In exclusive interviews with various flies on the wall, Bleacher Report was able to piece together additional information to provide a background to determine how the troubles between Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers developed. I have reconstructed the timeline of events based on those reports.
March 1, 2008: Favre calls Ted Thompson to tell him he wants Randy Moss to be signed. "If not, I will know you are not trying to get me the personnel I need, and I'm not sure I want to stay in that situation," he declared.
There are no reports out of flies in Green Bay, since at that time of the year it is still too cold and they are dormant. However, it is believed by one fly he could hear Thompson laugh in reply, "Are you serious?! Do you think we would take on that headache long-term just so you will maybe play another year or two? Even the fans wouldn't be on your side with this one--they hate him!" After that, the phone call abruptly
March 4, 2008: After Moss re-signs with New England, Favre calls Thompson several times, always hanging up without speaking about ten seconds later. The last time he calls and says, "call me back and let me know what you will do to entice me to come back, or I'll have to retire by the end of the week." He then hangs up the phone. There are no return calls.
March 6, 2008: Favre announces his retirement, and everyone publicly expresses sorrow that an era is coming to an end. It is reported by a fly in Kiln that Favre later tells his wife, "I know I heard cork pop in Thompson's office."
April 26, 2008: Coach Mike McCarthy tells Thompson, "You better get me somebody else. Aaron is great and all, but he gets hurt at the drop of a feather. I need some insurance if I'm gonna be expected to win a title!" Thompson promptly drafts Brian Brohm.
July 1, 2008: Favre contacts McCarthy, saying "Thompson won't return my calls. I'm sorry I made him mad by retiring, but I thought he needed to know I was serious when I threatened to quit. I didn't know he'd make me follow through on it. Will you talk to him?"
McCarthy replied, "I'll see what I can do, Brett. You know I would like to have you under center, but your return would put us in a difficult place now. We've moved on, and sometimes you can't go back to the way things were."
July 3, 2008: Brett has just seen a History Channel program on guerrilla warfare, and knowing ESPN will just die if they can't talk about Favre, he sends his mother and brother out to do his bidding. Both of them attempt to paint Brett as someone who has kept himself ready to help the Packers and the organization as not wanting the legend who won a championship for them anymore.
July 4, 2008:After not hearing back from either McCarthy or Thompson, Favre is contacted by Roger Goodell, asking how his quest to return is going. "Ted won't return my calls," Brett says.
Goodell says, "since you're the biggest star in the league, it's in our best interests to pay to have the call routed through New York. He'll have to answer it if he thinks it's the league office."
Thompson does answer, but merely promises to call Brett back after he is done with his vacation.
July 7, 2008: Thompson is done with his vacation. Brett stands by the phone, even saying at 8pm, "he just got back. He's probably got a lot of work to do, so he'll be there late." No call.
July 10, 2008: Having still received no call and hearing Packers Vice President in charge of player personnel, Mark Murphy, say that as far as they know Favre is still retired and is not trying to return, he gets on the phone to his agent. “Pull out all the stops,” he tells him.
"What do you think it's going to look like if I make a public statement that you want to come back and they won't let you? Maybe they won't get all those sell-outs. Maybe no one's gonna buy your jersey anymore."
July 11, 2008: Mortensen gets a call from Brett’s agent stating that Brett wants the team to release him.
I want to thank the flies in Kiln, MS and Green Bay, WI for their contributions. There were also two flies in New York, NY, reporting from the draft and league office. In some cases, it took generations of flies meticulously passing on this information from generation to generation, as it was accumulated over the last four-plus months, which is over 30 fly lifetimes!