Friday, August 15, 2008

Final Thoughts on Favre

SAN FRANCISCO — The unthinkable happened last week when Brett Favre was traded to the New York Jets. I initially wrote "two weeks ago" before I checked the date of the trade and realized it was only a week ago. More proof that this saga has been going on too long. So now Wisconsin CBS stations are making plans to show as many Jets games as possible, the NFL Network is planning to show Favre's pre-season debut with the Jets on Saturday, and I am sure that, later in the season, some Jets' games will be moved to prime time under the NFL's flex schedule plan.

Meanwhile, in Aaron Rodgers' first start for the Packers, he looked good, in fact better than the box score suggests. The interception bounced right off the receiver's numbers, and there were several dropped passes that could have padded his numbers. Rodgers was pulled pretty quickly, and was all smiles after the game. I discovered this week just how divisive the Favre situation has become for Packer fans. I sent around a copy of an article about Favre to a small group made up of mostly family members, along with a few others with whom I regularly correspond on Packer matters. Instead of sending the article to all recipients as "bccs," I sent it with all recipients being shown on the "To" line. It is now three days later, and responses are still going back and forth among the recipients, some of whom don't even know each other, arguing about who is more at fault, taking shots at each other, and suggesting that others should calm down. I am ready to move on to the current season, and I will just add that I am disappointed with the way the Packers handled this situation, and I am even more disappointed with Brett Favre for the way he has tarnished his reputation in my mind.

When Aaron Rodgers took the field on Monday night, and the crowd gave him a standing ovation, I think the message was clear. Some in the crowd obviously thought it was his time, while others would have preferred to see Brett Favre on the field. But the standing ovation sent the signal that Rodgers is the starter now, and as loyal Packer fans, the fans in the stands wish him nothing but success. I feel the same way.

I will of course be in the stands in
San Francisco on Saturday to cheer on the Packers. Aaron Rodgers will presumably have lots of fans watching him, since he is from Chico, CA and went to college at University of California. I am hoping that Rodgers will play for most or all of the first half, and that most of the players who sat out last week's game will be playing this time. Before leaving for the game, I will first set my recorder to capture a game on the NFL Network that I always wanted to see again. On Saturday, at 1:00 pm EDT, noon CDT and 10:00 a.m. PDT, the NFL Network will show the September 20, 1992 Cincinnati at Green Bay game. Yes, the third game of the 1992 season, when Don Majkowski was knocked out of the game, Brett Favre came in to relieve him and pull off the first comeback victory of his career. This game was not on TV locally in San Francisco, and it was several years before DirecTV got the NFL Sunday Ticket. But as luck would have it, the Freeman Family chose that day for a pilgrimage to the (now defunct) Packer bar in Redwood City, CA. So all of us, including our 2 and 5 year old kids (now 18 and 21) were able to witness Brett Favre's first win. More next week after the San Francisco game.

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