I posted a response over on the "GB FANS.....??" thread that got longer than I intended. I didn't plan for it to get so in depth, so I'll repost it here. Enjoy.
I have no problem sticking to my decision to support the team over Favre. If Favre stays retired or goes elsewhere and A-Rodg struggles next season, I will not join the chorus of cheeseheads wailing to the heavens for the return of Brett Favre, Lord of Wisconsin.
However, I want to know what you mean when you mention the “conditions” that amounted to Brett’s emotional exhaustion. If it’s the fact that the team did not acquire the players he wanted, i.e. Randy Moss, then I refer to the earlier post about Thompson being the GM and therefore rightfully making the judgements on what makes the team better in BOTH the present and the future.
Brett was given multiple chances to say what he wanted to say, and in the end the team went a different direction. The fact that Brett was (and still is, even in quasi-retirement) that important to not just be allowed, but encouraged by fans and media to speak on the matter is almost unheard of. So it’s not like he didn’t have enough influence over the team.
If the conditions then refer to Thompson’s creation of an environment of “untruth”, I respond with this: the guy is a GM in the NFL. Lying is part of the job description, but there’s a fine line between this and the lying that Brett accuses the team of.
Rumors abound from everywhere, both within the league and outside it, and they’re just one of the many tools that GMs use to manipulate their teams and their counterparts. One of the abilities required of GMs nowadays is the ability to mask your true intentions, and Thompson is very skilled at that. If Favre misinterpreted that and consequently felt almost betrayed by the team, then it’s a mistake on his part. An honest mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.
If Favre actually was looking over his shoulder because he felt the organization was trying to push him out, then he was being oversensitive. In 2005, the heir to Brett Favre was selected 24th overall in the NFL Draft. It was widely regarded as a move for the future after Brett Favre. Rodgers was the next quarterback of the team.
Maybe he felt that Aaron Rodgers was a threat to his spot on the team, and that was why he didn’t mentor Rodgers as much as we wanted him to. You could argue that currently Rodgers IS a threat to Favre’s spot on the team, but that’s a shaky argument at best considering the fact that Favre got on TV and retired in March.
And besides, would Brett Favre really be afraid of Aaron Rodgers? Unless there was some sort of deal made that nobody has mentioned yet (a highly unlikely scenario, given how ugly this situation has gotten, because somebody would have used it as ammo by now), the setup was this: Brett Favre is the starter, Rodgers is the backup, and this changes ONLY if Brett gets hurt or when he retires. Since Favre has a titanium alloy skeleton, the second outcome is the only valid one.
The point is, Favre was guaranteed to start for as long as he played. How many players, past and present, have that kind of comfort? But, once he retired, that guarantee was void. Why fault the team for doing what it had agreed to when Aaron came on board?
Finally, I also thought it was crazy of him to retire, especially after the year he had. The man was fantastic. But one thing sticks out in my mind about his retirement, and I actually can make a personal analogy that might help explain my position.
I am a recently retired figure skater. I wasn’t a hack , either. I’ve won national titles four times in my nine-year career. I was aiming for the Olympics in 2012. I won’t bore you with the rest of the details, but all in all, I had a successful career. However, last January, I reached a point where all the time and effort I was putting in didn’t seem worth it. To paraphrase, “I can still play, but I’m not sure I want to.”
Favre manifests the notion that players get paid for practice during the week and they play the games for free. He played the game that way his entire career; nobody worked harder than him Monday through Saturday, and nobody had more fun on Sundays. But it inevitably comes to a point where Monday through Saturday gets to be too much, and Sunday isn’t worth it anymore.
I know what it feels like to retire when you’ve still got it. It’s a bittersweet mixture of relief and regret. You’re happy that you don’t have to put up with practice anymore, but you know that the next time a season rolls around, you want to be out there and you want to win it.
The point is, once you reach that point where you want to play but you don’t want to practice, there’s no coming back. I could be the greatest skater in the world, but if I didn’t practice, I wouldn’t be at the same level. Same goes for Favre. I’m not saying that he wouldn’t put the work in, but it wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t be Brett Favre.
And that’s why I want him to stay retired.