Sydney Speaks! As the Packers turn

A new soap opera has emerged right in front of our eyes involving the Green Bay Packers. All the characters are live and in living color. This isn't make-believe. There are no scripts. It's happening to real people and it has affected many lives, those of the fans and players as well as the coaches. I've seen things happen this week that I just don't understand.

Scene 1: THE RING
During Mike Sherman's press conference Wednesday a cell phone goes off. Because this has happened too many times this season, the press conference stops and Sherman scolds everyone like they are little children in the second grade. Then the PR department tells everyone if the culprit doesn't come forward by a certain time the media can't talk to Brett Favre later that day.

Do you really think that Sherman is going to say anything more than what we have heard from him lately? Such as, ‘We are close, we have been playing hard, nobody has quit yet. I look at the tape and see everyone hustling, everyone's busting their butts at practice.' We could have gotten a tape recorded message because it's the same message, just a different date.

Even though Sherman had every right to get pissed off about being disrespected with the cell phone going off, I don't think he handled it well. It seems like he is a man on the edge and the heat is getting to him. Believe it or not, I can understand why. But don't you think the Packers have a lot more important problems? How about his authority? Has he been challenged by Mr. Untouchable - Brett Favre - and he doesn't know how to deal with it?

Kill the Clock, Kill the Clock, Kill the Clock! Set up the play that the Packers have been practicing and saving just for the right occasion. That's what every player and coach on the staff was expecting to happen last Sunday against the Bengals. For that matter every football fan in the world that understands the game was expecting the same thing, but something happened, someone changed the script and forgot to tell the guy in charge - the HEAD COACH. Favre did the unthinkable and put himself above the team. He thought that his "draw in the dirt play" had a better chance to work than something that they as a TEAM had designed and at that moment mutiny began.

Brett said that he and Driver were on the same page and that Driver was open, but Favre's legs gave out. Maybe that was because the offensive linemen were standing around waiting for the whistle to blow so they could huddle up. Maybe they were thinking they could pull it out because they have been practicing and all Brett needs is time. They could be part of the miracle that turned the season around, but that was robbed from them. And because of what happened in Scene 1, no one got to ask Brett what about the other 43 guys that dressed for the game and the coaching staff? They don't matter? On Monday Sherman said that the only one that knew what Brett was doing was Brett because "the receivers didn't move."

The last thing any coach wants is to have a player override his authority and go out on their own.

Joey Thomas, a third-round draft pick in 2004, questioned things so he got cut. He spoke his mind because he thought he deserved more playing time. He went from being a penciled in starter three months ago to the streets, hoping to get picked up by another team.

All of a sudden he can't even play on special teams or be on the game-day inactivate list. How did he make someone that mad? Was he just expendable? Was he the sacrificial lamb to show to everyone that it's the Packers way or the highway? It can't be about penalties or Ahmad Carroll would never see the field. It's not about results, or Kabeer would be sitting on the bench and B.J. Sander would be out on the streets as well. Maybe his mouth got him in trouble because he spoke his mind and didn't want to just receive a check but earn it.

This organization deserves better than what it has received lately. The Green Bay Packers were built on a foundation of integrity, standards and loyalty where no one was more important than anyone else. They have always understood that together they stand and divided they fall. This past week the Green Bay Packers have been on the lips of the national sports media, but not for winning or losing, instead for the soap opera called "AS THE PACKERS TURN."

Harry Sydney

Editor's note: Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. If you have a question for Harry, e-mail it to managing editor Todd Korth at, and he will forward it to him.

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