Sydney Speaks! An outsider's perspective

For the first time in roughly 10 years I went home to North Carolina for a special occasion - I was inducted into the Hall of Fame. I watched the Super Bowl with some very close friends from the past and we talked about the game. Then, like always, the conversation turned to the Green Bay Packers. Here are some of the thoughts from those that don't live and breathe Packer football. They are just fans of the game. And they said …

The first issue was about Brett Favre. These are thoughts of Dale Toney, an athletic director for a high school in Ocala, Fla. One of my oldest friends, he says that he hopes Brett comes back because there is no one else like him. He makes watching the Green Bay Packers an enjoyable event. Without Brett he won't watch this team as a football fan because Favre is the reason he likes watching modern football. Then we talked about whether this team can survive if Brett comes back, but played the way he did last year. Dale said if everyone is healthy he feels Brett wouldn't have the need to have to carry everything on his shoulders, and he feels that's why Brett made a lot of his mistakes last year. I said, ‘Does that mean you are excusing his bad decision-making on the absence of other offensive threats like Ahman Green, Javon Walker and the spotty play of Bubba Franks?' He said, ‘Don't forget the offensive line.' He said he thought the offensive line was as bad as Brett's performance. He said to me a lot of people thought Favre was entitled to an off year, which I said was understandable. Dale said he would still consider him one of the top quarterbacks in the league because he thinks only Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are playing at a higher level because they have better offensive support. This is where we disagree, because Brady held it together without any output from any offense weapons, yet he still didn't hurt his team by throwing 29 interceptions. But you subscribers already know how I feel about Brett's year. This is about an outsiders view.

Then we talked about the firing of Mike Sherman. Dale's thoughts were that he was more confused about the hiring of Mike McCarthy than the firing of Sherman. I asked him why, and he said because he didn't think that McCarthy was a top assistant from a winning organization. He said that McCarthy was at San Francisco for one year and New Orleans for the years before that and didn't do anything to establish himself as the coach because you have to turn an organization around. He also felt that since they were already paying Sherman for two more years they should have just kept him and waited for a top assistant to become available then. But I asked him did he think Sherman was the guy or the coach to take the Green Bay Packers to the next level and he said ‘no' because of the fact the his GM moves hurt his ability to have enough talent to get him over the hump. In other words Sherman was his own worst enemy. Here again I questioned him because of the fact that there were too many coaching mistakes, such as the blunder with the onside kicks verses the Chicago Bears. He said, "I didn't see that game" and I said good enough. But Dale said if you can't compete in the NFC North something had to be wrong and you might just have needed to get fired.

We talked about other things pertaining to the Packers and Super Bowls and the difference that has happened as change always takes place. I know that I usually write about the things I think about, but it was refreshing to have a conversation with another fan and to get their perspective on how they see things. It was nice to get that from someone that doesn't bleed Green and Gold, and someone who has nothing at stake but his love for the game. We might not share the same opinion, just like you and I might not, but the greatest thing about this country is that we have the right to have different opinions and not be wrong. We must never take that for granted. We get to cheer or boo as we watch things unfold in front of our eyes. Favre may not come back, Sherman was fired, McCarthy is the head coach now, and things may not be the way anyone wants it, but then again it's the way it is. So I guess we all will have a "Different View"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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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