Commentary: Favre ups ante with McKenzie

Hey, Mike McKenzie. In case you missed Brett Favre's thoughtful comments about your dispute during the first minicamp, he was back at it Thursday. This time, he upped the ante.

In April, Favre basically told McKenzie: "You signed the contract. Deal with it."

On Thursday, Favre took it one step further, basically telling McKenzie: "I've never demanded more money or demanded a trade. Get over yourself and let's concentrate on winning a championship."

Favre may speak slowly and he may sound like a hick with that Mississippi drawl, but there aren't many athletes more thoughtful and honest. Twice, without being asked directly about McKenzie, Favre offered his opinion on the subject, anyway.

His second series of comments, coming when asked how he handles problem players, was the most telling.

"I like Mike. I think he's a great player, we all think so. But I really feel like in this situation he's wrong. There's quarterbacks out there who make more money than me. Whenever the peak of my career was — I think it's right now — there were guys making more money than me. ... Maybe I was just naive and didn't really give a damn, but it never really concerned me. All I cared about was playing football."

He continued, saying: "I don't think there's anything better than being with a great team, a great organization and making a lot of money. You go ahead and ask those guys and they'd kill to make the kind of money Mike McKenzie's making. They don't even know if they're going to make this team. I know Mike McKenzie feels like he should be paid more, and he's probably deserving of it, but that's just the way it goes. You honor your contract, you honor your team and you honor your teammates."

The message, which was as subtle as a sledge hammer: Nobody feels sorry for you and your piddly $17.1 million contract. In Green Bay, it's not about money. It's about winning.

His first series of comments came when asked about Cletidus Hunt's absence from this minicamp. Favre didn't sound too happy when discussing the Hunt situation, but during his answer he shifted gears to talk about McKenzie.

"It's not a concern for the players, as it shouldn't be, until we play for real," Favre said about Hunt's and McKenzie's absence. "Now, with every day that passes, the tension between the team and the player — and I'm talking more about Mike — gets worse and worse. I don't know what's going to happen and it doesn't look good and I don't understand it and I don't really care. Speaking for most of the guys, we've got enough to worry about ourselves. That's part of being a good team is first of all taking care of your business and not worrying about who's here and who's practicing and how hard they're practicing and contract negotiations and all that stuff.

"My whole career has been based on what can I do to help this football team. Yeah, I know we're better with Mike McKenzie and we're better with Cletidus Hunt. ... I don't know what's going to happen but somewhere during the season and Mike McKenzie's not here, he'll see that we'll still have fun, we'll still compete and we'll still play and we'll be right in the mix again. And whether or not he wants to be a part of that is up to him."

It is up to you, Mike. But you'd be wise to listen to a veteran who has made sense out of dollars and cents.

Contact Huber at packwriter@hotmail.com


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