Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sad Times In Titletown

Greetings, G-Force.

It is a sad day for the proudest franchise in professional sports. For 16 years, we were able to watch the greatest regular season player in the history of the National Football League. Today, it all came to an end in an ugly fashion. Brett Favre's streak of consecutive games played will end due to a bruised ego. Brett Favre is my hero, but in the words of Tom Petty, "It's time to move on. It's time to get going. What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing."

I've received a number of e-mails, text messages, and voice mails that echoed sentiments such as "Fuck Ted Thompson" & "Screw Mike McCarthy." I love Brett Favre as much as anyone. I wanted Favre to return as much as anyone. But, this is not on McCarthy & Thompson. Brett Favre does not want to play for the Green Bay Packers. It's that simple. I strongly believe that McCarthy went into last nights meeting with full intention of having Brett Favre as his starting QB in '08. McCarthy wanted to let the past be water under the bridge - if Favre were willing to do the same. McCarthy approached the situation like a man. Favre held his grudge.

This was arguably the most harmful separation of team & player in the history of sport. Unfortunately, to say the least, Favre, Thompson, McCarthy, & Murphy all handled this situation poorly. No one leaves this situation a winner. And as a fan of the Green Bay Packers, I feel like a part of my soul left me today.

The Green Bay Packers have a foundation based on community. Today, we are surrounded with a nasty divorce. I hope the locker room can stay united and focused on the season or else a 6-10 will stare us in the face.

I leave you with a couple of thoughts. Mike McCarthy is 21- 11 after two years as a Head Coach in the NFL. I believe that all but 3 players (Favre, Tauscher, & Clifton) on last year's 13-3 team had signed a contract with Ted Thompson. While they may have handled this situation in a disgusting manner, I still believe that the future of our franchise - beyond this year - is in good hands.

As for Brett, once again, Brett, thanks for the memories, mate. I'll remember you for your play on the field. I'll remember the 442 TD's, the 3 MVP's, the Super Bowl XXXI win, and the 160 regular season wins. I'll remember you as the man who lit up the Bears for 5 TD's on one leg. I'll remember you as the man with the childlike smile after he tossed a TD pass. I'll remember you as a football player - the greatest regular season football player to ever play the game. Brett, you are my idol. I encourage all Brett Favre fans to watch the following video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsP3rZWsxhI&feature=related

Now, it's up to Thompson to trade Favre. Get what you can - even if it's a 3rd rounder. Free the man. I'd enjoy watching him for another year...or 2! Even if it were in another uniform...with one condition, as long as he were not a Bear or a Viking.

My take for the 1st preseason game comes Thursday.

Give me a tissue,

Talkin' S-Mac.

32 comments:

porterbela said...

You ever watch those lame ass movies where some rich dad tries to pay the guy his daughter is dating to stay away? But that only pisses him off even more and the opposite happens? Actually I think that's an episode of Family Guy, but anyways. Do you get my point on this?

Ted Thompson is a stroke, no if's and's or but's about it. A complete ego maniac that took a Brett Favre when he was down and kicked him a few times until he retired. Then, when Favre got back up, TT offers him 20 million to stay away from his daughter...aka The Green Bay Thompsons. Thompson is the one that thinks he is bigger than the Packers right now. He is the one that decided a Hall of Fame QB and, I hate to say this, one of the best ever is not going to bring his team a championship...instead a product of a failed QB system in California is the player to win the Super Bowl because he drafted him.

And remember we've heard all of this for the past few years on how TT wanted Favre gone. The only thing is that when people heard it back then they just thought that it was all just a bunch of garbage.

Scottie, it sucks your favorite player is gone. It sucks when your favorite team goes through a mess like this. But don't put this one on Favre...that's wishful thinking. They both played their part, but this is exactly what TT wanted to happen...Make Favre look like the bad guy and get fans on his side. There's no better way to get people to like you than to get people to hate the other guy.

And bye the way, I still throw up a little bit in my mouth every time I defend Favre on this.

Michael J. said...

The Packers are less of a fotball team today, or will be, once Brett Favre is gone. I'll never understand why TT trusted the 35 completions of Rodgers over the all-career season that Favre had last year. I realize that Favre is claiming to not be able to get over all that's been said...but while I still don't fully believe that to be the case, this scenario could have played out much differently if it weren't for the seemingly unwavering loyalty to a man that's made 35 completions in this league, versus that of a first minute hall of famer.

The Packers had a chance to solidify the most important position on the field by doing everything they could to retain Favre's services. Apparently Rodgers/Brohm is more attractive to TT than Favre/Rodgers. Coming from a fan who's wallowed in the mire through such debacles as Cade McNown, Jonathan Quinn, Craig Krinzel, Henry Burris, Kordell Stewart, Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton...I won't go on...the Packer organization and fandome to a large extent seems to have forgotten just how easy it is to be bad in this league. A Favre-less Packers, this year, means you can make plans for Saturdays and Sundays in January.

Every pass Rodgers throws will be judged against the man...Scott, you said you hoped this wouldn't be the case...but after this, there's no doubt Rodgers is in for a season of ridcule and torment if he struggles.

vargas said...

buzzboy....8 of 10 times I'll agree with you... but not this time. I agree that all parties involved are to blame but ultimately the man that made favre not want to be a part of the football team is TT. He is an arrogant POS that from the moment he got here wanted this to be his team. Would you want to give 100% to a team that on sunday says we fully welcome back brett and then to find out on monday while you are having a physical they are still pursuing trades? What kind of a welcome is that? Especially after your replacement looks like crap during a scrimmage against the second team defense? They interviewed holmgren on monday and asked his thoughts on this ordeal and all he could say was this would have never gotten this far if he were involved. There is no way he would have let brett retire after the season he had. That falls on TT. Brett has an ego, but the one thing with him was that he was a down home person that we could related too. We lived brett for a part of our life..Do we really think that anything he did we would have done any different if we were treated the same? The guy is a god in WI and of course he would want to play for nobody else and he is even conceding to a trade to help not destroy the franchise he help build...all b/c TT won't break his stance and give favre some respect.

You say you lost a part of your soul...I did as well. Once I find out where 4 lands, I need to have a few days away from football... I love the packers w/ all my heart but damn this wound is deep... To tease us with the possibility having him play again and then to take it away is just too much.

Stack said...

Look at the Bear fans making out with each other. You guys need a cig after those takes?

First of all, I'd like to give Mike McCarthy some credit. The guy held a remarkably lucid press conference yesterday. McCarthy is a plain-spoken guy. I felt that his answers yesterday were bolstered by the amount of time that he had spent exploring Favre over the previous two days. I got the feeling that he had left no stone unturned, and he was confident in the conclusion at which he arrived. In short, the guy had gone through the ordeal and come out the other end. I found his press conference to be telling.

And as Scott noted, MM went in with the mindset of an explorer. He wanted to see if Favre wanted to be there. I believe that untill the last minute the Packers were willing to take Favre back. That was the purpose of meeting with McCarthy. Listen to the press conference.

If you travel back and read my takes, you'll see my questioning Favre's committment all along. I'm not some sort of mind reader, it's the basic fact that Favre's statements never made sense, and they certainly did not accurately reflect his actions.

And now you're going to say "Oh, but Chern, TT had already burned that bridge..."

Maybe. I've never met Brett Favre. The one time I bumped into Ted Thompson, I simply said good morning, and he responded in kind. I don't know that Brett is a conniving, attention-hungry prima donna, nor do I know that he is a straight-shooting, down home country boy either. I don't know that Ted Thompson is an evil megalomaniac or a taciturn custodian of the franchise. The truth is probably in between extremes for both of these men. What I do know, without needing to know them, is that they both have huge egos.

Moss, Rivera, Wahle, Mariucci...all decisions in which Favre wanted to be heard. Now, years later, he reveals bitter feelings over how the events were misrepresented to him. Within the past couple of days, Brett levels accusations of planting stories, fabricating events in their offseason dealings, and alleged shabby treatment.

This all gets added to the perception that Ted Thompson pushed Favre out the door, either literally or through passive-aggressive means. Where did that story come from anyway? Obviously there's differences between them, but where did the mass perception that TT is pushing Favre out come from? Can anyone verify where this came from, or it is just one of those things that has been repeated into consciousness?

I could take up the issue of hypocrisy over planted press stories, since the Favre circle has certainly put their fair share of strategic or advantageous information out in the press, but going tit for tat at this point doesn't serve much purpose.

The Packer organization did soften its stance by allowing #4 to come in and compete for the job. When Favre showed up, all he had to do was prove that he was ready to play football. But he was trapped inside his own head and he was unable to move forward with the Packers, which was maybe what the team was trying to say all along.

Good luck, Brett.

Stack said...

Oh, and Trotta, it's Krenzel...respect you franchise's rich heritage....

Michael J. said...

It's difficult to put yourself in his shoes...he's been coddled as a professional. But how must it have felt on Sunday night when the Packers wouldn't allow Favre to enter the field? What is Favre supposed to infer by the Packers not letting him step into the locker room to say hello to Donald Driver? We don't know what stories are true, and what stories are false during this circus...but from what we know, in the last week, the Packers offered Favre twenty mil to sign footballs for the next ten years; and wouldn't allow him anywhere near the team or field when he arrived in GB...does that sound like committment? You say MM explored and in the end found a lack of committment ot the Packers...but give me a break, from the get-go the Packers have had one foot in the water on this...justified or not. If they got down on bended knee and begged him to come back, would he have? If they introduced him at Family Night to a rocous crowd and let the fans shower him with the usual adoration, would it have softened his stance? We'll never know...but don't pretend the Packers have been on the level throughout this situation...Favre should grow up; but so should the Packers. For whatever reason, GBP forget just how much of a luxury Favre was...QBs do get hurt...have fun with Brian Brohm.

As for Grammy, he's a generous lover. And I haven't had a smoke in over a year.

Michael J. said...

Chern,

He might as well have been Kringel with the way he played football...gifts all around, for the defense.

porterbela said...

On a positive note, I went to the DMV today to get a new Drivers License and to register my car. It took less than 10 minutes total. Sweet.

Chern, the one thing a Bears fan has in this situation is a non-biased outlook on the situation. I have no love for the Packers management and no love for Favre. In other words, I have no reason to side with either or.

It simply comes down to this.

Did TT want Favre as a QB or Rodgers?

He wanted Rodgers and did his best to make that happen. You can applaud him for that or you can think he's trash, I really don't care.

What I do care about is that the Packers are now a much worse football team because of TT's decision.

Stack said...

I don't blame the Pack for that. They let him in the building. He watched the game in his box. Frankly, you can't have Favre walk in the locker room or be on the sideline because as of Sunday night, he was not reinstated. And more importantly, a quarter of the 80 man roster has never even met Favre. 80 guys are getting ready to scrimmage in a game-type atmosphere, you can't have some retired celebrity walk in the locker room and start gladhanding everyone. To do so would not only intensify the distraction and detract from the concentration, but it would be a tacit endorsement of Favre prior to making an actual business decision. Same thing for the fans, you trot Favre out on the sideline, even in civilian clothes, you're basically endorsing the guy's return before you've had a chance to find out whether he's actually in it or not.

I can imagine how that must have felt given his tenure with the franchise. But he's got to realize the other side also. And that's the problem, he's had no appreciation for the predicament of the franchise.

The Packers have said that the marketing and promotion offer has been on the table since Favre retired and part of Mark Murphy's visit to Hattiesburg was to reiterate that it was still on the table whether Favre played this year or not. To me, that's committment.

I completely disagree with your take. Favre was testing the retirement waters for years before he pulled the trigger. And he's been testing the comeback waters ever since he retired. Not committed either way.

Favre acquitted everyone at his press conference.
From his retirement presser:

"And it's hard to leave. You think you're prepared for it. I know there's been comments and issues in the press lately about why I'm leaving, whether or not the Packers did enough, whether or not Ted and Mike tried to convince me to stay. None of those things have anything to do with me retiring, and that's from the heart."

Three months later, he's airing years-old dirty laundry on Fox News. Apparently, he's not committed to his words.

Favre retired. He stepped away. He voluntarily walked away. We didn't cut the guy. We didn't push him out the door.

How much would you commit to someone who walked away and then off and on hedged toward a return? The onus was on Favre to show 100% committment and he simply could not do it.

See the Van Susteren interview. She asked him that exact question and he answered it with a question of his own.

Brett knows it, which is why he dropped this at the press conference:
"It's a total commitment, and up to this point I have been totally committed."

Up to this point. It looks like some things have stayed the same since Brett retired. And the blame still lies at his doorstep.

Stack said...

Grammy, you're wrong (and gay).

The Packers are unquestionably less of a football team today.

But the question is more like this:

Do you want an MVP caliber quarterback who has questionable motivation and holds you in contempt for injuring his emotions years ago

or

Do you want an unproven QB

That may or may not change any given person's answer, but let's be fair.

patrad said...

gram I think it ultimatley comes down to this:

Did Favre want to play for the pack?

Never, throughout any of this, did we hear Brett afirm this. MM spent 6 hours making sure on Monday. I trust MM as a coach in making the right decision Monday.(I've been called a cub fan on other forums for doing so)

driving by the blockbuster on irving and lincoln past a giant sign, all I can think is. . . .

worst. madden. curse. ever.

Michael J. said...

I can't imagine why he would think about retiring for a few years...apparently that's not acceptable? For what reason?

I'm not saying Favre is void of fault. I'm not saying the organization made all the wrong moves...they're both culpable to varying degrees. My beef would be, if I were a Packer fan, that this is not a football decision. This is a long term decision based on the hopes that Rodgers is good. If Rodgers blows, or blows out his knee...will it still matter that Favre waffled?

I see a different result had the organization made some changes in how they handled the situation...in the end, it's an ugly way to end what was a beautiful relationship between player, organization and fandom. Whether or not the end game was unavoidable, I don't know. I don't know if Favre wanted out all along...but I do know that the Packers are weak at the QB position, and if I were in a position to add the runner up in MVP voting from a year ago, I would check my ego at the door and get him into camp. Athletes are prima donnas...is this news?

Stack said...

Wood, keepin' it real...

“I think it should end today,” veteran cornerback Charles Woodson said. “We should be talking about the team; instead, we’ve talked about one guy for the last five minutes. This is a situation unique to itself, and it has become its own monster.

“You’ve got fans out there yelling ‘we want Brett,’ yelling A-Rod this and A-Rod that, Ted Thompson this and Ted that. That’s not looking at the grand scheme of things. It’s not helpful at all. You’ve got fans that are die-hard Brett fans, and they’ve put that above the team.”

chico said...

Damn Brett Favre for doing this to the franchise and the faithful!

This one has all the makings of talking politics with your closet friend who roots for the other side. It soon becomes annoying and soon it gets personal. Soon you don't want to talk about it any more and you're pissed off at your friend.

Say what you want Favre has gone back and forth for 4 freeking(Dr. Evil) years. Why can't the Packers move on? They have every right and now they have every right to move Favre where they want. They hold all the cards.

I can't believe this has happened.

Unreal!

Stack said...

I defer to Rad's comments...Did Favre want to play for the Pack?

Or was the "comeback" an emotional, reactionary decision from a guy who's is experiencing a mid-life crisis?

Did you watch McCarthy's press conference? I have a hard time believing that MM would not have let Brett back on the team had he heard what he was looking for - a high level of committment.

This is exactly the deference that Favre deserved.

It's well within argument that Favre is not making a football decision, he's making an emotional decision because he feels disrespected.

If you were a QB, wouldn't GB be a place that you would want to play? Might be worth checking your ego at the door also.

Stack said...

Worst athlete prima donna ever...Scott McKenna

porterbela said...

Chern, I'm not wrong. Nobody is really wrong. The question that you are asking is where the gray area lies. At what point did TT show Favre the door? TT made his choice on the starting QB he wants when he drafted Rodgers. He got his guy, figured Favre would play 2 more seasons and hang it up. Favre wanted to play more and TT can't have the Green Bay Thompsons led by anyone that might overshadow the teams new nickname.

Favre has definitely handled this completely wrong and looks like a fool. Favre ended up wanting to come back and play, TT could have been grateful and said, "Hell yeah sucka, get yo ass back on the turf." Instead he said, "We've moved forward, kiss my ass."

I've quit tracking this story, and I didn't even track it much to begin with. But I still side with Favre.

In the end, if this doesn't work out, I'd be willing to bet that some crazy drunk Green Bayonian picks TT off with a sniper rifle. Hell, that might happen anyways.

Talkin' S-Mac said...

Stack,

From my playing days with you, I'll gladly take the worst Prima Donna Athlete award if you'll take the worst Prima Donna Video Game Award. Want Seputis running up top with you, kid?

Talkin' S-Mac said...

Plain & Simple: Murphy, Thompson, McCarthy & Favre are all in the wrong. No one played their cards right. And now, the G-Force is feeling the pain...

Trade him today. Please don't involve Griese or Simms in the deal. My stomach could not handle such a trade. I'd vomit. I'll take whatever you will offer me. I'm officially done with the past portion of this story.

Send him to the Bucs/Jets for a 2nd round pick. If he's on the active roster in '09, we get another 2nd in '10.

porterbela said...

Looks like the Pack got a 3rd for sure and possibly a 2nd...unless the Jets somehow make it to the Super Bowl.

I am glad I won't have to listen to this story any more, but man does it sound like Packer Nation is split in half.

This was one of the worst possible scenarios that could have happened to the Packers. But oh well.

From the NY Daily News."They also told him he'd be the focal point of the marketing campaign for their new stadium, which opens in 2010."

It'll be interesting to see how much longer he plays. I doubt more than the next year or two, the Jets are awful.

Brennan said...

I just got back from Northern Wisconsin. was great to be back.

One thing I think is over looked is with TT's people skillks aside, he is tremendous at his job. he watches and evaluates players everyday. He sees things other people dont. We hired the PR Fletcher to help with MM news conference if you did not notice, but I really think TT sees something in Rodgers. if Rodgers can stay healthy i think he is going to have a remarkable year. he is at a point after being an under-study of a legend, learning the offense for a several years of years, he is primed to be the starter in GB. I think the fans need to realize Rodgers has done everything the organization has asked of him. he has stayed pretty quiet through all of this, he held the clipboard, sat the bench, and supported the team. this is our time to show support of Rodgers. I think his style of QB will lend itself very well to our offense. Move the chains. move the chains. We will see similar play to the Dallas game. GO PACK!

I in no way support the actions of TT and how things were handled. it was ridiculous and could have been avoided by people being more upfront and honest at the beginning. I think that part of it rests on the packers. But another large portion of this was about Brett Favre. Just like Michael on the Office, Brett needs to be wanted, to be loved to be treated like a legend. NYC is going to give him that. I never heard his voice so low as in the interviews from Hattisburg. this is very personal for Brett and i thin mentally he is drained.

Stack said...

Gram, if you think you won't have to listen to this story anymore you are now, finally, officially, definitely wrong. This is only the first turn in the race. There's gonna be comparisons to Joe Montana or Joe Namath, people are going to be talking about how he looks in the Jets uniform. The Packers won't be able to play the Bears without the story coming up, the video montages, the interviews with Urlacher on the now-departed QB. We won't get sixty seconds into that broadcast without the Fox honk saying "For the first time in 16 years..."

Stack said...

Pat Lee's family night interview is awesome.

The guy says "work hard," "make plays," and "do my job," about ten times each.

He's positive and he's banging on Driver saying that he fell down on him to draw the flag doing the old veteran v. rookie treatment. And he's smiling about that.

Love the guy.

bleedin green said...

Vargas, I'm working on Scottie to release his ban on the Madden curse talk now.

Brennan said...

One more positive, (and yes i am looking for any and all positives out of this) out of this ordeal is that a very young team learned to deal with distractions, the media and some inter-team conflicts early on in the season. i think this will build character and focus in the players. Not that i am glad it all happened, but i have to admit it must have served as a good learning experience. i guess a lesson learned the hard way.

It also brought millions of media dollars into the small towns of Hattisburg and Green Bay.

patrad said...

just finished a great article from bob mcginn. choice quotes:

"The Packers would have taken back Favre as the starter, albeit
reluctantly, if he had acted like any other player . . . That is, show up for work in late March, practice until mid-June and
be in exceptional condition by July 28.

That's never too much to expect."

"But when the endgame is to remove a legend, there is no smooth way of doing it." (even with ari fliescher)

"Favre went on to risk his future as a heroic figure in the state for
perpetuity by his actions last month. All but calling Thompson a liar. Revealing intimate details of conversations with Thompson and
McCarthy. Selling out offensive line coach James Campen after he went out of his way to help his old pal.
During one interview, Favre criticized Thompson for not interviewing his buddy, Steve Mariucci, for the job that went to McCarthy. After the horrendous job that Mariucci did in Detroit, Thompson would have been roasted for even considering Mariucci, let alone hiring him.
Those were just a few examples of Favre operating almost in a
delusional state, hearing only what he wanted to hear and acting as if he was larger than the team"

this I did not realize:
"Last winter, the Packers began talks with Favre about giving him at least $20 million over 10 years in exchange for shaking some hands and making a few appearances. How can a $20 million golden parachute be construed as bribery?
It was a creative step by the organization to present Favre with an honorable go-away present, but in the end became just another decision that poisoned Favre's attitude toward the club."

"The Packers went with the odds saying Favre never would play that well again. Now they need Rodgers to pull his weight for what has the
makings almost everywhere else of being another top team."

patrad said...

vargas. check this shit.

On how he was convinced to come to New York...

"I was never not interested in the Jets. I think my interest at first, I’m sure as we all know, was to stay within our division. Maybe that was a little bit of a vindictive nature or competitive nature or whatever. I think in the end that was probably the wrong motive and I realized that was not going to happen."

Stack said...

You all know where I come out on this, but check out this huge quote from Favre about the Pack...


"...yeah, Green Bay's a small market, but is there a bigger team? I don't know."


Awesome.

Michael J. said...

Pat,

Bob MCGinn is the epitome of ass kissing journalists. He knows who butters his bread, and he acts accordingly. Just an FYI...an objective and unbiased journalist, he is not.

vargas said...

It's been a mess and my thoughts are still in a whirl, but it looks like the jets are giving favre the attention he wants. I think he might be the biggest hit of an athlete I've seen in a long time...possibly bigger than Jordan. The city of NY is laying down the red carpet for him and he is having bkfast w/ the mayor. If you take a look at the Jets pro shop they have everything favre you could imagine for the short 48 hours it's been. They are riding his wave and it's bittersweet to see. Hate to see him gone and to wear another jersey, but in the end I am a packer and a favre fan. I hope he enjoys this attention and he can perform the way he did last year.

Let's heal, regroup and focus g-force... They need it this year. We don't need to swear at rodgers and that's what I have been reading..That's not cool.. The guy hasnt done a thing to deserve it. It just so happens brett is in town for the season opener...Locking up my tickets now and going to see favre throw 443! Go pack go! Come on brett!

Stack said...

It does suck to see him elsewhere, but I am actually sort of happy about it too. The negativity surrounding him and the organization was stifling, so it's good to see a few more smiles around.

It's crazy, he goes from the NFL's smallest market to the nation's largest city.

Brennan said...

yeah, i can think of a little story about david beckham going to LA that kind of parallels the attention Favre is getting in NYC. In the end it is very evident that this is the attention that Favre needed. I think it is interesting that Favre chose this amount of attention over a better football team, a city closer to his home, coaches that he knows and a better chance at winning. He also said he did not want a cold weather team. It says a lot about his priorities at this point. I wish him the best, but it is all about #4.

Cubs and Cards all tied up in extra innings!