It's only been a week, but the book is out on the trade of Brett Favre.
For America is blue in the face with Brett Favre talk. But even after being force fed a constant diet of Favremania, America still wants to see how this thing will shake out.
Well, I can tell you - the Packers lose. For in the end, the Pack can only succeed in this deal if they go to the Super Bowl. Plain and simple.
Pro sports is not about the future, development, or transition. Those ideals help you lose your job. Hell, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Cardinals have been building for the future since 1982. No, pro sports is about right now. The job of the GM and coaching staff is to put the best possible team on the field to win right now. And right now (actually a week ago) the Packers were a championship caliber club with Brett Favre. There are no "if's, and's or but's" about it - that team reached the NFC Title Game with #4, not #12.
To suggest this club is championship bound with Rodgers is ludicrous. Nor can anyone suggest that they are championship bound in a "few years" because the organization just threw away the most critical position on the field. And there is no evidence to suggest that Rodgers can fill that void.
Sure he looks poise. Yes, the team is talented. And yes, Rodgers steps into a favorable opportunity with surrounding players and staff. But so did Brian Greise for Elway. Steve Young only took the 49ers back to the Super Bowl once to Montana's four (4) trips.
Coaches and critics can make excuses galore or state that the expectations were set too high for Rodgers. But in the end all that matters is winning. And under Rodgers, the odds of winning are not good.
So how can the Green Bay Packers toss aside a guy that the organization knows they can win with?
True be told, this wasn't about getting a return on an aging icon, or even getting a return on a 1st Round pick the Packers are paying $20-some odd million for only 59 snaps.
This is about Brett Favre being the longest standing Packer, be it front office, coaching staff or player - and having total control in the direction of the organization, which the CEO Mark Murphy, GM Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy were tired of. So they decided at some point under their regime the club was gonna be run their way - and that meant without Brett Favre.
Now Brett has not been a boy scout through all this. For the last five years he's held the club hostage with his annual will he, won't he retire charade. Not to mention, if he had played like he was capable of, and not wing the ball around in the playoffs like some back lot football game, the Pack would have made the Super Bowl in '04 and '07 - no questions asked.
But when you have a Joe Dimiagio or a Babe Ruth, or a Montatna - you ride the horse until it dies. Because you know what the horse can do - and what that horse can do is win. We're not talking about Jim McManon or Danny White or Drew Bledsoe or even Dan Fouts - because those guys, while very good (Fouts being great) could not get you there, although Fouts came close. Yet Brett Favre can get you there. Not everytime, but he'll get you there. And that's all you can ask for. A chance to win.
And at this point, all you know is that this team can win - with Brett Favre. Not with Aaron Rodgers. But with Brett Favre.
Yes, you develop for the future. Yes you must show transition from one core of players to the next to have long term success. But this core reached the NFC Title WITH Brett Favre. You don't make adjustments when the title is within your grasp. So you got screwed taking Rodgers in the draft when Favre was dangling retirment in your face. Let him.
Where was the Pack for the 20 years since Lombardi left? I'll tell ya since the Packers seem to have forgot. From 1968-1991 the Pack went (137-201-9) with one postseason appearnce in 1972, a 16-3 loss to the Skins. Doesn't exactly sound like a dynamite franchise does it?
No one asked him to be nice, polite, or a legend - all they asked was to re-establish Titletown, which he did (11 playoff appearances, one title, and countless records) - and they shipped out of town the first chance they got.
Who cares what the Jets do - cause the Pack lose this one.