Unfortunately, they will always be seen as the team that let their icon or living legend get away for nothing, except at this point a fourth round draft pick with incentives that could create a situation for a higher draft pick. I believe this is the last thing they ever wanted to do, but felt they had to because Brett kept pushing them up against the wall. They had to deal with Brett acting like some spoiled brat that tried to bully his way into getting what he wanted even though he held no cards whatsoever.
Trust me, there was plenty of blame to go around but when it came to the Packers they never handled it well because they didn't really stick to their guns. They started to waffle with their decisions. Once the Packers decided to move on they should have moved on and when Brett started the comeback talk. They should have had a trade in place before he touched down back in Green Bay. Then, of course, when that $25 million personal contract came out, it appeared like the Packers were trying to bribe him, making them look like they were unsure of what they wanted. Talk about another bad move. It's like they got caught up in playing Brett's game even though they really held all the cards. It was like they kept throwing gas on the fire when all they had to do was put the fire out.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think the Packers brass - McCarthy, Thompson or Murphy - ever in a million years wanted to be in the position that Brett put them in, but with that being said they were and now, behind closed doors, they hope like hell Brett doesn't deliver and that the emotions that he is making decisions on will prevent him from having any success with the Jets. In front of the camera they will say they wish Brett well, but if he does well and Aaron Rodgers doesn't, trust me, this story will grow more legs.
Public relations firms all over the world will study this soap opera with the Packers organization and this will be the measuring stick for what not to do with your icon. The sad thing is I'm not really sure what else they could have done because to them business is business and sometimes business is more than what happens between the lines. Now to Brett!
Brett forgot this was business and part it is understanding that it's business. He thought he was bigger than the game. The reality of the situation should have hit him in the face, but it probably hasn't because he is riding on his emotions which is creating havoc in his life. He probably woke up this morning asking himself just what has he gotten himself into. It was like the dam broke and nobody could plug the hole, especially not him.
Unfortunately, he ignited the stick of dynamite himself because he was his usual can't-make-his-mind-up self. The problem was that he thought everyone should wait for him to get it together regardless of when that was. He overestimated his power and thought he was bigger than the organization and then when the reality hit him right in the face, he couldn't deal with it so he took his ball and went home.
The hardest lesson a professional athlete has to learn is that as much as you think it revolves around you, it doesn't. If it does, it's a temporary thing. Brett tried to call his shot because he was the quarterback for so long and holds almost every record and that they should just let him go anywhere he wanted, but he was WRONG.
Now he is going to a team that might go 8-8 if they are lucky. Unfortunately, Brett just might be biting off more than he can chew. Think about all the football adjustments, like learning a new offense, new people, a new philosophy. For the last three years all he talked about was not wanting to deal with change and now everything about his life will change. Someone should have told him the grass wasn't greener in New Jersey than in Wisconsin.
I hope he realizes that things just might be different because now he becomes something that he hasn't been in a while and that's the MAN. In New Jersey, he can't run and hide; he can't refuse to do a press conference; and the media won't be nice to him. Trust me, they will tear him apart every time he fumbles, throws an interception or looks old.
Instead of walking away on top and letting his legend grow, he let his ego and emotions get in the way, which is the first rule of being a professional. Even though it is over, this will never be over because in this situation there are NO WINNERS, ONLY LOSERS!!!!!
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.