Ok, so I have very few (known) readers of this blog. And I'm about to (again) alienate 33% of them. Sorry, dude.
First things first, I just got back from a trip to Wisconsin for our annual family reunion. It was a blast. But I was really surprised to hear the opinions of my relatives - most of whom are die-hard Packer fans. The general consensus seemed to be that they wanted Favre to stay retired. I really couldn't believe that they thought that Aaron Rodgers was a better risk than Favre, especially considering the year that Favre had last year.
Many of them attributed selfish motives to Favre's actions. And certainly acting on the desire to play again is something that will benefit Favre. I happen to think it will also benefit the Packers. But I see what's been going on differently than most of the people I've talked to. I think Favre has bent over backwards to accomodate the Packers, while not giving in on what he wants. He wants another shot at the Superbowl. I think he thinks the Packers are his best shot at that. I also think the Packer's best shot at the superbowl involves Favre. But if the Packer's don't agree, then he wants to play somewhere that he does have a shot. And unfortunately, the best place for that is in Minnesota - someplace that the Packers do *NOT* want to see him play.
So, in what seems (to me) to be an effort to help the Packers, he delayed filing for reinstatement until today. That delay gave the Packers time to find a trading partner, it also helped the Packers avoid a circus at training camp with Favre showing up. Now that he's finally filed for reinstatement, he's done it at exactly the time that gives the Packers even more time to find a trading partner. In the next two days, the NFL commissioner (Roger Goodell) will reinstate Favre. This will take a day. Then the Packers will give Favre a physical, which will also take a day. Then Favre can show up at camp, but Thursday is not a practice for the Packers, giving the Packers another day. Friday, if nothing happens, Favre will show up at camp, having given the Packers every last possible oppurtunity to trade him or release him.
And at that point, if Favre isn't given a chance to compete for the starting job, there's really no way that Packers GM Ted Thompson can keep his job. It's one thing to not have Favre at camp, but it's entirely different if he's there but not allowed to compete. I don't see how you can say you want the Packers to win, if you're not even willing to give Favre a shot at the starting role.
In my opinion, the Packers need to do as quick as an about face as they possibly can and welcome Favre back immediately. I don't think he should be handed the starting job. I think he should compete for it, but I'm certain that he'd win it. Maybe they're worried that if they did that, they'd lose a little bit of credibility with other players who are in contract negotiatons. But, I don't think they'd lose much (if any) credibility in contract negotiations. No other player on that team has the cachet that Favre has.
I'm sure that I have a blind spot, but I'm just not able to see the ill motives in Favre's actions. On the other hand, I'm equally unable to see the motivation behind what the Packers are doing. Rather it looks more like Ted Thompson's ego demanding that his draft pick (Aaron Rodgers) get a chance to start. If Rodgers plays well, it can make Thompson's career. I don't know that this is what's happening, but I also can't dismiss it.
As for me, I think Favre has done all that he can to accomodate the Packers. I think it's time to report to camp. If that ruins Ted Thompson's career, so be it. Thompson made this bed. He can lie in it.