Friday, March 31, 2006

Packers owe Favre

The Brett Favre saga is getting tiresome. Should he stay or should he go? Does he owe the Packers a decision before the draft? Is he hurting the team?

The fact is Favre has given the Packers more than they have given him. He restored that team to glory and has been the embodiment of everything good about football. He's a throwback player who Vince Lombardi would have adored. No, he's not the greatest quarterback to play the game, but he's one of the best pure football players to ever take the field.

The Packers are being the bad guys here. They don't want Favre to come back. They know he's still got a solid season or two in him, but it's going to take them a season or two beyond that to become competitive again. They need to move on, but they don't want to alienate fans by telling Favre that he no longer fits into their plan.

Favre, on the other hand, wants to play. That's why he hasn't officially retired. The reason he appears ambivalent is because he knows that the Packers aren't going to be competitive and he doesn't want his last season or two to be spent playing for a 7-9 team. Favre wants one more crack at winning it all. He wants to get to one more Super Bowl so he can atone for a subpar performance against the Broncos a nearly decade ago.

Favre doesn't want to demand a release. That would offend the fans and possibly hurt people in the organization. Favre doesn't want to have to explain that he is giving up on the Packers. And he shouldn't have to. They have given up on him by failing to surround Brett with the kind of players who can win a title. The team has become mediocre and Favre is tired. Tired of getting knocked around. Tired of players dropping passes. Tired of losing. The Packers know Favre wants out. They also know he won't demand his release, so they are playing chicken with him. They want him to quit. It's a low class move.

The Packers owe Favre more. They owe their fans more. The best course of action to take is to let Favre know that his services will always be appreciated but that the team has to build for the future and it's not in anybody's best interest if Favre stays. Wish the man well, and let him know that whatever he does he will always be a Packer. Retire his number, build a statue and send him on his merry way with your blessings. It would be highly appropriate to advise him to play for a legitimate contender and encourage Packers fans to cheer Brett on as he pursues the glory that the Packers simply aren't ready to attain. Take the high road. There's no shame in letting your favorite son go off on his own to seek that one last date with destiny. Forcing him to stay put or retire is selfish.

Sadly, this only demonstrates that the Packers, in spite of being publicly owned and operated, are no better than the other teams out there. It's all about the marketing. Instead of doing the right thing and showing a little integrity, they are putting all of the pressure on the shoulders of the one player who has done so much for them. Favre has never missed a game, he's played through physical and emotional pain. Favre has stepped up and taken so many hits for the Packers...It's time that the Packers stepped up and take a hit for him.

No comments: