Favre v. Packer Manifesto

I’ve been a “Packer Backer” for over 40 years and I have to admit, I’ve never seen anything like what’s going on with Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. It is absolutely amazing to me how the Packers have handled this entire affair.

It certainly is no secret that Ted Thompson has wanted Brett gone for some time. As long as Brett was with Green Bay it would always be “Brett’s team, with Brett gone, Thompson could finally put his stamp on the team. With Brett departed this could finally be the team that Thompson and McCarthy built. Why do you think they arranged for the retirement ceremony to be the first game of the year, of course, to preempt any attempt by Brett to come out of retirement, I clearly believe if it had been possible, Thompson would have held the ceremony during one of the mini-camps.

Let’s examine the situation, What is Brett Favre really guilty of, that’s right, changing his mind. Indeed what a horrible transgression, no one should be allowed to do that. Wouldn’t it have been interesting when Michael Jordan retired and then came out of retirement if Jerry Krauss had said, “no Micheal, we won’t have you back we have another starter already selected and we’re going with him, you’ll have to come off the bench if you want to stay a Bull.”
Then there are those who have argued that Brett held the Packers in limbo every season with his time consuming deliberations concerning retirement. Exactly what did he hold them up from doing? Any quality management team always has a plan “A” and a plan “B”. If plan “A” is not available then you go with plan “B”. It would be absolutely ridiculous to believe during each season that Brett considered retirement that the Packers didn’t have a plan “B” during those seasons.

I believe the Packers owe Brett better than what they’ve given him, there where many years that Brett simply carried the Packers. True enough, no one man does a team make, and certainly those around Brett contributed to the teams success, but let’s face it, Brett has not always been blessed with extremely talented teams. Cite for me one player, other than Brett and Reggie, that will be a “Hall of Famer” off the the Packers back to back Super Bowl appearances during Brett’s tenure in Green Bay. I wish you the best of luck with that one.

So here we are at an impasse or worse yet a pending trade. Some have argued that Brett has had his time, but if he can still do the job and he gives the Packers the best chance of winning why can’t it still be his time? I don’t understand the logic on that one. That’s like telling “Babe Ruth” well you hit 40+ homers it’s time for you to move on. Some fans have additionally blamed Brett for the loss to the Giants in the Conference Championship. Never mind that we couldn’t stop “Burress” all game long. Never mind that we couldn’t stop their running game or passing game. Let’s not forget the lack of a running game on our own part, one could certainly blame the “O” line for that or even McCarthy for giving up on the running game so early. No, there’s plenty of blame to go around on that one, no one player loses a single game, it is a compilation of events that cause losses. There are always a multitude of plays that could have changed the outcome of a game.

Ted Thompson has pushed Brett out of the organization, it’s clear and simple for reasons I’ve touched on earlier. I have to admit, he’s been very sly about it, he certainly doesn’t want to take the blame for Brett leaving the Packers. Thompson and McCarthy will spin this in a way as they have already done that makes it look as if it was all on Brett. Perhaps the most recent press conference was an indication of that. Perhaps Brett’s mind set is not to be with the Packers because of all the misinformation and back door dealing that management is guilty of. The fact that they tried to buy him off is certainly evidence of this. And why was it that McCarthy could not provide answers regarding why the man who led them to within a game of the Super Bowl last season, can’t simply come back and start. McCarthy’s answer, there’s no short answer for that, and when pressed for a longer answer, replied that indeed the answer was too long. I didn’t’ see anyone leaving the press conference, the press was going no where. But again, Thompson had not prepared McCarthy to answer that one, so we simply didn’t get an answer.

McCarthy for his part is simply a yes man for Thompson, he is a company man who must tow the company line. No Coach in his right mind would side with a player versus management, not if he wants to keep his job.

So the saga moves on, with the likely possibility that Brett will play for another team this season. Management will distance itself from the whole affair and put a nice spin on the entire situation, thus the reason for hiring the new spin doctor. The Packers are a quality team, and I look to them to complete the season at 9-7 or perhaps 10-6. I will continue to support the team that I have supported for so many years, but indeed, the handling of this situation has tarnished the greatest franchise in NFL history. Please forgive me for the length of this Favre V. Packer manifesto, I simply felt the urge to freely voice an opinion.


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  • Jack in Columbus

    Ted Thompson’s performance is judged by a number criteria, including wins and losses. He did not want to get rid of Favre so much as he knew he would have to replace him sooner rather than later and he also knew (as many of us did) that Favre probably cannot win the big games anymore by his willpower and his arm.

    Do you keep an aging car that still works until it completely breaks down one day, leaving you stranded, or do you make a change before an emergency forces your hand?

    I would have hated to be in Ted’s shoes. But he did the right thing. He circled a date on the calendar with Brett Favre, and Brett decided to retire on that date. He did not ask for more time. He gave a tearful speech. He proved to many that he was mentally spent. His replacement was promoted, the team drafted young QBs, and the Packers and Brett moved on. Sure Brett had the conractual right to un-retire, and the Packers had the contractual right to trade him. The unfortunate fact that it became extremely acrimonious and overly dramatic was of Brett’s own doing. He chose to debate things through the media, and forced the Packers to respond publicly, which they did not do perfectly.

    Mike McCarthy has a different job than Ted. He is responsible for coaching the players he is presented. It is not his place to criticize Ted for not keeping Brett, failing to sign Randy Moss, or whatever other player personnel decisions that have been made. Although Mike wa sprobably out-coached in a couple of games last year (including the NFC Championship game against the Giants), he seems to develop players well, concoct sound game plans, and (with his coordinators) call a pretty good game.

    I have no serious complaints about Ted or Mike, and I think good things lie ahead for them and our Packers. The franchise is just fine. It’s Brett’s legacy that is tarnished — hopefully not beyond repair. As long as he sticks with going into the Hall of Fame as a Packer, I think things will get patched up there in time, too.

    It’s going to be a great year for Brett and the Packers. No doubt about it.

  • matt

    Brett Favre is not on the same level as Michael Jordan. If Brett won six championships, no one would question his indecision. To make the association is pure folly.

    The Packers don’t owe Favre a damn thing. He was paid handsomely to play a game.

    The Packers owned his rights and they had every right to trade him.

    The Packers were correct to assume that Brett would keep his word and remain retired. A man keeps his word.

    I believe management did their best during a difficult and sensitive situation.

  • Dan

    As we watch the Packers this year, remember Rodgers Sport’s Illustrated interview…

    “I don’t feel I need to sell myself to fans. They need to get on board now, or keep their mouth’s shut.”

    Against a terrible defense like the Bungles, Rodgers is in a no-win situation.
    If Rodgers does well, it means nothing because it’s one of the absolute worst defense in the league.
    If Rodgers struggles, it could truly get ugly.

  • packer_bob

    Excellent post, waybackpackerbacker!

    You echo my sentiments in many ways. Management bungled this regardless of how their decision ultimately pans out. And I don’t feel they’ve been honest with the fan base about what’s been going on.

    To Matt, I would say that the Jordan comparison is very valid. Sure you can’t say Favre won as many titles, but both were the faces of their respective franchises over a long period of time, both were amongst the all time greats and both retired at the top of their game. The Bulls took Jordan back because he improved their team and gave them the best chance to win, which is exactly why the Packers should have taken Favre back. How many teams from last season deciced to NOT bring back their Pro Bowl quarterback?

    I agree that technically the Packers don’t owe Favre anything, but they were very disrespectful IMO to the greatest Packer in the post Lombardi era and have fractured the fan base needlessly. I feel very strongly that if Bob Harlan and Ron Wolf were still here that this situation would never have arisen in the first place and would have been handled completely differently if it had.

    I hope management’s supporters are right that good days lie ahead for the Pack. I would only ask that those same supporters take it back if this turns into the colossal blunder I’m afraid it will.

  • CheesyD


    I agree 100%.

  • Steve

    Very well written.