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.