The Vikings have their second preseason game tonight and you-know-who is set to start.
[UPDATE: short pass, handoff (for a loss), sack, handoff, punt, done? Hmmm…]
Anyway, a lot of local radio jockeys and whatnot have been awfully hard on the man for quite a while. Seeing as how they’re all reading this (right?), it’s time to set them straight. Observe:
It’s true, the annual prima donna ‘will-he-or-won’t-he’ act he’s been playing every summer for the last five years has been a real pisser. Furthermore, he went to play for the Vikings. On purpose. Seriously, what the fuck, dude?
Okay, at least it wasn’t the Bears or the Cowboys.
And yet, I choose to remember the good times. Brett and I have really had ’em. I bet you did too.
Now let’s flash back to 2008 and his first retirement: my perception was that Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy were really looking out for the long-term prospects of the team.
Think on it. Thompson and McCarthy have a former first round draft pick who’s been with the team for three years. They have a starter with undeniable skills and resilience, but who is also a little long in the tooth and who knows how much longer he’ll be able to play? One more year? Two? Even he didn’t know, how should they? And if they stick with him, what happens to Rodgers? How long is he willing to wait? How long can the team afford to keep him on the sideline?
TT and MM made a decision based on the big picture, which meant trying to ease hall-of-famer Favre out gently so that Rodgers could replace him, instead of leaving to become a Pro-Bowler for some other team. Favre’s (original) retirement speech was the tipoff. He obviously didn’t want to retire.
Here’s where the Packers organization’s behavior became less than stellar. They should have just torn off the band-aid. Instead they refused to release Favre and instead offered him inducements to stay retired. Then, after everyone and a half was good and pissed off, they finally traded him to New York.
All I’m saying is there’s blame to go around. Yes, Favre created uncertainty; he’s still doing it. The team had to decide if they were going to put up with that, or not. They decided to move on, but handled it badly.
And yet, look how it’s all turned out. You can’t say it’s gone badly for the Packers. In two seasons, ARod has nearly 8500 yards passing, a 64% completion rate, and 67 touchdowns (passing and rushing combined) to 20 interceptions. That’s even with the problems with the offensive line. For Favre’s part, he may have had a rough season in New York but he clearly relished his experience last year in (gag) Minnesota. It worked out for everybody!
Finally, you may be thinking that Favre tarnished his image, and/or his Packers legacy. Hogwash, says I. What team do you think of when you think of Joe Montana? Emmitt Smith? Vince Lombardi? Jerry Rice? Did you say the Chiefs, Cardinals, Redskins, and Raiders? I bet you didn’t. So lighten up.
[One last thing. During the game Sunday night NBC played clips from an interview with Favre. In one, he claimed that he didn’t know Hutchinson, Allen, and Longwell were coming to see him, and that he was sitting on his couch with his grandson on his lap. His grandson. How many active NFL players have also been grandfathers? I will be researching that.]