Ah, Packers fans, it’s that all too familiar time of year again. Except, this time, however, we get to watch the spectacle concerning former Packers great Brett Favre and his decision on whether or not he will retire from the game of football. This time, his victim is the New York Jets. Rumor has it the Jets wants Favre’s decision in ten days, to give them time to alter their scouting for the NFL Combine. The Jets currently have Kellen Clemens and Brett Ratliff as their quarterbacks behind Favre. If the Jets wide receivers could catch, Clemens could be seen as a reliable option, as he played some great games two years ago, but was failed by his receivers. Ratliff is an unknown commodity who was strong in the preseason last year. Neither saw the field in 2008.
After the 2007 season, the Packers went about their business, not knowing whether Favre would be back. The combine came and the combine went. Then, in early March, after the combine, Favre phones it in. No doubt this affected the Packers draft strategy. In 2007, the Packers just went with Favre and heir apparent Aaron Rodgers as their quarterbacks, until Rodgers tweaked a hamstring and the team re-signed Craig Nall. If Favre had stayed, the Packers draft strategy would have undoubtedly change, as I don’t see Ted Thompson adding Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn into the mix with Rodgers and Favre. If Favre had made his decision before the combine, Thompson could have definitely altered the offseason plans that involved drafting two quarterbacks, including one with the Packers second pick, to something that involved getting help where they needed it.
But the most memorable facts of the Favre fiasco center around the media blitz. ESPN had a new story every 20 minutes on where he was going next. Minnesota? Tampa Bay? New York? Baltimore? The 24/7 news cycle was unbelievable. But now it’s back, with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. This new blitz provides a great look with some incredibly interesting articles.
The Packers blog reports that the Jets may have Favre’s answer in two days.
Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Dan Marino, and Troy Aikman share how Favre can learn to hang it up and how he can cope with being retired. Some great reporting by the Journal-Sentinel.
The Journal-Sentinel also draws parallels between Favre’s retirement and the ends of the careers of Johnny Unitas, John Elway, and Joe Montana.
Why this blitz now? I don’t know. But still interesting.