Ted Thompson…shy?

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For the last few years, I have analyzed Ted Thompson from a psychological perspective. He seems sort of mysterious – sort of like Dick Cheney. (I should add, with a hint of bias, if you want to know more re Dick Cheney, even if you hate him, read Brother Steve’s book on him called Cheney – very interesting glimpse into the VP’s life. Perhaps Steve could help us all by getting to work on a biography about someone who influences our lives way more than any VP does – Ted Thompson!). Anyway, I have reached a conclusion recently that some may see and others will likely dispute: Ted Thompson is shy…he’s painfully shy.

How can someone who runs the most important sports team in the world be shy (sorry Yankees – your team is obnoxious, Manchester United – your fans are positively dangerous, Dallas Cowboys – you guys are just so lame; besides a Packer fan is writing this post)? How could he function in such a public role, and a role that is so frequently subjected to criticism? Answer: it’s his job so he has to do it and he makes himself do it. I don’t think he likes press conferences at all. I don’t think he likes the conflict that comes with his position. I don’t think he likes hearing the criticism and/or being doubted. I don’t think he cherishes the social requirements of being the GM of the Packers. But it is his job and he knows these things are all part of being a GM so he just accepts it. What he does like is the behind the scenes scouting, finding that key player nobody’s been paying attention to and analyzing personnel options.

But TT’s personality is not a warm one and may not appear at first glance anyway to align with the personality of a shy person, so what gives? In fact, Homer, on Milwaukee’s ESPN radio calls him “Stone Cold Ted Thompson”. We’ve all seen it on TV. He comes off as very aloof, very tight-lipped, gives that wide-eyed-deer-in-the-headlights look that can just exude discomfort. But I would argue that he seems to struggle in front of the microphone because he’d very simply rather not be in front of the microphone. He puts himself in front of the microphone only because his job responsibilities require this – not because he wants to. My guess is that TT is a rather quiet guy, who doesn’t mind being alone and who would much rather not have to deal with the limelight part of his job. I’d bet he has a dry sense of humor that among friends can really make people laugh, he’s very intelligent, he’s incredibly focused and dedicated and that social events and interaction don’t drive him.

Listen, I’m not trying to drum up sympathy for TT here nor am I trying to cut him down – it’s just that this thought has occurred to me more than once since he took over and I thought I’d throw it out there.

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13 Responses to “Ted Thompson…shy?”

  1. Ron La Canne Says:

    Andy, I wouldn’t use shy as a descriptive for T.T. I prefer reclusive. Much like Howard Hughes, an evil genius lurking in the back ground and afraid to be in public without a supply of Purel wipes. All his real communication is done through others. When he actually commits to a public press conference, yes and no are the predominant answers.The headlight look really says. ” Are you guys really that stupid? Yes!”

  2. Ron La Canne Says:

    Sorry for the posting breach. Thoguht this was important since thyey only have two more practices before the Denver game. (via Packers.com)

    Notes From Monday Evening’s Practice

    The Good

    WRs Greg Jennings and Ruvell Martin both returned to action and each made several catches during team drills.
    Also returning to the field was LB Desmond Bishop

    The Bad
    Injury/participation update

    Remaining out were S Charlie Peprah (hamstring), LB A.J. Hawk (chest), DTs Ryan Pickett (hamstring) and Justin Harrell (back), TE Tory Humphrey (Achilles), T Orrin Thompson (ankle), RBs Ryan Grant (hamstring) and DeShawn Wynn (ankle) and DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee).

    New to the absentee list were DT Daniel Muir (groin), CB Al Harris, TE Evan Moore (knee), CB Joe Porter (personal reasons), Wells (back), and Clifton.

    The very, very Bad

    Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Hawk is week-to-week and that Moore could be out for a few weeks.

    Note: Pickett, Grant, Harrel and KGB still out. I am now officially worried about Grant and Pickett. Looks like Peprah and Wynn could also head for the IR.
    ——————————————————————————–

  3. PackerBacker4Ever Says:

    I agree with the analysis. He is introvert in a extroverted world. Nothing wrong with that as introverts just bring a different skill set and energy to the table. He can/has functioned well as a introvert in this job except when he gets involved in a PR game with the most popular player in franchise history. He’s not going win a PR battle or ever be comfortible in front of a mic but he has shown the ability to evaluate talent in both college and free agency which is way more important to the job of being GM. Matt Millen is awesome in front of mic but pretty much sucks on draft day!

  4. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    I missed the memo where the pro football GM is also required to be a Star Search (TM) spokes model. Where does this meme come from? His job is to assemble talented players and coaches and manage the salary cap. To the extent that he is required to be the mouthpiece for the company line, those duties should be so far down the priority list that I just don’t understand why any fan gets worked up about it. I do understand why journalists care, but I couldn’t care less if Thompson’s style makes it harder on journalists.

    The “company line” is also not the “truth.” It’s usually just a watered down, diplomatic version of the truth, and sometimes its a deliberate smokescreen to try to mislead the rest of the league. There is only so much that a GM can and should say. It’s not the GM’s job to reveal the inner workings of the team’s management.

    Is it really that important that you have a GM that delivers a watered down version of the truth/deliberate smokescreen with pizazz and jazz hands? Who? Gives? A? Rip?

  5. cheese0317 Says:

    I think it’s time we helped Ted out with his PR woes, help people see his side of things, help him sell his trip down the “new path” and “across the Rubicon.” Since he’s run off the team’s pro-bowl QB and hired renowned White House liar Ari Fleischer, I’m thinking these brands might work for Ted’s 2008 adventure:

    1. No Quarterback with 0 NFL Starts Left Behind.
    or
    2. The Axis of Inexperience Under Center.
    or
    3. Dispassionate Conservatism.

    Perhaps we could run a focus group, or try again to bribe Favre not to play.

  6. 4theFunOfIt Says:

    cheese0317 – you sound like an Obama supporter. I thought you would like change and inexperience over a long proven track record. Don’t you like leaders who talk in slogans? Change we can believe in? Yes we can?

    McCain = Favre: Experienced. Hero. Strait shooter. A little old.
    Rodgers = Obama: Inexperienced. Young with potential. Says all the right things.

    Don’t get all worked up…I’m just trying to be funny and your ‘white house liar’ comment deserved some push back!

  7. Inquiring Minds Says:

    I believe there is some truth to your observations. It would explain the long periods of silence from the Packers in the recent stare-down with Favre.

    I’d much rather believe your theory, than those other theories – that TT is egomaniacal, power-hungry, control freak, etc.

  8. scott in wisconsin Says:

    I went to the shareholder’s meeting which coincided during TTs first year. You should note it was held in a small (2500 seat) entertainment center. After the “business” was over, Ron Wolf announced he and TT would be available for meet and greet. Lines assembled. Long lines. TT looked panicked. Like a deer in the headlights. He would make eye contact with people but he looked, and I’m not being funny, but he looked at each person with a wide eyed “ohmygod” stare, as if the Packergeek was going to pull out a shiv and shank him right then and there. I turned to my buddy and I’m not kidding, I said, “I’ll bet this is the last time they ever do this.” The next year it was moved into Lambeau Field where there was NO lines for meet and greet.

    Btw, Ron Wolf loved it. Smiled for everyone. LIstened to each person as if they were telling him a secret.

    TT is shy.

    And 4theFunOfIt, please don’t compare Favre to McCain. Ever. Again. I just ate breakfast.

  9. scott in wisconsin Says:

    Oh, by the way, I was also one of those who gave TT a standing “O” this year during the shareholder’s meeting. I support him.

  10. ScottinDC Says:

    Wow, I had no idea that shayes was Steve Hayes, the Weekly Standard guy. Is this a conservative website? I really like the posts, but I’m not into the politics. I agree with Andy though, TT does seem like a guy that you would have to know personally in order to like. He has zero charisma. However, with the Favre saga as a notable exception, he’s pretty damn good at his job. He can be as aloof as he wants as long as he keeps delivering players that help to maintain the Packers status in the top 5 of the NFL. I enjoyed the Man U reference. Did you see Ronaldo on Sunday? He was too busy playing with his phone to even care about the game. I’ve always thought that the Packers are the Liverpool of the NFL. Here’s to a great season for the Pac and Liverpool FC!

  11. awhayes Says:

    Thanks Scott – good points, I agree, TT can just be whoever he is as long as he produces (though he may need to work on his communication skills).

    And don’t worry, this is not a political website. Steve would be the first to admit he’s a Packer fan before anything. Don’t let his politics scare you off – we like your contributions!

    Oh, and nice to know that there are other soccer fans out there who love the NFL too!

  12. Kristin Says:

    Packer loyalists have a stronger bond than any political poo.
    Steve’s a great writer. Andy’s a great writer, too. Both are Packer Geeks with a wealth of knowledge and opinion.

    Re: non-football crap: I’m a Wisconsin Catholic who happens to be a Democrat who supports Obama. Yet, I completely understand and enjoy everything that Stephen Hayes writes. I like smart writing. I adore the Weekly Standard. I may not agree, but I respect the work. I respect the opinion….

  13. Kristin Says:

    Oh, and yes, TT is shy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I find it somewhat endearing. Very few of us would do well under the pressure of live cameras and live audio. (I say this with great envy and respect to our gracious host S. Hayes who often appears remarkably calm and well-shaven inside the Situation Room, Meeting the Press, etcetera….)

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