Favre Didn’t Want to Play for Packers

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Favre: doesn't like not getting his way.

It was a seemingly simple comment made by Troy Aikman during the Green Bay Packers contest with Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, but it made me pause nonetheless.

Aikman said Brett Favre didn’t want to play for the Packers, anymore. I didn’t really understand it at the time and Thom Brennaman just kind of let the comment hang in the air before moving on, but now I get it.

After Favre retired from the Packers and then decided to come back, he never really had any desire to play for Green Bay, again. In fact, the comment raised another question, too, but more on that later.

Andrew Brandt, who was vice president of the Green Bay Packers through 2008, says Favre was disgruntled with the way general manager Ted Thompson was building the team, which was the basis for Aikman’s comment.

Brett never warmed to the management style of GM Ted Thompson. Beyond the stilted communication, Brett felt he received lip service from Ted about the team making runs at veteran players but didn’t actually pursue them, as that was certainly not his preferred style for building a team.

Brett had no business making personnel decisions for the team but felt his suggestions had merit. He would bend my ear for hours about getting Randy Moss or other veteran players who became available. Whenever Brett would make these comments, I would tell him to trust the young guys we had such as Greg Jennings. Brett replied that he didn’t have time to wait; I would tell him he didn’t have to wait.

After so many tirades about how we weren’t going after this guy or that guy in free agency or trade, I would say to Brett, “What part of Ted Thompson’s philosophy do you not understand?” He would just shrug and walk away.

Brett wanted a ready-made veteran team for the longest time. That’s what the Jets sold him last year, and that’s what the Vikings were selling this (and last?) year.

While I find Favre’s behavior selfish and petty, I also understand where he was coming from. After the 2007 season, Favre figured he probably had one or two more seasons left. He wanted to compete at the highest level and try to win another Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the Packers were the youngest team in the league and Thompson, as always, did little to acquire difference makers through free agency or trade. I would be frustrated, too, if I were Brett Favre.

While it’s no revelation that Thompson and Favre didn’t see eye to eye, it’s interesting that it was so bad that Favre didn’t want to play in Green Bay anymore. Back to Aikman’s comment, it makes me wonder if Favre didn’t retire the first time because of his frustration and lack of relationship with Thompson.

If Thompson had been more aggressive in acquiring veteran stars, perhaps Favre wouldn’t have retired. Perhaps the Packers would have won a Super Bowl, and then Favre would have retired. Perhaps Favre would still be playing for the Packers.

We may never know the full story, and really, it doesn’t matter. The Packers current quarterback, who isn’t too shabby himself, would likely have walked via free agency had Favre stuck around longer than he did.

It’s debatable whether the Packers should have taken a two-year shot at a Super Bowl title with Favre vs. 10 years of solid quarterback play from Aaron Rodgers.

But the point is moot anyway, because Brett Favre is a member of the Minnesota Vikings, he didn’t want to be a member of the Green Bay Packers and there’s nothing we can do about that.

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About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

16 Comments on "Favre Didn’t Want to Play for Packers"

  1. I do have a problem with media types’ growing acceptance of a flawed version of the story. There is an increasing amount of columnists and talking heads ripping the Packer fans for booing. Afterall, they claim, we told Brett to get lost. Well, now more and more it’s becoming clear that Brett wanted out for a long time.

  2. Andy

    Dude, you are drinking the cool aid and spinning the story. I understand you have to please Dumb & Dumber (Ted & Mike) but please get it right. Stop blaming Favre completely for this mess. You have a team that went 13-3 with Favre. You take another shot at a Super Bowl. The window is very small. Rodgers is doing fine for the Packers but because of Dumb & Dumber and the team build up, don’t expect a Super Bowl anytime soon. The defense is getting old and will need to be replaced in the next year (CB’s) and the Offensive Line will take god knows how many years. Until Dumb & Dumber bring in Free Agents to help fill the gaps (not everything is done with the draft alone), this team is not going any further. Seeing the way that Dumb & Dumber have handled this situation with Favre, what good player in his right mind is going to want to come to Green Bay. I don’t see any Super Bowl possibilities anytime soon. We may all just better get used to that.

  3. Tor

    The reason that the media is ripping on Packer fans for booing is that Favre led the Packers from a terrible football team to the Super Bowl. He gave everything to the team and Packers fans for 16 years. Regardless of hurt feelings, the fans seem to have forgotten 16 years of greatness and booing him appears so classless to the rest of the world.

    Packer fans like to think they are the best in the NFL. Community owned team, Title Town, Americas’ team, blah, blah, gag…America’s team? No. America’s most arrogant and annoying fans? Check. A standing ovation for all that Brett has done for the Packers would have been a classy move and the media would have replayed it over and over. The classless behavior of the majority of Packer’s fans showed the world that Packer fans really aren’t that special.

  4. Who’s spinning the story? Brandt? Monty? Me? I think we all agree that TT has failed at assembling a viable team. Brandt’s piece was about confirming the fact that Brett wanted out – instead of the notion that he was forced out by a team and fans that didn’t appreciate him anymore.

  5. Santos

    It’s always been my understanding that the main goal of a football team is to get to and win the Super Bowl. If getting Randy Moss helped to acheive that goal, why not listen to the guy who’s gotten your team to the playoffs continually and give up a fourth round pick and see what happens? I had a theory from the first “Retirement” that Favre wanted out of the Ted Thompson Packers and retiring and coming backe once they committed was the way he played it. Not cool, but hey, if your current team isn’t showing you any respect and showing you they want to win it all, leave. And he did. So now the Packer fans (which I am) have to live with Thompson’s decisions. I for one hope he is gone at the end of the season. As long as he’s still there, there will always be a part of me that wants the Favre-led Vikings to beat the Packers. And I don’t like that feeling…

  6. xxander39

    I think you mute point is not that he didnt want to play for the green bay packers, its that he didnt want to play for Ted thompons green bay packers, or maybe even McCarthy

  7. Jeff

    Hey Andy, Tor, and Santos…this is called totalPACKERS.com, not totalBrett.com. He is gone and doesn’t care about the Packers or their fans anymore so why should we care about him? 1996 is a long time ago and it is about time we get behind our current franchise QB Rodgers…if you love favre so much, wear the purple like him and stop calling yourselves Packer fans.

  8. Santos- as a packer fan, no part of you should ever want the Vikings to beat the Packers. In fact, it should make your blood boil if they ever win a game regardless of who is their QB.

    XXander – Favre wanting to leave is not a moot point because the national media and Favre’s supporters have cast him as the discarded and spurned old QB and the Packers and their fans as hypocritical villains. I just want people to know the whole story before they call us classless for booing him

  9. Gig

    I am just glad us Packers fans know who our QB is. No retirement drama. No questioning if he’s ‘got enough left in the tank’. Just #12, year after year, drama free. GO PACK!

  10. Chitter

    Aikman’s comment really jumped out at me as well. And it seemed like it was coming with some knowledge behind it.

    If someone isn’t researching a book on how all this shit went down, I’d be really surprised.

  11. scott

    Ted and Favre didn’t see eye to eye. Two roostes in a hen house. Ted should be fired if the Pack does not make the playoffs. Rodgers record against teams with winning records? 10-14. TT & MM will be unemployed if things to not get better fast.

  12. dawn

    If Brett Favre is past all of this why aren’t we? By the way, who said they left the station? Not # 4. I love the way AR always makes sure to mention TT and MM support him 100 % ~ His own personal dig on Favre. By the way, the man GB loves so much is he the same guy, whom as soon as he was the number one guy in GB, who told the GB fans in a Sports Illustrated interview to get over it or get out???
    I am confused at the mentality of the Cheese head fans. Brett Favre built your empire just as he will destroy it!!! Go Favre!

  13. Krahow

    Going back two years farve had every right to “waffle”. He was a 38 yr. old QB who has had the snot knocked out of him for 16 years. One can imagine what was going through his head, knowing he could still compete on all-pro level, and watching Teddy T get rid of half of his O Line (Wahl, Rivera) to then draft Colledge and Harrel. It’s like sending A-Rod to the plate with a Wiffleball bat. For his Own safety he had to leave and find a team built around a QB (Minnesota). Unfortunately Rodgers will have to pay the price (31 sacks and counting) for the sins of bad management. Hopefully he can last that long.

    GO PACK, GO BRENT

  14. Correction Dawn… Ron Wolf rebuilt the Packers, not Brett. You are also incorrectly paraphrasing and misrepresenting the old Rodgers quote.

    It was: “I don’t feel I need to sell myself to fans. They need to get on board now, or keep their mouth’s shut.”

    Which was his response to questions about fans remaining obsessed with Brett after he was traded and hating him (Rodgers).

    His message was: If you’re a Packer fan get on board. And you know what, most of have. The rest of you can continue to worship at the alter of Favre, but as for me – I will take stand by my old team, my state and the community of Green Bay.

  15. S

    #12 – The Packers were around LONG before Favre and they will be around LONG after he (finally) retires from whatever team he bounces to next. You are a fool if you think he built this “empire” or will destroy it. This team is Pre-Favre…hell, it’s Pre-NFL. Nobody can destroy it.

  16. askinf1

    I think Favre wanted to be a Packer but he didn’t want to play for Thompson. I am not a Packer fan but I have a ton of respect for Favre like we all should. To see why, come read my blog at http://askinf1.blogspot.com/ Please leave a comment if possible! Thanks!

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