On the Divorce of Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers

One of the things I like about blogging here is the sheer randomness of it. I know some people disagree that this is how a music blog should operate, because they’ve told me. They would like a blog devoted only to new music, or indie music, or something else. I’m sure our regular readership would go up if we would just focus–if we always had the latest in goth music news, for example. (I’ve tried to make this the go-to spot for the latest in Snoop Dogg bluegrass album news, but apparently that’s a little too focused.)

I can’t speak for our other writers, but that wouldn’t be any fun for me. Here we write about anything, so long as it can, in some form or fashion, be tied to music. I love writing for and visiting a site where I discuss Robert Mitchum’s musical career, Jason bitches about the current state of country music, Alex posts on an obscure (to Americans) Japanese band, Matt reminisces about Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, and Norman reviews the Dethklok show. I never know what I’m going to find when I check in here each day, and I think that’s great.

That lengthy introduction is my way of explaining this particular indulgence to readers old and new.

The opening day of football is special for me. Sometime in July, I become like a kid right after Thanksgiving, who knows Christmas isn’t too far away, but it still seems like forever. I start getting my fantasy draft together. I start jawboning with my friends about who is going to be up or down this year. I even watch some of those crappy pre-season games, at least the first quarter. I’m up for anything that even smells like football, all in anticipation of opening day.

This is because the beginning of a football season is filled with hopes and dreams–teams that were lousy last year can come roaring in and shock the world. Super Bowl champs can fall apart. My team could win a Super Bowl, or a national championship. You never know. Of course, those hopes and dreams are nearly always cruelly dashed over the course of the season. But on opening day they are alive, even if they are foolish.

And I am a huge Green Bay Packers fan. I doubt I’ve missed more than three or four games in the past five years, and all of those were because I was on an airplane, except for one I missed because I went to New Orleans to watch the Saints and visit a beloved haunt of mine post-Katrina.

The ugly split between Favre and the Packers has soured me a bit on the whole season. I’m still looking forward to it, but not with the same level of enthusiasm that I usually have. I’m now like the kid who loves Christmas and knows that the presents will still be there, but Mom and Dad are separated. Dad is going to show up, but we’re not quite a family anymore no matter how hard everyone tries to make it seem like we are. It will probably be sort of fun anyway, but not as special as it usually is.

And, as badly as management has handled it, the bulk of the blame for this lies with Favre.

PackerGeeks, on management:

Brett Favre put the Packers in a bad situation and the Packers handled it badly. Ted Thompson has demonstrated his ability to evaluate college talent (Justin Harrell is an asterisk) and manage the finances of the team. He is an awful, awful communicator and his ego, it seems, has badly affected his decisionmaking.

The roots of this entire dispute lie in Thompson’s unwillingness to indulge a need[y] star quarterback due, in my view, to Thompson’s eagerness to have a team shaped almost entirely in his image. So long as Brett Favre was the quarterback of the Packers, they were Favre’s team. If they went to the playoffs, it was because of a resurgent Brett Favre. If they won a Super Bowl, it was Favre’s Super Bowl. And on and on.

Michael Silver (via PackerGeeks) on Favre:

If Favre, as some suspected, was preparing to engage the Packers in a game of chicken, be it in an attempt to go where he wanted to go (Minnesota) or to get his old job back, this is what he should have done:

1. Not attend the scrimmage. (Perhaps he and Deanna could have stayed home and rented a DVD.)

2. Apologize to McCarthy and Thompson for having called them dishonest and assure his bosses he had overcome his ill feelings and was embracing a return to the organization under any terms.

3. To prove he totally was on board, show up for practice on Tuesday, wave to the adoring fans, meet with reporters afterward and tell them, “I just want a chance to compete for my job and help this team” – even if he believed the competition was going to be a sham.

4. Quietly push for a trade or his outright release and wait for the Packers, facing the prospect of a season-long quarterback controversy and a $12 million tab for a player they had hoped would stay retired, to blink first.

Alas, Favre couldn’t help himself. On Tuesday, while still in discussions with McCarthy about his future, he took a break to call Mortensen and confirm what many of us had suspected all along: Favre, despite another public statement to the contrary (“My intentions have always been to play for Green Bay,” Favre had told the Sun Herald of Gulfport, Miss., before returning on Sunday), was the one who wanted out.

Favre, who is my all-time favorite player and probably always will be despite this, has behaved like a petulant child, and last year’s Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award no longer looks quite deserved. I’ll root for him as a Jet anyway.

The management that I had come to respect after last season’s phenomenal showing looks like it couldn’t manage a White Castle. No one is happy–not Favre, not Packers’ managment, not the NFL, and most important, not the incredibly faithful fans. Probably not even Aaron Rodgers, who will have his first start in the big leagues, after a long wait, tainted by this garbage. The Green Bay Packers are an enormously-loved franchise, and not just by Packers fans–they have a reputation for class, dignity, and sportsmanship. They have sullied that reputation, and it will take a long time to restore it.

All that said, if Aaron Rodgers comes in and lights it up, all will be forgiven. We sports fans are suckers like that, just like you are for that ex that you can’t quite get over.

What does the preceding have to do with music? Why, the Bears still suck, of course.

3 Responses to On the Divorce of Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers

  1. fred Krajewski says:

    Hey are the above two guys on drugs? It’s Farves fault? Where the in the world did you come up with this. Are you Mccarthys Kid or something that you have the inside to the whole situation. Give me a break. Sounds like you are in the management process of the Packers. You complain that he wanted to push a trade. Can you explain how he came about this that he wanted to be traded…. Oh may be that the management of this team were actually dishonest with Farve!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So if you know all the ins and outs of the process I would suggest that you were a mouse in the room, are a member of packer management or you are pulling this out of your A _ _.

  2. I wrote that the Packers “have a reputation for class, dignity, and sportsmanship.” So do their fans. You prove that there are always exceptions, and you don’t do cheeseheads proud by being rude.

    I’m sure we’ve both read and listened to hundreds if not thousands of news and opinion pieces on the matter. My opinion (this is a blog after all, not the front page of the Green Bay Press-Gazette) after going through an unholy amount of them, is that Favre comes off worse in this situation and would be starting for the Packers on opening day with a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl had he handled the situation better. It is also my opinion that management is by no means blameless in the whole mess, which I clearly stated. That’s my opinion, and you are welcome to your own. I’m not going to spend a bunch of time backing up a pointless sports argument on a music blog–go to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Packers blog and you’ll find most everything I would have linked, or its equivalent.

    And the Bears still suck.

  3. mattmck01 says:

    Favre WAS great. I don’t blame him for wanting it to last forever, but lets be honest: the Pack ain’t winning a Superbowl anytime soon (neither are the Jets). He had a damn good season last year, he called it quits, then all this crap.

    I guess that go-out at the top of your game thing ain’t gonna happen.

    Its like when MJ came back to play for the Wizards.

    Or I could prove to be dead wrong: It could be more like Montana in KC. That was weird, but he had a couple of good years with playoff runs.

    Should be interesting. Poor old Chad Pennington just never panned out did he?

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