So Favre apparently reacted to the Packers' inability to acquire Randy Moss in the same way as many Packer fans and some posters to this website--with seething anger at Ted Thompson. In fact, Fox Sports reported that Favre was so upset that Moss ended up in New England that shortly after the draft his agent called the Packers and demanded a trade. Then, McCarthy tried to call Favre for a week and Favre dodged his calls. Finally, they spoke and Favre was talked off the ledge, as it were, and dropped his trade demands. But he remains pissed about the Pack not trading for Randy. In fact, he made various comments about how the team may be rebuilding, and how he's not sure if they're planning to "win now" and ponders whether the team is trying to tell him to retire.
Some Packer fans might react to this story with horror-- the best player in franchise history wants out because he thinks the team stinks! Others might view this as verification of their already dismissive opinion of the team's general manager, Ted Thompson. (E.g., "We've got lots of salary cap money, so where are the free agents?" "Why wouldn't he give a third or second round pick for Moss?" "Why the hell didn't we draft [insert high profile offensive skill position player]?") Personally, I find this really funny and a little bit sad. Funny because of the absurdity of the request and his behavior, and sad because it seems that Brett places his own interests above the teams'. I guess this kind of thing happens at the end of someone's career.
First, there's absolutely no way, at this point, that the Packers would trade Favre. In their minds, I'm quite sure that last year was supposed to be the rebuilding year (massive personnel turnover, offensive line revamp, new coaching staff), and now they may actually be eyeing a playoff spot. So if there was any time when they would have considered trading him, it would have been after the 4-12 season. Such a move would have signaled a full on, and perhaps necessary, rebuilding effort. But now they seem to think they can create a team that will be competitive for a long period of time without going through an ugly transitional period. Having Favre at the helm is a key portion of this "rebuilding while maintaining some decency" plan. He'll keep the team's offense somewhat afloat while the brass builds a strong defense, finds new stars to take over on offense, and grooms (or finds) his successor at quarterback.
Second, Brett's reactions to the team's decisions are hilarious. Calling and demanding a trade after a personnel move falls through is like what I used to do in grade school. When I was over at a friend's house and everyone would decide to play a game I didn't like, I'd just say "ok, then I'm leaving," go get my stuff and start to walk away. More often than not, my friends would cave and we'd end up doing something I liked better. Brett's second move, dodging Coach McCarthy's calls, is more Mean Girls-esque. It has a very high school feel-- I don't want someone to tell me why I'm being irrational so I'm just not going to talk to them! What is this, the Breakfast Club? Is Ted Thompson a modern day Dick Vernon? Talk about being spoiled. It looks like ESPN's constant hero-worshiping has sunk in a little too far.
But third, he's probably right about the team valuing sustainable long term success more than short term success. Why else wouldn't Thompson be willing to give up a third round draft pick for Randy Moss? They know that Moss would be a short term loan. He'd be looking to come into a decent offensive system, catch a bunch of bombs, resuscitate his reputation, and sign some T.O. like free agent deal with a better team. That was apparently one of the sticking points--he only wanted a one-year deal, but the Packers wanted two years. It's clear that management would rather develop a potential replacement at left tackle or find a new starting safety or wide receiver than borrow a talented, petulant and under-performing wideout for one season. Can anyone really blame them?
Fourth and finally, Brett doesn't seem to realize that these moves may make more sense for the team. Not overpaying iffy free agents, not reaching for offensive skill position players, and not giving away a solid draft pick for a one-year gamble are decisions that make long term sense. They may not make more sense to him, personally. But maybe he's forgotten, maybe we've all forgotten, that he isn't the team. That it's not all about going 10-6 his last season, or getting him back to the playoffs, or him breaking Elway's record for career wins. It's about the team being consistently successful, even after he's gone. He seems to have forgotten that, and it looks like many fans have forgotten as well. Maybe it's time we all start to remember.