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In Sports Commentary

A year ago, some people wanted Favre to retire.

A sportswriter rethinks his position on Brett Favre


It was just about one year ago that I wrote a few words that I thought were dripping with wisdom and insight:

"I think it's time they (the Green Bay Packers) find out if Aaron Rogers can play quarterback in the NFL," I wrote. "If he can't, they better find one who can, either in the draft or through a trade. But the important thing is to get an answer to that question.

"What that means is, of course, is that Brett Favre should stop being the starting quarterback for the Packers. (I never thought those words would pass my lips.)

"The question is how do you make that happen?

"Favre isn't going to volunteer. That's so far out of character that we better realize this leopard isn't changing his spots. So that means Ted Thompson and (Mike) McCarthy have to do this. Sure, it's a tough decision, but they get paid to make tough decisions.

"The best choice is to do this with Favre's cooperation and understanding. Find a way to do it how he'd like it done. Either let him retire to the bench, to Mississippi or trade him to a team that thinks it's a great quarterback away from the Super Bowl."


Honest to God. I actually wrote those words and OnMilwaukee.com, published them under an agreement we have that says they'll publish whatever rantings I have without editing for content.

Now close your eyes and see if you can envision me slapping my forehead with great force and muttering to myself, "I can't believe how amazingly stupid I can be sometimes."

Right now, the Packers have one of the top three quarterbacks in the league and maybe one of the top two. And I wanted the Packers to force him out of the lineup last year so some untested kid from Cal could begin his career. I mean: the old quarterback is having a season that may well bring him yet another MVP award. He's put a team of kids on his shoulders and said, Follow me boys." I actually said that a quarterback who may well lead his babies to the Super Bowl ought to be on the bench. Ow.

Now, what I wrote a year ago points up several things. Chief among them, of course, is how certain I sounded when I wrote that and how wrong I could be. Some people say there are no degrees of wrong. When you are wrong, you are wrong. Well, I certainly disproved that. I was both wrong and stupid, although I'm not sure which came first.

But, the other thing this helps to prove is just how uncertain the world of sports really is. And not just for the fans.

Think, for a moment. Sam Bowie was drafted before Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton. Tony Mandarich was drafted ahead of Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders. The Bucks got Tractor Traylor and not Dirk Nowitzki. Not one of the general managers who drafted those guys thought a mistake was being made. They were certain they had made the right decision.

And those general managers are experts. They know more about basketball, baseball and football than you and me and 10 of our friends combined.

Then, listen to the sports radio talk shows or read the newspaper columnists, especially in Milwaukee. Everybody knows everything.

Can you believe that call that Yost made? I can't believe Thompson drafted that guy. How the hell could Kohl offer that kind of contract to that bum?

We know the truth. We all know the truth.

But, the most wonderful thing about all of sports is that we really don't know the truth. At least in some cases we don't know until the game has been played. And in other cases, we may never know the truth, because we don't know all the facts.

Who thought the Jets would beat the Colts, or who thought Rulon Gardner would beat Alexander Karelin in the Olympics? Appalachian State over Michigan? No bleeping way. And the Washington Generals have beaten the Harlem Globetrotters.

The point, of course, is that you never know for sure. We shout. We bang the table. We punch the keyboard of our laptop with confidence and bombast. But, we just don't know.

Will that change us? Absolutely not. Which just goes to show how dumb we all really are.

In the face of incontrovertible evidence, we all will pretend that we have the corner on the secrets. We know what other people should be doing. If they would only listen to us they would score more, run faster, play smarter and win much more.

Yeah, right.


Talkbacks

Myke | Nov. 14, 2007 at 3:11 p.m. (report)

Sandstorm I can't even spell my own name how can you expect me to spell Farve or rather Favre!

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sugarcreekboy | Nov. 13, 2007 at 10:01 p.m. (report)

Pick an opinion and stick with it. This is from your July article ripping a fellow columnist: "And, perhaps the most important point of all is this: Brett Favre is the best quarterback the Green Bay Packers have. The best. And whoever is second is not even close. "So, if you want to win next year, the quarterback who gives you the best chance to do that is (DRUMROLL, PLEASE) Brett Favre.." That's less than a year ago, pal. And, by the way, calling out a co-worker is a good way to look like a World Class Jerk. Imagine how you'd be treated if you did that to a buddy of yours. you'd be pounded on. I still can't believe you had the gall to try to punk a fellow columnist like that, but I digress. In a month, if Brett Favre is struggling, will you again be calling for Rodgers? It seems that way, because you can't even keep track of your own writings.

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stevedempsey4 | Nov. 13, 2007 at 4:38 p.m. (report)

It would be interesting to hear what people would be saying today if he had continued to decline and was sitting with a 3-5 team instead. Dave's article could have been an "I told you so!" Wouldn't you agree that most would claim they thought he should have retired 2 years ago, whether they did or not? Glad we will never have to find out! Hindsight is 20/20... mine was 20/200, which is legally blind. BTW - Thanks to whoever gave me one star for my first comment. I should have just said, " I love Brett Favre!!!!" Now, that is the stuff five star comments are made of.

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sandstorm | Nov. 13, 2007 at 4:16 p.m. (report)

steve, you are not the bad guy. my point is now that Favre (note the spelling Myke) is performing well again a lot of people seem to be pointing to the "fact" that "everybody" wanted Favre to retire or at least to ride the bench in favor of Rodgers when that was simply not the case. granted, we most likely with different crowds steve, but i honestly don't know many people at all who didn't want Favre to not only stick around, but to stick around and start.

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stevedempsey4 | Nov. 13, 2007 at 3:58 p.m. (report)

First off, after rereading my comment I knew that I would catch flak for using the word "delusional" without the key words "I presumed to be" in front of it. I also must have misread Dave's sentiment because I never thought he should be benched. As long as he was/is on the team he should be in the game. What I was speaking of was after the 2005 and 2006 seasons. When there was speculation he was going to retire, I wanted him to and (as it is obvious to see this season) was wrong. I did not think he had it in him to be a top notch quarterback in the NFL. It pained me to see him struggle and I would have rather had him retire than go through the pain and ridicule he was going through. I did not want him to hold on for too long as it appeared he was doing. He is too good for that. I am not going to look for trackbacks that echo that sentiment because I know what I felt, what friends around around me felt, and what the sports talk radio waves were saying out of Green Bay. I felt as though everyone wanted him to hang'em up. The only people I personally knew that wanted him to play were fans that I labeled as "delusional" because they were not seeing that the team would be better off as it built towards a future without him at quarterback. It is obvious that I and all others that thought like I did, both locally and nationally, were the delusional ones. Sandstorm - "odd how history shifts for some people needing to make a specific point". How do you know what I experienced? History has not "shifted" for me. My history included exactly what I said in this and my last comment and has not changed one bit. I admit when I am wrong. I was wrong, and am happy I was because this has been one of the most exciting seasons I have experienced as a Packers fan. Myke - I am really enjoying Favre and am disappointed my future kids will not get to see him play. We do not know what Rodgers will be like and may not find out for awhile the way Brett is playing and I do not mind that. I also thought Ted Thompson had a terrible offseason by not making any major moves... but, again, I was wrong. It's not worth going back and forth because I think we all agree we are better off with number 4 than without.... besides I hate being the bad guy and it feels as though you guys think I am.

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