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Ted Thompson: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Let’s start by giving some props to Michael Cohen.

His rookie campaign covering the Packers for the Journal Sentinel took a turn towards the blacklist when the JS decided to release his story delving into the criminal history of Letroy Guion during the Packer bye week.

The resulting brouhaha, including some of my own criticism of Bob McGinn’s overly defensive follow-up article, had little to do with Cohen. There was nothing wrong with the piece itself, which seemed a well-researched piece of relevant journalism. The main sore point for Packers’ brass seemed to be the timing involved. The fact that it was released during the bye was certainly a decision that the rookie Cohen had nothing to do with, nor is it likely that he asked McGinn to immediately fire off an article defending him.

Released today, in a comprehensive piece somewhat similar to that article, Cohen interviewed the boyhood friends, family and associates of Ted Thompson to reveal probably more about the reticent GM than any of us have read, seen or heard in the eleven seasons since Thompson took the wheel.

I am not going to regurgitate the article; you can read it here. And you should if you are really a fan of the Green & Gold and have a bonafide interest in knowing the man and not simply the story that you find most convenient.

The fact that I find most interesting is that thanks to the Lombardi Packers and TT attending high school in the late 60’s, Thompson always wanted to be the general manager of the Green Bay Packers. That or the New York Yankees. In those days, those were the teams on top of the team sports’ hierarchy. The best of the best.

So, thanks to the Lombardi Dynasty, a kid growing up in Atlanta, Texas, dreamed of running the Green Bay Packers.

Obviously, Thompson has realized his dream, and despite the criticism inherent in the position, he has done an amazing job, following in Ron Wolf’s footsteps to keep the Packers among the most successful and respected franchises in pro sports.

An NFL general manager is judged by wins on the football field. By that measure, there is no argument. In the last ten seasons, the Green Bay Packers are 2nd in games won, 3rd in playoff appearances and have won a Super Bowl. Only the New York Giants have won two in the last ten seasons. However, the Giants only rank 10th in games won.

Under Ted Thompson, the Packers and New England Patriots are generally talked about as the gold standard in the NFL

Frankly, the Packers have won for so long now that the time when the Packers weren’t a winner seems like an era foregone. Consider this, if you are 24 years old or younger, you have seen the same number of losing seasons from the Packers as you have seen starting quarterbacks- TWO.

Vikings, Bears or Lions fans, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

I brought my twin boys to their first Brewers’ game at the fine Miller Park last season. In the stream of fans walking from the parking lot to the stadium, I explained the Brewers and Packers as nearly polar opposites. The Brewers were perennial losers, the underclass of MLB, but with a sweet new stadium. The Packers were winners, the elite of the elite of NFL franchises, but with an old though venerated stadium.

Let’s just say, growing up in the 80’s, when my dad brought me to the Snow Bowl against the Tampa Bay Bucs, his explanation of who the Packers were was a LITTLE different.

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Shawn

Shawn Neuser attended UWGB and lives and works in Green Bay. He enjoys long walks on the beach and being intimate with game film.

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6 Comments

  1. Pack Attack May 15, 2016

    Nice. Looking forward to reading that article once the kids leave me alone.

  2. Woodbury May 15, 2016

    Really great article by Michael Cohen. Thanks for sharing!

  3. ay hombre May 16, 2016

    Always good when Shawn graces us with an article.

  4. Kato May 16, 2016

    Agreed. Shauns articles are always good.

  5. Phatgzus May 16, 2016

    Agreed; thank you, Shawn for yet another insightful and well-crafted article.

  6. RelampagoBlanco May 17, 2016

    Shawn! Shawn! Shawn! Shawn!

    …Thought I’d jump on the praise train as well.