The NFC North 2009 season has the most anticipated storyline in the NFL.
If the Minnesota Vikings with Brett Favre win the division title, do they also take Packers GM Ted Thompson’s job and career with them? Or will Brett not have the energy for 16 grueling games as Thompson believes and leave the Vikings running on empty?
This will be a winner-take-all battle of epic proportion for both men.
Brett Favre is ready to reach deep into his reserve energy tanks and play football. Favre is mentally more familiar with the offensive system and physically ready to test his surgically repaired shoulder.
Thompson claims that Favre isn’t up to the physical or mental challenges after 18 seasons seemed like the right call last year. Favre’s skill set did fade with injury as a poor late season performance ruined the Jets playoff chances.
Should the Vikings finish again in first place, I predict the Green Bay Packers executive management will remove Thompson sometime in January 2010. Favre’s will have delivered a stealthy knockout blow to his arch nemesis from 500 mile away.
Thompson’s dismissal is completely justified. He failed miserably to bring the “glory days” back to Green Bay. Five years of mediocre seasons and one playoff appearance is justification enough for many loyal fans. His style of internal player development and decision-making ability appear limited at best.
His mismanagement of the Brett Favre saga was humiliating for the team and fans at best. Clearly Favre, while in the twilight of his career, can still play and he earned the right to stay in Green Bay based upon the “lifetime” contract he signed back in 2002. Thompson will be fondly remembered not for his success, but by running the Packer’s living legend out of town too early.
In reality will any of this happen? Favre and Minnesota make a mismatched fit because the Vikings are weak at QB and desperate to advance deeper into the playoffs. The Packers are ready to challenge again after addressing their defensive weakness.
From media analysts to strangers on the street however, the early polls show the popular pick to be the Viking as 3-to-1 favorites to take the division.
Stranger things like this have never happened before in the NFL.