Edit: As this situation grows worse, the effects of his selfishness seem to have become more prevalent. This seems obvious by the divide created within the team and the fans. It pains me to see the disdain toward the two sides, especially when this is turned on management. In my mind, the selfishness has made matters worse. Therefore, I feel the message of this blog is only increasing in relevance.
First, let me provide this disclaimer: the following post is not an attempt to bash Favre. I respect Favre and his accomplishments on the field. He deserves the recognition and claim to one of the top NFL quarterbacks in NFL history; he is a legend in Green Bay and throughout the league. However, he is not perfect and I think it is necessary sometimes to identify the flaws, especially when they are a detriment to the team and the fans. I don't feel he should be idolized. The recent wave of comeback talks (fueled by the media) illustrate the reason for this post, even more so if there is truth to the rumors, particularly if Favre started them: Favre is selfish.
Why would I claim this? I think I am stating the obvious. I think we can all admit that we have grown tired of his inability to make a decision. It has grown irritating over the past several seasons with all the "will he or won't he" retirement talk. It was like he held the town and his team hostage every season. When he does this, he elevates himself above the team. He forces the organization to bend to his timing. Even though he is/was a great player, this is still a selfish act. In a way, it is as detrimental as a player holding out for more money, which, to me, is the ultimate act of selfishness on a team. Holding out suggests that one player's needs is more important then the teams. On a different scale, Favre "holding out" with his decisions forced the organization to wait to make plans for the future, which is a detriment in itself.
But Favre was not only selfish off the field. He often put himself above the team in his play. Now, I realize most consider him a team player, and most of the time he is. But how many times have people referred to the Packers as Favre's team? Tell me if this sounds familiar: "the Packers are nothing without Favre; Favre made that team; he is the team." How can one player be elevated above a roster of 53? Since Favre retired, we've heard much talk of how the Packers are now a bad team. Really? If Favre was the whole team, he was not a team player.
But how can I write that? Certainly that was all fan talk and Favre does not actually believe he alone composes the team? Perhaps, but actions speak louder than words, and, for me, his actions are loud and clear. How many times have we seen Favre try to force a huge play when his team is down? Often, it succeeded, but he holds the interception record for a reason. When he tried to carry the team on his shoulder, very often, he forced passes that landed in the hands of the defense. Last season, when he played within the system (throwing short passes that allowed his talented receivers to make plays, and deep ones when the opportunities arrived), the offense thrived. However, when he tried to carry the team alone and forced throws, that is when the problems occurred. Look at what happened at the Cowboys game, for example. He just tossed it up and was intercepted 3 times that game. When Aaron Rodgers stepped in and played within the system, the offense performed better. People like the term "gunslinger," but it has some negative connotations. For one, it implies a more individualized image (one man taking chances); for the other, it is hit and miss.
Of course, the implication that he thinks he is above the team again refers back to his inability to make a decision. Now, there are rumors that he wants to come back. I am not sure if they are true, but if his words are fueling them, I once again have reason to believe he is selfish.
Look at this through unbiased eyes; take off your Favre-colored glasses. This statement is directed towards those who think the Packers should drop everything and invite him back. More specifically, it targets those who think Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson are to blame. They have a team to run and they can't be constantly concerned with Favre's frequent and expected doubts. They need to move on, as does Brett and the fans. There are reports that McCarthy and Thompson didn't show enough interest, that they didn't want him back, but, really, who can blame them? They have a team to focus on, not one player who thinks he is the team. Why should they spend so much time trying to beg Brett to return, as if he is a child who needs attention? It should go unsaid that he is/was a major part of the team.
Now people are questioning the statement that the organization is "reluctant" to bringing Favre back? Seriously, does anyone hear know anything about running an organization? I admit that I don't, but from what I understand, when a team spends several months preparing with a new quarterback, should they be eager to just dismiss that quarterback for the old? It seems like common sense. Pre-season starts in a month and training camp begins in three weeks. Favre doesn't like to practice and the itch to play becomes stronger when the season approaches. However, Rodgers dedicates himself to his workouts and preparation for the season and now the Packers are suppose to drop everything because an indecisive quarterback changed his mind? Again, that is a selfish position to put a team.
The Packers have the future to think about, and I doubt many of those who are calling for Favre's return realize the long term impact this could have. This isn't just a matter of returning Rodgers to the bench for one more season. Rodgers contract is nearing an end and I expect being treated this way will not sit well with him. Favre would probably only have one more year, but we still don't know what we have in Rodgers. He could be a future star, and we would just throw him aside? Brian Brohm is not anymore of a guarantee. Good quarterbacks are hard to find (ask the Bears and Vikings), so why risk losing someone who could be a longterm solution?
His selfishness has an effect on many. It hurts Aaron Rodgers, who was given the reigns to the offense only to have it threatened by an indecisive quarterback. His growth would probably be smoother if his future was more certain. No wonder he seems to be losing some of his composure (referring to the SI article). It hurts the Packers organization, since they don't need the distractions. It affects the team, because how can the players be loyal to one offensive leader if an older, retired player implies a possible return? Add the media and the questions the Favre talk would incite, and the players may struggle to stay focused on their new quarterback (an important position). If they can't let go of the old, how will they give in to the new? Finally, it affects the fans, who are tired of being pulled around by a selfish player.
I am bothered by this selfishness and indecisiveness. I feel we need to move on. Favre needs to stick with a decision or he will hold everyone back. Will we all just admit that, at the least, this is getting on our collective nerve? It sure has for me.