We have one avenue of thought and that is that Brett Favre came down from the promised land. He must walk on water because he never can do any wrong. Their perception is that even though he threw the ball into triple coverage the receiver is supposed to break it up because that's what Javon Walker would have done. Or like against the Bengals in 2005 when, at the end of the game after throwing five interceptions, he faked everyone out and tried go deep on the fake-spike play at the end of the game. These are the same fans that said he was just trying to make something happen. Or even this year when he threw two interceptions against the Vikings and went to the sideline, everyone wanted to say he was just frustrated.
These are the same people that blame Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy because they didn't surround him with great talent, but even if I buy that I look back at the years when he was surrounded by pretty good talent and what happened. Losses to St. Louis, Philly and Atlanta in the playoffs, and most of those losses were related to how Brett Favre played, but yet these fans want to give him a ‘Get Out of Jail Free' card. Trust me I'm not calling you out I'm just trying to figure out what category to place you in?
Then we have this group that think Brett Favre is more important then the team itself. They think that without Brett Favre this team will fall into the dark hole of the NFL, which amazes me. The NFL is based on men giving their all then having to move on. Somehow the good organization survives, right? Most teams fall into the dark hole, not because of the play on the field, but because of the money they spend wrongly to get the players on the field. They are the salary cap victims.
The fan I'm talking about tends to think that even though the only time he's mentioned as a three-time MVP is when people are talking about the past and what he used to do, and hasn't done in a very long time. They want to believe he's still the guy. Don't get me wrong, anytime you can start that many games in a row it shows a bunch of toughness, no doubt, but shouldn't records come with that as well? He will go down as one of the toughest that have ever played the game, but what does that really mean?
I have heard some fans say that when Favre retires they might even stop coming to the games, or stop watching. I say shame on them because that's not what a real fan does. I have also heard that he should have as long as he wants to decide whether to retire or not because he has earned that right. I guess I am puzzled because I'm not sure what right that is. He has been paid very well for his services, hasn't he? Is it his right to keep the organization in limbo? Does he have the right to have an organization interrupt its future to hold on to the past because it doesn't want to look like the bad guys?
If you fit into this type of group, do you think the Packers would have drafted Aaron Rodgers if they knew Brett intended to come back? Be honest with yourself. Do you think they could have used their first pick differently? What major hole could they have filled with that pick? What about other free agents? Do you really think they wanted to come to a team whose leader didn't know if he wanted to be there? Is Favre destroying this once proud organization? No, but his actions sure aren't helping, are they?
Then you have the other group that says enough of the drama, and make your mind up. In this group you have the Packer fans that respect him, but understand that football came before him and will go on after he leaves. They say to themselves that second place and playoff wins don't mean anything because they understand that football is about what have you done for me lately. They understand that no one, and I mean no one, gets the ‘Get Out of Jail Free' card and that everyone is accountable for their actions. They cherish what was and appreciate it, but understand it isn't good enough anymore. They understand that time doesn't stand still and waits for no one. They understand not only the game of football, but the business side as well and that change is part of them both. They understand when legacies can become tarnished.
These are the same people that couldn't believe it when Jerry Rice wore the black and silver, or when Joe Montana wore a Chiefs uniform. Or when Michael Jordan was schooled by some kid wet behind his ear. And they don't want to see this happen to Brett. They don't want to become the excuse-maker.
So I ask you what kind of fan are you, and where do you fit? Do you make excuses for Brett and disguise them as reason? Or are you scared to let go of the past because you don't know what the future holds, and you don't trust the organization. Or might you fit into the ‘It's time to move on' group. Then again, ask yourself did you really trust the Packers when Mike Holmgren and Ron Wolf traded for this cocky kid from Atlanta? SO WHERE DO YOU FIT?
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.