By Andy Tarnoff
Published Sept. 3, 2008 at 10:07 a.m.
Laugh if you must, but I had an incredibly vivid, realistic dream last night ... about the Packers.
It was the kind of dream that when I woke up this morning, I thought it really happened. And, for the record, the only other time I dreamed about the Packers was the night before Super Bowl XXXI, when my overactive subconscious actually played out the entire first half.
Anyway, in my dream, it was Monday afternoon, and my Dad called me to see if I wanted to watch the season opener with him. I reluctantly agreed, because I've actually been debating boycotting the season. Having barely missed a Packers game in more than a decade, I'm still saddened and bitter about how the Brett Favre situation was handled. It pains me greatly to see Favre running around in a Jets uniform, and when I watched a little exhibition football this summer, it just left me feeling empty. In other words, I think the Packers and I need to take a little time off.
Back to my dream: I met my dad nice and early at some random, generic sports bar, and as the TV was showing pre-game warm-ups, the camera spotted what looked like Favre on the sidelines, clad in his Packers uniform. My dad and I did a double-take, and suddenly the TV crawl flashed, "Breaking news: Favre traded back to Packers."
The TV guys began to explain what went down. Apparently, this was all part of the Packers' plans. They had orchestrated Favre's trade to the Jets and used the pre-season to see if Aaron Rodgers was ready for the job as starting quarterback. When they discovered that he wasn't, they traded cornerback Tremon Williams for Favre, under a deal that was secretly done weeks ago. (In my dream, I didn't know it was Tremon Williams, but I did see that it was a cornerback with the last name of Williams -- I had to check their roster to see if my subconscious mind was accurate.)
At this point in my dream, I went crazy with excitement. I called my best friend, Eron, which is something that I would've done in real-life, and of course, he was watching the same footage as I was. All I yelled into the phone was, "Ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod!" while he yelled back, "I can't believe this! I can't believe this! I can't believe this!"
The super-vivid dream continued with kickoff. The Packers won the coin toss, and Will Blackmon received the ball and ran out of bounds at the 15-yard line, untouched.
Then Brett jogged onto the field. I quickly noticed that as he hadn't so much as practiced with the Packers since January, it was obvious that he didn't know the plays and he didn't know all the players. But Favre stood behind center and called and impromptu play, directing and pointing to receivers. He dropped back into the shotgun formation and screamed out, "Blue 58! Blue 58!"
As with many dreams, my emotions were heightened to near hysteria. This might as well have been the greatest single moment in my life. Even though I was asleep, I had goosebumps.
Favre faked a hand off to Ryan Grant and stepped up into the pocket, linebackers falling to his left and to his right. I saw him look downfield to a wide receiver streaking down the near side. Just then, his offensive protection broke down -- understandable, since Favre apparently made up this play on the fly -- and a lineman hit him, popping the ball loose. It bounced around a few times, and was eventually recovered by a Viking.
My dream-Favre just lied on the field, face down, then slowly got up with that familiar frustrated look on his face.
Unfortunately, I also got up, so I don't know how my dream game played out. But for a few minutes this morning, I was sure the game actually happened, and Brett was a Packer again. Quickly, I realized this was just a dream, that Favre was on the Jets, and that I'm not watching that game on Monday. My sports attention is squarely on the Brewers right now, and that's how it's gonna stay for the foreseeable future.
But dreams can be pretty awesome -- especially the vivid ones. If I'm lucky, I'll pick up where Favre left off in another dream someday.
Because even if it's just a dream, another year with Brett at Green Bay's helm could've been reality.