Archive for the ‘football’ Category

Favre asks for release – crap…

July 11, 2008

Read here from Chris Mortensen at ESPN. This is not what I was hoping would happen. This is monumental news. Now the Packers have to do something.

What I thought a few weeks ago to be unlikely is playing out right in front of us: Brett Favre may play for another team. It makes me feel sick frankly.

As we’ve maintained here at Packergeeks, we’re not pleased with how Favre has handled this whole thing. He should have stated clearly that he wanted to play again in some kind of press conference. (Though I do wonder if he chose not to do this when he got the impression that perhaps the team didn’t want him back). He has now cast himself in a somewhat selfish light as he goes on to pursue life with another team.

Ted Thompson again, is also at fault for this. His lack of communication at the least I’m sure has made the entire retirement process more difficult for Favre. Sure, Favre’s his own man and can make his own decisions, but when you get the strong feeling that the GM of your team doesn’t want you there, it has to have somewhat of an effect on you. I think we’ll find out as this plays out that somewhere along the way, Favre and TT had a big falling out – where TT may have even said directly to Favre that he wants to move on without him – that he wants him to retire.

One of the things that continues to surprise me re this situation is TT’s lack of effort to encourage Favre to return because TT has proven to have a good take on talent. Favre is a great player and still is the best QB on this team. It is just extra surprising to me that a GM who handles other matters seemingly so well, has been so rigid, removed and absent the last few weeks during such a critical time for the team.

Brother Steve is on the phone right now saying that he’s pissed that Favre would ask for a straight release without allowing the Packers to at least try to get something for him. He’s also pissed at TT thinking this all may be an ego move on TT’s part because Rodgers is his man. Steve notes that if the Packers were to win a Super Bowl with Favre, everyone would talk about Favre. But if they win with Rodgers, everyone will talk about TT.

This is just so ugly. Now what? The Vikings? The Bears?

I need several beers…

Tough spot for Ted Thompson, but that’s his job

July 9, 2008

One thing I have come across in comments by Packergeeks readers and elsewhere is the fact that this Favre situation puts Ted Thompson in an awkward position. This is true, it does. Listen, I know many Packer fans are just really nice people who would rather not have conflict. And I know many of us would much prefer that somehow Favre’s legacy would just remain intact, sealed and preserved (like cheese curds from Renards). But I don’t have much sympathy for TT having to make difficult decisions here. TT is the GM of the Packers and it is his job to make tough decisions. He doesn’t involve himself in deciding how many coolers of Gatorade should be brought to the game, or which towel brand would be best for use on the sidelines. His job is to manage the personnel of the team and part of this job is making difficult decisions. Just like many of our workplaces, our CEOs don’t waste much time on deciding which brand of pen to use in the office or what kind of birthday cake staff should buy for Brenda (ughh, workplace birthdays…). They get paid a lot in part because they are the ones who have to make difficult, consequential decisions.

Now, I just hope TT gets on this asap. If the Packers continue to officially have “no reaction” for much longer, this wouldn’t be much different than a group of 100 people at a company party trying to ignore a giant, giant elephant pooping in the middle of the room.

Tony Gonzalez – hero

July 8, 2008

I thought I’d offer a non-Favre post here.

Chief’s Gonzalez saves Chargers fan’s life

Why does a story like this get buried behind a story about Denver rookie RB Ryan Torain’s potential? Who the hell is Ryan Torain? Unless he ran a 2.3 40, or perhaps made 2 holes-in-one while golfing for the first time, anything about Ryan Torain should take a backseat to this Gonzalez story? In fact, this is an instance of the media contributing to the NFL’s image problem. This should be front and center on all sports pages. It should be THE headline. Incredible story – incredible guy.

By the way, the other headlines on the sidebar at ESPN’s NFL homepage were:

  • Imprisoned Vick files for bankruptcy protection
  • Attorney: Foley to settle lawsuit for $5.5 million
  • Seahawks’ Tatupu pleads guilty to DUI charge
  • Ex-Vike Scott pleads guilty to child endangerment

I don’t necessarily buy that there just aren’t other stories of NFL players doing positive things. There are – maybe these stories just take more time to research than big-time sports journalists (or maybe, positive news just doesn’t sell because our society has developed an unhealthy attachment to horribleness…sorry…getting out of control here…just watch the “news” tonight and keep track of how many stories are positive vs negative – it’s usually 15-3 or so).

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Favre situation could hurt Packer locker room

July 8, 2008

Readers Joshywoshy and Arealpackerfan both make a similar, solid point when evaluating this whole Favre situation. They both mention that the locker room will suffer and that essentially, this whole matter could end up being quite divisive among teammates, fans and even staff (I think it’s safe to say it already has been divisive). This is becoming a major concern. One of the things that has happened this off-season is that the Packers and fans have rallied around Rodgers as our hope for the future. Not only has Rodgers done well so far stepping into this role, but the team, fans and staff have all developed sincere excitement that Rodgers is the new man. To have Favre drop this on us now, puts that positive momentum on hold at least for now. It immediately brings with it a budding QB controversy and destabilizes what had become a stable, positive environment under Rodgers.

So, I can understand the many arguments that I’ve heard from our readers and on radio noting that it’s at least unfortunate for Rodgers and team chemistry that this is happening right now. And, I can also understand why readers are frustrated by Favre’s timing and his indirect communication on this matter. In fact, I think Favre apparently leaking comeback rumors out there to see how his return might be received is not too different from back in junior high when you’d tell your friend to tell his cousin to tell the best friend of a hot chick that you like her. Just come out with it.

At the same time, if TT truly did tell Favre “I’m on vacation..” and then didn’t respond to him otherwise, I think that’s really bad form. TT doesn’t need to have a prepared response and all that – right now he just needs to listen to the Hall of Fame QB who has been the face of the organization for 17 years. I’ll admit, this would be a bit different for me right now if Favre had 12 TDs and 19 INTs last year and the Packers finished 9-7, just shy of the playoffs. I’d be squarely in the camp of wanting to move on with Rodgers. But the Packers finished 14-4, went way further than ANYONE predicted and most “experts” credited Favre with leading them to this accomplishment. To me, his clear demonstration last year of the fact that he can still play very well is the reason TT needs to deal with this and deal with this right now. I don’t know if it means Favre should be welcomed back open arms – but TT should AT LEAST TALK TO THE GUY to see what the hell is going on! Sorry Ted, I know it’s hard work, especially when you’re good at what you do (for the most part), but being the GM of the Packers IS a damn vacation!! It’s the best job one could have!  So do your job TT and handle this matter before it gets further out of control.

Bus Cook/Favre to request activation from retired list

July 7, 2008

Various local Milwaukee news stations, Peter King and Fox radio in Madison, WI are all reporting that we can expect to hear more re an official request from Bus Cook to activate Favre from the retired list at some point in the next 10 days. This continues to head in an ugly direction.

Ted Thompson to Favre: “I’m on vacation…”

July 7, 2008

Lance Allen of WTMJ Channel 4 (Milwaukee’s NBC affiliate) just reported that he learned from a source that Favre sent a text message to Thompson on Saturday requesting to talk to him and TT responded with “I’m on vacation…”, and that he’ll call him later. While I can understand any man’s desire to keep his vacation time sacred, TT isn’t any man and this isn’t just any issue. Again, I recognize that this is a difficult matter for him to have to deal with and I don’t necessarily envy the position he and McCarthy are in right now. But at the same time, he is the GM of one of the most important teams in sports. If I were the Packers GM (remember, that is the ultimate goal of Packergeeks), I’d call Favre immediately to try to get this thing sorted out.

STEVE ADDS: If this report is true (and I heard it elsewhere today, too) it’s appalling.  I think both Favre and Thompson have handled this poorly and lack of communication is largely responsible for an entirely avoidable problem.  But for Thompson to respond this way goes beyond stupid.  It lacks class.  He just made his job much, much more difficult.

More Favre, Ted Thompson analysis from ESPN

July 7, 2008

Read here for an article by Gene Wojciechowski from ESPN.com. He makes a similar case to the one I made a few posts ago (in fact, does Gene W read packergeeks???) – indicating TT has not wanted Favre back. I think this is well written and he makes a sensible argument (of course I think that…dumb sentence, please disregard). The only area of disagreement I have with him is when he implies that there will be a huge drop-off in play from Favre to Rodgers. As I’ve said before, I think Rodgers is going to be an effective NFL QB in a different way from Favre. But right now, I’d still rather have Favre as the QB for this team as I believe he gives us the best chance to win it all. And as Gene W argues, it is TT’s job to make sure the Packers, from a personnel standpoint, are fielding the best team. Though again, I suspect that part of what may be happening here is that TT genuinely believes Rodgers, right now, is better than Favre for this team. While I would disagree with this, a small part of me does recognize that TT has shown himself to be a solid evaluator of talent, so who knows, I suppose it’s possible TT ends up being right – and that Rodgers comes in and dominates.

Rumors: Favre to Panthers, Vikings, even Bears!!!

July 7, 2008

Rumors are flying around everywhere right now. Some of the latest chatter has Favre landing with the Panthers (Stacey P alludes to this in her comment on the last packergeek post – check out Profootballtalk.com here for more on that). Also, check here from the St. Paul Pioneer Press for an argument for the Vikings to go after him. I wish I could summarily dismiss all of these rumors and provide you some more fact-based information about what may happen, but I can’t. I have no new information.

My gut reaction to the Panthers rumor is that it is Profootballtalk.com just spreading falsehoods, as they are wont to do. I think I may start saying things like “my sources” or “our people” when starting a rumor  – “our people have indicated that Favre to play in Packergeeks golf outing benefiting the Human Fund”.  Favre to Carolina just doesn’t make much sense. I say this mostly because they don’t appear to be set up to be very good this year. Sure, they have a decent coach, some decent players and are the perennial sexy pick to go to the playoffs, but this one doesn’t make sense.

The Vikings rumor is more of a wish from a columnist at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He makes a few solid points in his article, especially that Favre may actually be lured by being able to play inside at a dome instead of the frigid Green Bay, real football, weather. (His cold weather performances last year, Seattle game excepted, were not stellar). And the author notes that Sharper made the switch (as did Longwell, which was more surprising to me at the time), so there is precedent for big-time Packers to Benedict Arnold, if you will. But I don’t really think this will happen either. I’m 99% sure the Packers would add the stipulation in any release or trade clause that would disallow Favre from signing with another team in the division (though I suppose it’s possible TT wouldn’t even care about this considering he thinks Favre sucks).

(Not sure where I heard the Bears rumor, but I did – that would be impossible unless Favre is really really really pissed at the Packers and TT for the way they’ve handled him. Really pissed).

As I consider all of this, one question continues to resurface, over and over (that’s redundant): fine, if the Packers release or trade him, where would he go? The teams that need better QBs all suck and I don’t think Favre would have an interest in any of them (Buffalo, Miami, NYJ, Balt, KC, Atlanta, San Francisco). However, if he truly does come back (which I doubt) and the Packers get rid of him, there are a few teams I think might want him: Tampa Bay (Jeff Garcia’s style of game is just too ugly – and Favre may have an interest), Denver (Cutler has been mediocre, Shanahan is smart and knows Cutler may benefit from Favre’s example), Houston (close to home, rising team, unlikely though), Washington (Snyder would love this sort of a PR move, and it would make the Redskins suddenly more legit), Seattle (Holmgren’s last year, Hasselback has been mediocre lately) and Arizona (maybe Whisenhunt ratchets up the QB controversy by bringing in Favre – recognizing that Favre throwing to Fitzgerald and Boldin could be frightening). As you can see, I am really stretching greatly to come up with teams and arguments for each team – and each argument is poorly constructed and poorly thought out.  Take this to mean that I’m just having a really hard time imagining Favre elsewhere.

So if I had to guess at an outcome for all of this, I’d say Favre will quietly recede into the background and decide to stay retired.

Wilde: Favre or Cook asked for Favre’s release

July 2, 2008

Jason Wilde, the fantastic writer for the Wisconsin State Journal, just said on Homer’s ESPN Milwaukee radio show that he has heard from an “impeccable” source that Favre talked to the team about coming back a few weeks ago, was essentially told he was not wanted, so Favre and/or his agent Bus Cook have asked for Favre’s release. If this is true, this is a sad day.

As I stated in the previous post, I’m not in the camp that despises Favre for feeling this way and “being a distraction” (as I’ve heard many times on the radio today). Fact is, he had an incredible year last year, was a major reason we got so far and chances are good, I believe, that if he came back, the Packers chances of going to the Super Bowl would increase immediately. While of course, I wish he would have handled this all differently, if I were GM I’d at least talk to him and see what’s going on.

However, if what Wilde says is true, then Favre may end up with another team, the Packers brass will look bad to many for turning him away and I would argue there would be even more pressure on Rodgers with Favre in the league. As I said before, I don’t see this going in a good direction and I don’t see it ending well.

 

Favre coming back? Favre has an “itch to play” again

July 2, 2008

Chris Mortensen is reporting on ESPN that Brett Favre has contacted the Packers to report an interest in possibly coming back.

If this is indeed true, I don’t see this situation ending well. I don’t think TT will take him back. In fact, I’m pretty sure TT didn’t really want him to come back anyway (I think this for many reasons, and yet another reason when I noticed in this Mortensen article that MM doesn’t say TT tried to convince Favre to come back, just MM and Tom Clements). I think if Favre really wants to play it may end up being somewhere else. That would be really sad to me. He was and is a Packer through and through.

If I were TT, the bottom line issue would be, who would help our team play better next year, Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre? While I’m fairly high on Rodgers and believe he may actually be quite good, I still think the answer to that question is Favre. I would likely welcome Favre back and if it meant Rodgers became disgruntled, I’d trade him.

But again, my gut reaction to this is that this may be a situation that doesn’t end well. Judging from the comments made by the “Packers source”, I worry Favre’s image and legacy may be tarnished a bit by any real effort to return because I’m not sure he could return to his Packers.


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