Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wolf: Thompson has a job to do

Ron Wolf is the real guy who brought glory back to Titletown. As the GM hired back in 1992, he was the mastermind who brought in guys like Mike Holmgren, Brett Favre, Reggie White, and won a Super Bowl in a brilliant five-year plan.

Last night at the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, nearly everyone put the recent Thompson/Favre drama on hold, except the media, of course, who made sure to pepper everyone with a question about the situation. Most of them, thankfully, declined to comment, including Favre, who despite concerns about whether or not he'd show up or be a distraction, was a classy pro all night.

But one guy who did make a comment was Ron Wolf, and interestingly enough, his comments seemed to go against what has been the anti-Favre tide that has surged since the Greta Van Susteren interview.

Retired GM Ron Wolf, who made the trade to bring Favre to Green Bay from Atlanta, said he has spoken to Favre since the news broke of him considering a comeback but hasn't spoken to Thompson.

Asked how tough a position Thompson is in, Wolf said, "Hey, this is real. You're getting paid a lot of money. It isn't all smooth sailing here. You get paid the big bucks, you've got to ride the tide. Not everything you do is right, not everything you do is correct." link

Now, Wolf wasn't defending Favre or attacking Thompson, but did exactly what a voice of reason, especially a respected voice of reason needs to do: keeps everyone aware of their accountability.

Favre doesn't have a whole lot of accountability, other than public opinion. But Thompson, the general manager, does. As I've stated many times, this is his job, his responsibility. He is a big boy who is paid a lot of money to do this job, and if he is curled up in the fetal position in his office, in fear of what circumstances have wrought on him, he shouldn't have the job.

Ted Thompson is the reigning GM of the Year, and you don't get that way by playing the victim, making bad decisions, or passing the buck. Ron Wolf was a successful GM and knows this personally. He went on to talk about his own first year as GM, when he gave up two first-day draft picks for an offensive coordinator to become coach and a third-string quarterback to come in and be the future.

That's the risk you take, and handling controversial situations comes with the territory. He admitted that had those decisions been handled poorly, the buck would have stopped with him.

This isn't the first time that Wolf has ticked off the Favre Haters. In 2005, when Favre was throwing 29 interceptions and the object of torches and pitchforks, Wolf made the infamous comment that Favre was doing his best while surrounded by "NFL-E talent and stumblebums". The reaction to this implied lack of talent around Favre was pretty harsh, and some folks even went as far to insult and belittle Wolf.

Certainly, last night's comments go against the flow and may not sit well with some. I emailed Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, to ask why he didn't include Wolf's words in his article today, where he talked about all the different comments made by LeRoy Butler, Marco Rivera, and others. He replied he didn't hear it personally and can't be everywhere at once.

However, the Press-Gazette has been pretty much towing the Thompson line, and I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't print such a quote anywhere in the paper today, claiming they didn't hear it personally.

But, in the end, it is going to come down to one thing: how Thompson handles this, and how he does will be a major defining moment of his tenure.

He doesn't need defenders. He doesn't need excuses or blind support. Ron Wolf called it: it's a difficult situation, indeed, and Favre is acting like a spoiled prima donna.

Thompson needs us to make sure he handles this correctly. There's no reason he can't be supported, as well as accountable.

No comments: