Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Burning Bridges in Green Bay

A lot of people probably think this is about Bett Favre burning bridges in Green Bay. It isn't. It is about GM Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy burning bridges. When one reads between the lines, Brett Favre was not wanted in Green Bay. The Packers have "spun" the news to make the populace believe Favre is the villain, but according to Favre they have distorted the facts and lied about him. All to make themselves look better. For some reason I find myself believing Favre.

In today's Green Bay Gazette, here are some of the quotes

"sources said that when Favre showed up at Lambeau Field, he wasn’t allowed into the locker room or onto the field, and he watched part of the scrimmage from a luxury box."

"when he arrived in Green Bay before the Packers’ Family Night scrimmage on Sunday and was unable to get Thompson or McCarthy to return his phone calls."

Does that sound like a management that is going to give the player a fair chance at being QB? yes they said it would be an open competition, Favre went to Green Bay with that expectation. But it seems he was neve to be really given that opportunity. Just another press play by the Packers?

"That, combined with his anger over the Packers’ efforts to keep him retired, plus what he considered false stories leaked by the team about his offseason waffling, made it impossible for him to play for the Packers again after his talks with McCarthy and Thompson failed to bridge those differences.

“Mike told me, ‘Hey, we're a better team with you on it’ but wanted to know if I have a problem with an open competition,” Favre told ESPN. “I don't have a problem with competing – you know that, but Aaron should be the starter right now because he's been out here all this time. This is more than about an open competition, and I can do that, absolutely, but this is going to be mass confusion (if there’s a competition) and that's not good for this team.

“I'll practice my butt off, if it comes to that, and I think we all know what the end result will be, but this probably isn't going to work. And I truly understand that if I was in Mike's shoes, I'd see it basically the same way he sees it, I'm sure. And I think if he was in my shoes, he'd see it my way. I think we both agree on that. They want to know if I'm committed, but I want to know if they're 100 percent committed. The problem is that there's been a lot of damage done and I can't forget it. Stuff has been said, stories planted, that just aren't true. Can I get over all that? I doubt it.”

McCarthy’s meeting with Favre made clear the intensity of Favre’s resentment toward the Packers and Thompson for what’s happened this offseason.

Some of that came out in Favre’s interviews on Fox News in mid-July, when he said he didn’t trust Thompson because he thought Thompson had lied about several personnel matters they discussed..."

With Favre set to depart for Tampa Bay or New York probably, Thompson and McCarthy have to hope the Packers do better than the team Brett QBs this season. While a poll in Green Bay that asked fans "who was most concerned about the long-term future of the Packers, Favre and his supporters, or General Manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy" was answered the Packers' Management, don't be fooled by the answer. It was a weighed question designed to favor the Management. Obviously Favre is not a 5 year plan for the Packers. But if the question had been phrased "Who is most concerned about the Packers winning this season" I suspect the vote would have been different. And if fans had been asked which QB gave them a chance at winning a Superbowl this season, Favre or Rodgers, who do you think the fans would have chosen?

Now Thompson and McCarthy must hope that Rodgers can get them into the playoffs and that Favre has a bad season. If Favre is productive with his new team, then it will take more than making the playoffs for Thompson and McCarthy to survive in Green Bay. Thompson and McCarthy have placed their bet on Rodgers. It is probably an all or nothing bet. If Rodgers doesn't win and win a lot, look for Thompson and McCarthy to be leaving Green Bay.

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