Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Packers need to give Favre his helmet back

I think the Green Bay Packer organization, especially General Manager Ted Thompson, are nuts for treating Brett Favre like he’s a scrub. No, I’m not a big fan of Favre’s but he’s been treated unfairly. Yes, he had an emotional retirement speech on March 3rd where he expressed he was really done this time but now he’s changed his mind and wants to keep playing.

This frenzy surrounding Favre isn’t anything new. Each off-season Favre takes time to gauge how much he’ll be missed. This time around apparently the love has waned and the Packers are set to move on without him.

This situation takes me back to 1992 when San Francisco 49er quarterback Joe Montana injured his elbow and Steve Young inherited Montana’s job. Young played pretty well in Montana’s absence so the organization stayed with him and sent Montana packing to the Kansas City Chiefs. The 49er’s organization felt Montana could no longer play. He wasn’t even given the opportunity to demonstrate he was healed so he could at least compete for his job. A quarterback who won you four Super Bowls and set numerous records can’t get the benefit of the doubt?

Though I’m a Chiefs fan and was happy to have Montana, he didn’t look right in that uniform: he’s a San Francisco 49er no matter how you slice it just like Favre will always be a Packer even though he may end up elsewhere.

Given the career Favre has amassed and the way he performed last year shows he can get it done. I don’t understand why the Packers are so keen on moving on. I’m even more perplexed as to who they are moving on with.

Aaron Rodgers is the guy now but he’s also a walking question mark. Yes, he had a great half of football against the Dallas Cowboys when Favre went down with an elbow injury, but that’s it. Other than holding a clipboard for three years we don’t really know what Rodgers can do and now isn’t the time to find out.

One of the major problems with professional franchises is the people running them often know little about sports. In this case General Manager Ted Thompson doesn’t have a clue. Thompson may understand business but hasn’t demonstrated he understands how to treat marquee players like Favre.

The Packers suggest they want to move on because Favre has been back and forth with his decision on retiring. So what. A person has the right to change their mind.

When athletes eventually ride off into the sunset they’ve lived approximately half their lives. Generally football players retire in their mid to late 30’s if their lucky with a full live ahead of them. Some find it hard to move on, particularly when they can still play.

I think it’s hard for Favre to walk away because he doesn’t have something meaningful to replace what he’ll eventually have to leave. Despite a supportive family and his millions it’s still hard to walk away from something you love. It’s hard giving up being one of the best at your craft. It’s hard not being around the guys in the locker room. It will be difficult giving up running out of that tunnel on Sundays knowing most fans are they to see you perform.

Favre would rather throw touchdowns at LamBeau than shoot deer on Sundays. He’d rather call plays in the huddle rather than cut grass on his riding mower in rural Mississippi.

Again, it’s tough to hang it up when you can still do it.

Now let’s get to the real issue here-typically when organizations make changes they do it to upgrade the franchise. If you fire a coach one should logically attempt to hire someone who does a better job than the guy leaving. When the organization opts to replace the quarterback fans hope to see someone that gives the team the best chance to win on Sunday.

Having said that how can moving on with Rodgers logically be considered an upgrade? If the Packers think Rodgers is the guy fine. Release Favre or trade him and let him play elsewhere but in my opinion that would be nuts.

This is not a case of a guy hanging on too long whose skills have diminished, nor is Favre in it for the money-he just wants his helmet back so he can play.

The bottom line is Favre gives the Packers the best chance to win on Sunday. All of the other factors are secondary in my opinion.

Yes, Favre has to move on at some point but now isn’t the time.

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