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Packers will survive the Favre soap opera

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Andy, May 16, 2009.

  1. Andy

    Andy Cheesehead

    Jul 16, 2005
    I agree with this story, plus the team is set up do well in the future with Aaron Rodgers and multiple weapons on offense and a revamped defense with B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews.

    Packers will survive the Favre soap opera

    May 15, 2009
    Written by Bob Fox - PackerChatters Staff

    As the Green Bay Packers get ready to start their 91st season of professional football (their 89th in the National Football League), the publically owned Packers never have dealt with an issue so thorny as the Brett Favre affair that began in 2008 and continues this year.

    The world of the NFL was shocked when the Packers traded their legendary icon to the New York Jets last summer after Favre changed his mind and wanted to play again after his first retirement in March of 2008. The Packers made the trade because they had moved on to the Aaron Rodgers era at that point, but the trade was still very painful to not only Favre, but to legions of Packer fans.

    If some Packer fans thought that Favre playing for the Jets was painful, then this year could be one of agony. Favre retired for a second time in early 2009 from the Jets, saying a torn biceps injury that had limited his effectiveness late in the 2008 season (2 TD passes vs. 9 interceptions in the last 5 games of the season) was the major reason for his second retirement.

    Before he retired from the Jets, Favre first asked for his outright release, which is exactly what he had done the year before with the Packers, after it was apparent that the Rodgers' era was about to begin in the late summer of 2008.

    After the Jets selected QB Mark Sanchez in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL draft, the Jets released Favre, after he had asked for his release a second time. Favre was now a free agent for the first time in the NFL. Reports have now linked Favre to the Minnesota Vikings in 2009, similar to the rumors in the summer of 2008, when Favre first asked for his outright release from the Packers.

    The Packers of course refused to release Favre then, as they were concerned he might end up in Minnesota, where good friend Darrell Bevell (former Packer assistant coach from 2000-2005, including QB coach for three years) was the offensive coordinator, and Brad Childress, whom Favre also knows well, was head coach.

    The Packers were so concerned that they filed a tampering charge to the NFL about the Vikings communicating with Favre, while he was still property of the Packers. The NFL later determined that there was no evidence of tampering by the Vikings. But the rumors of a possible alliance became much stronger after Favre was released by the Jets.

    Reports have been circulating that Favre is indeed considering yet another return to the NFL in 2009, this time with the Vikings.

    The latest reports say that Favre consulted with renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews about Favre's partially torn biceps tendon, ESPN reported Thursday. ESPN, citing a source close to Favre, said Andrews and Favre talked about exercises that would accelerate the tendon tearing completely. That would likely allow Favre to play without pain or surgery.

    That also might make Favre becoming a Viking a reality.

    But even if that does happen. The Packers will survive and move on.

    This is hardly the first time the organization has had to deal with a crisis. Together with George Calhoun, Curly Lambeau helped found the Packers in 1919. Lambeau played with the team from 1921 to 1929, but it was his coaching that made him a legend. Lambeau coached the Packers from 1921 to 1949, winning 209 games with a .656 winning percentage and six NFL championships.

    But even with that, Lambeau had issues with the executive committee. Lambeau's last two teams in Green Bay were a collective 5-19. Plus, Lambeau ticked off members by purchasing the Rockwood Lodge north of Green Bay for $25,000 for the Packers to practice at from 1946 to 1949. The facility burned down on Jan. 24, 1950, and Lambeau resigned a week later to coach the Chicago Cardinals.

    A stock sale bailed the team out of financial turmoil in 1950, but that could not prevent the bleakest period in Packers history. The Packers had a .333 winning percentage in the 1950s, and that was improved because of Vince Lombardi's seven wins in 1959. But the executive committee, led by President Dominic Olejniczak, made the right call in hiring Lombardi.

    Olejniczak had to deal with Lombardi and his dominating presence, plus the Giants’ efforts to bring Lombadi back to New York as their coach.

    The result was five NFL championships in seven years, including the first two Super Bowls.

    Once Lombardi relinquished his coaching duties and was solely a general manager in 1968, the executive committee could not keep Lombardi in Green Bay any longer. Not with a relentless owner like Edward Bennett Williams of the Washington Redskins wanting Lombardi. Lombardi left the Packers for the Redskins in 1969 and led them to their first winning season in more than a decade before he died of cancer in 1970.

    The Packers were like a raft floating in the ocean for the next couple of decades. The team won one NFC Central title in 1972 under coach Dan Devine, and it went through five coaches from 1968 through 1991. The Packers only had five winning seasons in that period. The darkest day was when team President Robert J. Parins fired legendary player Bart Starr in 1983 as coach after nine seasons.

    It wasn't until Bob Harlan became president in 1989 that the Packers would start to recapture their glory.

    It was Harlan who hired Ron Wolf, who hired Mike Holmgren, traded for Brett Favre and signed Reggie White. The result was a victory in Super Bowl XXXI and the best record in the NFL from 1992 to 2007, a stretch that included only one losing season and 11 playoff berths.

    Harlan had the tough task of getting Milwaukee season-ticket holders to agree to coming up to Lambeau Field, starting in 1995. His biggest challenge, however, was getting Brown County voters to agree to a $295 million Lambeau Field redevelopment project, which made the stadium a sight for tens of thousands of visitors year-round.

    Now, Mark Murphy has the task of leading the franchise, but only after a hiccup when the Packers initially groomed John Jones to replace Harlan. The transition was scrapped after Jones endured some health issues, and a settlement was negotiated.

    Murphy took over for Harlan as president and CEO of the team on Jan. 28, 2008. His initial focus on NFL labor issues has been, publicly at least, put in the background because of the Favre saga.

    The Favre controversy has been a challenge with all of the twists and turns, but it’s not the first issue the team — and its 112,015 shareholders — have endured. The Packers don't have a George Steinbrenner, Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder running the team. The team has had some bumps in the road, but through it all, it is the most successful franchise in the history of the NFL.

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