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Packers Can't Win By Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by RedSoxExcel, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. RedSoxExcel

    RedSoxExcel Cheesehead

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    I know I said I'd refrain from Favre talk for a few weeks because I'm sick of it in another thread but I liked this article a lot. I don't agree with everything in this column (more Favre blame needs to be included) but I like it. It pretty much sums up the way I feel.

    ----------------

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&id=3485214&sportCat=nfl

    The World Series of Poker isn't being played in Las Vegas. It's being played in Green Bay, Wis., and Hattiesburg, Miss. And so far, a very amateurish Ted Thompson is trying to show strength in his hand.


    Feel free to laugh the next time Green Bay Packers management, both past and present, starts talking about "preserving" Brett Favre's legacy and cherishing Favre's place in the team's "family." It means nothing.



    The Packers are about the Packers, and that's fine, even expected, but at least say so from the beginning. Don't pretend you're genuinely concerned about Favre's standing in franchise lore when, in reality, you're more concerned about damage and image control.



    Favre wants to unretire. And yeah, it's a bit of a diva-ish thing to do. Tears in March. Text messages in July.



    But Favre has earned his share of diva currency, enough for one Get Out Of Retirement card. He's played hurt. He's played with his heart heavy with grief. And he's played for the moment, not the money. There are bits and pieces of his body all over Lambeau Field.



    Thompson, the Packers' general manager, doesn't see it that way. His solution -- and remember, the Packers are the self-appointed guardians of Favre's football reputation -- is to announce that one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, the guy only seven months removed the NFC championship, can return as, at best, a second-stringer. Think about it: Favre wearing a baseball cap and holding a clipboard.



    Some legacy.



    Packers management wants it both ways. It says it wants to protect Favre from himself, but mostly it wants to protect Favre from becoming a free agent, signing with the Minnesota Vikings and possibly kicking the Packers' butts twice in the regular season. That's the reason behind not granting Favre his release -- nothing else.



    Management says the "finality" of Favre's retirement prompted the Packers to "move forward with our football team.'' But how can you move forward if Favre is still on the depth chart? If you don't want him as your starter, which is beyond astounding, then why want him at all?



    Thompson has mixed a football Molotov cocktail. A short pour of Favre. A long pour of Aaron Rodgers. Topped off by Packers teammates and fans torn by their allegiances. Now light and throw.



    Favre could make it easy on Thompson by staying retired. Of course, that's what Thompson is counting on: The great Brett Favre would never come back here as a backup. He wants Favre to fold.



    But I'd love to see Favre report to Packers training camp later this month. I'd love to see the beads of sweat form on Thompson's forehead as he realizes he miscalculated the situation. Again.



    If Favre shows up, Thompson has created an instant quarterback controversy. And by doing so, he has created the beginnings of a divided locker room. You don't think there are going to be pro-Favre guys vs. pro-Rodgers guys on that roster? You don't think the Lambeau crowd will start chanting No. 4's name the first time Rodgers struggles (and he will -- zero starts, 35 completions and one touchdown throw in three seasons)? You don't think Rodgers, Thompson's very first pick as GM in 2005, will be looking over his shoulder pads every time he makes a mistake?



    Favre isn't blameless in this mess. He miscalculated, too. And for that, some Packers followers now consider him a whiner, not worth the trouble. Let's hear what they say if Rodgers bombs.



    Thompson doesn't really want Favre back, unless it's for ribbon-cutting ceremonies or 20-year anniversaries. He wants the Rodgers Era to begin as soon as possible, preferably with Favre watching from his living room in Mississippi.



    But sometimes you make exceptions for the exceptional. Favre has his faults, beginning with his penchant for changing his mind, but he still gives the Packers the best chance to win. Somehow that's been lost in the chaos. If Thompson wants to honor Favre's legacy, then grant him his release. If he signs with the Vikings and beats you, then that's how it goes. After all, Thompson had first crack at him as the Packers' starter.



    Or if Favre truly wants to make this an amicable farewell, then he should tell the Packers he won't sign with an NFC North team. The wink-wink understanding might not be officially allowed by the league, but who has to know, right? The more likely scenario: The Packers could manipulate the trade process by making the price reasonable for, say, AFC teams, but cost-prohibitive for teams such as the division rival Vikings, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, or even 2008 NFC opponents Tampa Bay (Sept. 28 road game) and Carolina (Nov. 30 game at Lambeau) -- both rumored landing spots for Favre.



    The whole situation is messier than eating barbecue ribs with your knuckles. And it could only get worse.



    In the end, Thompson and the Packers are the ones jumping off the cliff without the bungee cord securely attached. They're betting everything on Rodgers' potential and Favre's sense of pride.



    I'll bet on Favre. Lesser cards, better player.





    Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for ESPN.com. You can contact him at gene.wojciechowski@espn3.com.
     
  2. RedSoxExcel

    RedSoxExcel Cheesehead

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    I really liked these two parts.

    "But Favre has earned his share of diva currency, enough for one Get Out Of Retirement card. He's played hurt. He's played with his heart heavy with grief. And he's played for the moment, not the money. There are bits and pieces of his body all over Lambeau Field."

    "If Favre shows up, Thompson has created an instant quarterback controversy. And by doing so, he has created the beginnings of a divided locker room. You don't think there are going to be pro-Favre guys vs. pro-Rodgers guys on that roster? You don't think the Lambeau crowd will start chanting No. 4's name the first time Rodgers struggles (and he will -- zero starts, 35 completions and one touchdown throw in three seasons)? You don't think Rodgers, Thompson's very first pick as GM in 2005, will be looking over his shoulder pads every time he makes a mistake?"

    But of course there will be the response of "wow, this guys knows nothing because he doesn't agree with my viewpoint!"

    Enough, see you in a few weeks after all this settles down.
     
  3. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

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    Gene needs to sit this out. he is just part of the ESPN Wedge crew. posting blatant speculation about stuff he couldn't be more clueless about.

    there are some truths in this sure, but overall its just more of the same TT vs Favre bull that has 0 truth.

    take whatever this guys says with a rather large grain of salt.
     
  4. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

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    that just isnt true man. "if Favre shows up, Thompson has created an instant quarterback controversy." No TT hasn't, Brett has. Brett retired relenquishing his starting status. If Favre shows up, and can't win the job back I have every bit of confidence that the team will follow Rodgers with everything they have. Brett put himself in this position... TT is not the enemy. and not to mention that IF Brett couldn't win his starting spot back, who wouldn't question what the Packers could have done if Brett hadn't been so entrenched as the starter.

    Brett has more questions to answer right now than anyone else involved... period.
     
  5. Arles

    Arles Cheesehead

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    The odds that Brett shows up to camp on day 1, plays hard as a "backup", wins the starting job at 39 and doesn't miss a day are slim. Brett would not show up to camp to be the backup and the Packers are very smart to play it this way. Here are Favre's options:

    1. Don't show up to camp and get placed on the retired list again like Tampa did with Jake Plummer (odds - 60%).
    2. GB ends up trading Brett to Baltimore, the Jets are some other AFC team for a mid-round pick (odds - 20%)
    3. Brett shows up and goes about half effort (maybe even fake some injuries to avoid practice - trying to get dealt) or looks extremely rusty/struggles with the new gameplan. The local media (ESPN would be too busy choking on his*%$^ to cover it) would crucify him and his teammates would lose respect. It would verify TT made the right choice in going with Rodgers (odds - 10%).
    4. Show up as the backup, play hard and try and win the starting job. Brett says all the right things, encourages teammates and ends up making a QB controversy in GB. All this despite limited offseason workouts and no access to the new playbook before camp. Not exactly a high likelihood given Brett has had "motivation issues" all summer (odds - 10%).

    The way I look at it, there's a 90% chance this works out well for GB. And, in the 10% situation where it doesn't, they end up with a driven Brett Favre as potentially the starting QB. Hardly a terrible outcome. The fact that ESPN fails to see this really makes me wonder what kind of reporters they are currently employing. Then again, if they did state this, Brett might be hurt and decide against inviting Chris Mortenson down to Mississippi next week. And, well, we couldn't have that.
     
  6. dd80forever

    dd80forever Cheesehead

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    Great Article, Thanks for sharing
     
  7. Anubis

    Anubis Cheesehead

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    I'd take Gene's opinion well over your's and the rest of the Ostrich Crew in this forum. Keep your heads in the sand, guys. It will make the coming season a lot easier to bear. :wink:
     
  8. arrowgargantuan

    arrowgargantuan Cheesehead

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    you've lost all faith Anubis.

    what happened to this guy?

     
  9. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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    Adds another self-moderated comment.

    EDIT: That is frickin precious and then some.
     
  10. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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    Bump.
     
  11. Anubis

    Anubis Cheesehead

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    Please see my post to Porky here in regards to my thoughts on this topic. I'll cut/paste it here for the troglodytes among us who will undoubtedly have problems finding it:

    If you honestly think this situation is not going to have any affect on team chemistry or Rodger's confidence, you have a lot more faith than I do.
     
  12. arrowgargantuan

    arrowgargantuan Cheesehead

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    i think the majority here can follow bright highlighted links. thanks for the quote though.

    so to sum it up:

    you had tons of confidence in the future of this team.

    Favre retires, then decides he'd like to play again.

    you lose confidence in the future of this team.

    am i in the ballpark?
     
  13. Anubis

    Anubis Cheesehead

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    Let's make one thing clear: I do not have any doubt in Rodgers talent, nor his ability to win games. These are ideas my detractors have been attributing to me along with the "Favre Firster" nonsense.

    My position (which I have made clear in many threads on this forum), is that Brett Favre is a better QB than Rodgers, and IMO is the best player to lead the team in 2008.

    That being said, I have no issue with Favre beng made to compete with Rodgers, as (to quote TT) competition is good for the team.

    However, TT's stance on the issue is causing a lot of problems for the team both in and out of the locker room. I have read reports that seem to indicate the pro-Favre/anti-Favre mindset is setting into the locker room. The players are divided on who they want to run the team. Aaron Rodgers is being lambasted by fans (see the 'Aaron Rodgers Dissed' thread for an example of this). None of these things bode well for the team come September, regardless of who the QB is.

    Our fearless leader, rather than take proper measures to control the damage, has indicated that he is prepared to go against two tenants he has followed since Day One that has directly contributed to the success of this team: competition and fiscal responsibility.

    Thompson has stated that Favre may return as a $12 million dollar backup, and Rodgers is the starter. No one knows how serious he is about these two things, but that is what he has stated.

    I have several friends who follow various teams in the NFL and tend to be far more objective about the Packers than the majority of the people that post here. They have all stated unequivocally that the Packers' situation right now is best described as a train wreck ready to happen, and is only going to get worse the longer this game of chicken continues. If Favre is released, there is a great possibility he will be playing for one of our rivals, which isn't going to help Rodgers in conference games in 2008.

    The fact that TT doesn't seem to be handling this situation well is exactly why I was never 100% on board with him in the first place. I give him 100% credit for his drafting ability and financial prowess, but suddenly when faced with a situation that conflicts directly with his own ego, he loses all sense of reason and why the Packers made it to the NFC Championship last season. His lack of leadership and rumours about losing the locker room are only a taste of what will come by September is this situation is allowed to fester. Sadly, he doesn't seem to realize the situation he faced with.

    This is why I am not all smiles and sunshine about the Favre situation. Not only has this kind of thing never boded well for ANY NFL team, but TT seems intent on throwing away the team's best chance for a SB in 2008, simply to stroke his own ego. That is not the benchmark of a leader by any stretch of the imagination.
     
  14. arrowgargantuan

    arrowgargantuan Cheesehead

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    ok cool!

    so do you any confidence in the future of this team? or is it gone?

    thats what i was getting at in the post you replied to.
     
  15. Anubis

    Anubis Cheesehead

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    Here is an email I wrote to a friend about this situation:

    After examining this further, it does appear that Favre really is holding all the cards. First of all, once Favre sends his intent to Goodell to come out of retirement he will immediatelybe placed on the Packer's active roster. At this point, only one of several things can happen:

    1. TT welcomes Favre back to the fold and lets him attend training camp and compete with Rodgers for the starting job. This is the most fair and logical option TT has at his disposal.

    2. Welcome Favre back to the fold and relegate him to a $12 million backup for the next two years. Given Tightwad Ted's abhorrance to overpaying anything for anyone, this will never happen.

    3. Attempt to deal Favre to one of the teams interested in his abilities. Keep in mind Favre comes complete with the remainder of a 2 year contract (at $12 million per year). Any team wanting to deal for him will have to add the $12 million to their cap space, and most likely will have to give up a high-level pick. TT will also incur the wrath of the Packer faithful for unnessasarily dealing away the most favourite player in franchise history while he still has plenty of gas in the tank, along with throwing away the best chance they have for a SB win in 2008. Additionally, (if the rumours are true) TT risks losing the locker room to internal strife.

    4. Release Favre unconditionally. If TT chooses this route Favre will be free to sign with anyone in the league, as NFL rules prohibit conditions be made when releasing players. The big rumour is the Queens are ready to make him a deal if and when this happens. Having Favre playing in Minnesota is the last thing TT wants to see. Not only will it completely enrage the fans, but it will give one of their biggest rivals an amazing offensive weapon. I personally believe such an announcement will be the death-knell for the TT era in GB, especially if GB flounders after such a release, and the Queens (or whomever Favre signs with) becomes a legit contender.

    I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but IMO TT is playing chicken with the wrong situation. If he was as smart as they say, he'd let Favre come back until he is done his career and groom Brohm to take over afterwards. The name of the game is winning championships, and after last season it is obvious the best chance they have is letting Favre lead the talent they have in 2008. Hell, if Favre came back and won the SB, TT would be immortalized in Wisconsin like Ron Wolf was in 1996.

    I guess we'll have to see what happens.


    To answer your question, yes I do think if TT ends this ridiculous standoff and compromises with Favre to compete with Rogers in training camp, the team could be in great shape come 2008 regardless who wins the starting job. However, if this situation continues to fester, we could end up seeing all the great things this team has accomplished vanish in rather short order.
     
  16. arrowgargantuan

    arrowgargantuan Cheesehead

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    nice. thanks for the reply.

    so if TT alows Favre to compete with Rodgers in training camp, you will have some confidence in the future of this team.

    am i near the ballpark now?
     
  17. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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  18. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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    :wink:
     
  19. Anubis

    Anubis Cheesehead

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    I would say so.

    If TT shows the team that he will stand by "let the best man win" I think both the players and fans alike will be satisfied. That being said, I don't find the comments he has made very open to that possibility.

    Time will tell, I suppose.
     
  20. warhawk

    warhawk Cheesehead

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    With all the blame being thrown around here you can sure tell YOUR *** ain't on the line here.

    TT has sat back to ponder the best move for the GREEN BAY PACKERS since Brett has made a 100% reversal in his position TWO/THREE freaking weeks before camp. This scenario HAS, forget WILL, create a situation that affects guys nobody here seems to want to talk about much, the damn team.

    Brett Favre's the one throwing the curve balls and Ted's the one having to catch them. If the time frame he chooses to determine what is best doesn't suit people around here, well, tough.

    Like TT's supposed to just say "great, Brett's back, as he SKIPS along the sidelines, throwing his elbows up and down with freaking glee, not a care in the world.
     
  21. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Agreed.. but I think there are a few artifical deadlines approaching.. the Winter/Brown induction and the shareholders meeting.. I think Ted and Co. would want some type of resolution before either.. or the press will be crawling like woodticks crawling on a swamp dogs ears in the middle of a hot June day..
     
  22. Timmons

    Timmons Cheesehead

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    Wow. That's an article? The Packers are betting on the Packers. Not just Rodgers. They built this offensive system that Rodgers fits. If he doesnt' work the next guy will.

    The mess we're in is due to Brett. How about we accept that and move on?
     
  23. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Please explain.

    Didn't Michael Jordan come out of retirement and win another few ones for the Bulls? Not saying Brett will win us a SB, but he's still our best QB (unless Rodgers proves me wrong in '08, which is possible).

    Great players are allowed to unretire. Brett Favre is a great player.

    I see this as an opportunity, not a curse.
     

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