Football

Bears scratching at Favre's itch?

Chicago-area residents have been forced to watch recent TV ads promoting Lambeau Field in Green Bay as a wonderful place to visit.

Bears fans will head there just as soon as they get back from the ”Death to America“ summer workshop in Iran.

The ads are bad enough. Now fans have to live with the possibility that Packers quarterback Brett Favre will unretire, or whatever it is you do when you have told the world you never will play football again, only to later wonder whether the ”itch“ you're feeling will require more than a mere scratch.

On the other hand, what if he came out of retirement to play for the Bears? More than a few Chicago fans would change their names to Curly Lambeau for that, right?

Favre, the future Hall of Famer, apparently is struggling with his March retirement announcement, specifically the part of the announcement in which he said he was, you know, retiring. Sources say that Favre is feeling the urge to play again and has told Coach Mike McCarthy of his ”itch“ for competition.

One gets the distinct feeling the Packers would prefer Favre deal with the problem by visiting a dermatologist's office, not team headquarters.

We in Chicago don't understand this, for the simple reason the Bears have been without a quarterback since 1794 B.C.

If the Packers decide they no longer need a 36-year-old quarterback who led them to the NFC Championship Game last season, the Bears might want to take a gander at this Favre fellow. They might want to put together a caravan of Jerry Angelo, Lovie Smith and Brian Urlacher and head for Mississippi. They might want to tell Favre how much fun it would be to finish his career in Chicago. He might just appreciate being appreciated.

The Packers have sent Favre negative vibes, his family members say.

And maybe Favre, because of that reception, is enjoying the thought of General Manager Ted Thompson squirming right now.

As I pointed out when Favre announced his retirement, the guy would be quintessential Chicago if it weren't for the green and gold jersey. He's tough and talented, hardworking and hard-living. When I wrote that column, it was meant as a eulogy for a brilliant quarterback. It wasn't meant as a sales pitch.

This is.

Hey, Brett, if the Packers don't love you, maybe the Bears will. They faced you 32 times and lost 22 of them. Familiarity breeds respect.

The hardest part in sports isn't saying goodbye. It's saying goodbye and staying away.

If Favre signals his intention to play in 2008, the Packers can put him on their roster or release him. He has three years left on his contract and is due to make $12 million in the upcoming season. That's a lot of money. He's still a lot of quarterback compared with what the Bears have.

If the Bears believe they're a quarterback away from competing for the division title, they should do it.

If the Packers are crazy enough to let Favre go, let them. And let Favre enjoy exacting his revenge. Now what city would offer the most in the way of payback?

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