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Christl on Retirement

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by TOPackerFan, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

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    Saturation of meaningless opinions
    Media, others making too much of Favre's decision
    Posted: April 11, 2006

    Green Bay - If Brett Favre retires, it will be the biggest news story of this off-season and that's saying a Gilbert Brown mouthful considering the Green Bay Packers have already fired and hired a coach since their last game of the 2005 season.
    In fact, it might be the biggest off-season news story involving the Packers since the Reggie White signing in 1993. Yes, bigger than Ron Wolf's retirement or Mike Holmgren's decision to bolt for Seattle. And maybe it'll even qualify as a bigger story than when White announced he was coming to Green Bay. It might be the biggest off-season news story since Vince Lombardi stepped aside as coach in 1968 or since Curly Lambeau resigned in 1950 following a bitter power struggle.

    News of Favre's retirement will be about as big as a sports story gets in our little nook of the world.

    That alone justifies having so many hard-working, earnest members of the media pursuing the story, including going on a wild goose chase last weekend to Mississippi. And it also helps explain why so many fans are so curious about what Favre will decide and are eagerly awaiting his announcement.

    But, as this story unfolds or remains in a seemingly endless holding pattern, whichever way you want to look at it, here are the people I have a beef with both in the media and out on the streets.

    One, those who have offered the opinion that Favre is being selfish by delaying his decision or that he's hurting the franchise or that he's holding it hostage.

    Retirement is strictly a personal decision. If Favre is thinking only about himself, he should be. He owes nothing to the Packers and the Packers owe nothing to him at this point.

    That's just the harsh reality of life in the NFL.

    You don't buy that? Well consider this.

    Hall of Famer Forrest Gregg retired three times during his 14 seasons with the Packers and was persuaded to return each time for the good of the team. After he announced his retirement for a fourth time and was no longer needed, he was cut and finished his career with the Dallas Cowboys. Hall of Famer Ray Nitschke put off retirement in 1971, was unceremoniously demoted and spent his last two seasons stewing on the bench. Before Hall of Famer Paul Hornung was given a chance to retire, he was exposed in an expansion draft and selected by New Orleans.

    Next on my list are those who find Favre's indecision unusual and tiresome.

    Twenty years ago, maybe even 10 years ago, nobody would have expected Favre to make a decision before training camp. And there's really no reason why he can't wait that long now.

    Maybe it's important that he attend mini-camps with a new coaching staff on board, but it's not essential. Ahman Green isn't likely to participate. Neither is Javon Walker. If the Packers crossed off their roster, everybody who isn't going to practice in May, they might not have enough players to field a team come September.

    The media has turned this into a feeding frenzy, not Favre. Again, not too long ago, before talk radio and internet chat sites and newspaper overkill, there probably would have been some speculation about Favre's future immediately after the season and the subject wouldn't have been revisited until he made an announcement.

    If the topic has become tiresome, it's only because of the constant flow of opinions from people whose opinions don't matter. And the people who are becoming the most impatient with this story are people who aren't part of it.

    Here, again, let's use Gregg as an example, this time to show how much things have changed.

    Nobody waffled and officially retired more than he did, but it was never a big issue.

    As early as 1964, Gregg took a job as an assistant coach at Tennessee. Six weeks later, he changed his mind, resigned and rejoined the Packers. He retired again following the 1968 season, joined the Packers' coaching staff a month later and then came out of retirement a second time in early September. During the winter of 1970, he weighed an offer to join the staff at Florida. Gregg turned it down, announced his retirement again, but said he would stay with the Packers as an assistant coach. In mid-September, he reversed his decision for the third time and played another year for the Packers.

    Or how about Don Hutson, the greatest Packer ever before Favre?

    He broke into the league in 1935, talked about retirement as early as 1939 and pretty much every year thereafter until he retired for good following the 1945 season. In 1944, Hutson returned to the team on Sept. 2 after announcing his decision to retire. In 1945, he changed his mind and decided to play on Sept. 29, the eve of the season opener.

    Admittedly the game has changed and so have the demands on players, but human nature hasn't changed. Hutson took seven years to come to grips with retirement.

    Finally, the people who are the most nauseating are the busy bodies who hold an opinion about everybody else's lives - it just happens to be Favre's at the moment -- and think they have all the answers about character and motivation, decency and indecency.

    Who knows what drives players to keep playing or into retirement? Let's look back at the end of Bart Starr's career.

    In 1968, he missed 28 of 56 quarters, or half the season, due to injuries. In 1969, he missed 27 of 56 quarters or just under half a season. Near the end of the 1970 season, after missing the equivalent of more than three games and with the Packers heading toward their worst finish in 12 years, he sounded a lot like Favre.

    "I'll tell you there's no fun to it when you're not winning," he said in December of that year. Nearing his 37th birthday and on the verge of throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, he also talked about how he thought he could still play and contribute and that if he didn't sincerely believe that, he'd quit.

    In the summer of 1971, Starr underwent two operations on his right arm, but still refused to retire and wound up playing in four of the Packers' final five games. The Packers went 1-3-1 over that stretch and Starr finished with a passer rating of 45.2.

    Was he playing for the money those last four seasons? Was he being selfish and impeding the progress of the team's younger quarterbacks? You can be sure a lot of today's pundits and fans would have all the answers.
     
  2. pyledriver80

    pyledriver80 Cheesehead

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    I wish everyone would take the time to read this. It's right on the money!
     
  3. P@ck66

    P@ck66 Banned Banned

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    Yeah Starr was "selfish" to do that "****"...

    How dare he...!
     
  4. DePack

    DePack Cheesehead

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    Now THAT is a great article.

    "Or how about Don Hutson, the greatest Packer ever before Favre?"


    That quote was just added for the idiots that think starr was better than Favre!
     
  5. Chamuko

    Chamuko Cheesehead

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    Good article..... very good, I dont understand how some folks are willing to give TT 4 years to prove himself and willing to give one season for all his new aditions to prove themselves but are not willing to give 30 or 60 days for our HOF QB to make a decision....It is so easy if he comes back we have a chance to be contenders if he goes we wont have it for 3 years, so whats wrong with waiting a little bit.

    Maybe Brett will come back in week 2 or 3 after some big LB send A-Rod into IR for the rest of the season because some of our guards missed his asignement
     
  6. PackFaninBucLand

    PackFaninBucLand Cheesehead

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    This was a very good article and enlightening as well. I have backed off of the Favre discussion mostly out of boredom but I will keep an open mind to his very difficult decision. Maybe more Packer and football fans will do likewise. As much as we talk about putting oneself in another's shoes, we seldom lace 'em up.
     
  7. PackFaninBucLand

    PackFaninBucLand Cheesehead

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    This was a very good article and was enlightening as well. I have stayed away from the Favre issue mostly due to boredom but I will try to keep an open mind pertaining to his very difficult decision. We always talk about putting oneself in another's shoes but we seldom lace them up.
     
  8. PWT36

    PWT36 Cheesehead

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    Great Article by Cliff Christl and he is from Green Bay and was employed by Green Bay Press-Gazette and, of coarse covered the Packer Beat as young reporter just out of college during the "Packer Glory Year teams" led by Packer's General Manager and Head Coached Vincent T. Lombardi. He then went on to the State of Wisconsin leading Newspaper-The Milwaukee Journal ,now the Milwaukee JS. Cliff knows the Packer and even in while he was in high school at Green Bay East, Cliff knew a very lot about the Packers. Articles by him still show he knews the packers!!

    Bruce--Great post on this Topic. Unfortunately after participating on 2 Packer forums over a year or more, I cannot say, I'm shocked by anything I see or read on Packer forums, especially since the Packer had their first losing season in 14 years.

    Some of the opinions a few posters form are "something else". I have never encountered such bitterness toward the Packers in over 60 years, I have been a Packer fan. Much of it seem to occurred since the Packers went 4-12 last season. Everything that occurs, some of these posters "jump on" with negative comments toward anything to do with Packer franchise. I guess it is their right" to look at the glass as half empty,rather then half full."
     
  9. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Well, this provided some much-needed perspective. All I can say to the contrary is that because things ARE very different nowadays, players have to be more careful about how they handle themselves. Favre is really a throwback player when it comes to that stuff. Mostly he just says what he thinks and doesn't worry too much about what other people think. So his image has suffered, but after a few years almost everyone will forget about it and remember what a great player he was.
     
  10. route25

    route25 Cheesehead

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    It's a shame that Starr came back and inpeded the progress of Zeke Bratkowski, Scott Hunter and Frank Patrick. No telling how great those guys might have been. :roll:

    Actually, I think a lot of players played out the string longer back then because they had not had the opportunity to make the kind of money today's players make. Remember Johnny Unitas in a Chagers uniform?
     
  11. P@ck66

    P@ck66 Banned Banned

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    ..careful...Route25

    You may be saying that about....

    Aaron Rodgers too..

    (Hey..I say more power to them if they can play...it's the natural order of things for a player like Starr or Billy Kilmer to want to play until they have to carry him off the gridiron on a stretcher....)

    ..the sad part is..they had to do it on such pathetic teams...

    This is exactly the thing that Favre is trying to avoid...
     
  12. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

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    Christl writes what many of us have been saying for some time. Great players that are good enough (and lucky enough) to call their retirement often struggle.

    It is the obsessiveness of fans and the media that has created this crisis.

    Brett is under contract and has done nothing but make major contributions to this organization. He has more than earned the right to taking his time during the offseason to reflect and follow his heart to whatever decision it leads him to.

    I am somewhat shocked that fans cannot see their way past their selfish need to know to conjure up some loyalty to a great player who has given so much of himself for so long.

    But that is simply my 2 cents.
     
  13. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    I wanna see large improvement this year. He's doing things HIS way and I'm doing my best to have 'faith' but signing guys that I can barely find on Madden is killing me!! :p
     
  14. DePack

    DePack Cheesehead

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    Sickening and embarassing are the two words that come to mind. It sickens me to see the selfishness and it embarasses me that they call themselves Packer fans.
     
  15. pyledriver80

    pyledriver80 Cheesehead

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    I agree, Totally. The selfishness of some of these so-called fans is absurd
     

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