Sunday, April 26, 2009

"What Are The Thompson Haters Going To Do?"

I've heard this a couple times today..."What are the TT Haters going to do now???", I guess in response to what appears to be the "anti-TT" draft that the "Haters" have been apparent whining for.

It kind of hits me weird, because I've been pretty happy with this year's draft--I would honestly say it is the best feeling I've had coming out of a draft since the Wolf regime in the 90's. But, it is coming with some sort of childish "in your face" from folks who have been defending Thompson for years, while in the same breath admitting that this doesn't appear to be Thompson running this particular draft.

Now, I am no Thompson Hater, but will easily admit to being a critic. I point out his positive points, have never worn a Hater T-shirt or signed a petition against him, and have never called for him to be fired.

But I do disagree with his approach at times, including how he has approached the draft in the past. And, I've been called a Thompson Hater before, by nothing less than those crazy "Thompson Acolytes" or the "Thompson Worshippers".

That was just for dramatic effect, folks. Of course, that is just that natural polarization that happens in today's political world. If you disagree with me, you must be an "extremist".

Now, getting to the point. I am happy with this draft, because I think Thompson did some things we haven't seen him do before. He took some risks...his first two picks, BJ Raji and Clay Matthews, have some warts, but he was willing to pay a high price for each other them. There's no guarantee they will work out, and TT could have traded back from #9 or not traded up to get Matthews.

But these were not only stud picks, but also "need" picks. After 2007, when he reached for an injured DT, and 2008, when he traded back to take a WR at an already loaded position, this was a welcome change for many. It's not simply drafting for need, it's taking the Best Player Available at a Position of Need. And notice the cheers in the Atrium.

So, now, Thompson Critics/Haters should "shut up" and never complain again, because Thompson finally did "what we wanted" after four years? Does this mean that we had the "right", then, to complain the previous four years? Or does it mean that Thompson simply did this to placate us and we should feel guilty for making him do so?

The next catcall is then that this is all a carefully formulated plan, that Thompson has intended to trade down for quantity for all these years, so that now, suddenly, he can trade up and draft for need.

It's a great thought, but not one that I particularly like or buy into.

Like McCarthy, Thompson is under fire for one of the biggest "penthouse to outhouse" declines in record in franchise history. McCarthy responded by firing nearly his entire defensive and special teams coaching staff. Thompson may be responding by changing his M.O. to something that addresses getting this team back to 2007 expectations.

That collapse last year doesn't close off Thompson to any criticism. Everyone is open to criticism, and if it handled maturely and intelligently, its valid even in the face of success.

And I'm happy to give Thompson his due: great draft. Super draft. No true skill positions drafted and yet I am really excited about it.

Does it mean I can never criticize him again? Please.

Ted has eschewed free agency almost exclusively since making a small splash in 2006. As the Packers go into 2009, they stand to lose Mark Tauscher, and even Chad Clifton's production is in doubt. So much so, that OT was one of the biggest "needs" the Packers had in this draft....a "need" after drafting six players in the last three years.

And what has Thompson done with it? Drafted two more mid-round guys that seem interchangeable with the talent we already have. Not bad talent, but talent that appears to be more versitile than solid at any one position. I like the guys we picked, don't get me wrong. They look to be tremendous value for where they were taken. But I can't exect either of them to step in and take over the production we expected from Tauscher and Clifton this year, much less improve on it.

And all this could have been solved by drafting for need years ago, or dipping into the free agent pool and having the heir apparent ready to go.

Valid criticism? Absolutely. Just because Thompson has had a good draft, doesn't mean that everything he does is as pure as the driven snow. This might be a position that Thompson may want to invest some coin in a second- or third-tier tackle, if one were available, instead of drafting players that won't really full blossom for another couple of seasons.

Look...we are all Packer fans here. Nothing irritates me more than seeing Packers fans beating up on fellow Packer fans. We're on the same team. If we have vitriol to send someone's way, well, this is why God created Viking fans.

In some ways, and perhaps indirectly connected, the "Thompson Debate" has divided Packer fans the way that the "Favre Debate" once did. The funny thing is, I never remember Ron Wolf dividing the fan base the way Mike Sherman and Ted Thompson did/do. It's time to put away these divisive labels of "Haters" and "Lovers" and start allowing for open criticism and praise, the way we used to back in the day.

Good conversation, discussion, and debate can come out of that. Name-calling and polarized stances rarely ever do.


T said...

I was curious to see who Teddy drafted this year (hence how I got to this page) and I was indifferent. No passion (good or bad) on my end.

It is interesting you mentioned the Thompson Haters. Though most of us Thompson Haters (myself included) have left and moved on quite a while ago. Look at the poor attendance for the Fan Fest for example. Also I believe Packer Pro Shop sales were down from the year before?

I do find it amusing that Ray Rhodes can get axed after one year and his record was far better than McCarthys record last season. Yet Packer fans had no problem seeing Rhodes get the boot.

In closing, Green Bay is no longer the same team I fell in love with 15 years ago therefore I've found another team to cheer for (No, NOT a NFC North team) and spend my money on. Thompson has hijacked the Packers Franchise and turned them into just another team. Dare I say Dallas Light? Thanks but no thanks....

rickusn said...

CD Thanks for the considerate repose to my last comment.

Sorry for the piss poor typing. Keyboard is failing and then compounded by poor proof-reading.

Your article above was very good.

Look forward to reading more soon.

Graham said...

Well T glad to see you go. Since you are no longer a Packer fan that means I CAN rip on you. Packer fans live through thick and thin. Ray Rhodes got fired because he was a bad coach. It was a stupid hire by Ron Wolf. He sucked and Ronnie instead of sticking with his mistake fired the idiot. Would you have kept Ray Rohdes?

Second sure MM had a rough 6-10 season lost 7 games by 4 points (2nd most all time in a season) or less and his starters missed a rediculous number of games. But the bottom line is we still have a young and improving team. We had a bad season, our defense was terrible. Bad coaches "stick with their guys" good coaches/GM's realize their mistake and move on. Bye bye Sanders and Co. Hello Dom.

Any idea why the Fan Fest was not great this year? Maybe it is because the USA had 9% unemployment and is in the worst recession in 30 years? No it couldn't be that it has to be that TT and MM have ruined the Packers. 260+ consecutive sell outs means nothing right! I can tell you one thing there will be eight added to that number for this year.

Bottom line have fun cheering for dallas, talk about a crap of a franchise. Yeah they have 11 pro bowlers but have not was a playoff game since 1995. TT is a smart GM he built the core of his team through the draft and did not waste money on overpriced free agents that wont even visit GB. He has created the best young team in the league. Soon you will be back to the pack because you will realize your wrongs. I just dont care because you are a band wagon fan who does not put the blood sweat and tears into his team.

Aaron said...

Wow "T" - you're just a horrible fan.

IPB said...

It's amazing to me just how much suppression of the F*A*C*T*S is so important for the TT-haters to apply. No offense to the Spock Logic Group, but much like Hollywood & Liberals (both of whom have a hard time getting past High School), these TT-haters have a hard time with "accountability of one's actions"... and that I cannot dismiss, period! So, since "T" can't even show stones enuf to identify his real person, we leave it as "anonymous", and that way later no one can mark the grave.

Personally, L.A., I'm more than tired of this "hate" nonsense, which is nothing more than manipulation by the mainstream media-now run by the very same protestors of the 60's & 70's - go figure. There is a decided difference in my book. You can have peace-niks, or pacifists. The latter will allow subjegation(sp); the other will fight when the time comes and not run away. They are like family. And, family always defends family - they are there for each other. Let's move on....
The Packers got the only 'A' in the NFC for the 2009 Draft. THAT ALONE has to say volumes for what the crew of Star Trek have just accomplished. Like posted elsewhere, what would Kirk & Spock have done without McCoy? Now we have TT, MM, and DC, to boot. Three heads are always better than two. Besides, I fully believe Capres will mentor MAC on a few issues about what he did as a HC in other regions. Capers has a true football mind and MAC will unlearn his Schottenheimer-ways to the credit of Green Bay, I'd say.
For myself, having raised two daughters and been the person everyone throws grenades at when it comes to our Fan Club, I'm of a mind to demand accountability from all Packerfans, across the board. If you're gonna find fault with Thompson, you'd damn well better be able to measure it against how poorly Holmgren/Wolf did, as well as Sherman/Sherman (especially). From 2000-2005, the Packers drafted poorly, time & again, yet no one barely breathed a word of disagreement. If they did, it dang sure wasn't for very long. I always wondered why such political correctness was so necessary. It's not the normal behavior of Cheeseheads I've ever hung around with. That was five years wasted in getting to SuperBowl after SuperBowl. Yet no one screamed "What ARE you doing?" Myself, at the end of 2003, I flipped off the screen when Favre threw an INT that was totally unnecessary. We had time to still win that game, period. But, let's move on and stop with the spilled grapes.
I'm not so fond of Mel Kiper being in the Packers' corner over this Draft - but, GBP did themselves as proud as they did several seasons ago. Some may debate whether the '05 or '06 draft was TT's best, to date. I think '09 was on par with the better of those two. Several have already defined RAJI as a young Gilbert Brown. I always thought Colin Cole was a lot like Gravedigger, it was Sanders that would never use him properly. But, let's see what happens with this group. I can see at least three of our picks being starters in August & into the Regular Season. RAJI will start, as will Matthews. I even think there's hope for some of the un-drafted group now identified (sorry) on Packer Report. The one RB listed reminds me of Warrick Dunn.
NOTE TO L.A - I cannot prove it with Articles, but a lot of the Ray Rhodes situation was all about Brett Favre, partner. I've had discussions with a couple of insiders who were there at the time, and the evidence is fairly indisputable. I grieve for the guy, too. Yet, there is nothing we can do about it. The Packers Board was in on the situation, so more heads should be held to the fire over it, than just one or two.
Truth is, with Capers onboard, MAC will have to quite micro-managing events amongst the Team, and start letting these players "play the game" much the way he let Favre have at it. I fully expect that to happen now. 'Cause if MAC don't head in that direction, then Capers WILL be given the reins, period. I got no problem with whoever GBP says is the HC, as long as we NEVER play Prevent Football.... aka: Marty Ball. And, this is where McCarthy needs to shed that snake skin and begin a new Era for himself as a real Head Coach.

JMHO ... all are welcome to disagree, but bring proof, not semantics.

Franklin Hillside said...

See you later, T.

T said...

Graham - Where did I say I was cheering for Dallas? I said/implied the Packers are becoming "Dallas Lite".

- Bandwagon fan? Suuureee... If I was a bandwagon fan I would not have been a Packer Fan from the start. I would have jumped on San Fran, Buffalo, Dallas..etc. Hell using that logic I would have been a Pats fan (eeww) the last 6 or so years.

I have a friend who stopped being a Ravens fan when they let Lewis back on the team. I have a friend who says if his team signs Vick he won't be a fan anymore.

I hate to simplify it but it seems some fans are just cheering for laundry and couldn't care less about the character of the team, management, fan base as a whole.

- Blame the economy for poor attendance? Sorry ain't buying it. Just gotta wonder what the excuse will be when they have an uncapped year and the Packers can't afford to compete?

IPB - I don't have a blog, or a google account.

I am not a blind sheep and can't stand the direction the franchise is going. I also dislike the lack of class the franchise has shown under Thompson. Plus, the mean spirited name calling Packer fans who throw around the word "real fan" way to much sickens me. I truly thought Packer fans for the most part were a classy bunch. I guess I was wrong.

If being a "real fan" means writing hate filled posts, ripping on anyone who has a dissenting opinion, slamming Favre and anyone who supported him, making personal attacks towards others...etc then I am truly glad I am not a "real fan".

Bottom line is Green Bay is no longer a franchise I wish to be associated with. By no means do I wish harm or an 0-16 season on Green Bay. I am just indifferent to them as they have become "just another team".

Since I won't be returning to reply I want to stress that I have NOTHING against the Packer Fans who chose to stay and wish them well.

C.D. Angeli said...

Well, first of all, I'd like T and everyone else to read this article:

T kind of reminds me of Mr. Martin. I certainly don't condone quitting on your team at any time, but I do offer one caveat: how many times have we been told that if you aren't supporting Thompson, you must not be a true Packer fan?

Sometimes, it's good for all of us to remember that Thompson is just the GM, and not "The Packers". I don't remember anyone who disagreed with Mike Sherman being told they weren't real Packer fans, eh? :-D

Otherwise, thanks for all the discussion, gang! It was great seeing the dates of the OTAs and minicamps coming up...the season ain't too far away!

Oh, and T? If you have season tickets, please relinquish them. It will move me up to #31,509 on the waiting list!