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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Brett Favre: Diva Or Victim?

Now undeniably, Brett Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. It doesn't matter if you're a Cheesehead or not (and I am definitely not), you can't argue against that. He did amazing things in Green Bay for 17 seasons, and I believe he has two Super Bowl rings.

Back in March he gave a tearful press conference announcing his retirement... I don't think many were shocked, really, as he'd been tossing around the idea for some time. In 2007, however, he'd had a come-back year. His stats were up, he broke records. He got all the way to the NFC Championship game. Perhaps, afterall, some were surprised. What did surprise me, however, was reading that suddenly he wanted back in the game. He and Green Bay management had quite a bit of drama over this. Green Bay had finished mourning his departure, they'd moved on, and they'd chosen a new quarterback. Can you blame them?

A coworker and I had an awesome debate about this on Friday, so I read some news stories from March and in the last few weeks to see if I could stick by my guns - I said Favre made a terrible move personally and professionally in changing his mind. My coworker thought he was railroaded and Green Bay tried to force him out, and then just gave him the shaft when he decided to change his mind.

Personally - I still think as training camp approached, Brett realized he was no longer going to be out there on the field - in front of millions of fans, doing what he loved most - what it seems he was born to do. Maybe his wife got tired of him already, maybe he just hadn't explored his options (i.e. sports commentator, charity spokesperson). We know it's not because he needed the money.

What I also read was that Green Bay was worried about the bad publicity. Brett is the golden boy, the fan favorite... and those Cheeseheads are loyal fans. Green Bay wanted this problem to go away, and they offered him a money deal to stay retired. I read they would reinstate him and bench him if he insisted on coming back. Did they not want to trade him or did Brett really not want to move on to another team? We may never know. I will concede it was wrong to act just to keep him quiet.

Personally, I think he behaved like a diva. If you're not sure if you want to retire, maybe you shouldn't open your mouth. If you felt forced out, explore your options. I'd start with not waiting until July and training camp to start whining about it... For the record, I didn't read anywhere that Brett himself said a word about being forced out. I know that doesn't mean it didn't happen. But I'm sticking to my guns on this one.

I believe it's better to go out a winner, leave the sport before you become a sad shadow of yourself. Hey, we all watched it when Emmit Smith went to Arizona. Hopefully Brett's fate won't be the same (but I'm not holding my breath).
Zemanta Pixie


Ken said...

I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. A little bit of it was like the newly-graduated college senior who isn't going back to school in the fall. He just didn't know what to do with himself. I believe he had no interest in playing for the Packers.

I think the Packers really did want Favre to move on. Aaron Rodgers is going to be a free agent after the season. How do you justify him being your quarterback of the future and re-signing him with no on-field data?

JoeinVegas said...

Sports! too much sports! How about sewing or dancing or something?

New White Keds said...

DIVA -- pain in the hind end, over paid and spoiled diva. Period, end of story -- no matter what the reason, even if he was pushed out. suck it up and take it like a man. D-I-V-A!

Randy said...

I've debated this subject quite a few times. In all my debates, I have to admit...DIVA is the absolute best way of describing Brett Favre.

I blame the sports media for making this such a big deal, like sharks to water...the sports media only fueled the whole thing to make it more of a story that it really is or was.

People fail to bring up the fact that the 3 seasons prior, Favre was going to "retire" he held the Packers hostage, so to speak until he made up his mind...each time, the Packers were left with draft choices, trades, etc...all upheld by Favre. So the Packers made the decision to draft Rogers in 2005 because Brett was set to "retire" Aaron Rogers was names Favre's replacement. And for 2 more seasons, Rogers had to sit and watch, while Favre elected to "return" So at the end of the 2007 season, Favre finally announced his retirement...something the Packers and Rogers had been waiting for, for 3 years. He cried, and hogged the media to announce he was "finished" and would not return. FINALLY the Packers can go into an off season and look to the future.

Oh wait...Brett wants to play...wait Green Bay..I'm not gonna retire...SIKE...haha just kidding....Ok I'm here...I'm #1, it's all about me and my team...sorry Aaron, looks like you'll have to wait another year...even though you could probably start for 10 NFL teams today. And FINALLY the Packers said...wait, sorry bro...you retired. It's not Brett's team anymore...it's Aaron's team now. and in true DIVA fashion, what happened? Brett threw a fit, which turned into much bigger of a story that it really is, and a black eye on Favre's H.O.F. career. It's sad, really. I agree the Brett is one of the best ever. He also had mad respect from 99.9% of fans and athletes alike...which is now damaged and tarnished. Why? because he's a DIVA!!!

Let's hope his career don't end as sadly and pathetically as those who preceded him, like Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, Ronnie Lott, Emmit Smith and so many others who just don't know how to "hang em up"

An80sNut said...

I believe that he is both. I think that, as a leader on the field and locker room, you expect the team management is trying to work with you to make the team better. When it was obvious that they didn't care what he wanted, he was more vocal about not enjoying what he was doing. It's like being around that one person at work that keeps saying that they are going to quit, get another job or move to the country. But the grumblings were mainly his way of voicing dissatisfaction with the work environment. The team wasn't just going to let go of a man so linked with the team's success unless he was done. He knew that.

Drafting Rodgers was smart move for the team at the time as they were inclined to believe Favre was on his way to retirement. When pressed to make a decision this year prior to the draft, he left and the team drafted two QBs. (Some teams only carry two in a season. So 3 was putting themselves on the line to develop at least one of the picks into a back up.) Rogers and two rookie QBs made for a crowded position when Favre announced his return. The team was stuck.

A smart move on Favre's side but overall I see him as savvy in respect to his waiting out personel moves that would allow him to relocate and see if the grass is greener when wearing green. The team, did what they did to keep an historic figure in Packer lore with the team but their hands were tied. One could say that they tied those hands with earlier treatment of Favre (detrimental offensive line changes and broken promises) that led to alienation.

That said: he's both