotional scene occurred after the game. While wiping away tears, Favre thanked the team and told them he loved them before stating he has not planned his future.
"I don't know what I'm going to do," said Favre, according to several other players. "But I want you guys to know that I care about you."
During the postgame locker room, Favre also received a game ball from Sherman.
Favre's performance against his former head coach Mike Holmgren helped earn him the game ball. He completed 21-of-37 passes for 259 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
"He's the player of the game regardless of whether it's his last game or not," Rodgers said.
Regardless of what Favre decides, he showed he has a lot left in the tank. He still owns one of the game's strongest arms. With 1:44 left in the third quarter, he rocketed a 59-yard pass to Donald Driver, which traveled well more than 50 yards through the air. The 36-year-old also remains as mobile as ever. On the sixth play of the game's first drive, he eluded safety Marquand Manuel before delivering a 12-yard strike to Driver.
Favre continued his assault on the record books on Sunday. He established single-season career highs for completions with 372 and attempts with 607. He threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Chatman with 3:46 left in the third quarter. That scoring pass, his first since Nov. 27, ended a December slump and extended his NFL-record of seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes to 12.
The question then becomes if his desire still matches his skill set. Sherman said Favre will answer that query in "the next month or so." The head coach has casually discussed options with his franchise quarterback but emphasized Favre has not made a decision.
"We'll have another conversation," Sherman said. "I'll probably drop by to visit him and take a ride on his tractor at some point."
Even Rodgers, who entered the game after Holmgren took a timeout at the end of the game, wants Favre to return. Rodgers, who would likely quarterback the offense in Favre's absence, wants to spend another year soaking up Favre's knowledge.
"I definitely hope he comes back," Rodgers said. "I learned so much this year and had a great time with him, and obviously there's no rush on my progress. He's still the best quarterback on this team."
As they await his decision, the rest of the team has taken the same approach. In the mean time, they enjoyed a poignant day with their franchise quarterback on the last day of the 2006 regular season.
"Brett doesn't show a lot of emotion, and he was emotional today," running back Tony Fisher said. "If this is when he goes out, at least we went out with a win."