Ok, I just had to chime in on this. I meant to post about this last week, but it suddenly occurred to me that by October, Brett Favre could conceivably be a Chicago Bear and Mats Sundin could be a Montreal Canadien. Then my head began to hurt.
You never like seeing a bad breakup. Well, that's not true, bad breakups can sometimes be hilarious, but specifically, you never like to see a breakup between one of your all-time sports heroes and your favourite team. All I can say is, for god's sake. First Favre says he wants to come back, then the team hems and haws over welcoming him back, then Brett's agent says that Green Bay has become a bad atmosphere for Favre and thus he'd like to be released, then the team refuses a release, then say that Brett is welcome back to compete for the starting job in training camp, now the team is accusing the Vikings of tampering.....for god's sakes. This pissing contest between Favre and Ted Thompson has gotten out of control. This soap opera is SOLELY because I really think that Favre enjoys jerking Thompson around and making him look like an ass in public. Fortunately, I think most rational observers are beginning to realize that it is, in fact, Favre who is the jerk in this scenario. Thompson and company are trying to run a football team --- for three seasons, they've put up with Favre's annual melodrama over whether or not he's going to retire, and even a few months after Favre retired and first started to float the idea about returning, Thompson said Green Bay would love to have him back. But training camp is about to start. Opening week is a month and a half away. The coaching staff has spent the last few months adjusting the offense to fit Aaron Rodgers, and they suddenly can't scrap everything just because the ol' gunslinger is getting tired of going around his lawn on the riding mower.
Now on paper, you might say "Mark, you're crazy. Brett Favre gives the Pack a better chance to win the Super Bowl than unproven Rodgers does. The fans want it, the actual Green bay players want it...what's the problem?" Well, would YOU want a quarterback who obviously sees himself as bigger than the team, and seems more concerned about his legacy? I'll be honest, it was great to see Favre have another MVP-caliber season in 2007, but he was pretty much complete dogshit in the previous two seasons. And let's not forget his brutal performance in the NFC Championship. Favre may give Green Bay a better chance to win than a total x-factor like Rodgers, but I don't think Favre is capable of capturing a title any more. And who knows, Rodgers might be terrific. Maybe losing Favre will create a Ewing Theory-esque situation for the Packers on their way to the Super Bowl.
The doomsday scenario about Favre-on-the-Bears or Favre-on-the-Vikings will surely not happen, since there's no way that Green Bay would ever agree to an unconditional release. If Favre does return in 2008, it'll be for an AFC team that the Packers won't play in the next two seasons, i.e. someone from the AFC East or West, since there is no way on this earth that Thompson and company want the spectre of Favre returning to Lambeau in another team's uniform. Green Bay will trade him and work out some kind of arrangement concerning the payment of Favre's $12 million-salary vis a vis their trading partner's salary cap. Or, the Packers could just trade Favre straight up for Tom Brady. I'd be fine with that.
The worst part of this is that for as much as Favre talks about his legacy, it's already been spoiled. The feuding of the last two weeks won't erase all of the great memories that Favre created in Green Bay, but it's just sad that he had to pull a Roger Clemens moment right here at the end of his career. I blame John Madden. He had to go and put Favre on the cover of Madden '09, thus bringing the curse to Lambeau Field. Damn you, Madden. Packer fans should file a class-action lawsuit against him. Or just hope Vincent Price drives his bus into a ditch.
Also, Favre is scheduled to have his jersey retired by the Packers in Week One. On the awkwardness scale of 1 to 10, that night will be a 75.