Sydney Speaks! Be careful

Like many Packers fans, Harry Sydney is scratching his head over the selection of Mark Murphy as the team's new president. Sydney explains:

These are crucial times for the Green Bay Packers, and I'm not talking about what's happening on the field because what's going on the field is a thing of beauty regardless of what happened last Thursday in Dallas. What I am talking about is the direction that they might be going as Mark Murphy gets ready to assume the role of one of the greatest presidents to ever oversee a professional organization in Bob Harlan.

I guess many like myself are saying why him? I remember when Bob Harlan was a guest on the radio show in Green Bay that I co-host with Chris Havel, and we discussed the qualities that he might be looking for when it comes to finding his replacement. Believe it or not, Murphy doesn't sound like the guy Harlan described. I know he was going to put it in the hands of a search committee, so that he wouldn't influence anyone but if this is who they came up with I would have to question the committee's motive. Let me explain:

The Green Bay Packers are a corporation, and this corporation is based largely on what happens between the white lines, or related to it. If I were Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy I would have to worry about what direction the new president might want to go. Questions like: ‘Will he try to bring his own people in?' or ‘Will he try to put his two cents in?' or, even worse, ‘Who will try to take advantage of this situation?'

Bob Harlan has a presence about himself. When you hear his name you know what he stands for. One of the things that I'm surprised about is that they went outside, let's just say, the family. What I mean about that is that Green Bay is a different place, a special place. Did I have my thoughts on who the President should be? You bet. My first choice would have been Andrew Brandt for several reasons, such as he has he's been involved in the National Football League as an agent, salary cap specialist, and he helped develop the World Football league. He knows everything about what it takes to be successful, plus he has been with the organization since 1999 and has lived in Green Bay since then, so he understands and knows everything that has happened in the organization from players contracts, to the expectations of fans. Not only that but he understands how everyone thinks in the organization from John Dorsey, who is the director of college scouting, to Ted Thompson, and his needs and wants. He has watched every mistake that has been made by Ted Thompson, Mike Sherman, Ray Rhodes and even Bob Harlan as well as their successes. The only thing I can think of is that he is too valuable in his role as vice president/fiancé and they didn't want to make that change. But the sad things is that I don't think that this organization values what he brings to the table. He has been instrumental for the Packers when it comes to being under the salary cap.

While Brandt was my first choice, behind him was Jason Wied. Like Andrew Brandt, Wied understands everything about the Packers. He understands what makes this team special.

I find it hard for an outsider to have the same understanding about the Packers as Brandt and Wied. Don't get me wrong, Murphy is from all accounts a good guy, but so what? There are a lot of good guys, but to be head of the Green Bay Packers you need more than that, like maybe more NFL experience than being part of the players negotiating team in 1982 during the strike, or working for the players union.

To me, Murphy's hiring is a reach that could rock the boat. Maybe this is the trickle-down effect of what happened with John Jones. Jones might have been over-qualified and knew what he wanted and did what it took to get it. In the process, maybe he ruffled too many feathers and his approach wasn't the Green Bay way. But at least he had a way.

I'm trying to figure out what does Murphy bring to the table that makes him qualified to lead this franchise? I understand that a lot of major decisions are based on the "good old boy network" and I can deal with that, but with everything going so well I just hope everyone really knows what they are getting into. I don't know him, but I do know Andrew Brandt and Jason Wied and what they stand for so my only advice is BE CAREFUL.

Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at

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