Monday, July 07, 2008

Can you say "nightmare"?

Apparently, Sports Illustrated's Peter King can. In fact, that word formed part of his column title this morning. "Nightmare in Green Bay," to be exact. To what, pray tell, is he referring? What else but the Favre-coming-out-of-retirement situation. King is supposedly somewhat close to Brett. Whether that's gotten him any inside info or not is not clear. Still, he posits some interesting scenarios. None of them particularly good if you're the Packers.

King says, for example, "I fully expect Favre's agent to send a letter to the Packers within the next 10 days, stating that Favre, 38, wants to be taken off the National Football League's reserve/retired list." Oh boy. In fact, as King and other media are reporting today, in a recent phone conversation with head coach Mike McCarthy Brett told him he wanted to return. McCarthy, according to some of these same reports, told Brett that he was really putting the Packers in a difficult situation. Ya think?

Brett also reportedly sent a text message on Saturday to GM Ted Thompson who pretty matter of factly -- and perhaps tellingly -- responded that he was on vacation and they'd talk when he got back.

None of this good, as everyone knows. King points out that Brett is really making a mess of things for the Packers, for Aaron Rodgers, and for his own legacy. He basically points out that Brett seems to be pretty clueless about all this. King writes, "The one thing I don't believe Favre understands yet is the tumult which will greet his return to the Packers, or to another NFL team. There are Packer fans who have moved on, and wish he would do the same. He doesn't realize fully -- yet -- that Brett Favre returning to the Packers would bug a slew of Packerphiles who wish he'd make a decision and stick with it and ride off into the sunset with his glory intact. Because he insulates himself from much of the football world in Mississippi, I'm sure he doesn't realize the impact that playing for another team would have on his bleed-Packer-green fandom."

Playing for another team, via a trade, is indeed one of the scenarios being discussed, if the Pack can't talk Brett into staying retired (isn't it surreal to even have to be uttering words such as these? when did we enter the bizarro world?). But who would he want to go, and who would the Pack let him go to? Clearly, at this stage of his career, Brett would want and need to be in a West Coast-style offense and one that has a chance to win it all. That limits the teams considerably. One of the possibilities is Minnesota. Dallas has been rumored. So has Miami, although they are pretty far away from making a run for it. King speculates that a trade would be best for all concerned if Brett insists on playing. But you can bet the farm that the Pack would never do a trade within the division, and will clearly let Brett and his agent know that up front.

None of this good. It is indeed becoming a nightmare. And the sad part is Brett doesn't seem to realize that he's the one responsible. King goes on record as saying that all the buzz coming out of Brett's camp about his being forced out, not treated right, etc. is a bunch of hooey. It was Brett's decision to retire. He's been doing this dance for the last several years. But he pulled the trigger.

You can't blame a guy for still having "the itch" to play, especially if that guy is a legend and can still play. But you can blame a guy for jerking around an entire franchise that took you at your word that you were retired and then moved on. It is unrealistic to announce a few weeks before training camp that you want back in to that same team and expect everyone to step aside to accommodate you. You would never have expected Brett to be a prima donna. But that's what he's fast becoming. It is sad. Very sad.

You can read King's entire article here. For almost the exact opposite take on the situation, check out this article by Gene Wojciechowski, senior national columnist for

For a couple very good local analyses of the situation, check out these two recent articles from the Green Bay Press-Gazette by clicking here and here.

Vote in our poll

Here's your chance to have your say as to what the Packers should do if Brett wants to "un-retire": vote in our online poll. You'll find it in the righthand column just under our store link. The poll will be open until midnight on Friday, July 18. What say you???