Tuesday, October 03, 2006

MNF: Brett Favre Should Quit NOW

If Brett Favre's Monday Night Knock-Out wasn't a strong enough omen, his Zero-TD, 2-INT performance in a "worst loss ever"-contending 31-9 stinker on national TV should be:

Don't come back, Brett.

Ugly note to end on? Sure, but how is that different from the rest of this season? Or, for that matter, all of last season?

He gave up the chance to end on anything BUT an ugly note by coming back... for 2005, let alone 2006.

He's just plain ineffective. His team around him is even more ineffective, made all the more ironic by Favre's preseason boasts about his teammates' "talent."

Sure: Talent for sucking.

(The whole thing was made even worse by the direct comparison to Donovan McNabb: Surrounded by an almost equally sketchy team, McNabb passed for 2 TDs and ran for a career-high 2 TDs. He carried his team.)

If Favre isn't willing to do what's best for the team and cede his spot as the starter, it's up to rookie head coach Mike McCarthy to show some rare leadership and bench the star in favor of the future, Aaron Rodgers. (Rodgers might not even be the right guy, but he's at least worth a look at this point of yet another lost season.)

I'm not sure if McCarthy has that type of leader's mettle in him to make that move.

But I'm quite sure it's the right moment to do it. He just might not be the right man to do it. That job is saved for Favre himself:

If Brett cared at all about his team or his fans – even if it doesn't satisfy his Hall of Fame-level self-interest – he'd show the leadership by benching himself.

Or even hanging it up completely.

Update (12:51 p.m.): Reader Joe in Asheville emailed me a phenomenal reason why Favre SHOULDN'T quit: He's in striking distance of the all-time interceptions record:

George Blanda – 276
John Hadl – 268
Fran Tarkenton – 266
Vinny Testaverde – 261
Brett Favre – 260

(Hmm: 12 games, 17 INTs? TOTALLY doable!)

-- D.S.


Jake C said...

Dan, now I agree Favre truly had no reason to return. But seriously? The guy HAS played his heart out thus far. He HAS been throwing pretty damn well half of the time or more. Plus, in his bad losses, they were against playoff caliber teams (with little to no running game).

Again, maybe he shouldn't of come back...but, you can't tell me he should walk away after a bad game. What if Jordan walked away in his first return to the NBA after a 10 point performance and bad loss?

Geoff-Detroit said...

The worst thing to happen to the Packers was Favre having that huge day against the Lions. Because you know Favre thinks he still has it now and doesn't want to give up his spot at all.

Richard said...

I hate it when writers do this so I'm gonna throw it back at you to make a point.

DS, stop writing. Your collumns reached their peak a few years ago and now they are growing more and more inneffective by the day. Just quit now so we remember you for the days with the WWL.

I have no right to tell you to stop writing and you have no right to tell Favre to stop playing. I say there's only so much time a person has during their life to play professional sports. Don't leave unless it's on your terms. Make them cut the jersey off you before you walk away.

Christian Thoma said...

That's all well and good, Dan, if the fault rested with Favre last night.

Since you apparently didn't watch the game, I'll point out where the blame rests, in ascending order.

#4: The Refs. No, I'm not going to pull a Holmgren here. But Jennings got mugged in the red zone and no penalty was called (made particularly galling by Al Harris being called for a contact penalty the following drive when what he did was nowhere close to what Jennings had done to him). There was also Jennings catch in the back of the end zone, but I see where it's a grey area so I'm not going to harp on it.

#3: Favre. Yes, even the apologist will give criticism where it's due. His downfield passes were odd, for lack of a better word. It was like he was uncomfortable throwing farther than 15 yards. This is of course the 2nd INT, which is all his fault. However, his performance was better than

#2: The Receivers' hands. Way too many dropped passes. The first INT was not Favre's at all; Morency needed to catch what should've been an easy completion. Donald Driver dropped a bunch, although to be fair to DD, most of them came after he took a big hit. No excuses, though, and none for the TD he dropped. Oy.

Of course, even with all that, the Packers were keeping it close. Until

#1 Ahmad "Pass Interference" Carroll stepped on the field. Reid and McNabb must've thought it was Christmas out there. Carroll's greatest weakness is against QB's that have accuracy downfield; he can't defend so he has to get a penalty--either way, the Packers are screwed when he's playing one-on-one. What I can't figure out is: why was he out there?

That said, the Eagles are a better team. Kudos to McCarthy for actually coming up with a good gameplan for the first 2.5 quarters. It's a shame that the "talent" let the coaching staff down.

Of course, in the end, no one is going to care about this game after the Packers beat the Rams and the circus that is TO comes to Philly.

TBender said...

"He's a guy having fun out there."

I hear that waaaay too much about Favre, as if having fun is more important than being competent and winning games. Only in the parity-stricken NFL.

Important difference between Jordan and Favre: Favre's been consistantly bad for the last 2 years. Jordan was suspen...err he retired while he was still good and then came back.

cl9699 said...

Seriously, at least watch the game you fool. Just like you fail to comment on why you left ESPN, you give no background to your lingering, dare I say, hate, for Favre. CRHTH's comments are well put - unlike your post. You write about Favre like the son of an alcoholic would write about drunk for a dad. Does it mean anything to you that Vernand had 3 carries last year? Does it mean anything to you that the Packers have a rotation of 3 rookies on the line? Do dropped passes mean anything? No wonder you're now out here in the ocean of blogs writing...you can write this crap and answer to no one.

Mr. Sawyer said...

I am no Brett Favre fan, believe me. And the way the media slurps him all the time makes my distaste for him even stronger. But you still have to respect what the man has done, even while acknowledging that he's probably one of the 10 worst QBs in the league.

As for saying Favre should quit now -- umm, who are you to tell him that? That's like me saying -- your "column" over at ESPN.com really sucked, you should just hang it up at start a blog over at Blogger.

Oh, wait ...

And you're completely detached when you make a statement like: "If Brett cared at all ..." Maybe that's part of your appeal - you rarely have any idea what you're talking about.

Steve said...

Chrth, the fact is for the last 3 years, Favre has SUCKED. Absolutely and completely. He has cost his team at least 10 games in that time frame with his horrible decisions and drive killing interceptions. Last year he had almost the exact same passer rating as Aaron freaking Brooks for christ's sake, look it up. I don't blame Favre for not retiring, I blame the Packers for being complete morons and not seeing this for themselves and cutting him. But hey if you wanna go 4-12 Favre's your guy. No freaking way they beat the Rams next week.

Christian Thoma said...

To be fair to Dan, he did write stuff like this while with the WWL.

As for the 'having fun out there' etc. comment:

Here's the thing about Favre: he gives the Packers the best chance to win right now. Would the Packers be better off without him? Maybe, maybe not. But winning is always preferable to losing, especially since high draft picks are no guarantee in this league.

The problem most of the writers (that have issues with Favre) have is familiarity breeding contempt. Writers make their living off of changes. TO goes to Philly then Dallas then the hospital. McNair goes to the Ravens. Brees to New Orleans, Culpepper (and Miami) to Miami. Collins is signed, Volek is traded, Young is starting in Tennessee. These are all things to write about.

But since Favre doesn't change, doesn't move, just sits there like Buddha meditating underneath the lights of Lambeau Field, writers' hands are tied. So what do they do? Well, some go into Favre-worship mode. Trust me, as a Favre fan, worship mode is as annoying as criticism mode; he's not perfect, he has flaws, there have been better QBs in NFL history.

Then there's the opposite: criticism mode. He's been in the league too long. This is just dumb, because by the writers' criteria Elway was in the league too long. He makes mistakes when he gambles. Well, yeah, but don't go overboard. Everyone still criticizes Brett for OT against Philly, but everyone (including Dr. Z, who you think would've noticed this) forgets that the INT Brett through was a play in the Packers' playbook, one that he had completed twice earlier in the game for big yardage. Is it Brett's fault Javon gets held up by the DBs? Or maybe it's the coaches' fault for having that play in the book in the first place? In short, you can't blame Brett for every INT he makes.

But of course, the Favre Criticism Brigade will. They need Brett to move on so they can write about Rodgers and who the Packers will bring in or draft to challenge for the starter role. They need Favre to ride off into the sunset so they can talk about him in past tense, so they can compare and contrast, and when the Packers have had 6 starting QBs in 7 years they'll be able to write how the Packers had 1 starting QB for 15 years before that and wasn't it a golden age back then?

And the sad thing is that the writers don't even realize this.

As a Packers fan, I'm ok with Brett leaving. He helped restore glory to the Packers. What more can we ask of him? While it'd be nice if he had the strength and fortitude to lift the youngest team on the league on his back and guide them to the Super Bowl one last time, none of us expect it to happen. Because Brett never did that in the past. All Brett has ever done was try to win games. He succeeded many more times than he failed.

And that's all Packers fans ever asked for.

Christian Thoma said...

@steve: go compare the 2004 stat line of Brett Favre to 1997. Seriously. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Darklawdog said...

I'm tired of everyone being on the Brett Favre bandwagon. All he has done in the past two seasons is stink it up. I think he has thrown 200 of his 260 career interceptions in the past two seasons.

Sure you can blame it on his teammates but that is the easy way out. The team IS rebuilding, but are uncapable of doing a succesful job with Favre's salary and playing time sucking away Aaron Rodgers career.

Brett Favre
Salary: $7,000,000
Bonus: $3,005,720
Cap Total: $12,639,053

The quarterback position is the most important postion on the field. So when Brett finally decides to be unselfish and retire, Rodgers will have practically no real game playing experience. That is prolonging the rebuilding.

Mega said...


You could have shortened your defense of Favre by saying "he is just having fun out there".

A Bears Fan

Steve said...

2005 Passer Rating:

Brett Favre 70.9
Aaron Brooks 70.0

Christian Thoma said...

@dan mega:

It was less of a defense of Favre than it was a criticism of journalists.


Your argument would make more sense if the Packers were at or above the Salary Cap limit. Since they're several million dollars under, it's pointless. Favre has no negative impact on the salary cap right now; in fact, retiring might hurt the cap situation more (although I don't think so, to be honest).

paul said...

I think my biggest problem with the Favre thing is it seems like it is all about him these days. If he wants to play football, why doesn't he ask for a trade and go somewhere where it makes sense, somehwere where he can slide into a talented team that he doesn't have to carry... he just has to be out there and make the right decisions.. like Tampa? Favre is throwing a lot of picks because it seems like the Pack is ALWAYS down like 10 or 14 points. Look what he did playing with a lead in Detroit

Christian Thoma said...

In today's lesson, Steve learns that 2005 != 2004.

Mr. Sawyer said...


I agree - Favre sucks now. He has for the past two seasons. And if Packers management had any balls, they would cut/bench him. But since they don't, who are you - or Shanoff, who shares with Bayless & Scoop the title of Worst ESPN.com "writer" of All-Time - to tell him he should hang him up.

He will retire when he wants to retire. It's his choice - no amount of crying from the fans or the "media" is going to convince him otherwise. He has earned that right, in my opinion.

Every once in a while - like the Lions game - he turns in a decent performance. Which is why I try to stay away from the Packers when I gamble.

Christian Thoma said...

Now now, mr. sawyer, let's not use hyperbole until we need it. There is no worse writer on the planet than Skip Bayless. Let's not wound others unnecessarily.

Unknown said...

having fun is important in anyone's job.

cl9699 said...

Really, what makes people vilify Favre as much as T.O.? I don't get it...

paul said...

ChrTh said...
Now now, mr. sawyer, let's not use hyperbole until we need it. There is no worse writer on the planet than Skip Bayless. Let's not wound others unnecessarily.

Quoted for truth... comparing someone to Skip Bayless is a good way to take an argument to a whole other level, one where firearms may become involved

What grown man lets people call him Skip?

Steve said...

chrth, do you think they will stop the game and honor Favre when he breaks George Blanda's all time interception record this year? I think they should. 2004's stats were ok, still a lot of int's though, but 2005 is more recent and 2006 is just as bad, so....

Eric said...

DS – I love reading sports writing, but I think you’ve gotten caught up in the national fad/backlash to criticize Favre. You’re riding the mainstream press out there. But in your rush to do so, you’ve lost your objectiveness. I live 30 minutes from Green Bay. Everyone here loves Favre. Everyone. Nobody wants to see Mr. Rogers. We know we have a bad team. We’ll be bad for several years, unless Rogers turns out to be good and we have a great draft this spring. We always hope, but we don’t have any talent on this team. Our safeties have to be the worst in football. Mr. Carroll has no business playing anything other than nickel corner or, drum-roll, free safety (the guy can stick a runningback, to be sure, but he’s not the best in coverage, as the nation saw last evening). Mr. Barnett is a heck of a MLB, but he’s flanked by two terrible players (my hope is Mr. Hawk will improve as he adjusts to the speed of the pro game). The line is OK, and even better when the coaching staff decides to play Mr. Jenkins over Mr. Cole.

The offense? Let’s just say we won’t have a viable running game this year. Our top two WR’s are above-average, but neither one is a game-changer, as the term is usually defined, and I might as well be playing WR3. Mr. Franks is, frankly, past his prime.

Now, is Mr. McNabb surrounded by more talent? Sure. Not a ton more, but more. The defense is noticeably better. So is the offensive line. The WRs as a unit are just as valuable as the Packers’ WRs. I’ll take Mr. Smith as my TE over Mr. Franks in a New York minute. And, yes, even though he did not play last evening, Mr. Westbrook is a playmaker in the backfield. Mr. McNabb had more to work with, yet his team was behind at halftime. You should also note that Favre’s interception and repeatedly missed downfield passes came after the Packers fell behind by a tangible margin. After watching every single Packers game for the last 15 years, I can tell you that he will always make questionable decisions when the Packers are losing and he does not believe the odds are in his favor. Against a better team, you have to take chances (like the Jets with their brilliant on-sides kick and 4th and 1 at the one calls on Sunday). Sometimes you succeed on these plays, sometimes you do not. Favre threw a terrible interception, but he saw an opening and under threw his receiver. He had to take that chance. Would 1997 Favre had made a better throw? Probably. But 2006 Favre is better than half of the QB’s in the league. In fact, he’s probably top 10. Should he retire? No, of course not. He can still play, and play well, and he is the only player on the Packers who can give us a CHANCE to win the kind of game that was played last night, against a superior opponent.

Finally, in the end, Wisconsinites care much more about watching one of the best players of all-time finish his career, however long that may take. He single-handedly made the Packers relevant again. We do not mind that he hangs on longer than some snooty sports writers would like. We do not mind if he ends up the all-time career interceptions leader. We do not mind if the Packers go 4-12 for three more seasons, as long as he is at the helm (and we stockpile some talent). We’re just looking for that one game (Carolina last year, and, perhaps, Detroit this year) where we can see him smile with delight after making a play like it was 1997 all over again.

cl9699 said...

Did they honor Jordan when he broke the record for most MISSED shots?

Part of his game man.

Christian Thoma said...


It's really the gushers' fault. If PK and Madden didn't act like Favre was the second coming, most of the bashers wouldn't care as much. They'd hate his longevity, of course, as I already mentioned, but their criticism would be muted.

Plus, in the world of Instant History and Internet forums and talk radio, there's no place for a legend to wind down his career. Ripken would've been bashed for several season before breaking Gehrig, ditto Rose for Cobb. Everyone should pull a Barry Sanders or Robert Smith and retire at their peak.

cl9699 said...

Dan - can Eric and chrTh take over your blog?

Christian Thoma said...

Some would argue we already have.

I'll stop now, I'm going to retire at my peak discussion abilities in this thread before other commenters say I'm washed up.

Unless we start talking about the whole 'they should let Rodgers play' angle, that I still have more on.

Eric said...

chrth - I would like to hear your thoughts on playing Mr. Rogers. As stated above, I do not get the sense that the community is in favor of playing anyone other than Favre, as long as he can still make plays (which any objective fan can see). Do you agree?

Secondly - what's the rush to "see what you have" in Rogers? This has never been adequately explained. Wouldn't we want to put him in the best situation to succeed - no legend hanging over his head on the bench, more talent on offense, a line that could actually block???

mattie said...
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Anonymous said...

I'd like to see what Jon Gruden could do with him...

pookenstein said...

Okay, as a warning, I'm a wisconsin native, a packer fan born and bred. As much as it hurts me to say this, Favre isn't the answer to our problems. however, everyone outside of wisconsin has to realize one thing: he means more to us (or maybe just me) than winning or losing. he's been the face of the team and the city of green bay for 15 years. he's been the only starting qb i've ever known, with the exception of vague recollections of majik man. i feel that we owe it to him to let him play it out, even if it means letting him suck for this year, and delaying the rebuilding process. i know a lot of people won't agree with this, but that's not the point. i'll follow this qb to a 1-15 season if it happens. i'm proud that he's still a packer, and wants to be until he retires.

mattie said...

I'm just sick of hearing about Farve, period. He can play for another three years, quit tomorrow, or whatever in between, but the CONSTANT attention he gets every time he *thinks* he *might* say something remotely related to the possibility that he may or may not continue playing is really, really annoying. The gushing that almost always accompanies said breathless reports is even more annoying. Brett is also playing every second of this up as much as he possibly can, and it's starting to get to the point where I wonder if he believes that football in the state is WI exists because of him, and we should all just feel privileged to watch him play and sit in great anticipation of his every whim.

Play, don't play, get traded, whatever. Let's just get Brett and the media to somehow agree not to go crazy over the possibilities, and just wait until there's an actual decision of some kind that makes a difference. In the meantime, pointing out his poor play is fair game, even for the saintly, he-loves-this-game Brett.

Kurt said...

But in your rush to do so, you’ve lost your objectiveness. - eric

Dan Shanoff ever had objectiveness? I don't think we are talking about the same person. This is a man who proudly proclaims his hatred for everything Northeast (Yankees/Red Sox/Patriots) and Brett Favre. Favre could lead the Packers to a superbowl and Dan would bash him for taking so long to do it. There's just no point in fighting with Dan over his passion, he'll always hate the Northeast minus Harvard Business School and he'll always sweat everything Florida.

LudaKris said...

Favre will stay in for about 9 more TD's and then he retires. He wants his name above Marino and Elway for the all time TD record. Doesnt he know that the record is going to be broken by Peyton Manning in a few years anyway. Any way, Favre stays a QB until the record is broken, either for Green Bay or any other NFL team in need of a QB. (Oakland Im looking at you)

Kristopher (Tampa, FL)

Sheldiz said...

it's getting fiesty in here today!

my two cents. favre isn't the first quarterback to suck. some (ravens fans) would argue that you don't even NEED a quarterback to win football games. if the packers aren't going to bench him then they need to work around him. take his favre-ness out of the equation and he's another crappy quarterback that needs the supporting cast to step up.

do i think he should keep starting? it doesn't matter. if the powers that be in green bay (whomever they may be) decide to have him keep starting, then they need to compensate for it in other ways.

its ultimately not up to favre whether he starts or not. if i were in his position, i would keep playing until someone said "stop". if the coaches won't do that, then its hardly brett's fault for continuing to play. nobody should be forced to bench himself.

Christian Thoma said...


I don't think it's Brett's fault, honestly. You know the media. They've been asking him about retiring for 4 years now. If Brett was interested in publicity, he wouldn't go down to his farm every offseason.

Dammit, I said I was going to shut up. Grrrr.


Dan (and others) have been arguing since last year that Rodgers should play in games so the Packers coaching staff can see if he's the QB of the future or if they need to draft/sign someone else. There are two problems with this argument.

1> There have been five QBs who have left the Packers system to become starters without starting a game for Green Bay: Ty Detmer. Mark Brunell. Aaron Brooks. Doug Pederson. Matt Hasselbeck. Craig Nall was almost 6th on this list, but the Bills stuck with Losman. Now, not all of them did very well (Detmer and Pederson especially; Brooks was actually good his first couple seasons out). If these guys didn't need to start garbage games before becoming starters, why would Rodgers?

2> Rodgers plays against NFL-caliber defenses every day. If the coaching staff can't judge him on the basis of his work in practice/pre-season, they're not worthy coaches. No one criticized Fisher for Volek, did they? No one said, Shouldn't Billy Volek have started a couple meaningful games first before being benched? So why would it be any different with Rodgers? The coaches will judge him based on what he does in practice; how he absorbs the playbook, etc. Everyone else in the league does it, why wouldn't the Packers?

Bryan said...

I became a Brett fan a few years back when all saw him lower his shoulder and clip a lineman instead of running out of bound on a scramble. Dude didn't know what hit him.

To the people that are bitching about Dan "having no right to tell somebody to retire"...stop being a tool, that's what sports writers/journalist do, voice their opinion. Isnt' that why where all hear? To read his opinion...tards.

And agree, Brett should retire, he peaked in Something About Mary, all downhill after that.

aikehara said...

What? You must be a pretty die-hard fan to say that Brett Favre is one of the top 10 quaterbacks in the NFL. How can you qualify such a claim? Certainly this year's (and last year's) stats don't back that up! And, of course, an interception is a turnover, so comparing it to a missed shot is basketball is pointless.

The thing is, Favre's best years are quickly fading in the rear-view mirror. If Packers fans don't mind sacrificing the future of the team to let him have fun on the field, that's fine with me. Its not my team. Maybe they secretly want to lose to get Brady Quinn as Favre's replacement (of course, with the way the Raiders are playing, that doesn't seem possible). Should Favre have retired or gone to a different team? Probably. He had a horrible year in '05, and despite his claims to the contrary, it's not like the Packers are a better team this season. It's obvious that he's not playing to win (unlike Jordan, or Elway, for that matter), he's just there for adulation of his fans and to stick around long enough to break some individual records.

Of course, the fact of the matter is that it isn't Favre's fault, really. The GM and coach are the ones who decide who is on the team and who starts. Therefore, it's their fault if they continue to pay and start a player that is holding back the success of their franchise. So if they let Favre play 'till he's 90, then good for Brett. Is he still a great QB? No. But why should he quit? He still enjoys the game, the fans still come to see him, and the team keeps cutting his check. Seems like a pretty easy decision when you look from his perspective.

mattie said...

ChrTh, I definitely think the bigger share of the blame goes to the media, but I'm not convinced that Brett doesn't contribute his share, and I tend to suspect he's believing his own (stratospheric) hype, regardless of what his stats over the last few years say. I mean, when you're sitting at a press conferences to face the media and say..."I have nothing to say, still haven't made up my mind yet," that's not any reporter's fault. That's Brett being a jerk to the media (which is fine in my book ;)), and to the fans (both those who really are invested in whether he stays or not, and those, like me, who don't want to see a big story on a press conference about nothing). To me, that was just a whole different level of arrogance, and that should be pinned on him -- even if he didn't call the conference himself, why not just cancel it instead of going there and making a big deal about saying nothing?

I have no problem with Favre continuing to play, in Green Bay or whatever, and generally agree that players should do what they want (and that the media goes overboard in screeching about who ought to do what when, though everyone's entitled to their own opinions). But this high-profile, gushing dilly-dallying on his part and the media's part drives me crazy.

Kurt said...
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Kurt said...
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Brave Sir Robin said...

All I know is, Brett Favre has been my favorite quarterback of all time. It still means something to see him go out there. Is he tainting his legacy? Maybe, but I doubt it. We're going to remember the good things, not these last couple seasons. Just like we'll forget about teh Wizard years for Jordan, the gimpy Bird seasons, Willy Mays farting around in centerfield at the end of his career.

When I get older, I'm going to tell my kids about Favre (I'm not a Packers fan or from Wisconsin). Why? Because he was something else to watch. His numbers will not be extraordinary (especially with these last years of 30 picks), but the toughness of the guy is just riveting to watch. I still think about throws I've seen him make.

Kurt said...

Isnt' that why where all hear? To read his opinion...tards.-bryan

its always fun being called a tard by someone who spells we're "where" and here "hear".

Brave Sir Robin said...

Go easy on him. Maybe he's just from Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

So, we can all agree that the Packers are done for the year. Right? Okay, great. Let's move on.

So 2006 is the start of, what, probably a four to five season rebuilding process? If that's the case, then we know after at least one more year, McCarthy is out. End of story. Dan even pointed out that Aaron Rogers might not be the answer (and look at him. He's not. Point out one quarterback with his body type in the NFL right now who is good. Peyton Manning maybe? But as we've seen in those commercials, Peyton is pretty built, oddly enough). I digress.

Rebuilding isn't always about the quarterback position. It's a huge part of it, clearly, but on a team that is starting this many first year guys, what difference is the quarterback position going to make if you don't have the guy of the future? If the Packers had drafted Matt Leinart, for example, he'd have a much better chance of playing soon than Aaron Rogers.

So, with that being said, until they get the quarterback that will lead this franchise into the next decade, who is better to teach the young wide receivers and offensive lineman, on the field, in real-time game experience?

Aaron Rogers? So, wide receivers can learn about running routs and catching balls and avoiding hits when their quarterback can't get to them? And offensive lineman can learn to read defenses better from a guy who can't read them all that well himself?

Okay. Cool. Sit Brett Favre.

But what about learning from a man who's won 3 MVP's and a Super Bowl? Yeah, he really does stink, I'll be the first to admit, and he makes bad decisions probably 52% of the time he drops back, but you can't tell me that it's better on their younger players to have Aaron Rogers leading them down the field, when he may very well be the next Joey Harrington. Sure, we'll never know until he tries, but won't having better linemen and WR's help him when he does finally get under center. He looked bewildered and a little scared last night, and that's not what you need to help your team grow.

So why not let it be Favre's call? If he's in it for the record, more power to him. But he's not making the Packers any worse than they would be without him, and in ways that we don't see on TV every Sunday, he's probably helping out a lot more than we think. If he wants to stand there and get killed and decimate his legacy, again, it's his call.

I mean, when people think of Joe Montanna, do they really think about the years in Kansas City? If Derek Jeter got traded to the Devil Rays tomorrow, would you ever consider him anything other than a Yankee?

Throw the legacy argument in the trash. When Favre gets inducted into the hall of fame, people are going to talk about the MVPs, the Mike Holmgren days, the Super Bowl Ring, and then ultimately the starts streak. They're going to forget Michael Vick beating them in Lambeau in January. They're going to forget 2004, 2005, and especially 2006 (except for the asterix where he broke the all time TD record).

I'm not saying leave him alone, because he's in the public eye, and scrutiny comes with the territory. It's just that...well, I guess the Packers could actually be a lot worse.

Christian Thoma said...

On McCarthy:

After Game 1 of this season (before we all realized how good Da Bears were), I called for McCarthy's firing. How's that for Instant History? Anywho, I was pissed. I wanted Jim Bates. I wanted him to become DC after Miami dumped him, and he did. And I said, Great! Green Bay has their coaching successor to Sherman! And then Sherman gets let go and the Packers interview Bates and I'm all happy and then ... they hire McCarthy.

Now, my criticism of McCarthy's hiring had nothing to do with his previous jobs; Bill Walsh could've been last in the league as OC of San Fran last year. But what I saw in the preseason and game one was a very lackluster game plan. Short, conservative, uninspired. BLAND.

I'm willing to change my mind now, though. I was actually impressed with the game plan he put together last night. Granted, there was a lot of luck--the two fumbles--but I thought they showed some good fundamentals out there (until Ahmad Carroll showed up, of course). Maybe I was wrong to call for his firing. Other coaches would've said 'we can't beat them with our defense so we'll need to outgun them' and set Brett loose. But he didn't, and that impresses me. I'm willing to give McCarthy the benefit of the doubt for the remainder of the season.

Dan Shanoff said...
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ndyanksfan05 said...

I think that Favre played pretty decently last night despite his line. He had a ton of passes dropped, his one INT was completely not his fault (where it was thrown perfectly and the receiver pretty much threw the ball twenty feet in the air) and he has no run support. If you honestly think anyone else could do a better job with that team I think your sadly mistaken. That team is not a playoff contender because the team sucks-not because Favre doesn't have it.

The only downside to him playing is that he is stopping Rogers from getting some experience. That can be contested, however, because you throw a young guy into the fire to get picked apart and beaten up on a crap team which could kill his confidence. I think Favre is getting way to much criticism for playing decent football on a bad team and people expecting him to carry them to greatness when it is simply impossible. He certainly isn't an elite QB anymore and has settled into his role of throwing darts for ten to fifteen yards without trying to thread it thirty yards downfield in triple coverage. I think you need to let the guy enjoy his last year on a crap team as a solid starting QB in a league of very few top-tier QBs.

Dan Shanoff said...
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Christian Thoma said...

dan, as I said over in the mlb post, I didn't think I took any. Which post are you referring to? I'll edit/delete if necessary. I pride myself on limiting cheap shots to Skip Bayless.

Eric said...


I am not a die-hard Favre fan. I do love to watch him play, and I am immersed in the middle of Packer-land. However, I grew up a 49er fan and maintain my sports bigamy with pride. And, yes, the Packers should have taken Mr. Davis over Mr. Hawk, but Green Bay will sell more jerseys from a white player from the Big Ten. And, no, I wasn’t upset, because it gave Mr. Smith someone to throw to. In any event, I decided to flesh out my argument that Favre is top 10 quarterback (as I admittedly did not give it enough thought). It turns out I was correct, in my estimation. There are seven quarterbacks that are clearly better than Mr. Favre right now. Now, I do not take statistics into account, because that would be a waste of time (there are far too many variables with statistics for football players, such as quality of teammates, quality of opponents, insufficient sample size, and play-calling). I have an extremely subjective test. It goes like this – if you were the GM of an NFL football team and had one game to win, this Sunday, who would you want to QB it? A GM would take into consideration all things relevant to a QB – decision-making, arm strength/accuracy, leadership, intelligence, running ability, etc. Basically – who’s the best. This is how the list should look, in my opinion:

Mr. Brady
Mr. Peyton Manning
Mr. McNabb
Mr. Palmer
Mr. Brees
Mr. Hasselbeck
Mr. Vick


Now, I am willing to concede that it becomes far more difficult to judge the further down the list one gets. Therefore, I would accept reasonable arguments for Mr. Eli Manning and Mr. Pennington (as a conservative GM may like his history of not turning over the ball). Mr. Grossman’s sample size and intangibles (yes, a messy term) are far too insufficient to make me believe any person with football knowledge would choose him over Favre. Some GMs could possibly pick Mr. Bulger, but they work for the Raiders and Texans, presumably. In any event, even if you include the gentlemen I have added in this paragraph, Favre is still no worse than 12th on the list. I’d be interested (and, presumably, bemused) by any other QBs you would add to this list, ahead of Favre.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Eric - I think you put Vick to high.

Christian Thoma said...



(Obviously. Trust me, I don't waste my time on other blogs)

salsa shark said...

Way to jump on the bandwagon of every writer out there who obviously didn't watch the game last night. I am probably not alone in thinking Favre played well enough for three quarters to have the Packers win that game.

Favre in no way, shape, or form was the reason the Packers lost last night. First of all Donald Driver drops a pass at the goal line that hit him in the chest. How is that Favre's fault? Then Driver kills a critical drive at the beginning of the third quarter by dropping a pass that hit him in the hands. Again how is this Favre's fault? Then we have Morency playing volleyball and bumping it up to a D-lineman when it hit him in the chest. Do you see a trend forming here? Favre cannot both throw and catch the passes. I just find it asinine to peg this all on Favre. Sure he made one poor decision to throw deep in the third quarter, but I'll gladly take 1 poor decision by him down the field than have my quarterback putting the ball on the ground without getting hit like Palmer and Culpepper (by the way why aren't we reading about their ineptitude on here).

I in no way think that some how Aaron Rodgers would have performed better. And in a way it's probably good to keep him out of a situation like that.

And one final thing. To all the people who want to simplify Favre's last seasons by looking at stats I must say that you really need to watch a packer game sometime. It's tough to have great numbers when you have multiple dropped passes per game (by your #1 receiver) and have at least one interception a game which involves your receivers batting the ball into the air. It just feels a lot like people want to rag on Favre because he's teams struggling and its the trendy thing to do. Please pick on people like Culpepper who are running teams that were supposedly supposed to be good into the ground.

Dan Shanoff said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christian Thoma said...

@salsa shark:

Some of last year needs to be blamed on Brett. For example, Robert Ferguson is not Javon Walker. Never was, never will be. Yet too often last season Favre threw the ball to Ferguson thinking Ferguson could catch it. Walker could have (and Jennings looks like he might be able to). Ferguson couldn't. And so an INT occurs, or a drive-killing incompletion. And yes, some of the blame goes to Ferguson, or the coaching, but at the same time, Brett Favre needs to step back and say, oh wait, Javon is injured, maybe I shouldn't throw jumpballs to Fergie.

salsa shark said...

Sorry....after I posted it I realized it came across a little more personal than I intended. I was actually worked up more by some other articles I read not your blog.

That being said...thanks for the hug. I get emotional when I talk about Favre too (awkward pause....and leave).

Anonymous said...

I usually think it's silly to say a player SHOULD decide to retire. He's making millions!!! Of course he's making the right decision!!! Like any of us would turn down money!

BUT, fact is, the Packers CAN'T cut him or trade him for business reasons, either. Once he's off the roster, they have to admit they have an awful team to their core fans (the ones who think Favre is 12th best QB?!? In what league?!?)

So they're stuck. But he won't retire, and he should know they can't trade him. He should find a football-related job with decent pay and get out that way.

As a QB, he's awful, horrible and really, really bad. And it's not the Packers, it's him. He was shaky when he entered the league, and now he's the same. Everyone forgets this, but he ALWAYS took TOO many chances. But with Holmgren coaching, the rough spots were smoothed out and they got receivers who could help nullify his gunning.

The Packers _just_ _barely_ won the Super Bowl, in part, because of Favre. He was no Tom Brady, even at his peak. You put him behind a good offensive line, and what do you have? Marc Brunell. You have the 2006 Redskins O, and that's it.

I love Brett Favre dearly, I was on his bandwagon in college, when he was ALWAYS interesting. Not always good, ALWAYS interesting! Now he's always bad. If the Packers weren't in the NFC North, this would be a lot easier to see.

Maher said...

So football is a team game right?

2005 Passer rating for Kyle Orton, 59.7

Bears made it to 2nd round of playoffs?

Tell me why none of the blame falls on the front office for not having the guts to give Favre his release and going with Rogers and admitting they are rebuilding?

Favre has better passing stats this season than Hasselbeck, Vick, Big Ben, and your 1/4 MVP McNair. And he's not that far behind Leftwich...anyone out there want to start screaming for Garrard to start?

And in response to all the personal shots, fighting on the internet is like the special olympics.

Eric said...

solomonrex, you were quite glib answering my charge that Favre is no worse than the 12th best QB in the league. Do you have a reasonable argument for anyone (other than those listed) to be ahead of him? If so, I would like to read it. If not, you should not get into the habit of typing before you think. It could erode any reasonable other points you are trying to make.

Shums said...

I like how ESPN.com was lauding Favre's "Monday Night Magic" until the wheels came off in the third quarter. Now he's a washed-up has-been again.

Inconsistency, thy name is sportswriter.

Anonymous said...

To be absolutely clear, Favre is only 16th among fantasy QBs in my league, even though he's played New Orleans and Detroit. To be fair, not everybody has played Chicago.

But the key is that you're not going to the Super Bowl with brett favre. The team needs to be re-done, and a new quarterback has to be a part of that.

And every decision should be made with the Super Bowl in mind. That's the real goal.

Anonymous said...

Good enough Eric? This isn't a panel at Stats Inc, you know?

I don't know any casual fan that would take Favre 12th in a draft, and I doubt any GM would place him that high. It's not just offensive stats, because the entire team is built around him.

You think that's still too glib? For a comment on a sports column that has no statistics? Really?

Eric said...

solomonrex - if you are using fantasy football stats to determine real football player worth (especially at the quarterback position) you do not belong in any serious football-related discussion.

re: Super Bowl - Trent Dilfer won one. C'mon. Favre could win it this year on San Diego, Dallas, or, perhaps, Baltimore (though I believe they are overrated - we'll see). It just takes the right team. He can no longer carry an offense (he has poor accuracy on his deep balls) but he can enhance it (his short to mid route throws are still fantastic).

Eric said...

solomonrex - one last time: read my statement - Favre goes between 8th and 12th for any GM or fan who knows something about football in a "draft" to win a game this Sunday. I don't even think reasonable minds can disagree on this. Name some QBs you'd ask to QB your team that are ahead of him that aren't on my list.

Dan Shanoff said...

All previous posts by someone posing as "Dan Shanoff" have been removed. They weren't from me.

Whoever is doing that, could you please stop? It's completely uncool. Why not post as yourself and join the conversation, instead of impersonating me?

-- Dan

Anonymous said...

Ok, here's my list, why not?

potential/future HoF (3):
T. Brady
P. Manning
D. Brees
No debate possible, based on last couple season's numbers (5):
C. Palmer
J. Kitna
B. Roethlisberger
J. Plummer
T. Green

QBs who don't kill their team like Favre, and occasionally win games(4):
M. Hasselbeck - vastly underrated
M. Bulger - He's had MVP seasons much more recently than Favre.
C. Pennington - Kurt Warner 2.0
J. Delhomme - vastly underrated.
Potential and current performace alone is better than Favre(2):
P. Rivers - low sample size, looks fantastic though.
R. Grossman - ditto.

Toss-up with Brett(4):
E. Manning - kills his team, can bring his team back.
K. Warner - bad O-line.
D. Bledsoe - Experience similar to Favre, but still gets it down the field.
Charlie Batch - who knows? Better numbers, but I doubt anyone really believes those numbers.
B. Favre

So Favre is _maybe_ 15th on my list. Considering that he only has 1-2 more years of playing, no actual GM should pick him up, unless your other option is Culpepper, Brooks or Harrington.

Dan Shanoff said...

Apologies to everyone. I am the fake Dan. I am going to retire this screename going forward

Anonymous said...

For the last 3 years, I'd rather have Trent Dilfer. He never hurt your team and he made 3rd downs. He's just HORRIBLY underrated. Favre makes dumb decisions, and he hasn't really cared enough to stop in the last 3 years or so. If we found out he's regressed as an alcoholic since 2001, would any of us be surprised?

And let me defend fantasy stats, because that's the ONLY way Favre begins to look good. Fantasy stats under-count interceptions and turnovers. And I still think fantasy stats are fine for giving a quick judgement to QBs.

But in the real world, Favre is even worse. He has no future. He has no willingness to play conservative (i.e. terrible for contenders like Ravens and Chicago). He has few physical skills that stand out. In the real world, no one wants Favre except the Packers (and maybe the Raiders would consider it). I'd rather have Losman, same arm, same dumb decisions, but he's more athletic AND HE'S TEACHABLE.

Look at the teams that took a gamble on old, used-to-scramble QBs: Ravens got McNair, Raiders took Brooks and these are desperate, desperate teams.

There aren't even 12 GMs that want Favre, let alone would rank 24 QBs below him. Saying he could go to the Super Bowl with the Ravens is silly, you can't prove it, it's 100% conjecture. The fact is, QBs just like Favre (same age, similar history and skills) aren't valued by the league.

Christian Thoma said...


He has no future

Wow, remind me not to name you in my living will.

Eric said...

solomonrex - you once again went off on your own tangent and failed to answer my question (and, from the way you responded, don't seem to understand it). If you are of the opinion that Mr. Losman gives your team a chance to win this Sunday more than Favre, you simply do not understand football. Additionally, you seem to be uniformed when it comes to Favre's play - I cannot remember an interception early in a game this season. Favre played conservatively the first 3/4 of the Eagles game, for goodness sake. In fact, he played well enough to win. Much has been made of the fact his recievers simply dropped catchable balls. Additionally, you're reliance on Fantasy is confounding. Favre would not take chances (and, therefore, throw many interceptions) if he was playing with the lead, almost a given with the Ravens, Chargers, and Cowboys. You may wish to irritate me and others with your comments, I cannot know for certain, but I am trying to point out obvious flaws in your logic. This isn't "I win" the discussion. It's supposed to be a way for people to exchange ideas and come to conclusions about one of our shared forms of entertainment. Alas, it appears you do not treat it as such. Good day.

Anonymous said...

eric, there's a difference between trying to irritate you and disagreeing with you. We disagree, that's it, it isn't personal. If you think the world is magically going to agree with you, may I refer you to Dan's original post, where he has NOT changed his mind. These comments are in part for disagreement. That's part of sharing ideas.

Maybe you're irritated because if we talk about numbers, I win. If we argue subjectively (since you have no numbers) there's no basis for us to agree.

I don't have to watch last night's game, because I've seen the Packers for the last 3 years and I have his statistics. So, are you going to argue that he's better than the numbers indicate (and I argue that he's worse)? There's no resolution possible without numbers, and the numbers agree: he's not very good.

Losing 31-9 is not a dropped ball issue, that's a desperate fan(s) making excuses. 9 points is hard to swallow when your QB is the best part of your team. 9 points shows that Detroit and Minnesota have been propping Favre up for years.

And there are no moral victories. If Favre played well enough to win, they would have won. His offense didn't score 32 points, it scored 9, so he loses. David Carr managed 10 against the same Eagles.

Favre just isn't very good, and Shanoff is about the millionth person to wish he would retire. You know what? It's his life, and I don't blame him for taking the money and gunning for records. But I don't admire him.

And I'm not going to make excuses for a millionaire manager who isn't good at his job and can't make the people around him better. I'm shocked at how lenient people are for bad white quarterbacks and critical of black wide receivers.

cl9699 said...

You are a total fool for making this a color thing - get a life. It has nothing to do with that.

The main issue in 'O' line and that's a fact if you're attempting 25+ passes a half, most out of the shotgun formation.

MN really propped the Vikings up throughout the 90's - especially in 1998 (15-1). Last year too...

Football is a team game that you have apparently never participated in per your comments ('look at his numbers - I don't need to watch'). Every element of the game is dependent on the other.

Case in point: the best overall D in the league last year was the Pack. How is this? The numbers say they were the best, so that's a fact, right? From a last place team like them though? Doesn't make sense...the number seem to lie...

Maher said...

funny that GB just cut Caroll today. Too bad they didn't do it on Saturday, maybe they would have covered the spread.

Anonymous said...


The point is not whether the numbers lie. Of course the numbers can be misleading - you can prove anything with numbers if you try hard enough. But there's a reason every NFL contract incentive has numbers in it: it's objective. So unless you're an NFL scout, and can verify that you are, I can't just take your word that Favre is still good. I'm only willing to accept an authority argument if you are, in fact, an authority. Otherwise, all we can do is talk numbers.

So I think the Packers and the NFC North have been propping Favre up, (as you point out, the Packers had the best D because they were in the NFC North). And I guess you think Favre is better than his numbers, but you give no real reason.

Whether I played ball doesn't make me automatically wrong. Either I'm right or I'm wrong, and if you know why I'm wrong because you played ball, then speak up.

And I'm not making this a color thing so much as a perception thing. Favre relies on people so it's obviously NOT his fault? No, more people rely on him, and he's paid accordingly and the best way to measure his effectiveness is the Packers' points scored. No one on that team is paid as much (except Bubba Franks, bizarrely, is paid nearly the same)(2005 figures, USAToday). He needs to accept responsibility for the fact his offense is bad. What he gets paid is part of the problem. To be fair, he brings in a lot of money for the organization, more so than, say, Bubba Franks. But that's the business side.

What kills me is the argument that he would go to the Super Bowl with Baltimore. Yes, IF he only had to score 2 touchdowns a game, he would be a winner. Um... doesn't that prove that's he's not very good?

Don't make excuses for millionaires. How hard is that?

Ma4tt (the 4 is silent) said...

Sure, Favre is 17 picks away from setting a record... but he's also 19 TD away from eclipsing Dan Marino's TD record. He'll probably break both this year, but THEN how will you feel?