Scattered thoughts from a scattered geek

by

I apologize for not weighing in on all this stuff more yesterday – work picked a horrible time to be out of control. But I have to admit, over lunch and at other points, even when I tried to put down my thoughts on all of this, I would start and stop and start and stop – something I usually don’t do. I found myself battling many different and at times competing thoughts. So, I have decided now to just give you many of these fragmented thoughts:

  1. When Bob McGinn wrote this in his article yesterday “just about everyone who counted in the football department reached the conclusion that Favre could never win another championship” and dated this back to the Dallas Cowboys game, I had 2 main thoughts: 1) so did TT and “others” think that Aaron Rodgers actually would give us a better chance to win starting this year? If so, I disagree with this position and frankly it concerns me that our management would view the QB situation this way. 2) Doesn’t this somewhat justify Favre’s seeming neediness? Yes, I still think Favre overdid it, but if he had working knowledge that the GM of the organization, arguably the organization’s most important person, clearly didn’t want him to play, wouldn’t that at least have some effect on a decision to continue or not?
  2. Because of the above, I think it was Ted Thompson who started this whole thing. Favre then made it more complicated by deciding to retire in the first place, the unretiring, then saying stupid stuff through the media, then saying really dumb stuff about playing for Minnesota (which was a point at which many Packer fans I believe first grew frustrated with Favre). But TT’s attitude toward Favre started this.
  3. I don’t question that TT liked Favre as a person. But I firmly believe TT did not think Favre was that good of a player anymore.
  4. It could be that this GM was brought in just because the Packers brass knew that difficult decisions may need to be made toward the end of Favre’s career. So that may be in part, why they chose such a stoic, no-affect kind of guy (thinking he’d be good for an emotionally charged situation…you decide if this worked).
  5. If the Packers were 7-9 last year and Favre waffled and then wanted to come back and said some nasty things, I would probably be more sympathetic to management. It would also assist those people out there arguing that Favre’s talent has diminished enough to send him packing. But of course, that’s not what happened. They were 14-4 (and keep in mind, they didn’t have to play a first round playoff game because their regular season record was so good – something Favre was responsible for in good part).
  6. Brett Favre was the most exciting athlete in Wisconsin sports history.
  7. Brett Favre lied to the world when he said at his retirement press conference that TT and others did not affect his decision to retire. Sure, maybe at the time he was leaning toward retirement anyway. But when he said that, I suddenly had flashbacks to a certain “I did not have relations with that woman” comment by Slick Willy. I felt the same way when Marshawn Lynch made his first public comments after he ran that woman over and denied it. You could just hear/feel the lie.
  8. I hope the Jets are really good this year and Favre can go out on a high note. As crappy as he’s been through all of this, in the future, my guess is we’ll be able to look back fondly at his career as a Packer (I think I may be too young to seriously use the word “fondly” though. I think I’ll go now and sit on my davenport).
  9. I will always love the Packers above any one player, but if this Rodgers experiment goes awry, I will be quite ticked off. I’ll still love the Packers, but not TT. Not only have TT and co mortgaged our short-term future (which was bright) on this one player, in the process, they have taken a guy who already had tons of pressure on him and dumped 5x as much pressure on him with this whole fiasco. Maybe this will make Rodgers super strong mentally, I don’t know, but right now I think the honest truth (as opposed to the false truth?) is that Rodgers and many others are just deflated. Fortunately, there is some time before the season to get re-energized.
  10. I feel like this whole thing happened at the wrong time – too early. If Favre were truly welcomed back and also accepted coming back, and had an OK year this year, I could see really thinking about moving on. But the fact is, he came off of a tremendous season and many of us were very much looking forward to rolling into this year. It’s too bad he chose to retire (because he did choose this) but it’s also too bad that that decision was apparently based in part on feeling unwanted.
  11. I didn’t like it when people kept saying that the offense now goes through Rodgers and they’ve made a bunch of changes to accommodate that so the prospect of switching back for Brett would have been a really difficult one. I don’t buy that. Favre knew a bunch of plays last year and the offense, except in the Giants game, ran like a well-oiled machine. Also, if the offense right now is so geared toward Rodgers, isn’t that a bit dangerous – putting all the eggs in one basket – for a guy who has been injured twice in limited action?
  12. I really feel like I need to know, for my own mental health, what exactly happened to make both parties so pissed off. It still doesn’t add up that Favre would act like this. We all knew he needed some convincing and coddling to return, but none of us have seen such a nasty side of Favre before. As I’ve written a few times – nasty behavior doesn’t come out of nowhere. In mental health, you study behavior patterns and considering that he had never shown a public behavior pattern like this before, I think the inescapable conclusion is that there was some precipitating event that made him so angry with the team that he wasn’t sure what to do or say. And he didn’t manage himself well at all feeling like this. He seemed kind of all over the place when he talked about all this.
  13. I don’t like TT and his personality. I’ve never been much into that personality. And I can say safely if Rodgers doesn’t pan out, TT’s time in Green Bay may be limited.
  14. One question I have is just how good does TT think Rodgers will be? He took a huge risk by at least setting the Favre-out movement in motion. Bob McGinn writes “the Packers concluded that it would be the MOTHER OF ALL MISTAKES if Aaron Rodgers got away without being properly evaluated as a starter”. Really? The Mother of ALL Mistakes? That’s overstating unless someone thinks Rodgers is the next Montana.
  15. Something happened in this whole process to seemingly cool Favre’s relationship with McCarthy as well. I wonder what that is.
  16. Favre did choose to retire. There was pressure, yes, but he did make that choice and if he’d waited or perhaps chosen to come back and then retired later, that might have worked out better.
  17. If TT is right about all of this and the packers get back into the playoffs and go deep in the next couples years, many many people will have to give credit where credit is due and TT would probably have to go down with Ron Wolf as one of the better GMs in the game. I won’t rule out that possibility and I’ll certainly cheer hard for it.
  18. Lastly, I’m glad that TT managed to get something for Favre. While it’s still not enough, considering all that happened, it was a decent salvage effort for which he deserves some credit.
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30 Responses to “Scattered thoughts from a scattered geek”

  1. cheese0317 Says:

    Three questions about this McGinn contention that the Packers “brass” felt Favre was never going to be able to win another championship:

    1. If they really believe that, why not trade him to Minnesota? What better player to trade to a division rival than one who can’t win the big one?

    2. If they really believed that, then why were they so eager (supposedly) to fly down to Hattiesburg in March when Favre first made rumblings about returning?

    3. If they really believe Favre was washed up, why’d McCarthy say this yesterday: “It was never a matter of if Brett Favre can play,” McCarthy said. “He finished No. 2 in the league in MVP voting (last season) I think someone said. He’s still in all of our (video) cut-ups. I’m very in tune with what his level of play is. That was never the factor.” Did McCarthy say this because he believes it, or because he’s full of crap? Either way, it’s damning.

    Bottom line: Thompson ran Favre out of town because he wanted to play his draft pick, and cling to his system. McCarthy never had the imagination to challenge him. And Murphy was too clueless to understand where this was headed.
    .

    Or both.

  2. Trav Says:

    Andy – I agree on point 12. I think what did not help was that instead of Favre coming out to talk on his own behalf, he sent his mom, brother, and Bus Cook out to talk. Possibly his words, possibly their own feelings after talking privately with him, but still others conveying the message. When he did talking with Greta, Mort, etc., I agree that it was all over the place and in many ways did not help the situation, only aggravated it more.

  3. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    It’s not about Rodgers, it’s about Favre. Let me use an analogy.

    Last off season the big debate was whether to keep Ahman Green. The principle argument in favor of keeping his was—wait for it—he was better than his back-ups and hence gave the Packers the best chance to “win now.”

    But it wasn’t about Ahman’s back-ups, it was about Ahman Green. He wasn’t good enough anymore. So the Packers took the plunge. They drafted Jackson which didn’t quite work out the way they wanted it to, so they kept looking and they found Ryan Grant. Had Thompson kept Green around, the Packers would still be in the same boat they were in last season—looking for a reliable RB.

    No one can deny that Favre had a good, maybe great season, but no one can deny that he crapped the bed when it matter most: to secured home field advantage against Dallas and Chicago, and at home in the NFC Championship.

    While we are clearing the air here: Favre received one MVP vote. He was technically “second” but he only got one vote. It’s not logical to conclude that if practically everyone would not have voted for Brady they automatically would have voted for Favre. One vote. He had a good season but all of this “second place in the MVP voting” stuff is merely *technically* true.

    Rodger’s does not have to be the next “Joe Montana” for it to have been a mistake. I would not pass up 6-8 of the next Matt Hasslebeck for one more year of a 39 year old Favre.

    But let me swing back to the main point. Shipping Favre out was the right call. Whether Rodgers pans out or not, it was the right call. Anyone who has ever played a game of chance like blackjack knows that you can play your hand exactly right and still lose your ass. That doesn’t mean you should have done anything differently, it just means that the breaks didn’t go your way. There’s a lot of chance in football.

  4. Ron La Canne Says:

    “15. Something happened in this whole process to seemingly cool Favre’s relationship with McCarthy as well. I wonder what that is. ”

    Me too Andy. This has been the genesis of my issue with T.T. Why drag the Field Manager into the mud slinging. The team needs their Boss to be above the issue. T.T. hid while McCarthy burned, to us an old Roman analogy.

  5. Ron La Canne Says:

    News Release:

    Aaron Rodgers has just fired his agent. Making $680k this year. Feels he lost millions playing behind Favre. Wants to make it up now. Looking at Condon to represent him in negotiations now.

    The law of unintended consequences seems to be in play here. Will Cleauseau Ballz have the wherewithall to deal with this new problem?

  6. PackerBelle Says:

    “Bottom line: Thompson ran Favre out of town because he wanted to play his draft pick, and cling to his system. McCarthy never had the imagination to challenge him. And Murphy was too clueless to understand where this was headed.”

    If Thompson ran Favre out of town why was he then willing to have him back in late March? Instead it seems that they were willing to respect Favre and his history with the team enough to welcome him back for another year until it got to a point where it would hurt the team. That is to say, when Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the team had spent months under the assumption Rodgers would start, where Favre was out of shape and still waffling. After all, Mike McCarthy has said that even in late June he felt Favre wasn’t 100% committed to playing.

  7. goodeggblogger Says:

    That sums it up. Go Pack!

  8. Dave Says:

    cheese –
    RE #1: Why make a division rival better? It’s irrelevant whether Favre is better than Rodgers, it’s about whether he’s better than T. Jackson.

    RE #2: At that point, even if they thought Rodgers was the way to go, they felt they owed it to BF to let him come back. After all the indecision they had to move on.

    RE #3:So you want him to say in the press conference where they traded the most beloved sports figure in WI history that is was because he didn’t have it anymore? That would have been the dumbest thing ever. This press conference was about making nice and wishing the other party well.

    Bottom line: TT is trying to make this team good FOR YEARS TO COME. He’s never been about the big names and had always tried to keep in good salary cap shape. He’s had to make some tough, unpopular decisions to do it (Rivera, Wahle, Green), but that’s his job. So if you’re the GM, do you keep a player around because of what he’s done in the past, or what is can do now? If he thinks Brett doesn’t have it anymore it’s his job to replace him. He thought he’d done that gracefully, but it blew up in his face. Whether or not he is right about Favre’s abilities and how he handled past few months will be debated for years to come, but making the tough decisions is his job.

  9. sfhayes Says:

    i can’t believe people read an 18-point blog post. now i’ll have to go do that…

  10. Trav Says:

    I think he was fortunate in his timing of the 18 point post. It’s Friday after a long week and I know in my case, working from home today, it was better than reading a memo about TPS reports or mission statements.

  11. Trav Says:

    Sorry, I was told by my wife that I need to put the “working at home” in quotes. Technically I am at home and logged into the company’s network (e-mail, instant messaging, file archives, etc.), but what I have been doing this morning (reading the paper, this blog, staring at the wall) are not what the company is paying me for.

  12. Dave Says:

    I think the “working” is the only part you need in quotes. Unless of course you’re not at home.

    On a related note, I have to learn how to stop nitpicking people.

  13. awhayes Says:

    Trav – you’re right, one of the worst things Favre did is let the tension build up for the Greta interview by not saying anything himself. By then, there was probably so much pressure on him to say what he wanted to say that it came out a mess and made him and the Packers look bad. Having his family taking cracks definitely was not helpful either. As much as they have been part of the Packer family, they really shouldn’t have gotten so involved – this was Brett’s situation. And of course Bus Cook complicated things greatly too.

    DDD – I see your point, but it seems you’re so focused only on the poor outings to the point where you can’t acknowledge the good ones. Yes, they were big games and yes he did not play well. Yes, there is some truth to your argument that he’s struggled in bigger games over the last few years. And that pick was awful. But he did come through at other, critical times throughout last season too – times you are failing to address. First of all, every game is important and he pulled us out of games like Kansas City and Denver with some very clutch, beautiful throws. He also was very important in the Seattle game not just playing well, but leading well by getting Grant to wake up. Importantly, he helped us win 14 games last year – which has to count for something.

    I guess what it comes down to is that I’d rather have taken a chance on Favre puking another big game this year than another QB – mostly because I had more faith he could get us to that big game.

    Oh well, that’s all mute, as some people mistakenly say.

  14. Trav Says:

    Dave – Thank you for the correction. Not nitpicking at all. If I have to give a status to my manager this afternoon about items accomplished today, I can say that I corrected a common mistake I was making. See, have to turn it into a positive.

    Andy/Steve – Now that this is all over, what is our collective next step forward with the blog? I am ready to debate how our d-line will be this year or how the rookies will play into this year’s schemes. Maybe a positio-by-position breakdown, if only to have the two of you argue with each other. I am ready to move on from the insanity.

  15. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    I guess where I am coming from is that it’s not good enough to have some good games and some awful games. In order to get to the Super Bowl you *must* string together at a minimum of three very good to flawless games.

    With Favre’s reckless style of play he just can’t do it.

  16. scott in wisconsin Says:

    word from a Krol’s employee in the know in GB is this: McCarthy went to bat for Bret in the front office and got Murphy and TT to give him a chance, but when Bret kept pissing and moaning and then asked for a meeting the next morning, by which time McCarthy saw Brett’s ESPN update, Mike felt burned and sandbagged and let Favre know it.

  17. ScottinDC Says:

    I think Donald’s Designated Driver and Dave have made some very good points. I was watching the pregame last night on ESPN and it’s amazing how little diversity of opinion there is. Look, we all loved Brett Favre, but at the end of the day he’s a human being. He’s not infallible. Ted Thompson is the GENERAL MANAGER of the Green Bay Packers. That means he makes the decision on who stays and who goes. He was hired so he could make the team how he wanted to. That obvious fact seems to be lost here. If the Packers wanted a yes-man for St. Brett, they could’ve just plucked someone off the street and made them GM. I’m a huge fan of ESPN, but Michael Silver, at Yahoo, has been the only one capable of covering this story with any sort of objectivity.

    Aaron Rodgers is not being given enough of a chance by anybody. Fine, he’s gotten hurt twice. So what. There’s never going to be another QB as durable as Favre, he was a freak of nature in that regard. Also, it should be noted, in the Dallas game last November, the Packers actually did BETTER, and had their best chance to WIN, after Favre came out and RODGERS took the helm. He won me over in that game, as he played much better than Favre. I’m not saying he’s the next Tom Brady, or that he’s better than Favre, but he deserves a shot. He may very well be a bust, we’ll just have to see. I think the Packers will win the division handily and go 10-6. Many followers of St. Brett, the Infallible King of Egomania, need to realize that the primadonna isn’t going to play until he’s 50; at some point the Packers need to look towards the future. They’ve done that with the drafting of Rodgers, Brohm, and Flynn. Go Pac!

  18. Aaron Says:

    Krol’s!

  19. PackerBelle Says:

    Scott I think you make a lot of sense. I will miss Favre. He’s the only GB QB I’ve known and taking the last few months away I really liked him, despite his propensity for boneheaded throws. But I also want to see what Aaron Rodgers can do. He’s impressed me with how he’s handled being the back-up and how he’s handled this whole situation. He looked pretty good in the Dallas game and I’m interested to see if he can do that on a consistent basis – and if his injuries thus far are going to become a habit. I tend to think that after backing up the Iron Man the desire to show toughness through pain might help mitigate any potential injury prone-ness that might exist.

  20. awhayes Says:

    Hope you’re right PackerBelle and ScottinDC. I too think Rodgers has shown tremendous composure through all of this. And I am excited to see what new and different aspects of quarterbacking he’ll bring, because it seems evident he’ll have a very different style.

    Scott, I agree, the GM needs to make tough decisions sometimes and it’s his vision we’re ultimately trying to follow. But that doesn’t mean he should be exempt from criticism. There are quite a few absolutely brilliant things TT has done in his short time here, but there have been mistakes too. We shouldn’t make this a St. Thompson thing either. This whole thing wasn’t totally his fault by any stretch, but he did contribute to it. Still, I have been very careful to stop short of calling for his ouster at this point because ironically, he has too much talent to let go of now.

    And importantly, if Favre had had a bad (or even mediocre) season last year, and the off-season had played out the same way, this would be a different discussion for me – I’d be a lot more in line with management.

  21. lostinutah Says:

    Andy, as always, great post. But then again, I think your brother’s the one who’s on crack half the time. :)

    (just kidding about the second part).

  22. Kristin Says:

    Kroll’s West or Kroll’s East?

  23. ScottinDC Says:

    Andy, I think you’re completely correct about Thompson. He isn’t infallible either, and his handling of this whole affair has been less than admirable. It wasn’t my intention to portray him as someone unworthy of any criticism, only to point out that it seems that the lion’s share of the media’s sympathy (whatever that’s worth), at least as far as the national media is concerned, has been with Favre. That being said, Thompson did conduct himself in an arrogant manner that was completely unbecoming. I still have to put most of the blame on Favre though. I think this was a situation that was almost impossible for the Packers to come out looking good, and Favre added to that with his manipulation of the media. Rodgers stock has gone up in my book, because he’s been nothing but a class act throughout the whole ordeal.

  24. awhayes Says:

    Well said there Scott…and I would agree that the national media was mostly on Favre’s side (though not local Milwaukee media – very much against Favre here). And, I agree that Favre’s media method was very poorly thought out – especially with his family/agent leaking stuff before he spoke.

    Rodgers has been classy throughout, and I am really pulling hard for the guy now.

  25. ja Says:

    “2. If they really believed that, then why were they so eager (supposedly) to fly down to Hattiesburg in March when Favre first made rumblings about returning?”

    To raise their offer in the bribe to stay retired?

    I think that unretirement story from late March is when the tide of public opinion turned the strongest against Brett, and now we may never know the true story. I wonder why Favre never explained his side of that event other than to say “that’s not the way it happened.”

    I don’t believe there was an “agreement” to return, as Jay Glazer reported. If they were going to announce his return, wouldn’t they have done it in Green Bay? And McGinn reported that Thompson had “little or no interest” in Favre’s return.

  26. alphacat Says:

    TT comes across as a real jerk, but for better or worse is willing to make some tough controversial decisions, and most have turned out positive. He has done a great job of building a young team from the bottom up. IMHO I have to believe that Rodgers will have a very good season barring injury. He has a solid OL thats getting better, five very capable receivers, and a running game. Most QBs would kill for this supporting cast.

  27. VaCheezHead Says:

    I agree with most of what you posted but remember the GM job is not a personality contest. TT has done a pretty darn good job with the talent he’s accumulated in 3 years and as long as he continues to do his job effectively I could care less if his “on-air” personality is somewhat lacking. I also need to point out that the organization and fan base is at the exact same place we were on March 6…except the organization now has a extra draft pick in the top 4 rounds. One more point….I really think that in spite of the media spotlight shining on the players, from every player interview I’ve seen and read everyone is rallying around Rodgers. I think this will make the team stronger this year. One aside…as united as the locker room has been behind Rodgers just imagine the negative influence Randy Moss would have had if he was on the team.

  28. scott in wisconsin Says:

    Anyone notice Favre’s comments on 8/9? He sure sounds like he is almost starting to count the days until the season is up….

  29. Cainan Fortun Says:

    With all of the comments made, all I can say is this; we all want to believe in the Favre we all know and love, and we all want to blame the management for all of this mess. However, none of us will ever truly know what each party did or said that created all of this mess and drama. You can never believe everything the media or sports writers print or say, because I can guarantee you that none of them were actually in the room when any conversations were taking place. Lets not judge any party on speculation alone. The dream situation would be to have T.T., McCarthy and Favre all on the same show having a debate just like the presidential nominees have.

  30. Joe Says:

    Kroll’s! Now I can’t stop thinking about a cheeseburger with extra butter, cheese curds and the pot o’ whipped potatoes. Kroll’s was a pretty happening place to take a date when I was in high school.

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