My wife & I spent this past weekend in Washington DC and while you never want to compare the men of the battlefield to those of the football field, I feel compelled to metaphorically draw comparisons. To many, Brett Favre is an American Hero.
As individuals, we are all a product of our youth and we apply our life's experiences to our current environment. My Dad always says that if you were to take the Packers out of Green Bay, you would have Fargo, ND or Des Moines, IA. Figuratively speaking, while growing up in Green Bay, WI, Lambeau Field was my US Capitol. My Heroes were John Jefferson, James Lofton, Lynn Dickey, Eddie Lee Ivery, Paul Coffman, Tim Lewis, Mark Lee, Mark Murphy, John Anderson, and Tim Harris - to name a few.
While I was walking through the National Mall for the first time in my life this weekend, I was introduced to the Capital of the United States of America. I was reminded of historical truths that created this great Nation. For the majority of our population, regardless of whether you believe in voting for the right or for the left, you are PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN! Furthermore, whether you want us to stay in Iraq or whether you want us to leave tomorrow, we all want the same thing and that is the end result to equal a successful & triumphant victory in which the American legacy is held in honor.
As I walked through the World War II Memorial, I read a quotation from Admiral Chester W. Nimith that read:
"They fought together as Brothers - In Arms. They Died Together & Now They Sleep Side by Side. To them we have a solemn obligation."
As I sat in reflection on my plane ride home, I thought of how this related to the current state of the Green Bay Packers - Brett Favre relationship. After the NFC Championship last year, Ted Thompson remarked, "the difference between winning and losing in the NFL is so small, but the emotions you feel afterward, winning as opposed to losing, is so great that it’s really not fair. When you lose, it’s almost like a part of you died. When you win, you’ve never felt more alive.”
Brett Favre & Ted Thompson have Lived Together. They've Died Together. They've Slept Side by Side Together.
Blood. Sweat. Tears. It did not matter - Brett Favre stepped on the field for the Green Bay Packers.
3 MVPs. 442 Touchdown Passes. 286 Interceptions. A Super Bowl victory. A 6 interception playoff game. It did not matter - The Green Bay Packers love for Brett Favre did not waver.
Now, it's time for each other to honor their solemn obligation to one another. And I feel the obligation should rest squarely on Favre's shoulders. He should feel obliged to the Packers. While the Packers & Favre have been synonymous with one another for 16 years, Favre remains an employee of the Packers. If Favre is 100% committed to playing football, by Wednesday, he should tell the Packers that he is coming back and reporting on July 27 for the START of training camp. If he cannot commit by Wednesday, he should call Thompson and say that he is not going to play this year. If Favre gives commitment, the Packers should open their arms and welcome him back.
As I continued my reflection from my walk through the National Mall, my attention turned to the moment in which I walked through the Korean War Memorial, I read a sign that said "Freedom Is Not Free." If Favre wants back and the Packers genuinely do not want him back as the starter, they should make an honorable attempt to trade Favre. The last 24 hours have brought a 2nd and a 6th for Jason Taylor and a 2nd and a 5th for Jeremy Shockey. You know that Ted Thompson's pallet and appetite for trading just became wet. While Thompson may not want to be known as the man who traded Favre, if the Legend commits to coming back and the Packers do not want him, they must attempt to discover what is fair market value. The Dolphins, Bucs, Jags, Panthers, Chargers, Chiefs, Redskins, Ravens, Falcons, and 49ers are the teams I would call. I highly doubt that the Chiefs, Ravens, Falcons, and 49ers would be looking to pull off a deal, but they are lacking a solid QB for the 2008 season. And after all, Favre's "Freedom is not Free."
So, I'm giving Favre until Wednesday to let us know his full intentions. After that, I'm 100% committed to living with Aaron Rodgers as the QB of the Packers for the 2008 season. I also commit to never making a "Favre would have done this" or "Favre would have done that" comment during the 2008 NFL Season.
With or Without Brett, the G-Force needs to have one vision. This vision must be focused on winning football games with the players that have reported to camp. The G-Force must move on. The Packers Family Night is less than 2 weeks away. The G-Force must be united. Energy must spiritually be pointed in the same direction. Chico's "Support The Helmet" statement is profound at a time like now. At some point, we all knew Favre would retire. And at that point, the G-Force must remain stronger than ever. The relationship between the G-Force & the Green Bay Packers must continue to be fundamentally based around two words: Passion & Belief.
There is no Man on Earth that has supported Brett Favre more than I. And I'm not looking for a political debate, but maybe, just maybe, both in America & in Green Bay, it's time to "Vote For Change."
Freedom Is Not Free,