What to do? Favre's point of view seems to be that the Packers forced his hand in deciding whether to come back in early March, long before he was ready to make that decision. So, since he wasn't ready to commit to a 100% desire to return, he decided to retire. Plus, he says, Ted Thompson lied to him three times. Oops, he didn't actually call Ted Thompson a liar, he said he was untruthful. Good to know that he was only untruthful, not a liar. The Packers' unspoken point of view is, as best I can understand it, that they are tired of Favre jacking them around every offseason about whether he will retire, and so, once he said the magic words that he would retire in early March, they decided to move on with Aaron Rodgers as the starting QB. And while they would (reluctantly?) welcome Favre back, he would have to ride the bench and hold the clipboard for Aaron Rodgers.
The situation is made worse by the public relations campaigns the two sides are waging against each other. Favre presumably was behind Al Harris' comment to ESPN in early July that Favre "had the itch" to come back. The Packers then started the PR war in earnest, by pointing out that when Favre first made some (private) noises about possibly coming back in March, the Packers made plans to come visit Favre in Mississippi in late March, but that Favre then changed his mind again and told them not to come. So at that point, the unspoken point seems to be, they decided they had had enough of Favre's indecision, and decided to "move on" with Rodgers as the starter.
Favre responded in his TV interview on the FOX News Channel by saying that the Packer execs were down in Florida anyway for the owners' meeting, so the supposed visit just involved stopping off on the way back to Green Bay, and that since he was still not ready to decide at the time, he told them not to bother stopping off. He tossed in additional charges about the Packers sending his old friend James Campen down to try to talk some sense into him, and about a bizarre trip to
This is starting to sound like a nasty divorce, where each side charges the other with various acts of disloyalty. I have seen some of those, where the friends and family members are caught in the middle. The unbiased observer listens to the complaints of each side, and comes away with the impression that each side has some good points, but that they are wildly skewed by the angry filter through which they pass.
It is hard to see how there will be a happy ending. Either the Packers trade or release Favre, which will make the fans crazy, or Favre calls the Packers' bluff and comes in as a backup, making everyone unhappy, or Favre comes back as the starter, with an undetermined amount of damage being done to the relationship of the Packers with their presumed future starter, Aaron Rodgers. The Packers and others have mentioned that Joe Montana finished his career with the Chiefs, Joe Namath with the Rams, etc., but I think these cases do not really prove the point. Take the 49ers and
The key difference, however, is the relationship between the team and the fans. Our team's fans own the team, and as a result the Packers have always had a unique relationship with their fans. So, unlike the situation in
Packer fans should make their views known to the team, especially with the shareholders' meeting coming up on Thursday. Call the office and tell them what you think. Better yet, if you know any members of the Packers' organization, or any members of the Board of Directors, let them know what you think. Personally, my hope is that either Bob Harlan or Ron Wolf (who is moving back to
While there is no perfect solution, and every solution has down sides, it seems to me that the best resolution possible is for Favre to come back as the starter, with the Packers trying to sign Rodgers to a contract extension on the same basis as they would have done so if he had had a successful year as starter. The down sides to this approach are several. First, Favre may flame out, meaning that last year's performance was a bit of an anomaly for him at this age. Second, Rodgers may not agree to the contract extension, and decide to go elsewhere after this year as a free agent, meaning that the Packers have to start over from scratch looking for a QB of the future. Or, Rodgers may sign but turn out to be a failure, in which case the Packers will have overpaid for him. But the reason I think this is the best possible solution is that the Packers were one drive away from the Super Bowl last year, so they obviously are a very talented young team, and I just cannot believe that they have a better chance going to the Super Bowl this year with Aaron Rodgers at QB than with Brett Favre.