This is exactly why Ted Thompson did it. You still don’t have to like it. You don’t have to agree with it. You don’t even have to give him credit for doing it. But can anyone still honestly deny the reasoning? Because during the three-ring-circus-from-hell days, when Thompson was about as popular as Lyme disease, […]
This is exactly why Ted Thompson did it.
You still don’t have to like it. You don’t have to agree with it. You don’t even have to give him credit for doing it. But can anyone still honestly deny the reasoning?
Because during the three-ring-circus-from-hell days, when Thompson was about as popular as Lyme disease, this must have been the scenario that kept him sane. When he said sayonara to a living legend, knowing full well it would turn his name into a statewide invective, this was the weekend he surely had in mind. He had peered into the crystal ball, and here were the two outcomes he saw.
Thompson could either be the general manager who was watching his dynamic young quarterback continue morphing into a genuine leader on the cusp of greatness. Or he could be the GM coming to a stark realization: His aging QB had gone to the Gatorade bucket one too many times, and the price of the past two years was his franchise’s future.
Thompson preferred option No. 1. And today, I imagine he’s got a whole lot more company than he did two years ago.
Of course, those two more years with Brett Favre surely would’ve been fun. They clearly would’ve come without Aaron Rodgers, who’d have gone looking for a starter’s gig. But just as clearly, they’d have come with a lot less hate mail. And maybe they would’ve included a few more wins, perhaps even of the playoff variety.
But would they have been worth it? From an emotional standpoint, perhaps. But after a weekend like the one we just saw, when Rodgers looked so promising and Favre looked so passé? Well, ask the folks in Minnesota. How are their emotions now?
Moreover, Thompson couldn’t afford to be emotional. Packers fans could. Heck, they’re supposed to be. That’s what makes them fans. It’s what makes Lambeau Field the most passionate stadium in all of sports.
But Thompson’s not a fan. He’s the boss. And when faced with the most important decision of his tenure in charge of the NFL’s most storied franchise, he had to check his emotions at the door. And that means all of the emotions, the ones that mirrored his club’s fan base and the ones that fueled his cold war with Brett Favre.
We know Thompson and Favre didn’t get along. The National Football Post’s Andrew Brandt, Green Bay’s former salary cap guru, gives an intriguing insider’s perspective on the schism over Randy Moss. And yet, if Favre were five years younger and could help the Packers win for another half-decade, surely Thompson would’ve found a way to coexist with the superstar.
But if Favre were five years younger, we wouldn’t where we are today.
Up until now, though you could understand the theory of Rodgers over Favre, practical matters made it more difficult to accept. What you saw on the field didn’t entirely fit with Thompson’s reasoning. Favre was still playing well, even slightly better than Rodgers, and it looked like Favre could deny his birth certificate forever.
But here in 2010, the laws of nature are finally prevailing. Being a grandfather is no longer just a neat story for Favre. It’s a clear reminder of where he’s at in life. And eventually, older athletes simply can’t summon the magic of their youth.
Will there still be flashes of brilliance? Almost certainly. But they now appear to be the exceptions to the rule. It’s a young man’s game.
And the young man is in a Packers uniform.
The Bogut/Paul Debate
Speaking of big decisions, anyone who still thinks the Milwaukee Bucks should’ve drafted Chris Paul over Andrew Bogut hasn’t paid attention to the NBA offseason.
While Bogut has worked like a Rocky montage to get back on the Bradley Center court, Paul has worked his butt off to get the heck out of New Orleans. By all accounts, it’s a direct result of a brainwash by Team LeBron (LeBronwash?).
Yes, Paul may have a production edge on Bogut. But how does that productivity help the Bucks if it’s happening in New York, which is where Paul seems destined to go?
Meanwhile, Bogut has blossomed into one of the league’s best centers and is due for a string of all-star appearances. Equally important, he’s signed to a long-term deal and genuinely enjoys being in Milwaukee. And Bucks fans will never see him starring in a story like this.
In a world where talented centers are harder to find than talented point guards, the Bucks have one for the foreseeable future. And now that they’ve got a talented point guard to go with him, the Bogut/Paul debate should disappear forever. The Bucks won.
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