Brett Favre is coming back to play for the Minnesota Vikings. Is anyone actually surprised by this decision? Surprised, no. Happy, yes. The biggest smiles in the league Tuesday came from The Green Bay Packers, Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, and Aaron Rodgers. They should send Brett Favre a thank you letter for deciding to play one more season.
Why would they be happy to see Favre, who they lost to both times last year? They are looking for the sweetest revenge of all: to send Favre into retirement for good, Lavar Arrington/Troy Aikman style.
Green Bay Packers fans were jerked around for the last couple of years by Favre's waffling in and out of retirement. Favre then tried to force a trade to the Vikings, and when Thompson refused, he spent one season with the Jets and then immediately jumped ship to join the Vikings. Green Bay fans should despise Favre as much as Cleveland Cavaliers fans despise LeBron James. This is the year that the fans can really make their displeasure with Favre known.
Ted Thompson was right all along. Losing Aaron Rodgers to free agency, just to keep Favre for one or two more seasons would have been Thompson's undoing. Thompson decided that Rodgers was the future, and Rodgers has not disappointed. In fact, Rodgers has quickly become the fourth best quarterback in the NFL, behind Tom Brady, Payton Manning, and Drew Brees. Ted Thompson knew what he had, and stuck with his guns. He should be admired for the decision, if he isn't already.
Mike McCarthy is probably camped out, right now, in his office with defensive coordinator Dom Capers looking at blitz packages that will knock Favre out for good. McCarthy's team played well against the Vikings last year, but Favre's motivation to prove that he could still play is what gave the Vikings the edge to beat the Packers. Now, it is a year later, and Favre is a year older, with a bum ankle, and little motivation to beat the Packers. McCarthy will be able to exact his revenge this year.
Aaron Rodgers sat behind Favre, quietly waiting his turn. When Favre started his diva act with the Packers management, Rodgers said and did all the right things. He never mentioned that Favre was a horrible mentor, who didn't take Rodgers under his arm and show him the tricks of the trade. He never bad mouthed Favre, or what his actions were doing to tear apart the Packers. All he did was go out and have two great seasons at quarterback. Rodgers has nothing to prove by beating Favre, he just wants to beat the Vikings and win the NFC North. This is the year that the Packers have the team to do that.
So, on behalf of the Green Bay Packers, Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, and Aaron Rodgers: Thank you, Brett. We look forward to seeing you this year.