My opinion here is skewed because, like millions of people in America, I love Brett Favre and want to see him play NFL football again. And right now, because snarky, hateful commentary will get you hits, there is a lot of anti-Favre backlash on the Internet. Most of it is from people who either don't like football (like most of the writers at AOL Fanhouse, who rarely, if every, write anything positive about the game of football) or people who had hang-ups about Favre before he "retired."
This basically means one can dismiss pretty much all the anti-Favre backlash as simpleminded hate and deep seeded resentment for a great player whose sin is not knowing when to retire. That done, we can move on to addressing the problem here.
To spin this back towards the Colts a bit (since this is, first and foremost, a Colts community blog), I agree with 18 to 88; this is not how you are supposed to retire:
I know Peyton is way to classy to ever pull this crap, but let the Favre drama be a lesson to all future HOF quarterbacks.
Like all good Americans, I like and appreciate Brett Favre because there are certain plays only he can make. But the madness needed to stop a long time ago. Don't get me wrong I think the Packers are crazy not to make another run with Favre, but I can't blame them for wanting to tell him to get lost.
It's also worth noting that it was Peyton Manning who, many moons ago, called this.
I too can see Packers management's issue with letting Favre back into the fold, but the mess that has been made out of all this falls more squarely on the shoulders of Packers GM Ted Thompson than it does on Favre. Keep in mind, Favre is not blameless in all this, but his sin is one of bad timing. Thompson is the one acting like a full fledged jerk and is seemingly placing the blame on Favre. Dumb move, Ted. Dumb, dumb move.
As we get into the gory details, let's come out and say it: The Packers have zero chance to win a championship this season with Aaron Rodgers at QB. If Packers fans or coaches feel different, they are idiots. It is literally that simple. Brett Favre, at 38, is a top 5 NFL QB. I don't care how good Aaron Rodgers looked losing to the Dallas Cowboys late last year.
Top 5 QB v. backup who has never shown anything. Pretty easy math.
The person who has best summed up this whole farce is CBS Sports' Gregg Doyel. If the issue here is the Packers have moved on without Favre, and in doing so have named Aaron Rodgers the QB, then why the hell did they draft back in April highly touted Louisville QB Brian Brohm with a second round pick? From Doyel:
And I don't want to hear a word, not one lousy syllable, about the plight of poor old Aaron Rodgers, the theoretical heir to Favre's throne in Green Bay. Apparently none of the "woe is Rodgers" crowd has received the memo: The Packers already have removed this guy's testicles. Rodgers is a eunuch, and he hasn't even started his first game for the Packers. Green Bay drafted not one but two quarterbacks in April, when they were sure Favre was out of the picture. What does that tell you? It tells you they're not sure Aaron Rodgers is the answer at quarterback.
The "testicles" line is LOL funny, especially from a CBS Sports columnist. Thompson has come out recently and said that Aaron Rodgers is the starter, but if Brett Favre wants to come to Packers training camp, he can... as a back-up.
I'm sorry, but does this sound like the dumbest idea or what?
This is not like San Francisco circa 1991, when an aged and injured Joe Montana wanted to come back and start over a proven rising star in Steve Young. Also, since when does the GM announce the starting QB? Isn't that, like, the head coach's job to determine who is best to QB his team, and who should start? If you want insight into Thompson's way of doing things in GB, look no further than that. I mean, suppose Favre calls Thompson's bluff (which he likely will), and shows up to training camp. In camp, and likely in all the pre-season games, Favre will destroy Rodgers in the drills, practices, and scrimmages. He will clearly be the better QB, because he is.
Will Rodgers still be Green Bay's designated starter?
If he is, Packers ownership better fire Thompson right now, because stupidity of that kind is best left running your neighborhood Applebees and not our city's football team. Thompson should also kick himself for moving ahead when not everything was finalized with Favre's retirement. Yes, there was a press conference. Yes, Favre repeated he was retired even after a March incident where Favre expressed a desire to return. One detail lost in all this is Favre never signed his retirement papers.
Until those papers are signed, Ted, the player isn't really retired.
Ted Thompson, moron
And, just to re-iternate Doyel's point, the one person people should have ZERO sympathy for is Aaron Rodgers. The guy fell like a stone in the 2005 draft, and he has been paid first round QB money to carry a clipboard. Oh, the humanity! The fear mongers sometimes counter that if Rodgers does not start this season, he won't re-sign with GB when he's a free agent in 2009.
Um, so what!
If management really had that kind of faith in Rodgers' ability, they wouldn't have drafted Brian Brohm. If they did have that kind of faith, they shouldn't have drafted Brian Brohm. You don't draft QBs in the second round as back-ups. You draft those guys to start. Doyel says it best:
Favre decided to come back, which is his right. He asked for his release, which also is his right. The Packers, bless their steely hearts, refused Favre's request to be released, and then on Saturday announced Favre was more than welcome to return to the NFL as a Green Bay Packer ... second-stringer.
This is what you call "cutting off your nose to spite your face." Brett Favre is wishy-washy, but he's the best quarterback the Packers have, and he's the best quarterback they have by a long shot. If they want to win now, they turn the team over to Favre. As for Aaron Rodgers, he's so important to the Packers in the long term that they spent a second-round pick on a quarterback.This stuff isn't that hard.
In the end, we know how this is going to go: Favre will return and play QB for the Packers. He will start for them. Whether or not Ted Thompson wants this to happen is moot at this point. The fans have spoken. Soon, the players will. And, if they do, the consensus will be for Favre. If it gets to that point, Thompson will have a mutiny on his hands. It won't though. Thompson's stupid, but not THAT dumb.
The simple solution to this problem is this the following:
- Welcome Brett Favre back with open arms. Apologize for any misunderstanding, perceived or not. Apologize to the fans, because people don't take too kindly to executives pissing on their favorite players.
- Make Brett commit to two years (2008 and 2009). Tell him this whole back-and-forth is killing the franchise and giving you ulcers. Two years, and then that's it.
- Trade. Aaron. Rodgers. Now. Teams like the Chiefs, Jets, and Redskins are in desperate need of a QB. A team like the Chiefs would likely consider giving up a first or second round pick for Rodgers. Again, it's not like he's your franchise or anything. If he is (or was), why did you draft Brohm?
These solutions solidify Green Bay's QB situation for the short (Favre) and long term (Brohm), and immediately elevate the Packers to contenders once again. If Thompson is stupid and wants to play hardball with the greatest player ever to play in Green Bay, then I wish him well. That's a losing battle. As a fan, I will remind him that his #1 job is to field the very best team possible to win.
If the Packers want to win now or next year, it is with Brett Favre.
Stringing this along in this way is both silly and displays poor management. I agree with Gregg Doyel: Let the man play. He's flawed. His timing is bad. He probably could have handled this better. But as poorly as Favre has handled this, it is nothing to the screw-up Thompson has managed to do. The solution to this fiasco is simple. All it requires is Thompson to shut up, swallow his ego, and do what is right for the team and community. Bring Brett back, and move forward with winning in 2008.