Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What else can Brett Favre do?

(I'm going to assume that most people reading this know what's going on with Brett Favre, and that those who don't know don't care, so no recap.)

I ask you, what else can Brett Favre do?

Obviously, the right choice for Brett is to have simply not retired in the first place, but that's not an option. Favre can still play, he still has the passion, he still has the arm and the skills. He clearly retired in a state of extended despair over seeing one of his best seasons end with another Super Bowl so close but yet so far.

Yes, this is an impossible situation for the Packers. He has sabotaged their training camp, their salary cap, and possibly their season. And if anyone has an idea what he could do differently, I'd love to hear it.

Staying out of the league is not a viable option. He's a future Hall-of-Famer, and he clearly still has starting quarterback skills. He has consistently been the brightest spot on the Packers' roster for 16 years, and he has single-handedly raised them back from their dismal 1980s to being an elite franchise again. For an entire football generation, the Green Bay Packers are #4. In other words, he has earned the benefit of almost every imaginable doubt in Green Bay.

Unfortunately, I don't know what else the Packers can do, either. They have invested confidence and commitment in Aaron Rodgers, and to pull him out of the starting position now, under these kind of circumstances is to most likely ruin him as a starter in Green Bay forever. The Packers have drafted with Rodgers in mind, they have acquired free agents with Rodgers in mind, and they have managed salaries with Favre's retirement in mind. The team simply isn't built for Favre's history, his skills, or his salary now. And it's months too late to change that.

It's an ugly situation, but I think as soon as the parties sit down face to face it will clarify. Both sides will find ways to give to the other; both sides respect each other's perspective. Favre needs to be able to play, period. The Packers need to be able to move on, period. They'll find a way, maybe one that will surprise us all.

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  • At 7/30/2008 11:49 AM , Blogger Wayne Conners said...

    Andrew, A simple and elegant analysis, nicely done. Unfortunately, he *did* retire, and therefore he needs to take his lumps. I understand that he wants to play, and I think he should be able to play, but he got himself into this situation. I have a great deal if admiration for Brett Favre but as you point out, the Packers have made numerous (and smart, I'd say) business decisions based on a Favre-free team in Lambeau. Cheeseheads may disagree with me, but it's not fair to the fans or the team to ask for a do-over. The answer? Hell if I know, I don't understand the ins and outs of contracts enough to offer an informed opinion. I just think that if anyone has to take it on the chin here to make it work out, it should be the man himself.

  • At 7/30/2008 12:27 PM , Blogger Scott Wichmann said...

    The Pack should Favre to the Jets so we can destroy him twice this year. I will feel so good to have the Pats take out my frustration on this waffling prima donna. Don't get me wrong, I love the Brett Favre legacy (the game the night his father died is one I will never forget) but he has put himself so far above the team that I almost wish he would go drive a lawnmower in Louisiana and sell more jeans...I hope Aaron Rodgers leads the Pack to the SB...

  • At 7/30/2008 12:28 PM , Blogger Scott Wichmann said...

    Sorry, the missing verb is 'Deal.' as in 'Deal' Favre to the Jets.

  • At 7/30/2008 4:01 PM , Blogger Frank Creasy said...

    Brett Favre: A hero, or a prima donna? Gee guys - I can certainly appreciate the realm of thinking on this one from Wisconsin to Tampa Bay and in between. So I dunno...he sure did make a classy retirement speech earlier this year, so on that count I hate to see him do a 360 and sully his rep to some extent.

    But I have to say, while none of us are Brett Favre, it's helpful, I think, to personalize these situations. I remember the disappointment of not achieving the championship goals of my high school wrestling career. I then decided to use a partial scholarship from my alma mater and attempt a walk-on spot at division I George Mason, and as a freshman lined up against some of the region's top division I wrestlers I did not fare well, winning just a few matches before a pinched nerve and an x-ray led to a stunning discovery: I had wrestled for two years with a dislocated C-6 vertebrae from a prior injury ("shake it off", ya know...had never gotten it checked after being dropped on my head in a practice). End of collegiate wrestling. Luckily, a cervical collar after several months pulled the vertebra back into place without surgery.

    Fast forward a few years to Longwood College: While I was enjoying my new-found extracurricular activity of acting in the theatre, I found myself one altered state evening missing wrestling. I called my brother back home who had wrestled with me all through school. Based on my medical history, he advised against a return to the mats...and I followed his advice. At that time, anyway. A few years later, while in Germany for the Air Force, I made a brief and ill-fated return to Olympic freestyle wrestling against military athletes. Out of shape and past my prime I took my lumps and finally walked off the mat for good.

    And now, here I am actor of a "certain age", shall we say. At a threshhold where some plum roles have passed me by based on age, and others are on the brink of doing the same. Next week, an audition for a dream role. I'm VERY close to being too old for the part. Some might think I already am. If the director is among those...well, I guess I'm hosed. What do I do, WHAT DO I DO???

    All you guys who've commented so far are artists. What do you THINK I'm gonna do? You're goddamn right. I'm gonna fucking lace up my cleats. I might go down, but I'll go down fighting. Somebody else want to fight me for that part? Better bring a lunchbox and a lantern man, 'cause it's gonna take all day and night to wrestle this one from my grip.

    Maybe it's the wrong thing for Brett to do, to suit up for the Jets or the Vikes. I don't know. But if he's wearing a helmet this fall, whether it's purple or green and white or whatever...I'll be watching. And cheering.

    Excuse me guys. I've gotta go prepare for an audition.

  • At 7/31/2008 8:55 AM , Blogger Wayne Conners said...

    Rumors this morning are that the are offering him $20 million to stay retired.

  • At 7/31/2008 8:57 AM , Blogger Wayne Conners said...

    I think I messed up that last tag. the story is here:

  • At 7/31/2008 10:05 AM , Blogger Andrew Hamm said...

    Oooooh, that's gonna leave a sour taste in the mouth...

  • At 7/31/2008 12:20 PM , Blogger Wayne Conners said...

    One more try...this should be the right URL:

  • At 8/06/2008 10:29 AM , Anonymous phil hamm said...

    This whole situation IMO stains Mr. Favre's legacy. He seems to be so full of himself.

  • At 8/06/2008 3:07 PM , Blogger Andrew Hamm said...

    Wanting to un-retire and play for the team he single-handedly restored to elite status with his Hall-of-Fame career is "full of himself?" If so, I think he's more than earned the right.

  • At 8/11/2008 10:22 AM , Anonymous phil hamm said...

    Retiring with a big tearfull public press conference then wanting to play again just a few months later and making the whole process a circus is a selfish jackass move. Now he'll play for the Jets, we'll see how he does there. Montanna brought the Chiefs deep into the playoffs, didn't he?

  • At 8/21/2008 1:58 PM , Blogger Andrew Hamm said...

    So you're suggesting that he should have either:

    1) Accepted the worst mistake of his career, staying retired even though he would have regretted it for the rest of his life, or

    2) Gone back in time and not retired in the first place.

    How are either of those acceptable? Sure, it's selfish, I guess. But he's earned the right to play if he wants to, and he wanted to play with the Packers. Without Favre there in the 1990s, there might not even BE a Green Bay Packers any more, not in the modern NFL market.

    I just can't get the argument that Favre should have just not retired, or should have stayed retired. What the hell good does that line of thinking do? Unless you're Dr. Doom, you don't have a time machine to go fix these bad choices. This is what he's done now, and he's the biggest name in the NFL (see the cover of Madden 09). If he wants to come back, he's got to come back.

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