Danged If You Do: Managing Personnel in The NFL

Tim SeemanAnalyst IJuly 30, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 28:  Head coach Brad Childress of the Minnesota Vikings watches his team take on the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on September 28, 2008 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Vikings 30-17.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

It's July, and there's some question as to whether or not quarterback Brett Favre will be returning to play football this season.

Familiar, right?

Of course, Favre's decision this summer was whether or not to join the Minnesota Vikings, not the Green Bay Packers.  The most recent news on the Favre front is that he's still retired.  No condominiums in Minneapolis.  No family booking hotels in Green Bay during Vikings week.

With that news, Brad Childress and the Vikings are getting slammed by the press and the blogs for not being more strict with Favre.

Jim Souhan, a columnist from the Twin Cities' Star Tribune wrote that Childress "should have imposed a strict deadline on Favre" so that he could come out looking like a "clear-eyed decision-maker" who "wasn't willing to sell his soul" for a Hall of Fame quarterback.

But wait a minute.  What happened when management in Green Bay made the kind of decisive move last summer that Souhan said the Vikings should have made this summer?

If you can't remember, I'll refresh your memory.

Green Bay's general manager, Ted Thompson, quickly became one of the most reviled people in not only Wisconsin, but wherever else Packer fans gather.  

Thompson knew his choice: give Favre what he wanted and alienate the heir-apparent at quarterback, or be firm and tell Favre, who had already retired, that he missed the boat.

Thompson went with the latter and the fans hated him for it.

Childress went with the former, and if the Vikings have any quarterback trouble this season (which is likely), the fans will hate him for it.

This all goes to show that none of us are as smart as we think we are when it comes to what our favorite teams should do.  

We as fans have no idea what the general managers of professional sports teams have to weigh when they make their decisions.  And, most importantly, most of us have no clue what it's like to be hated by tens of thousands of people no matter what we decide to do concerning any one player.

So the next time you don't like something your favorite team's general manager did for the team, keep in mind that they're just doing the same thing you do every day at your job; the best they can.

And you thought this was going to be another Brett Favre article, didn't you?