Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Out on a football limb

On Sunday night, it seemed to me that the over the top coverage of Brett Favre's return to Green Bay was reminiscent of an exiled leader returning to resume his rightful position.

But,as Benazir Bhutto and Benigno Acquino show us, sometimes the existing powers cap the returning hero.

Incredibly, that seems to be what is happening to Favre. Now the reports are that McCarthy acknowledges that Favre gives the team the best chance to win in the short term, but their eyes are on the future. As I have said before, that makes sense only if you think that you don't have the talent to go deep into the playoffs now. When you have won 18 of the last 22, that doesn't look like the most rational assumption. In the NFL, you win when you can.

This is, I think, the third time that I have blogged this, but, having watched most of the scrimmage on Sunday night, Thompson and McCarthy appear to be absolutely out of their minds. The only way that they survive this is if Favre goes someplace else and stinks or Rodgers leads them deep into the playoffs. They obviously don't think that the former would happen - they are scared to death to let him play elsewhere - and, based on the limited evidence presented Sunday night, the latter seems extremely unlikely. Rodgers short game is extremely inaccurate (a big liability with a team that lives on yards after the catch), his reads are poor and he has nervous feet in the pocket.

He might - he probably will - get better but I don't expect to be buying playoff tickets this year.

And I don't expect to find Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy in Green Bay a year from now.


Anonymous said...

Wow. . .not only are you an attorney and a college instructor, but you're also a general manager and coach for a professional football team. Well, with everyone saying Favre is the best hope (gosh. . .dare I call him the Messiah for the Packers) to make it to the Superbowl, may I remind you and all the other Favre geek fans, that the guy has won only one freakin' Superbowl! Yes, made two appearances (in how many years has Favre played for the Packers), but only managed to bring one Superbowl home.

And, all you Favre geek fans, what is going to happen next year. Do you actually like being jerked around by this guy year after year? Oooh...retire...yes...no...

Favre is as bad as all the egotisical professional athletes, thinks only of himself and not the team.

Maybe this should be a lesson to all the aspiring professional athletes--have a back up plan (i.e. a real college education) you can fall back on when your playing days are history.

Rick Esenberg said...

This is a blog. I opine on all sorts of things I know little about.

But I do know that Favre was a Pro Bowl quarterback last year - probably one the top five in the league. Notwithstanding the fact that he did not play well in the scrimmage and has really played well only once in the exhibitions and portions of games in which he has played, it may be that Rodgers will be that good or close enough to win. But the odds are against it.

Favre has behaved badly and I don't really expect star athletes to be nice people. I do want the people who manage the teams I follow to do so without allowing their personal feelings to get in the way. I am sure that it has been extremely tough to get jerked around by Favre's indecision but that's what they are paid for.

Brian said...

Appropriate cartoon for today's post: http://townhall.com/funnies/2008/08/05/6

PaulNoonan said...

Notwithstanding the fact that he did not play well in the scrimmage and has really played well only once in the exhibitions and portions of games in which he has played, it may be that Rodgers will be that good or close enough to win. But the odds are against it.

1. Agreed, Favre is almost certainly better and they are morons for the way they have handled this, but...

2. Pro Football Prospectus (and KUBIAK) likes Rodgers to the tune of 28 TDs and 15 picks, which is pretty good. The Packers' offense is good enough to make average look spectacular.

3rd Way said...

I'm sorry Rick, but this is one of the best quotes ever.

This is a blog. I opine on all sorts of things I know little about.

It is indisputable that the Packer's are a better team with Favre and Rodgers on the roster. I wish they were given a chance to compete for the position.

This debacle has gone worse than I could have ever imagined. I have lost respect for Favre and Packer's management. Seriously disheartening as a fan.

Rick Esenberg said...

If Rodgers throws 28 TDs and 15 picks and Ryan Grant runs like he did last year, they'll take the division again. I just don't think there is any basis to believe that will happen.

Listening to McCarthy today, he may be right in saying that there is not way to salvage the situation now, but it was the way in which they handled it that got us here.

ticked off reddess said...

I am sorry shark...I'll keep it as clean as I can. As a fan of Favre who stood by him in good times and bad, this press conference and Mike McCarthy are full of bull*#@*. He is putting it all on Favre - "Brett Favre isn't in the proper mindset to play for the
"Green Bay Packers". All the things he is saying is to cover his ass and the ass that he kisses...Ted Thompson. I hope that Rick is right. McCarthy and Thompson gone next season.

And "love to remain anonymous geek", you have no idea what you are talking about. May I remind you that Brett was a 3 time (almost 4 if not for Brady's amazing season) MVP. He had one of his best seasons last year. Broke all kinds of records, continued his consecutive start streak. Yeah I know, put the whole NFC championship loss on him...doesn't matter that Ryan Grant had a poor game and Al Harris couldn't find Plaxico Burress all night.

Dad29 said...

Having watched 90+ minutes of Green Bay Packers (less 1 minute for weather) between 5:05 and 6:30---

Did anyone hear about the war between PRChina and India that broke out late this afternoon?

Anonymous said...

I agree generally that Brett is the better quarterback and that management has handled this extraordinarily poorly.

That being said, how did we come here? Just yesterday the widespread belief was that Favre and Rodgers would be competing for the starting position, which basically meant that Brett would be at the helm once again.

But now today, we hear things like "Brett isn't in the right mindset" and Brett can't, it appears, just forget about everything that happened. While I didn't think that Brett would be thrilled about competing for the starting spot, he and everyone else knows he would have won handily, and it would have allowed management to save just a little face by being truly able to claim that the best player was out on the field.

Brett and Mike make it sound like the relationship can never be resurrected. And it appears to me that opinion belongs to Favre, not management. If the competition resolution is still on the table, then why does that not resolve the situation? Brett tells us that "there's been a lot of damage done and I can't forget it."

My view, as a person who has been behind Brett 100% up to this point, is that if management can look past Brett's indecision regarding his retirement, then he should be able to look past how they've handled the situation in the past month.

That being said, there aren't many opinions on the table for Thompson at this point. Any action he or McCarthy take that does not involve Brett either re-retiring (which his agent says he will not do) or playing for the Packers seriously risks their future with this ball club. Both sides had better find a way to make it work.

Anonymous said...

Ticked off Reddess. . .breathe--slowly. . .

When was the last time Favre won the Superbowl? When was the last time Favre won the MVP?

Reddess. . .it is 2008! In football, it is all about what you do NOW, not years gone by!

One other thing--answer me this. If the Packers make the playoffs and they go to the Superbowl with Aaron Rodgers, what is going to be your argument? I suppose you will simply say that Favre paved the way for Rodgers.

joe stalin said...

Anonymous, when was the last time Rodgers started a NFL game. When was the last time Rodgers won an NFL game, when was the last time Rodgers won an MVP. When was the last time Rodgers made the Pro-Bowl. When was the last time Rodgers won a playoff game. When was the last time Rodgers won a Super Bowl, when was the last time Rodgers won anything?
Favre was 13-3 as a starter last year, was a first string Pro-bowl and came within an overtime of the Super bowl. You must be a lib, because you arrive at your conclusions with your emotions, not your brain.

jimi5150 said...

Rick, opine away. About anything you want.

The problem with this situation with Favre is that we simply haven't had to go through this as often as other teams do. We aren't used to it. Add to that the fact that Brett is such an iron man, such a presence, and it makes it all the worse. Couple of things:

It is inevitable. Be it this year or next, Brett will retire. We need to accept that.

There's no reason to think McCarthy is doing nothing more than what's best for the team. I respectfully disagree with the "bull . . ." comment. If Brett is a player acting like a player, then McCarthy is acting like a coach. He's not the decision maker. It's like blaming the server for the bad the food.

Lastly, and as I've been saying many times, should Brett come back then, for me, the expectation would be to MAKE the Superbowl. Anything less and all of this will be a huge waste of time.

calmer reddess said...

anon 8:30

I won't have an argument. I'll just have to admit that I was really wrong and run out to get my Rodgers jersey.


The passing of my closest friend's mom has helped me put it all into perspective.

reddess said...


regarding the "bull..." comment - as Rick knows, I usually emote first and think it through later.
Honestly, I am sick of all of them right now.

Anonymous said...

Joe Stalin--just thinking about the future, baby! The past is the past. . .move on! What do you think people said about Favre first coming into the league? Before he started a game? Geez. . .get a freakin' grip! Yeah, you must be one of those neocons by the way you like to live in the past.

Terrence Berres said...

jimi5150 said "The problem with this situation with Favre is that we simply haven't had to go through this as often as other teams do." and "It is inevitable. Be it this year or next, Brett will retire."

True, yet the memory of several pre-Favre decades remains for many fans. They could reasonably prefer his last year(s) to hurrying to see what's beyond them.

jimi5150 said...

Hmm. I recall many a great game with Majic, Dickey . . . and I also remember how bad the defense was.

Redness, we're all a little tired of this. I'd rather know how you really feel than have you Obama-ize it.

Rick, I will bet you Ted and Mike are here next year. If Lovie and Rex can survive last year, Ted and Mike can survive this.

Curt said...

The Packer's rightfully are looking a few years ahead. They still have the youngest team in the NFL, and they still have a few holes to fill. This team will be at it's peak whatever that may be, not in 2008, but in the next few years beyond that. They need to find out if Rodgers is the answer before their team peaks. Otherwise they stand a real chance of being the Vikings in 2009 and 2010. A Superbowl contending team lacking even a competent quarterback. I just wish this whole thing was handled better from both sides, but mostly from Brett's. It is amazing the amount of goodwill he burnt through in the last few months.

Terrence Berres said...

jimi5150 said... "I recall many a great game with Majic, Dickey . . ."

And Every Touchdown Scored by Chester Marcol...