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How else can they mess this up?Posted Monday, July 14, 2008, at 11:47 PM
As a Packers fan, I've spent the last week or so ridiculously mad. The only problem is, I don't know who to be mad at.
I'm alternately mad at both Brett Favre and the Packers. On the one hand, I'm ticked at Favre for basically undermining everything the team has tried to do since announcing his "retirement" in March. On the other, I'm mad at the team's refusal to apparently even listen to one of the top three personalities in franchise history. (Vince Lombardi and Curly Lambeau are the other two.)
It's sort of like a bad dream from which I can't wake up. I just want it to go away. However, I know it won't go away, at least not in a nice, clean way.
Basically, I see a perfect storm of idiocy, from both sides of the argument, which has led us to this point.
1) The team never should have pressured Favre to make his decision in March. I know they're tired of waiting every offseason, but then again, it hasn't hurt them much. In the last three years, they've gone from 4-12 in 2005 to 8-8 in 2006 and all the way to 14-4 and a game from the Super Bowl in 2007. He's left things in the air all those seasons and the growth has been there anyway.
2),Favre shouldn't have relented to the "pressure" and put on this farce of a "retirement." I mean, really, he's the biggest player in franchise history. What were they going to do if he didn't make a decision until April? Release him? Trade him? They wouldn't have then.
But apparently we're at that point now.
3)Brett had horrible timing in doing this. This decision has obviously been weighing on him for a while, but he waited until July? Thanks a lot. The team has gone through four months saying Rodgers was the QB. He's led them in mini camp. They used two of their seven draft picks on quarterbacks. They wouldn't have done that if Favre was coming back.
If they bring him back, then everything they've done in the offseason is worthless.
4)The team's response was horribly ham-handed. Actually, it wasn't a response at all. They sort of did what I'd like to do.
"Maybe if we ignore the situation entirely, it will go away."
Sorry, Ted Thompson, it doesn't work that way. A hall of famer is on the phone, so whether you want him back or not, you better get your butt back from vacation and deal with the situation, one way or the other.
You are the general manager of a professional football team, so you don't have days off and you can't just pull the covers over your head and wait for the bad dream to end.
5)Brett's "demand" of a release was over the line. I know you're a future hall of famer. I know the franchise may owe you better treatment. But you still have years left on your contract. Even if they no longer want you on the field, you have value to them. That's the way it works.
They would be idiots to let you go without getting anything back. They would be even dumber to allow the possibility that you would go to a division rival like Minnesota or Chicago.
If Brett Favre is in Lambeau Field on opening night in a Vikings uniform, I will never forgive him. EVER. The Vikings are the devil.
Except Fran Tarkenton.
6)The team's claim that they would keep Favre as a backup is bad for everyone. In this series of mishaps, this would be the worst thing of all.
Here's your game plan, Thompson. Play hardball for right now. Sure, you don't want to release Favre. If the situation has to be dealt with, you'd prefer a trade. Shop him around. See if you can bring something big in.
If you don't get any interest, then keep him on your roster until the final round of cuts. At that point, even if he were to go to the Bears or Vikes, he's going to have very little time to learn the new playbook. Any team that took him at that point would have to limp along with a lame duck QB for several weeks or create a huge controversy by undermining their starter late in the preseason.
All I know, folks, is it's going to get ugly before this whole affair clears up. It pains me to see my favorite franchise in any sport going through it. But all parties could have fixed it in one way or another. They've had their chances.
My only hope now is to wake up and find out that this is all a bad dream. In reality, Brett is still 27 and he's going to win, like, four more Super Bowls for the Pack.
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Jared Jernagan is a 2003 graduate of Wabash College and has been in journalism since 2005.