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Mark Murphy Mangles Momentous Moment

Green Bay Packers CEO and president Mark Murphy is to be congratulated for his decision to find a new general manager. But this was far from his finest hour.

It was the biggest decision Murphy has made since becoming the team’s president 10 years ago – Thompson and Mike McCarthy were both already on the job when Murphy took over. His biggest act of leadership prior to Monday was arguably building a snow slide and an ice-skating rink next to the stadium. The man needs a refresher course in leadership.

First off, this was a decision that should have been made two years ago. Though I believe much of Ted Thompson’s decision-making authority had been secretly handed off to others during those two years, why was this whole charade – naming TT “senior advisor for football operations” – necessary?

Why does Murphy have an aversion to the truth? He could have simply said that the Packers are grateful for Thompson’s 13 years of service, but now it’s time to look for a fresh face and new ideas. That would have been a dignified, sensible and honest way to part company. Instead, he allowed Thompson to stay on past his expiration date and become a subject of mockery by the media and of pity to Packers fans.

I have no ill feelings toward Ted Thompson, who unabashedly loves his team – at least from what I know. If he is still allowing the Packers to pay him millions of dollars, however, for the new title he’s been given, then my good will is greatly diminished. Charity should be accorded to the needy.

Murphy’s Penchant for Secrecy

This brings me to another of Mark Murphy’s character flaws. Why does the man insist on operating the enterprise in such a clandestine manner? Though all financial details of the players must be revealed, Murphy refuses to disclose even the basics about the contracts of his large front office staff. For instance, we aren’t told how much McCarthy or Thompson make or even how long their contracts last. This is not the norm for the rest of the NFL.

It was only associated with the Thompson announcement that Murphy belatedly revealed on Tuesday that sometime during the 2017 season Thompson extended McCarthy’s contract through 2019. Why was this not made public when it happened?

The only reason I can think of is that Murphy didn’t want Thompson to take the heat for a decision that would have been unpopular among a great many fans. McCarthy has now been twice exposed as being unable to compile a winning record without Aaron Rodgers on the field – he went 2-5-1 without Rodgers in 2013 and 3-7 in 2017. That a win percentage of .278.

The Packers’ front office likes to play tough with its players. Just ask Josh Sitton, Casey Hayward, Eddie Lacy, Jared Cook, T.J. Lang, Chris Banjo, J.C. Tretter or Micah Hyde – most of whom the team didn’t even negotiate with before dropping them. But they privately pamper, and most likely overpay, their coaches and administrators.

If the Packers were truly a merit-based operation, 2018 would be a last-ditch prove-it year for this head coach. We just found out, however, that instead of taking McCarthy to task, Thompson rewarded Big Mike for the team’s lousy performance in 2017. Does anyone doubt that along with that contract extension, Mammoth Mike also got a big raise?

Final Thought

There were media reports that some of those on the team’s seven-member executive committee or on the 45-member board of directors had expressed their concerns about Thompson’s job performance or health. Murphy stated that “there’s absolutely no truth” to that. If so, then the Packers ought to start the process of replacing those 52 passive or clueless nitwits.

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Rob Born

Someone else said it first but I popularized it: “Athleticism is important in athletic pursuits.” It took three years, but the Packers finally listened. My new mantra: “Trading down is fine, but never trade up.”

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26 Comments

  1. Kato January 3, 2018

    The packers had two choices with McCarthy. Either fire him or give him a one year extension to avoid the label of lame duck coach in order to attract a halfway decent defensive coordinator. Nothing says they couldn’t fire him after next year. That wouldn’t be the worst, so fucking what if you pay two head coaches the next year? They don’t count against the salary cap

    1. Truth January 3, 2018

      So you think a qualified DC can’t see through the B.S. of a one year extension?

      I think they are going to have a tough time selling the coordinator spot. They are basically asking someone to come coach a terrible defense, which sucks, on a 1 year prove it deal. AND even if you are successful, the head coach will likely be replaced in the very near future, at which point your employment will be in the hands of the newly appointed head coach.

      1. Kato January 3, 2018

        I am sure they will have to assure the coordinator the possibility of the HC position.

        1. PF4L January 3, 2018

          I’m amazed, that no reporter asked him, when…during the season was McCarthy signed to an extension, and….why didn’t you announce it.

          Way too much bullshit going on here.

          1. Cheese January 3, 2018

            Exactly.

  2. Robster January 3, 2018

    My estimate is that if McCarthy were to be let go after the 2018 season, the Packers would then contractually owe Big Mike $8 million for 2019, which I don’t think is chump change. What’s the quid pro quo for taking on such an obligation? Oh, I see, McCarthy is now obligated to coach the Packers in 2019. What a deal!

    1. Kato January 3, 2018

      Teams do it all the time (pay two coaches at once). I think the bears in all their buffoonery had one year where they were paying three coaches at once.

  3. Howard January 3, 2018

    Rob, I could be wrong, but when asked the question about the reports that the executive committee and board of directors expressed concern about TT. Murphy used slight of mouth and said there’s absolutely no truth that the board of directors had directed Murphy to make a change. Murphy left out the executive committee in that statement. Then he discussed the executive committee and there relationship without saying they had directed Murphy. You can guarantee the executive committee had a deep discussion and reached a decision about TT. Murphy was the one how made the final decision because that is what his job is after the committee agreed to do such.

    You can also forget about TT being very involved if at all. Murphy referred to TT in the past tense too many times. Murphy also said TT was the GM until a new one is hired, but later said they needed to get a new GM on board because there is a lot of work to do. TT will be gone soon and he is going to be paid and that is the way it is. Someone may call or email him occasionally, TT may even show up at a practice, but he will be making no decisions that will warrant his last year or years salary.

    No one has asked yet what the duration and compensation is for TT’s new title. Maybe someone should ask that question?

    1. PF4L January 3, 2018

      My guess is, his duration would be his current contract, and at his current salary.

      As far as the decision Howard, as i’ve already posted…They may not have said…”Go fire him”. That’s a directive.
      They may have spoke with Ted and strongly suggested that was where they want to go. So in Murphy speak….no, he didn’t get a directive. Murphy saying it was his decision is bs, if any members suggested to him, that is the direction they want to go.

      I’ll say this Howard, This should have been a sit down…an actual…”We’re going in a different direction Ted.” Ted could have left under the guise of him resigning. It happens to Executives everyday. But no, we get all this bullshit, transition…Adviser to the General Manager. No…General Manager candidate, outside the organization with any self value, would accept this situation. They needed to cut the cord. This is a in house move, time will decide who, although i’m sure it’s already been decided.

      1. PF4L January 3, 2018

        Last thought….Knowing Murphy, and how he let Ted have free reign, how he admitted never questioning Ted about anything football. How Murphy never made a football decisions since he’s been here…..

        Is it really out of the realm of possibility, he had to be told to fire Ted?

        C’MON MAN!!

        1. rebelgb January 4, 2018

          The committee cant tell Murphy to do anything. The committee has ZERO control over football decisions. The only power they have is to replace Murphy. Not sure why so many of you cant grasp that concept. The Packer committee stopped have any control over football decisions in 1992.

          1. Howard January 4, 2018

            So you don’t think the committee suggesting to President Murphy we need to do something about the current GM or we may have to find someone else that will do so would be motivation for Murphy to make a change?

            There are many ways to get someone to do something when you have control over that individuals job. Suggestions, persuasion, leading by the hand, threats of employment, etc.

          2. PF4L January 4, 2018

            Rebel, it isn’t that no one else can grasp that concept. As far as the new bylaws written in when Wolf was hired, you are correct.

            But in the real world, Howard has it right.

  4. PF4L January 3, 2018

    I stopped reading after “Murphy should be congratulated for his decision to……”

    Bob McGinn has been around the Packers for about 40 years, knows EVERY fucking body around that place well, including the Board Members and Executive Committee. Between Murphy, and McGinn, one of them is lying. I’ll trust McGinn’s word.

    As a Packer fan, i don’t like being lied to by them, Matter of fact it really pisses me off. I was all done being pissed off about this team, was using it as entertainment and laughing at it. Then after the TT “transition”…..i’m like, ok, it’s about time!!! Then inside of a day because of this ginger fuck, i’m back to being pissed off.

    Murphy is a do nothing lying POS. And no writer can tell me any different.

    Let me share a story to you as told by Bill Michaels (former Packer Employee) Current sport talk show host.

    He shared a story of watching the 2007 NFCCG. He was there with others, including some Board members. Apparently as Micheals told it…when Favre threw that last interception. One of the Board Member got up and punched a wall almost yelling…”That’s the last time he throws an interception for the Packers”.

    Sure as shit, it was his last interception for the Packers, take it for what it’s worth.

    1. rebelgb January 4, 2018

      Committee has zero power over football decisions. Their only power is to fire and replace the President. Been that way since 1992.

      1. PF4L January 4, 2018

        Sigh….

  5. Empacador January 3, 2018

    I don’t like all this clandestine bullshit coming out of Green Bay at all. Obviously nobody knew they extended McCarthy during the season. Right now, I think everything coming out of the organization is suspect. Russ Ball the finance guy being a top candidate for GM? Has this administration collectively lost their marbles? There are so many rumors out there, and that is concerning. There shouldn’t BE this many rumors based on how the Packers project themselves and the “Packer way”.

    The terminations McCarthy made seem like random, throw at a dart board knee jerk reactions. It feels like they are on the verge of making some bad decisions that are going to affect not only the rest of Rodgers’ career here but potentially the Packers long term viability. If they are actually considering bringing in Doug Whaley, and I am Wolf or Gutekunst, I am exiting stage left ASAP because I had been waiting around all these years only to have some middling/failed retread GM come in from the outside and potentially fail again. I don’t know if those 2 will be successful or not but if you are going to take a chance, give it to someone new and fail that way, not on a Doug Whaley.

    Bob Harlan garnered a ton of respect and seemed like he was always looking out for what was best for the Packers and their fans. I recall reading an article about why John Jones was suddenly removed from succeeding Harlan. Jones was supposedly rubbing people the wrong way and was kind of brash, arrogant and rude/condescending to the very same people Bob Harlan had worked with and admired. If I remember correctly Harlan had witnessed some of this first hand. The medical condition I think allowed everyone to kind of save face. Now I have to see if I can find that article again.

    Murphy with his double speak, McCarthy with his. This is a very precarious situation the people that are part of the current administration find themselves in. I only hope that my fears are unfounded and there really is nothing to see here and things work out well. The problem is I think there may be too many self serving rats and they are going to push out some of the decent people that still remain. And God help the team if the board starts to feel they can run the team better like they did during the 70’s and 80’s.

  6. Cheese January 3, 2018

    “His biggest act of leadership prior to Monday was arguably building a snow slide and an ice-skating rink next to the stadium.”

    Hey, somebody had to do it. That snow slide wasn’t going to build itself. It was meant to be in Green Bay, and Mark Murphy took charge and got it done. Best leader this organization has ever had. Did Lombardi ever think of something so genius? That’s what I thought.

    1. Gort January 3, 2018

      What the hell’s going on out here?

      1. PF4L January 3, 2018

        I think it was maybe 2014-2015, i wrote about the fact that Murphy was hired as President of the Packers, with no prior NFL management experience whatsoever.

        Now finally…since 2007, here we are in 2018 and Murphy had to step in front of the media and explain his very 1st move as President of the Packers in regards to actual football operations.

        Trainwreck.

        1. Cheese January 3, 2018

          First move as a president in 11 years, other than turning Lambeau into a fucking amusement park. I was talking to someone about all the renovations going on a while back, and mentioned that they moved the statues of Vince and Curly. The guy then said something to the sort of “moving statues, that sounds like bad luck/ bad karma to me.” Not that I’m superstitious but it’s hard not to think of that comment with all this bullshit going on.

  7. Gort January 3, 2018

    The Green Bay Packers are a business. It is not uncommon for a board of directors or an executive committee to replace the president / CEO of an underperforming business. These decisions often are driven by shareholders. I also understand that the majority shareholders of the Green Bay Packers are the Executive Committee and Board Members. Surely some of these people see the same incompetence that we see and cannot be happy with it. Is there a way to find which Executive Committee and Board Members want to keep Murphy? If we had that information, then the minority shareholders could select specific persons to vote to not retain. Maybe enough well placed “no” votes might persuade enough folks with the real power to to force the real change.

  8. PF4L January 3, 2018

    Not that i follow teams dismissal of General Managers….

    But our own “reassignment” of our GM, has brought on more of a shit storm than i’ve ever seen.

  9. charlie stevens January 3, 2018

    “Thompson and Mike McCarthy were both already on the job when Murphy took over.”

    You got that right, and that is why he let them stay this long, and that union is why he resigned MM secretly for next 2 yrs, and that is why he reassigned Ted rather than fire him. After all, they still have to name a street after Ted.

    No, there is no fresh start in Green Bay. There is no new vision, and anyone new in charge will have all three if them breathing down gis neck if he does not align with them.

    So, in essence, the new GM will be getting judged by Mike and Ted.

    The new coaches will still be Mike McCarthy guys, who will not be any threat to shine brighter than ,supercede him.

    Nope. There is no clean slate.

    The Board should have cleaned out the entire offices and allowed a new Captain to come in and hire everyone and have a chance to be the boss.

    1. PF4L January 3, 2018

      Yes Sir….Good post Charlie. Like how it went down when Ron Wolf was hired. Most of us weren’t looking for a total overhaul, just TT being gone would have been a great start.

      But in hindsight, i think your spot on.

      1. PF4L January 3, 2018

        To further your point Charlie…when Murphy would state he had total faith in Ted, and leaves everything up to him, without question, he would almost always include the fact that Ted was here first.

        Another thing the reporters should have asked Murphy……is why would you reassign Ted, after you repeatedly brag about how great of a job Ted is doing?