There is a fascinating thread
on the Green Bay Press Gazette forum about the current situation in Minnesota. It's given rise to some excellent quotable quotes and some thought-provoking discussion. I highly recommend reading through the thread, even if you aren't a member of the forum.
Following are a few of the better excerpts.
[in response to someone implying that the reason the Packers won the '96 Super Bowl was that Brett Favre was "in command" of the team]
Favre was not in command. Holmgren was. Favre was effectively leashed for the entire second half and did nothing. ST set up their first score and Rison had a huge RAC. An Int set up a FG. The next one was the running game. Freeman had a huge RAC over 50 yards and Desmond got that last score to put the game away. The number 1 D had 4 ints and 5 sacks with the best DE ever getting back to back sacks and getting a record number of sacks in the superbowl was in command of that game. Favre was only 14 of 27 for 246 yards and 52 percent completions. 135 yards came on 2 plays that had 75 yards in RAC. The absolute best thing you can say about Favre is that Holmgren didn't let him fill his pants and blow the game. The only time Favre didn't screw up was when it was not up to him at all.
[an interesting though less-well-reasoned rant]
The point of this story I'm trying to make is that I was P*SSED @ Favre even B4 he ever retired and started his little charade because I saw thru his intentions after Holmgren left, and he had a couple coaches who allowed him to get whatever he wanted. First it was Rhodes, who ran the camp "like it was a resort", and then Sherman always took the bait and started to let him run the show. We may have had good records and division wins under Sherman, but that is also when our playoff records started to go south! Favre started this crap about 8-10 years ago. The life of the NFL means you have to make choices. Do I want to continue to play for this team, make 10 mil/year, still live 2000 miles away where my children reside and call it their home and attend school there??? Do I complain then that I don't get to see my kids growing up or playing school sports??? You can't have it all, Brett! Either you love Kiln, MS so much that you bargain a trade with the Packers and New Orleans a long time ago. I believe Brett truly loved the Packers Organization, but got caught up with always "getting his way" with his coaches and GM's when he'd request more, more, more! When they finally figured out what Brett was requesting was starting to hurt the team, they tried to rein him in when Ted Thompson got here, and Brett rebelled!
Now, I often go back and read my Packer Plus mags from the 90's and let me tell you, there's a ton of interesting stories out there that I'm sure 99% of us fans have forgotten. Sterling Sharpe & Cletidus Hunt were just 2 recollections (examples) of players that would do things their own way, and of course other players on the team would complain about them. Remeber Leroy Butler coming out after Favre left and spoke his opinion about Favre and what the team REALLY felt towards him. Sure there were animosities towards other teammates, that's understandable, but to ahrbor those feelings for years tells us what kind of guy Leroy was and who Favre really is. What kind of team is it when players are cutting each other down. Yet Favre always felt the need to call out other players when they didn't play by the rules, and it started in his 2nd season with the Packers against Sharpe.
A player like Favre "deserves" special treatment, but Steve Hutchinson doesn't? Is Favre above individual teams now, but yet just below NFL management???
O.K. he had offseason surgery. That's this year. A gimme! What about in years past? Are some of us Packer fans still wishing ill will???
To make a point, this story concludes what happens when a prima donna signs with a team. Whether or not he's got the "right" to do what he does, the fact remains that other teammates start to question "why??". The boil has begun. Last year the players were giddy to have Favre on their team. Now the luster has started to wear off a bit, and that boil might be starting to fester. This is what Packer fans may have had to go thru with these last few years of his career. A player that demanded things, as opposed to be the team player he always talked about. Those players always divide teams. I'm glad things worked out the way they did!!! GO Pack!!!
Favre acted like he didn't need to practice any more after Irv died in '04. He didn't show up for OTA's, he didn't work in the off season, and he didn't participate much in preseason. Because Sherman excused him. He turned the ball over 36 times and had a rating around 71. The next year he did the same thing and turned the ball over 25 times and had a rating around 72.
The next year, he worked out in the off season, participated in the pre season and took care of the ball in the season. For the first time in 3 years he had a winning season. This is with a team he had been on for 12 years and the preseason efforts payed of huge. 1 year with a team where he was not even present in the preseason can't build more rapport that 12 with the same team.
That is why you should be worried.
I never said Brent lied to the team. I actually said he was probably up front and Chilly is acting like he already knows Brent is coming back. I did say he lies to everyone else, that is because he can't be held accountable and he doesn't care. The media can't question him or he can just cut them off from access to him.
[a post that corroborates some of the stories I've heard from Green Bay natives]
Favre as we know him is a carefully crafted myth. I lived in GB from '96 to '99 and had quite a few dealings with some of the players through my job as a retail manager, and can't recall a negative experience. Antonio Freeman was exceptionally cool. My ex in-law had a completely different experience. She ran a fine dining restraunt in DePere (there aren't many...you figure it out) that a lot of the players and coaches frequented. Favre came-in a lot, and was generally a douchebag to everbody. He was very generous, often picking-up huge tabs for the entire O-Line, and then some...but he wasa reall A**hole to the staff. The place wasn't that big, and he would show-up unannounced with an entourage, and then be pissed if they could'nt be seated immediatley. He also had the rep of nailing anything that moved, and he had his pick. One of the ex's friends was a smoking-hot party girl whom allegedly did him a lot, and I've never have reason to doubt her. We'd see him out at the bars downtown, usually with Frank Winters and he'd always picked-up her tab, though they never showed any PDA's because he didn't allow-it.
I heard tons of other stories about him back in the day with the local girls, that would make Rothlisberger blush. I could never tell you if they were all true, but you have to think where there is smoke there is fire.
Favre has somehow gottten everybody to believe that he didn't get bounced out of Atlanta becasue he was a huge partier, or that he enjoyed the ladies a lot. There is nothing wrong with either, just don't pretend that your some simple, honest country boy who's down to earth and likes everybody becasue nothing could be farther from the truth.
[a cogent, well-crafted response]
There is a considerable gap between the man and the myth and always has been but he was part of the resurrection of the franchise, he had a real "aw shucks" kind of charm and he played the game with a lot of flair. He was likeable, heck yeah. But he was never the "ultimate competitor, ultimate teammate, ultimate Packer" kind of guy that a lot of people painted him as.
The warning signs were always there. For me, the 2003 interception against Philly in overtime was really the point of departure in part because it was just something that a veteran shouldn't have done and in part because he just left without talking about it. Yes, we gave him a pass because his Dad had died; we gave him lots of passes for a lot of things that maybe we shouldn't, because in the end in his mind and in the minds of a lot of fans he became bigger than the team.
During the 2004 training camp, he gave an interview where he said "I don't have to win to have fun". Red flag, and in eerie contrast to Lombardi's "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing". I cringed when rookie Ahmad Carroll said "I play the way I play" because that's exactly what Favre always said.
And so our 2004 season ended with us losing a second home playoff game to an 8-8 dome team and Favre had a 55.1 passer rating. Ouch. So Sherman got fired and the new guy came in I was in favor of a trade right then and there because I had stopped believing Favre would ever take us to the Super Bowl.....he was just to shaky with the ball in the clutch in big games.
But I never anticipated how he'd turn on the franchise that made him rich and famous, or how he'd be willing to hurt the fans that idolized him just to "stick it" to Teddy. Over the line.
I hope they don't put his number up on the Ring with Starr and Nitschke and Reggie. He doesn't deserve it. Those guys were guys who you could look up to and who gave everything they had to the team; Favre isn't, and he didn't.
[an evaluation of the ironic damage Favre-lovers have done to his legacy]
The biggest single reason I don't like the Ol' Fatre is the trolls. If it were not for the attacks and false accusations, the constant bashing of the Packers, their management, coaches, players and fans because he wanted to leave. I would have wished him good luck when not playing the Packers. Since the trolls can't shut it, Favre is lower than sewer slime because he is so dear to the trolls and it offends them so to hear that. The best way for them to have Favre more respected is to stop trolling.
Interestingly enough, I wouldn't know how disappointing Favre has really been if it were not for the trolls. I spent a lot of time researching the truth and found a lot of extremely unflattering information about him. Like lionsgate where he called up several of the Packers opponents and explained his reads and progressions. Or his rating in plaoff losses over the last 12 years is under 70. Or for the first 3 years his yards per turnover was around 180. All thanks to the trolls that attack us over not respecting Favre. Ironic isn't it.
[another interesting but slightly wild rant]
PUGGER AND TERRA are on the right (not left) track here. We as Americans have grown into an "entitlement" status, and celebrities are just there faster and with more fury. Whenever things DON'T go our way, we pout, scream, kick and look for someone to blame.
I believe the hiring of TT, taking power away from Mike Sherman is what turned the tide with Farp against the Packer Org.
I think one of TT's first (important) duties was to orchestrate his draft, for which, as fate would have it, a little gift dropped out of a tree into TT's lap. Farp was never helpful in the past with any other rookie QB's, which I don't understand because he always got the group to sing "Kumbayah" in the locker room after one of his "team" speeches.
Blaming Ted Thompson for absolutely no help on the OL, when it was MS that allowed Wahle, Rivera to have those contracts come due at the same time during the worst cap-strapped off-seasons, and then having no-one of any talent to back them up.
Eventually firing MS after a most disappointing 4-12 season, and hiring Mike McCarthy who obviously took the job because he stated he was capable of reigning the wild-horse Farp had become.
Farp was unwillingly traded to the Jets, but got his wish that year in that GB WOULDN'Tbe better off w/o Farp.
After he wiggled his way out of New York so that he could land in a place where he could now BEAT the Packers, he did so twice, (even though GB bounced back to once again become a top 10 team) allowing Farp to put a check-mark on his No. # 2 priority, but failing in the attempt to get to another S.B.
Now GB is ear-marked as a S.B. team by a few prognosticators, and the only thing that stands in the way of Farp getting there are most likely the 2 games against the Packers this year. There are no more excuses! We either are a better team, and can prove it on the field, or we allow Farp to get to his next priority which is another S.B. I believe we have more depth than the Vikings, and probably better talent overall. No more excuses. This team is young, but they are not rookies making mistakes.
There are some other excellent posts in this thread, in particular when holyterra talks about Favre fans' feelings about last season, but I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.