It’s been nearly four years, but the memories came rushing back like they were yesterday.
That sums up what was going through my head while viewing “Last Day At Lambeau” at the Wisconsin Film Festival on April 18 at Monona Terrace in Madison. It’s a film I honestly have been looking forward to seeing since the first teaser hit the internet months ago.
To give a brief synopsis of the film, it documents the fall of Brett Favre through the eyes of a Packer fan. Director Michael Neelsen grew up in Wisconsin and was raised a Packer fan and idolized Favre like so many Wisconsin youth at the time. It’s this same personal attachment to Favre that the director had that makes the film so powerful.
The film truly had it all. At the beginning, brief highlights of Favre’s time as a Packer are shown and then the film delves right into Favre’s final game at Lambeau as a member of the Packers—the 2008 NFC Championship Game against the New York Giants.
We all know how that game ended. Favre’s final pass was intercepted and the Giants won the NFC title in overtime, slamming shut the doors on the Packers’ Cinderella season and Favre’s career in green and gold.
What the film showed at this point was something I never really considered, mainly due to my disgust (which still lingers to this day) over the loss: Cheesehead TV’s Brian Carriveau points out a photo surveying the field from behind Favre on that fateful play—every receiver had some kind of cushion as Favre dropped back….except the one he tried to throw to.
The film also raised a valid point many of us didn’t realize at the time, perhaps blinded by the good thoughts of Favre’s early career. Favre was becoming an increasingly bad quarterback in cold weather. With the NFC title game in sub-zero temperatures, perhaps it really shouldn’t be that surprising that the Packers lost.
We know what happens next. Any Packer fan old enough at the time remembers how the whole Favre retirement and then un-retirement saga played out in that spring and summer.