From the start, just pronouncing his name was difficult. Spelling Brett Favre wasn’t any easier, but at least that made for a rare collectors item.
“His 1991 stadium, rookie card,” Mike Worachek said of his first piece of Favre memorabilia. “His name was spelled wrong and that was a big deal and they were like a buck apiece at that time and they went on to sell them for $40.”
Soon after Favre was traded to the Packers from the Falcons Worachek also arrived in Green Bay. He was coincidentally in town for the gunslingers miraculous debut at Lambeau Field. Little did he know that Favre would soon take Worchek for another wild ride.
“I didn’t know much about Green Bay except for Lambeau and the mall,” he admitted. “In November of 1992 I bought this store so me and Favre have a lot of history.”
He took over Packer City Antiques just a few blocks away and in the shadows of Lambeau. It wasn’t long before Favre was winning games – making outrageous throws and plays – and also becoming the hottest signature in town.
“As he started winning MVPs people were asking for his autograph,” Worachek said. “There was weekends that we would sell a couple thousand dollars worth of Favre autographs for a home game and then they went on to win the Super Bowl so that kind of topped it all off. We could sell anything painted green and gold for a while there.”
As Favre’s popularity dramatically grew, Worachek saw his business flourish. People wanted more and more of No. 4. From playing cards to bobbleheads to paintings, there isn’t a thing that people didn’t want. He excited fans and connected with them in a unique way.
“Favre was the old hillbilly and everybody loved him. Old school guy and he wasn’t playing for the money, he was playing because he loved the game of football,” he said.
Eventually things leveled off as change for the franchise was iminent. He decided to retire and initially, his departure from football meant memorabilia was in high demand.
“When he first retired, I sold everything I had. The store, I complete sold out of Favre autographs,” Worachek said. He would invest heavily immediately after to supplement his stock of Favre collectable.
But the saga played out and Favre was traded to the Jets and then finally joined the division rival Minnesota Vikings.
“That’s when things kind of started to slow down,” Worachek remembered. “It just kind of played out and now we’re back to people forgetting about it and back to saying Brett did a lot for the community, for Lambeau and who cares what happened before.”
Worachek expects an increase in business during and after the ceremony. Favre is back and he remains one of the most prominent and – don’t forget – profitable figures that ever came through Worachek’s store.
I don’t see another Brett. I really don’t. I think he was unique throughout the league,” he said. “ We’ll never have that again.”