Monday, July 14, 2008

In high-stakes poker vs. Favre, Green Bay can't win

By Gene Wojciechowski
Brett Favre, left, wants to play again, but Packers GM Ted Thompson won't release him.

The World Series of Poker isn't being played in Las Vegas. It's being played in Green Bay, Wis., and Hattiesburg, Miss. And so far, a very amateurish Ted Thompson is trying to show strength in his hand.

Feel free to laugh the next time Green Bay Packers management, both past and present, starts talking about "preserving" Brett Favre's legacy and cherishing Favre's place in the team's "family." It means nothing.

The Packers are about the Packers, and that's fine, even expected, but at least say so from the beginning. Don't pretend you're genuinely concerned about Favre's standing in franchise lore when, in reality, you're more concerned about damage and image control.

Favre wants to unretire. And yeah, it's a bit of a diva-ish thing to do. Tears in March. Text messages in July.

But Favre has earned his share of diva currency, enough for one Get Out Of Retirement card. He's played hurt. He's played with his heart heavy with grief. And he's played for the moment, not the money. There are bits and pieces of his body all over Lambeau Field.

Thompson, the Packers' general manager, doesn't see it that way. His solution -- and remember, the Packers are the self-appointed guardians of Favre's football reputation -- is to announce that one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, the guy only seven months removed from the NFC Championship Game, can return but may be a second-stringer. Think about it: Favre wearing a baseball cap and holding a clipboard.

Some legacy.

Packers management wants it both ways. It says it wants to protect Favre from himself, but mostly it wants to protect Favre from becoming a free agent, signing with the Minnesota Vikings and possibly kicking the Packers' butts twice in the regular season. That's the reason behind not granting Favre his release -- nothing else...


1 comment:

swissmiss said...

Rumors are flying in the local news about Favre. First, he's requesting a release and coming to MN, then Green Bay won't release him but will trade him to another team not in our conference...

I think my FIL is getting an ulcer since he's now a Cheesehead.