It must be contagious, because I've flip-flopped a couple of times today:
It's pretty clear whose side I'm on based on my posts on this board. I've worn a Brett Favre jersey the past four days (I have several) and I'm not planning on stopping anytime soon.
Then I read some quotes today in the lead up to the interview about Favre saying he didn't want to be traded because it would "cede control to the Packers" and that he "wouldn't come to Green Bay to backup Aaron Rodgers" and I started to think he was being very unreasonable. That realistically there's no way GB would release him and so he better get used to the idea that they'd trade him--and would likely let him have input into his new location.
Now, having read the transcript of the interview tonight (the situation just makes me sad, and we watch "Saving Grace" anyway, so I figured I didn't need to see it live) I'm back on Brett's side:
I fully believe that the Packers pressured him into making a decision in March and that he did the responsible thing and retired. If he wasn't 100% committed to coming back at that point, there was no way he could tell them he was coming back. If he announced he was coming back and then retired at this point (rather than vice-versa), he would've COMPLETELY screwed the team over. At this point, they're in an uncomfortable situation, but the option is either having Favre-Rodgers-Brohm or Rodgers-Brohm-Flynn. Neither is bad. If Favre announces a comeback and then goes Barry Sanders on us, our QB depth chart looks like this: Aaron Rodgers. Perhaps Rodgers-Flynn.
If Favre was, in fact, told that playing in Green Bay wasn't an option and yet they couldn't envision him playing for another team, the Packers are being even more unreasonable than Favre was when he asked for his outright release. The team should not have any control over a player's desire to continue his career. If they really wanted to, they would have the right to say "You can come back, but we aren't moving you. You'll stay on our team." It would be a low move to pull against a player that has done so much for the organization, but if they really wanted to that's their right as he signed the contract. But you can't say "You can't play here AND we're not moving you." That's crap.
If Mike McCarthy did in fact tell Favre that they would have let him wait until training camp to announce his intentions, then the only thing that has changed
is that the team has believed for three months that Aaron Rodgers would be the starting QB. They would have had to approach the draft and free agency as if Favre wasn't coming back. They would have gone through the OTAs under the assumption that Favre wasn't coming back. They would have added some Aaron Rodgers plays to the playbook in case he became the starter. It's absolute BS that they won't take Favre back if it's true that they were willing to wait until training camp for him to make up his mind, and just didn't inform him of that.
I love Brett Favre. People can talk about how "He didn't make this team what it was" all they want to. That is true. Without his line or without Reggie, without Holmgren, maybe they don't accomplish everything they accomplished. He didn't win the Super Bowl by himself. But he did provide some of the greatest sports memories that I have. Memories that I will cherish my entire life. I've got DVD after DVD filled with all of our wins from the last 2 years along with some of the classics over the years that I've been able to find. I even have a couple from that dreadful 4-12 year. The reason I have them is simply so that once Brett Favre is gone, I'll be able to go back and watch him play again. I know the Packers were around for years before Favre came and they'll be around long after he's gone. But for me, it's never going to be the same. I'll still love this team. I'll still cheer my head off for them. I'll still go to games and cherish the moment when I do. But I can pretty much guarantee that I'll never have as much fun watching football as I have had watching Brett Favre. Maybe I'm just an oversentimental fuddy-duddy, but I want another chance to see him in the green and gold. I'm not ready for this era to end. If we were 7-9 last year I could understand wanting to move on, but we were 13-3 and 1 play from the Super Bowl. Favre had one of the best seasons of his career. Why are we so anxious to see the quarterback of the future, when the quarterback of the past and present still wants to play?
I do understand why the Packers would want to move on after Favre flip-flopped in March. What I don't understand is, if they were in fact willing to let him wait until training camp to decide, what has changed? Why not, at the point of the flip-flop, tell him, "Brett, take some more time, and talk to us again when camp gets here"? It's now training camp. The man wants to play. Sure Rodgers would be disappointed, but he's smart enough to know that Favre is a special player and taking Favre back isn't saying anything negative about Rodgers.
I'm sure Favre knows how this is making him look. The JSO had a poll and only like 47% of the fans want to see him back as the QB at this point. That would have been unfathomable in January. He's coming across looking really bad (though I think he helped himself tonight). But is it not understandable that they forced him into a decision and he did the responsible thing, and now wishes he had made the other choice? He's having to swallow an unbelievable amount of pride to come out of retirement after that press conference he had. But the man wants to play. And I don't see how anyone can fault him for that.
I'm sick of seeing the fans turn on him for not doing anything wrong. Could he have handled things better? Sure. He should have spoken well before tonight and not allowed his family, friends, and text messages say it all. Could the organization have handled it better? Absolutely. They could have started by being honest with him--either having the balls to tell him in the first place that they wanted to move on, or given him the time he needed to make a decision he could live with. In the end, I'm inclined to believe what Favre is saying. GMs are notorious liars. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but I'd bet it's closer to Favre's version.
Two of the most cherished figures in the history of the Packers retired and then came back: Reggie White and Vince Lombardi. Were either of them selfish, unreasonable, or tarnishing their legacy? No. The hate that's been spewed for Favre is, to me, completely ridiculous. Yes, he's waffled and the will-he-or-won't-he game is tiresome at best and attention whoring at worst. But it's hard to blame a guy for wanting to play if he thinks he still can...
Thought the exact same thing! If he never plays again most people (except probably GB fans) will remember how he went out instead of the other things he should have been remembered for.
I don't buy that for a second. In the short-term, you're probably right. In the long-term? It's going to be a non-issue. Does anyone actually remember Reggie White's year in Carolina? Did it hurt his legacy whatsoever? Not in my book.
What about Vince Lombardi coaching the Redskins for a year? Honestly, if I hadn't read a biography of him, I don't think I'd know about that one.
Montana as a Chief? Jordan as a Wizard? Did that diminish anything they did with San Fran or Chicago? Nope. And those years definitely don't define their careers.
Do people remember Joe Namath for his guaranteed Super Bowl win or his ill-advised year as a Ram?
Slightly different, but do people remember Bart Starr as one of the great QBs of all-time, or as a pretty awful coach?
These great memories will live on. Even 5, 10 years from now, people really aren't going to care how Favre retired, just that he broke every passing record in the book, won a Super Bowl, and was arguably the most entertaining player of his era.
The only way this possible season with a different team is anything more than an afterthought on his career is if he ends up going to/winning the Super Bowl or wins MVP. If he's merely good, no one will care that much. If he isn't good, they'll say he hung on too long, but it won't be mentioned years from now. Just like it hasn't been with Reggie White or some of those other guys I mentioned....
Edited by Packer487, 15 July 2008 - 01:28 AM.