I decided against posting on this issue until it was completely resolved and last night, just that happened.
After taking a beating in the press for not welcoming back Brett Favre as their starting quarterback, the Green Bay Packers accomplished what they originally set out to do – trade him to a team as far away as possible that they could only see him in the Super Bowl. They also secured the fact that he would basically not be traded to the Minnesota Vikings by having the Jets give the Packers three 1st round draft picks if they do decide to ship him in that direction. There is no doubt that he still has some talent left in him and Packers made that clear when they were ready to bring him back early this off season but when he kept going back and forth, the Packers decided to pursue to future in Aaron Rodgers.
I can’t blame the Packers for what they did because they had lived through the past few years not knowing whether Brett was coming back or not and for the first time when they had a definitive answer this early in the off-season, they needed to make plans for a Post-Favre Green Bay. It is understandable why the media is just in love with Favre who can’t seem to do anything wrong in their eye. He has never come out and said anything against them, he has always had a good relationship and it always helps that he has been more successful than not in his career.
He goes to a New York Jets team that was 4-12 last year and certainly raises their hopes of becoming a playoff team. The Jets vastly improved their offensive line which was their biggest weakness and for Favre who was sacked 15 times all of last season (Pennington + Clemens were sacked a total of 53 times). Favre’s deep ball should open up the running game for the Jets who are still vying for the second spot in the division as you can realistically expect the New England Patriots to win the division again.
For Favre who was certainly looking for one last run at the Super Bowl, his best bet was with the Packers where he knew the system, the coaches, the players, the city. He has about a month now to get himself familiar with a new system and go into the much tougher AFC to compete with the likes of the New England Patriots. The Packers are still a playoff team although you don’t know how far they will go behind a quarterback who is starting games for the first time in his career.
Favre would have had tremendous pressure to repeat the 13-3 season and one bad throw away form the Super Bowl but is now in a situation where a 9-7 season could potentially land him a playoff spot and could he hailed as a savior. The Jets haven’t had a great quarterback since Joe Namath (1965-1976) which was 32 years ago! The Jets just went 32 years between great quarterbacks and without taking a snap, Favre becomes the second best quarterback to ever wear a Jet uniform. He doesn’t really need to perform at the Pro-Bowl level here, just mentor the young quarterbacks and you know he can easily shoulder a couple of wins on his own. If this team turns around to go +5 from their 4 wins last year, they can probably make the playoffs and Favre’s tenure as a Jet would be considered a success.
All this debacle and less than favorable departure from the Packers hasn’t really lessened by support for him but I am a fan of the team first. I wish Favre the ultimate success (short of a Super Bowl loss to the Packers) but Green Bay comes first. The Aaron Rodgers era is now here in Green Bay and it is his team to lead. He is going to be under great pressure to fill huge shoes and follow a 13-3 season. He will need to quell all the doubters early and win the support of the fans – some of which clearly had their loyalties with #4.
As for me personally, the first football game I ever recall watching was between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round where the Packers led by Favre won 27-17. That game was on January 6, 1996 – less than four months since I moved to Canada from Pakistan and I have since been a Packers fan… a Brett Favre fan. This is gonna be tough to see Favre not being a Cheesehead but he is Jet Green now… he is going to play in New Jersey where all his games will be on tv and maybe, just maybe this is my one chance to go watch Favre in person. If given the opportunity, I certainly want to do that this year – maybe week 2 or 3 against the Patriots or Chargers will be suitable games to watch where if he can pull off an upset victory early, it could define the season for the Jets.
Anyone interested in going to a Jets game this year? Any Patriots or Chargers fan wanna accompany me? Always good to have fans from the opposing team sitting next to you.