First off, let me preface this post by saying that I live in Green Bay and I have the privilege to go to many game at Lambeau Field. I have seen Brett Favre do some magical things and some bone-headed things (see 07 NFC championship game). However, as I watch this season unfold with him in purple viking gear, there appears to be empirical evidence that Favre may have been more valuable on so many levels to our young packers team than we thought.
In retrospect, 2007 appeared to be a complete mirage on many levels--Ryan Grant was the darling running back picked up off the NY Giant's scrap heap, our team was winning every close game, Greg Jennings was quickly becoming a star and TT/MM looked like geniuses. How the mighty have fallen so quickly...BUT, as much as it pains me to admit this--the man that made things possible during that dream run in the fall of 2007 was none other than BF.
Brett Favre seemed to be the only true veteran that, in my opinion, might have guided and held our young team accountable during TT's tenure and through the magical 07 season--as much as we blast Favre for how he exited GB or how aloof in the locker room he was, the numbers don't lie--we have sucked since he left and he is the only player of substance that has left our team. (Cullen Jenkins was injured much of last year so he would be a close second, all things being equal). Favre makes players around him better--that's a fact...players want to do their best around him and for him--that's a fact. I think Favre asked for his release in the spring of 2008 more so because he wanted to be on a team with established, savvy veterans and key free agents--players like the ones that he was used to winning with like Reggie White, Sean Jones & Keith Jackson--the Vikings fit that mold to a "T" and happened to play in our division. If Favre had to waste a year in NY to get to Minnesota it was worth it to him--the bonus was being able to stick it to TT when he did get to the Vikings. Perhaps in the spring of 2008 Favre knew how poor the discipline, work ethic or accountability was on the youngest team in the league--he was too old to wait around to find out if he was right or wrong--he didn't want to take that chance with a bunch of young punks who didn't know or care to know who Kitrich Taylor was. Perhaps he saw MM as more of an enabler willing to put up with a young team's gaffs, penalties and lack of accountability.
With us losing TWICE this year in less than stellar fashion to the Vikings, the Packers Players and coaches as human beings have to be wondering how Favre ended up doing them in like he did. TT made the right move to jettison BF to the Jets because he CORRECTLY knew what he had in Aaron Rodgers and we needed to take control of the franchise back. The gross miscalculation that TT failed to account for was the bitterness, spite and competitiveness that a player like Favre can harbor, nurture and then materialize into the ass-kicking that he laid on our Packer team TWICE this year. TT's worst nightmare has become reality this year--he wasn't beaten by Adrian Peterson, who is the best offensive player in the league according to some, he was beaten by the same quarterback that killed our Cinderella Superbowl team of 2007 that wasn't meant to be.
I'm not saying that Brett Favre was like Reggie White in that if you got a bone-head penalty he would be in your grill, but since he left our team has horrid discipline during games and seems very lethargic and nonchalant during big games. Jonny Jolly's penalty was horrible on so many levels--his excuse for it after the game was actual more horrible than the penalty itself! I never recall any coach almost losing a locker room while Brett Favre was here--but in seven games this year Mike McCarthy appears to be one bad loss away from losing the locker room--and ultimately his job.
Aaron Rodgers will do great things in his career I believe, but we are the youngest team in the league for the 4th consecutive year...now more than ever we are acting like it. A little veteran leadership can go a long way.