Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Green Bay is now Mr. Rodgers' neighborhood.

Many of you may expect that I am rejoicing over the news that Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre is retiring. Well, if Favre’s retirement indicated that the Packers would endure years of futility, then that would most certainly be cause for celebration. But the fact of the matter is the Packers are one of the most talented young teams in the NFL. And Favre has now handed over the reigns to the seemingly capable Aaron Rodgers.

Looking back, it was almost as if Favre was playing the wise old sage in 2007. He took a group of young upstarts within three points of the Super Bowl. Now he’s essentially saying “I’ve shown you how to deal with the grind of a 16-game schedule. I even led you to the brink of the biggest game in sports. You guys can take it from here.”

Of all the stories I’ve read, Favre cited the “mental grind” as his biggest reason for calling it quits.

It makes sense when you consider how mentally taxing it must have been to have a phenomenal 2007 regular season and have home field in the NFC title game but fall short of the ultimate prize. The thought of having to go through all that again with no guarantees of a Super Bowl title had to be mentally overwhelming.

However, I believe that Favre’s annual charade of leaving everyone guessing about whether or not he’ll return finally wore on Packers’ management. GM Ted Thompson and company didn’t exactly plea with Brett not to retire, a fact not lost on Favre’s agent James (Bus) Cook.

"Nobody pushed Brett Favre out the door, but then nobody encouraged him not to go out that door, either," Cook said by phone from his Hattiesburg, Miss., office.

What, did Cook believe that Packers management should go down to Mississippi in the offseason and stoop to touch the hem of Favre’s Wranglers?

Bottom line, the Packers brass has a business to run and in that business they have to put together a team based on the personnel they have in the fold. It would have been helpful to them if they knew sooner rather than later regarding Favre’s plans.

Whatever the case, we now know for sure when Brett Favre will be making an appearance in Canton, Ohio. In the summer of 2013 Favre will be standing on the steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And I’m also certain he will be the first Hall of Fame inductee to wear a t-shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes with that gold jacket.


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