A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
10 Burning Questions: The Favre Saga
It feels however, like I’ve heard more about Favre in his retirement then I’ve heard when he played. The “gunslinger” as some call him, got the proverbial “itch” faster than Michael Jordan’s first comeback and is as controversial and discussed as Favre’s on and off again retirement leaves me with a lot of questions and observations.
Question 1: How do the Packers groom Aaron Rodgers or any other quarterback in camp (they drafted Louisville’s Brian Brohm and LSU’s Matt Flynn this year) if he continues to wanna play?
Answer: They couldn’t’. Bringing Favre back would have slowed down the progress and maturity of Rodgers, it would have alienated Rodgers immensely.
Since he is in the final year of his contract, Rodgers would undoubtedly said “see ya!” to the Packers and moved on to another team through free agency leaving them with a group of unproven rookies and an old veteran who will more than likely retire after this season anyway after he gets tired of “Gotham City”.
Question 2: How can Favre turn down over $25 million offered by the Packers to stay retired and move on?
Answer: Simple. To make the Packer organization look like the bad guy in this “drama”. Favre knew if it came out that the Packer brass would go so far as to offer him money to stay away and go away would not sit well with Packer/Favre fans who care about winning and care about Favre.
Question 3: Was Packer management obligated to take Favre back after the dramatic and emotional scene we witnessed when he announced his retirement?
Answer: As we say in the hood: “Hell-to-the-no!”. The Packer organization have gone through this drama for about three years now and enough is enough.
An organization cannot move forward if the Hall of Fame player allows the great player(s) to contemplate there retirement or continuation. In my opinion, it’s not fair to the organization he represents and the fans that loved him.
Question 4: If the Packers were to bring Favre back and obviously make him the starting quarterback, will the quarterbacks in camp wanna stay and play in Green Bay?
Answer: Once again, this is a definite NO at least when it comes to the projected starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.
If I am Rodgers and I’ve waited patiently for the “Iron Man” to step aside and I know in the few opportunities I’ve performed well, a back up role in my final year of a contract with the Packers is the last situation I would like to be in.
Question 5: When the Packers management decided not to bring Favre back, will that be a public relations disaster for them with the fans for years to come?
Answer: YES, especially if Rodgers struggles and Favre has a great season. The Packer organization didn’t exactly use great judgment in handling Favre and he certainly showed his selfishness the entire time but one person who stayed above the fray.
He was and has been professional about it, yet Rodgers seems to be the most affected. Anytime you have reports of a six-year-old boy approaching Rodgers to tell him he sucks speaks volumes of the fans and how they’ve been manipulated in somehow making the young quarterback the scapegoat in this very complicated soap opera and both the Packers and Favre are to blame for it.
Question 6: Was the decision of the Packers not bringing back because they didn’t think he could duplicate his success in 2007, the lack of belief he was committed to play this season or both?
Answer: I think it’s a combination of both. What people seem to forget is Brett Favre’s numbers prior to 2007 (18 TDs, 18 picks, 72.7 passer rating in 2006)WERE HORRIBLE!
So horrible that most so-called experts and NFL officials thought 2005 was the year he should have been down in Mississippi mowing his lawn and retired after terrible passing seasons and even tougher seasons for the team. The other aspect is the on again off again feeling/expression of Favre and his desire or lack of desire to continue playing in the NFL.
I also feel some veterans start to doubt themselves and there ability to play at a high level when they struggle late in there careers and in my opinion, Brett Favre is one of those veterans..
Question 7: Is Favre a traitor or a selfish player?
Answer: Is he a traitor? No, but I do think he is selfish. It’s pretty hard to say he is a team player when he decides he wants to come back and play and when the Packers decide they’ve had enough of his on again off again “flip flopping”, he puts the team in the position of stress and awkwardness. The team of players that he alleged to be concerned about and he claimed didn’t want to be a distraction to. Distraction is something we will talk about at the end of this article.
Question 8: Would Commissioner Roger Goodell get involved with any other player and team to get the matter settled other than Favre?
Answer: Not a chance for a few reasons. First, Goodell is looking at a popular player he wants to keep around to get as much publicity out of as he can. Second, Goodell and the league loves to celebrate the white “ICONS” when they can even if the icons have a checkered past both on and off the field.
Third, how many players do you know the commissioner of the NFL get involved in the negotiation or dialog between a star player and a franchise? Did the league get involved with Steve McNair and the Titans? Joe Montana and the 49ers? Dan Marino and the Dolphins? Of course not and in my opinion, most of the previous quarterbacks mentioned were better than Favre.
Question 9: Did Favre agree to a trade to the Jets because he saw potential, he had the itch or he felt he had no choice?
Answer: Once again, I think it’s all of the above. I think Favre wanted to play for the Pack again but when he realize the team didn’t want him back, he became vindictive, angry and let his emotions take over demanding he be released or traded to the team of his choice (Vikings, Buccaneers, etc) but ultimately forced to settle on a team of the Packers choice, the New York Jets which in my opinion, Favre felt he didn’t want to go to but had no choice as evident of his body language and unclear rhetoric at his press conference.
Question 10: Can you name another player in the league past or present, who was able to basically dictate the kind of scenario we witnessed with Favre?
Answer: None of any significance that I can think of. (Joe) Montana was pushed west to Kansas City, (Dan) Marino was forced into the sea by the Dolphins and players from the past like Marcus Allen, Franco Harris and all-time rushing leader Emmit Smith, were all forced to leave the team they established such Hall of Fame careers and play for lesser teams in the twilight of there careers just to keep playing the game and the sport they love and played most of there lives with the exception of Marino who decided to retire as a Dolphin and Dolphin only.
You take a look at a Hall of Fame quarterback like Steve McNair and what he meant to the Tennessee Titans. Yet they treated him like he had the plague and forced him to make a tough decision and finish his great career with the once hated division rival Baltimore Ravens.
Other black athletes like Barry Bonds can’t even get a 10-second call from a baseball team and he is the all-time home run leader and is in the best shape he’s been in years.
Even coaches like Bill Walsh, Mike Ditka, Don Shula and the late Tom Landry were forced out as legendary coaches coaching legendary teams and players. Landry and Ditka were treated the worst of the group as they were fired not ask to leave.
In the end, who was at fought in the Favre saga? Some say the Packers and Favre, I say Favre. No one forced him to retire and he was asked if he wanted to come back on at least two occasions by the Packers and he declined. This after a couple of years of contemplating retiring.
No, it wasn’t the Packers with a gun to Favre’s head, it was him with a gun to the organization with the threat of leaving the team with slowed the maturity of not only Aaron Rodgers but the Packers as a team in terms of the direction and identity they needed to establish with a new leader at quarterback.
Let’s not forgot how he disturbed the training camp of the Packers, Vikings and Buccaneers with all the rumors, accusations, speculation and breaking news. The focus of every NFL team is opening day and the season they are about to embark on, yet Favre made it about him and only him which in my opinion is a selfish act.
Words in the past not connected with Favre but surely should be apart of his present, future and legacy.