The Pack & the Favre-less

I’ve tried to avoid making another post on the Brett Favre situation only because there’s no shortage of opinions and articles to read about it elsewhere.  But how can I continue to deny our loyal bloggers the kind of hard-hitting current journalism they’ve come to know and expect at the TwoNateShow?

Cue instrumental rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic

In a world where Goliath tends to simply buy out David, these two Nates will hold strong.  Neither one of us will be intimidated by the omnipotent reach of ESPN.  We will shy away from no topic simply because someone else covered it, no person simply because they’re famous, and no type of ballpark food simply because it contains trans-fats. So with that, it is now time for me to break my silence on the Brett Favre issue.

End music

I felt like Favre explained his side of the story well when he was interviewed by Greta Van Susteren.  Yes, it’s clear that there is some bad blood between the franchise and their Hall of Fame bound quarterback.  But I don’t think it’s because of the way things happened in March.  To me, he was convincing when he said he completely understood why the Packers needed an answer when they did last March.  His deicsion played a key role in their draft approach and offensive strategy for the coming season.

Of course they needed to know, and he says he gave them the answer he had decided for himself at the time.  He also acknowledged that they were very willing to meet with him a few weeks later when he was already reconsidering.  From my perspective (in the cheap seats of course), they weren’t trying to push him out the door at that time and he didn’t accuse them of doing so.

Since that time, they drafted two quarterbacks and redesigned their offense to fit the strengths of Aaron Rodgers. They’ve prepared their fans and their players for the post-Favre era and rallied behind their new QB.  Do they think he’s going to be the second coming of Favre? No, that would be unrealistic and, frankly, unfair to Rodgers to put that kind of label on him. 

There won’t be another Favre, but that doesn’t mean they’re throwing in the towel on this or any other season.  They’ve devoted their energy this offseason to life without #4, and that can be tough to undo. 

Would it hurt the team on field to have Favre back? Of course not. It could only help them as far as I’m concerned.  But from the mental standpoint of the game, I think it would require a very distracting shift for the players.  They’ve spent months learning Rodgers and his style.  They’ve learned to think of him, and not Brett Favre, as their starting quarterback.  Chemistry is very important to a team, and this kind of sudden change is the kind of thing that can create a rift in the clubhouse. 

For these reasons, I understand why at this late stage they have declined to bring Favre back as the starter.

Where I differ with the team and side with Favre is on the issue of them not granting him his release.  They say they are wanting to help protect his legacy, but it seems as though they’re trying to protect their  legacy.  It’s very strange to imagine Favre in anything other than the green and yellow uniform.  He’s one of the most beloved quarterbacks of all time, and they have the privilege of knowing that everyone pictures their uniform when they picture him. 

That’s what they don’t want to lose, and that’s what I disagree with. 

As we saw last year, he can still play.  Sure, as a fan it’s frustrating to wonder how he went from his tearful announcement in March to his emphatic desire to play in July.  One of the most respected in the game gave one of the most powerful retirement speeches.  And should he come back to play and then retire again, the fan reaction will probably be different.  Not that we won’t still feel like the field is losing one of it’s best, but we already said goodbye once and a part of the fan base won’t have the same emotional investment in him as a result. 

I’m not making a case for wether he should or should not come back.  But I think he should be able to decide his own fate, even if that means he’s not a Packer anymore. 

The team moved on; that’s understandable.  They had to.  But regardless of what went into his decision to retire and then unretire, the man wants to play.  I believe he’s earned the right to do so.  If the team has moved on then they need to let him do the same.


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