Packers hired Ari to handle Favre’s “upcoming firestorm”


(Thanks to reader Ron LaCanne for pointing this out). Read this from WTMJ’s Jay Sorgi. I think we’re getting a bit closer to understanding more about why Favre has been behaving like he has:

People will be asking Favre lots of questions, and according to Newsradio 620 WTMJ’s Bill Michaels, Favre will have lots to say – some of it not so nice in the Packers’ view. Recently, the Packers hired former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer as a consultant to help handle the Favre situation and a possible upcoming firestorm in the press coming directly from Brett Favre’s mouth. “A person close to Brett said that he’s eventually going to talk about this,” said Newsradio 620 WTMJ’s Bill Michaels on Wisconsin’s Morning News Wednesday. “He said, ‘They didn’t hire Ari Fleischer for what’s been done. They’ve hired Ari Fleischer for what’s about to be said’. “Eventually, there’s a part two to all this. I don’t think it’s over.”

While I presently sit here quite frustrated with Favre for even mentioning going to the Vikings and other things, I have restrained myself from blasting him here totally because I continue to believe there is missing information out there that may be needed before making a firm judgment. I think we’re going to hear something really, really ugly and my guess is that it may be compelling enough to turn a good number of people against the organization. You don’t just hire someone like Ari for a simple case of transition.


26 Responses to “Packers hired Ari to handle Favre’s “upcoming firestorm””

  1. Ron La Canne Says:

    That’s exactly why I have been on a crusade to extract McCarthy from this media circus. Thompson’s job is to deal with personnel problems. McCarthy’s job is to deal with on field issues. Thompson refuses to do his job. It is time for the Exec. Committee to step in and get this resolved. Murphy’s not capable. Let’s face it Thompson thinks Murphy reports to him. I don’t care if it takes the Packers dumping on Thompson or Favre. The team needs to change direction in the way this is being handled. Total incompetence on the part of Thompson.

  2. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    RLC. I’m just curious what you think Thompson “should” have done. This is an extraordinary situation. I don’t know if any GM in the history of the NFL has had to deal with a mrotstihs quite like this. I think everyone needs to cut the guy a little slack. I doubt you wil find anyone who thinks that Thompson’s performance was a 10, but “total incompentence” is well beyond over the top.

    At the end of the day, it looks like Thompson is going to get what I think was in the Packers interest all along: a trade out of the division. All this talk about letting Favre “win” was way premature. The Packers got what they wanted and at the end of the day Favre will swallow his pride and play for the Bucs/Jet or retire.

    Maybe Thompson did not handle the media relations with as much savy as we would like, but it’s tough for me to judge the guy. I’ve never had to do that job. Everyone is an expert in their own living room.

    Thompson was in a tough spot. All along, a trade was the most likely outcome. That in mind, Thompson could not exactly get on national television and air out all of the team’s grievences. Trashing Favre would cripple the team’s chances at trading him. So Thompson is forced to sit their and eat his bowl of tihs because that is what the team needs even if that makes him look incompetent. At the end of the day, I’m not sure how I would have handled the situation differently.

  3. Ron La Canne Says:

    T.T. Press Conference at 11:30 am CDT. About time! And he better not ry to refer anything to McCarthy.

  4. Ron La Canne Says:

    3D – Thompson is the team’s COO. He should have been the Favre Issue contact from day one. He let McCarthy carry the load. That’s not leadership that’s incompetence/cowardice. Let’s hope Ari trained him well the national media will attack like pitbulls today.

  5. PackerBelle Says:

    How did he let Mike McCarthy carry the load? It wasn’t Mike McCarthy flying to Mississippi, that was Murphy. It wasn’t Mike McCarthy trying to get a trade, that was Thompson and his staff. Yes, Mike McCarthy had to answer questions from the press but unless the Packers were going to block him from talking to the media and seem like they had something to hide that was going to happen. Mike McCarthy didn’t have much of a role until Favre was reinstated and showed up – and as a coach he should be involved with an active player and ensuring that the player is ready to play.

  6. Trav Says:

    I agree with McCarthy in that his focus now, once the meetings were completed, is that he needs to 100% focus on the team and going forward. Not just one player, but the other 80+ that are on their roster and will be playing for them this year.

    In an article from JSOnline, I think Pickett his really put it into perspective for the team:

    As for the future, it’s clear Favre isn’t part of it for the Packers. Whether they are pro-Favre or anti-Favre, the players are just hoping the saga is over.

    “The thing that is tiring is all the questions,” nose tackle Ryan Pickett told reporters. “We’re just tired of being asked about it.”

    And this will not go away for the entire season. It is going to hang out there if the Packers play well or not and if Favre plays well or not.

    Final thought: If he would end up with the Jets somehow, does the NY media just rip him apart in the first bad showing? My guess is a definite yes.

  7. PackerBelle Says:

    Is it petty of me to hope that if he gets traded that he really sucks?

  8. Aaron Says:

    PackerBelle – yes. And I’m right there with you.

  9. patrick Says:

    Thompson is very much responsible for this whole fiasco. Yes, Favre is partially resposible as well, but if Thompson wouldn’t have done everything in his power to undermine Favre and Thompson this would have been settled weeks ago. I would be my paycheck that Thompson leaked the fake story about the cell phone to the press. Murphy is also parially responsible because he is the BOSS. He can very well go in to Thompson’s office, tell him to shut his trap, clean out his office, and Favre would be under center in under an hour. He needs to grow a pair and act like a CEO. When this team finishes below .500 this year I hope they take a hard look as to why. McCarthy is in a complete no win situation, and will take the fall for Thompson’s arrogance and stupidity

  10. Trav Says:

    Petty like me hoping he goes to the Jets, where they suck, all the players hate the coach, they have no hope for the playoffs, and the media will tear him apart?

  11. Dave Says:

    What POSSIBLE reason would Thompson have for leaking a story about a team issued cell phone? Ridiculous. Just send me your paycheck whenever you get it.

  12. verno329 Says:

    Not at all. I have always loved the guy when he was playing but it would satisfy me to see him struggle while Rodgers plays well. Just being honest

  13. 56Coop Says:

    I’m not so sure about Favre being under center in under an hour. Possibly, if they had actually fired Thompson. From what IU can glean from McCarthy’s interview yesterday Favre’s feelings are hurt & he absolutely did not want to play for the Packer’s.

    I’m not a Thompson fan at all and now am less of a Favre fan. I don’t really think either one of them had the team’s best interest at heart–especially Favre. I think he wants to get TT fired–period.

    Either way–at least it appears to be over. Thanks Brett for the past 16 years–good luck to you wherever you go (although I am right there with Packerbelle & AaronSays).

    As for Thompson, I’m not very impressed and it will be interesting to hear what Brett has to say when he finally does–and you know he will. Personally, I think his days are numbered.

    Two people have shown what I think is a lot of class through this whole thing. Aaron Rogers & Mike McCarthy. Earlier I labelled McCarthy as one of the Trifecta of idiots in Green Bay. I think actually, he was thrown into the middle of a firestorm and actually handled it pretty well. He does appear to have the best interests of the team as his guiding factor.

    But then again, who am I?

  14. PackerBelle Says:

    Patrick, I pretty much disagree with your entire post. How did Thompson try to undermine Favre? Unlike Favre who publicly called Thompson a liar, everyone in the Packers organization has been very polite to him. Thompson tried to work with Favre to find a solution – including asking him for a list of acceptable trade partners not once but twice. There is no evidence that Thompson leaked the story – especially given that there have been almost NO leaks from the Packers during this entire debacle. The same can’t be said for the Favre camp. Could this have been handled better? Possibly but given Favre’s attitude I find it hard to find away. Anything the Packers did was wrong according to Favre and he seems to want to go out of his way to make life difficult for the Packers.

    And glad to see I’m not alone in being petty.

  15. patrick Says:

    Maybe I’m blinded by wanting another good season this year, and not a “rebuilding” year. Silly me. I have no idea what Thompson is thinking, if he is thinking of course. I know he put himself in a bad situation, but from the first day he got there he’s been out to get Favre for some unknown reason. Every time Favre made a suggestion to improve the roster, Thompson shot it down.
    My main beef with Thompson is that he’s content to have a mediocre roster, a lame duck coach, and to run a mediocre franchise. He seems to put his ego ahead of putting the best players on the field. He would rather put his hands over his ears and stomp his feet, than doing the things that are necessary to create a Super Bowl roster. I fail to realize why being average is acceptable to everyone in Green Bay.

  16. Ron La Canne Says:


    As you know, GB is a unique NFL franchise, they are publically owned. They have by-laws and procedures they must follow. Each position has a job description and a list of duties. I will guarentee you that in the job description for the coach, it does not include negotiating the players contracts and disputes. That responsibility belongs sqarely in the relm of the GM (COO). The team president and board-of-directors reviews and approves the position taken by the GM. McCarthy cannot make a decision in the Favre issue. He job is to tell T.T. if he can fit into the team. Remember a McCarthy quote from a press conference last week. “We are a better team with Brett Favre” That is the extent of his input into this situation.

    Yesterday, things have deteriorated to the point M.M doesn’t think Favre is committed to all the other things required to play this year. Would that have occurred if they just let him in a week or two ago? I don’t know because everyone here is right about one thing, Favre has not negotiated at all. He has dictated (Just like he did to Sherman).

    Assume that Mc Carthy said – Fine Brett comon down everything is just peachy. Would that have ended the situation? No, T.T. would still have to approve. Hence, this is why T.T. has to be the “Voice” of the Packers, not Mc Carthy. I’m hearing talk radio Fans rip McCarthy for the Brett dissing. They, like some of you, don’t understand McCarthy’s true responsibilities in the GB Organization.

    McCarthy is facing what is probably is the toughest schedule in the NFL. His job is to spend fulltime on the preparation for the season, not baby sit Favre.

    T.T. will have to face the press in about an hour. That will tell everyone something. T.T. dislikes public appearances and has an aversion to direct answers. Let’s just hope he is well prepared. Why? Just heard Cook interviewed on WSSP – ” No, I wouldn’t say the Vikings are out of contention.”

    Being old, I remember the “Glory Years” well. When Lombardi relinquished the coaching job and remained GM something I will always remember happened. Bengston was struggling (in those days 8-8 was considered a struggle). The press and fans were down on his handling of the team. The next day Lombardi was in public defending Phil and took the heat for the teams performance. Why? Because he was the ultimate decison maker in the Packer Organization. I see no such courage on the part of T.T. He is a great talent identifier. Has done little on the FA market, but what he has done has been good. Tading has been rare but Grant is certainly paying off. It is just on this issue that I have an arguement with him. And that is only that he has let the coach take care of issues that are apporproiately his. Favre has been a jerk and sounds like he plans to continue being a jerk. That is not McCarthy’s responsibility. T.T. step up and take it like a man. Al Harris this morning: “I/m sick of this, we are all sick of this. Get it over with”. Now McCarthy does have a problem.

  17. PackerBelle Says:

    There is no guarantee that we’d have a good season with Favre. Especially not after all of this. How effective a coach can McCarthy be when Favre has publicly thrown him under a bus? Or James Campen? And do we get the potential for a good season and the expense of having Brian Brohm as our starting QB in a year?

    It isn’t Favre’s place to be making roster suggestions. Ted Thompson gave Favre a heck of a O-line and some of the best receivers in the league last year. Along with Ryan Grant in the backfield. And that isn’t mentioning the defense or dramatically improved special teams.

    I don’t think Thompson is content to have a mediocre roster or team. But he’s looking at the future and at the TEAM itself. According to McCarthy and Thompson when Favre wanted to unretire at the end of March both of them were all for it. They wanted him back and it was Favre’s decisions that led to this mess. And now they either have to ignore months of work for a guy who clearly isn’t committed to the team and potentially ruin the team in the future by losing Rodgers.

    And if you really want to tell me that a team with Aaron Kampman, Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher, Donald Drive, Greg Jennings and Ryan Grant is mediocre then I think we have different definitions of the word mediocre.

  18. PackerBelle Says:

    RLC, I’m still not seeing your actual criticisms of Thompson in regards to what he has actually done in the situation. Mike McCarthy wasn’t negotiating player contracts and disputes. His role in the situation was to talk to a player about his mindset in playing with the team. That is part of McCarthy’s job – to make sure that there isn’t a cancer in the locker room. There has been no suggestion that McCarthy has been involved with negotiations for a trade or his remaining retired. His involvement has been regarding Favre as a Packers’ player.

    And the Packers could not have ‘let him in’ a week or two ago given that he wasn’t officially reinstated until August 3rd and he was placed on the active roster on the 4th. The Packers never said he couldn’t come back, just that he wouldn’t come back as the starter. And that would have been as much McCarthy as Thompson as McCarthy is the one who has been telling the team they’ve turned the page.

    As for TT not dealing with this in the press, given what we’ve seen of Favre doing that exact same thing I’d rather he try to keep things private. Ted Thompson didn’t start this – Favre did. But rather than trying to work this out in the press he’s been quiet. He gave his version of events in the timeline provided by the JS and he’s issued statements when necessary. But rather than waste his time responding to every single allegation made by fans or Favre he’s spending his time trying to run a football team – which is his job.

  19. Susan Schister Says:

    Brett Favre is no Kurt Warner – Cardinals are in a similar situation, but with a few major differences. They stated Leinert would be the starte, but that he’d had to work to keep that job and Warner is a class guy all around. Green Bay should have stuck to their decision to move on and then if Brett said he wanted back out of retirement, then fine, activate him and trade him – same day. Instead, lack of leadership and decision making by Thompson has dragged this whole episode out. Favre has overstepped his limits, but the guy has a right to change his mind and still play the game. Trade him, get it done, stop the circus already!

  20. Dave Says:

    I don’t think trading someone is as easy as you make it sound Susan, especially if the only teams he wanted to be traded to we ones in the division. It’s easy to throw stones when looking at it in retrospect, but I think Thompson did the best that could be expected with what he was given to work with.

    As for the whole mediocre team thing patrick, how is a team that was an overtime away from going to the Super Bowl a mediocre or average team? What exactly does it take to impress you? I don’t think that Thompson is the one covering his ears and stomping his feet here.

    Oh, and Favre isn’t the GM. He shouldn’t be making roster suggestions.

  21. Ron La Canne Says:

    Belle are you related to Thompson. IT IS NOT THE STANCE GB IS TAKING. IT IS THE WAY IN WHICH IT IS BEING HANDLED. Plain and simple one more damn time – It is not McCarthys’ job to be involved in this. The Boss is Thompson it is his job. I don’t give a damn what TT has done. It is his job to handle it.

  22. patrick Says:


    They will be mediocre because of the QB play. It’s not a big knock on Rodgers, it’s just a fact. He is basically a rookie when it comes to playing time, and he is going to make rookie mistakes. He will cost them one or two games this year because of inexperience. He can look great at practice, but like every rookie, when the bullets start flying for real he will make mistakes, and yes even more mistakes than Favre made in an average game.
    The defense is solid, but I have zero faith in Grant being the long term answer at RB. How many times did he have runs of under 3 yards? Sure he may break off a 60 yard run every 2 or 3 games, but he is not a 25 or 30 carry guy. Defenses are gonna stack 8 in the box, dare Rodgers to beat them, and stop Grant every game. Rodgers just isn’t good enough to beat good defenses.
    Bottom line, they aren’t good enough to be a factor this year.

  23. patrick Says:

    Dave, it does take a lot to impress me btw. .500 definately doesn’t cut it. Anything less then winning the division and being in the playoffs is a failure. Being the laughing stock of the sports world is absolutely not acceptable. Going back to the Packers pre-Favre is absolutely not acceptable. Losing to the Bears and the Vikings, is unacceptable, and it wouldn’t be surprising to me if that happened this year.

  24. Dave Says:

    I guess I just have a lot more faith in the guys we have than you do. That’s not a knock on you, it’s just a difference in opinion. We’ll just have to see what happens.

    I’m ready for all this Favre crap to be over with. Let’s get to the games already!

  25. patrick Says:

    I agree Dave, let the circus close up shop and leave town. I really hope I’m wrong, but I have zero expectations about this year. Only expectation I have is that it’s gonna be long and painful

  26. When The Favre Hits The Fan » Brats & Beer Says:

    […] noted in a post at packergeeks, the Packers don’t have Ari Fleischer on retainer to deal with the current mess, he was hired […]

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