When my inner monologue is angry it speaks with the voice of Colonel Sherman Potter of "MASH" fame. When I first started to get entrenched in the Brett Favre mambajamba that has been going on for nigh on 5 years now, I heard my psyche say "What a bunch of Horsehockey!!", or "What in the H-e double hockey sticks is going on here!?".
Then when the more sedate part of my mind stepped in, it was "Calm down, son, everything is gonna be fine."
Yeah, it will, but it will sting for a long time.
In the midst of this brouhaha between former Packer QB Favre and Green Bay GM Ted Thompson, are the fans. Caught in the drift like little children of a divorce. They sometimes look up, seeing heroes that are often not really there. They place players and management from professional sports on pedestals more commonly reserved for statesmen, or even deities.
When those "parents" can't coexist peacefully anymore, the humanity oozes out like so much grue.
When Favre was traded to the Jets last season he seemed to envision himself in New York like William "Braveheart" Wallace, crying "Freedom!!!", while back in Green Bay, Ted "King Longshanks" Thompson groaned in his deathbed.
Thompson, stubborn, never addressed the situation much, and didn't handle it well. The stern patriach, hiding his emotions. Keeping to himself.
It was obvious from the beginning, neither one liked being told what to do. Favre seemed to think he was the face and voice of the Green Bay Packers. Brett didn't want the Public Services contract Green Bay offered. Thompson didn't like Favre's behavior that he displayed when he didn't like any of the moves Ted made. The Mississippi River Boat Gambler even asked to be traded when the Moss deal didn't happen, I seem to remember.
Each one trying to force the other's hand.
16 glorious years. A love affair between a community and one man, who seemed to epitomize what being a Green Bay Packer was supposed to be. It could have been one of the all time great one team legacies. Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Jim Brown. In less than 12 months, it was completely tarnished.
I heard J.A. Adande, a sports journalist I normally respect, as a panelist on ESPN's "Around the Horn" say that the Packers didn't want Favre last year. Really? I seem to remember McCarthy and Thompson, just prior to last season flying down to Mississippi in a last ditch effort to either find out his "final answer" or get him to change his mind. A vehement no was the response. The Packers customized their offense to Aaron Rodgers, and used two draft picks on Quarterbacks. Then #4 comes ambling back, "Hey guys, I changed my mind." That train left, Brett. And Adande, you're way off base.
Favre is now and has been coming off like a petulant child. When asked about his legacy, he says it's just that. HIS legacy. Has he ever mentioned Packer fans once outside of "If they're true Packer fans they'll understand....". Now he's telling us how to think. All through this, Thompson has been the quiet parent, not consoling, not making it worse. It's like a marriage where one spouse is acting like the last 20 years never happened. Now the farts on Don Beebe's helmet, the silly "Three Packerinos" video shorts with Chmura and Winters, the laughter on the sidelines, it all doesn't seem so quaint or even warm anymore. '
It's ash in the wind.
And guess what? It's the kids that end up getting hurt.