I'm disappointed. Absolutely disappointed. Disappointed in the egos of millionaires messing with the game I love. Disappointed in the stubbornness of alleged professionals who appear willing to burn every bridge out of spite. Disappointed in the protracting a messy situation so much longer than it ever needed to be, because communication was too much of a problem.
And I am giving it to both parties involved. Yes, even to "my hero", Brett Favre, who I have spent years defending from his critics. Something is rotten in Denmark, but what Favre has done over the last month was allow his emotions to get the better of him, allowed people to influence him so that his paranoia was borderline irrational, and his trademark candor blown out of control.
I don't know what has happened since the Giants game that has turned Brett Favre so sharply against Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy. My guess is, since he gave Mark Murphy some public praise over the weekend, that this has to go back quite a while and came to a peak in the offseason, resulting in his retirement.
But what Favre has done is inexcusable, and showing up for training camp with what appears to be no apparent desire to actually compete is, once again, protracting the entire situation out and damaging both his own reputation and the perception of the administration.
His stubbornness in wishing to be a Viking is understanding from a distant view, but from the view of the Packers, its an impossibility. He is getting desperate to be in a camp, and time is running out on him to have time to get acquainted with any team, including the Packers.
He turned down the "incentive" offered by the Packers to remain retired, who called it a "payoff". Certainly, this is something Favre shouldn't be saying, no matter how true it might be.
On the other hand, it is clear that Thompson and Co. have decided to pin hopes completely on Aaron Rodgers, something that is at best risky, and at worst, highly questionable. It is clear that this is the sticking point for both parties, and it has many people scratching their heads.
Favre pushed the issue with requesting a release, Thompson pushed the issue by refusing and not acting. Favre pushed back by threatening to request reinstatement. Thompson pushed back by only allowing Favre to negotiate with teams he had no interest in joining, then pushed tampering charges against the primary team he was interested in. Favre pushed by requesting reinstatement to a team he didn't feel welcome to. The Packers responded by offering him a huge deal to remain retired. Favre pushed back by reporting and forcing McCarthy to have to deal with him. Thompson/McCarthy responded by telling him clearly how the landscape had changed and that he would have to deal with it. Favre responded by clearly stating he has no desire to practice and deal with a competition that would hurt Rodgers and the organization.
Blah, blah, blah....its the same thing over and over again. The Packers want their cake and to eat it, too. They don't want Favre and his distractions on their team, but they don't want him on essentially any other team that could affect them, either.
We are stuck in a bad spot: questioning what's happened up to this point, figuring out what both parties should have done months ago to avoid this. But, regardless, we're continuing to look at is what is happening minute-by-minute, and seeing the situation being mishandled with a lack of communication, with hurt feelings, and with such stubbornness that we realize this is far from over.
I just saw a scene from Tuesday's practice, where Aaron Rodgers is warming up with the crowd chanting "We Want Brett". It's a sad, sad place for him to be right now, and he deserves all the praise in the world for dealing with it with such class and professionalism. No matter how successful he is as a starting quarterback in the NFL, he will have the pity and respect of fans everywhere.
It never had to come to this, and both Favre and Thompson are to blame. And it is incredibly disappointing.