The Cheesehead Corner Pub

No Retirement Of No. 4

News: The Green Bay Packers have announced there won’t be any ceremony retiring Brett Favre’s jersey at Lambeau Field any time soon.

Views: Most likely, Favre has vetoed any ceremony as long as Wile E. Thompson, Supergenius, has anything to do with the franchise, a move I support. Ted Thompson made it his personal goal upon his arrival in Green Bay to rid the franchise of arguably the greatest player in its history, mistakenly believing he was the obstacle to rebuilding it. And rid it he did last summer, playing a calculated gamble to divide the fan base to make it easier to justify dumping Favre.

It’s a rift that won’t heal any time soon.The Packers’ free-fall in 2008 to one of the worst teams in the NFL was poetic justice for the arrogant GM, who has presided over the two worst seasons since 1991-92 when Ron Wolf was hired as GM, Mike Holmgren as coach and Favre acquired as QB. The Packers have failed to make the playoffs in three of Thompson’s four seasons as GM and, coming off a 6-10 season, once again Thompson stands pat during the off-season.

In my view, Ted Thompson is as big a villain in Wisconsin sports as Sal Bando, the man who drove Paul Molitor out of Milwaukee and ushered in years of incompetence and mediocrity with the Brewers. More poetic justice: Thompson’s California Pretty Boy couldn’t engineer a game-winning drive with the game on the line to save his life.

For those who argue about Thompson’s draft proficiency, please consider the following: Thompson has had exactly one Pro Bowler and zero All-Pros in four drafts consisting of 43 draft picks. His selection of Justin Harrell in 2007 may go down as the worst draft pick in the past 25 years other than some guy named Tony Mandarich. Yes, I’d rate him worse than Terrell Buckley and the flop named A.J. Hawk.

Why? On Draft Day, no one had Harrell going before the late second or third round. The book on him? Fat, lazy, unmotivated, too soft to play through injuries. In short, a girlie man. You could make the case that both Buckley and Hawk were selected where they deserved but Buckley turned out to be a journeyman DB who had a lengthy career and so far Hawk hasn’t come anywhere near his potential.

Thompson’s habit of trading down for extra picks shows the trait of a man afraid to take defensible risks. Why draft a player in the third round when you can trade that pick to gain a fifth and seventh, two players who (a) cost less money and (b) have less of a chance of making the roster and as a result only make you look like a genius if they make the final 53-man roster.

This year, since Thompson once again showed no initiative in free agency and instead sat on his hands, he needs to make a splash in the draft. Trading down may have made sense when he arrived in 2005, replenishing draft picks that the incompetent Mike Sherman had traded away, but now the Packers need quality, not quantity. take


March 15, 2009 - Posted by | Packers

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