Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Healing Broken Packer Hearts

Among Packer fans, there’s a lot of hurt, anger, sadness and even depression about the departure of #4, and the way the team handled it. I don’t want to take the time to rehash the whole saga, for one thing the subject has been covered adequately by much more eloquent sportswriters than I:


What I found especially disappointing was how Packer fans turned on each other in the forums and chat rooms. If you didn’t “get with the program” and “move on” you somehow weren’t a true Packer fan, you were, these people said, often with profanity laced tirades or personal insults, “a Favre fan.”

As if that were something bad.

Well, I’m a Favre fan, then. I tend to root for individuals, not for institutions. A stadium is just steel and concrete. The people who serve in a management capacity at NFL teams come and go, and some are quickly forgotten. What matters are the players: they're the ones who through supreme effort, sweat, blood and sacrifice bring us football glory. I remember when I was kid and the Packers fired Bart Starr as coach, right at the time he was starting to be a good coach, I totally lost interest in their games for a number of years. Bart was one of the greatest Packer players in history. I thought he should have been treated better than that. He had assembled a team that had lots of upside potential. After he was let go, they had to go through several complete, miserable, iterations of rebuilding before Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren—and Brett Favre--were able to turn the team into a winner.

So, I think it is perfectly reasonable to be angry that Brett Favre is no longer with the team. The question is, what to do now? How to heal up and enjoy football again. Here are a few ideas:

Don’t be angry with the Packer players, especially Aaron Rodgers. I think it’s really poor sportsmanship to boo the players in practice or at the games. They have no say in personnel decisions. Truth be told, each of them knows they could be the next one shipped out in a trade or an outright release. And I imagine if they did get to vote on the issue, they would have nearly unanimously said to keep both Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre.

This continues in the blog post that follows...

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