Those Cheesehead hats the Green Bay faithful wear should be wrapped in tinfoil.
So much for theorizing that all roads lead to Minnesota for Brett Favre. The conspiracy theorists must be wondering how heavy a hand the NFL exercised in gerrymandering the Packers' embarrassing about-face.
Connect the dots. The perpetually buzz-starved NFL Network is broadcasting live from the Packers training camp tomorrow night. It doesn't take a TV exec to know that even though the Packers are among the teams who are always a good TV property when they're winning, they become a better one to the weekend-only sports fans if there's a whiff of drama over which quarterback is going to play — the legend who's already a monument (at least Favre doesn't move like one in his dotage, the way Dan Marino did) or the youngblood, Aaron Rodgers, who's been stewing on the bench for three seasons.
The NFL has already exercised plausible deniability, with Commissioner Roger Goodell initially saying, "I was interjected into it because there was a tampering charge initially. I’m not looking for things to interject myself to." (As if the commissioner of football would by shy.)
It's either that or Aaron Rodgers has been barely outplaying third-round draft choice Brian Brohm at Green Bay training camp, and the Packers wanted some insurance.
There's a small chance this will all blow over. No NFL team has yet had its season go completely down the drain before the first exhibition game. Green Bay, for all the Chicken Littleing going on among the Cheeseheads, was still close to making the Super Bowl last season and remains a consensus favourite to win the NFC North. Favre on the Minnesota Vikings would have been surreal, and it would have meant more national TV appearances for a perennially underappreciated team, but so be it. While some of us were ready to lay the purple pride aside and welcome a quarterback who's perceived to be better than Tarvaris Jackson, it's more fun watching Packers fans squirm.
Bonus points to Packers president Mark Murphy for using the Rubicon analogy.
(Digression: Isn't annoying how the media turns an intricate, highly technical team sport like football into an episode of The Hills? Don't we all want more nuts-and-bolts, Xs-and-Os football talk? The Cowboys are experimenting with a two-back offence with Marion Barber as a fullback and rookie Felix Jones as the tailback. Isn't that a lot more exciting than talking about Brett Favre? On second thought, no, people love drama.)
Last but not least, the stuff you can't make up: The Favre drama is winding down on the same weekend that the Green Bay Press-Gazette is running a special feature, the "State of Drinking: How our love of alcohol shapes Wisconsin's cultural landscape."
Far be it to judge the Cheeseheads if they're reaching for the beer and spirits a little more quickly as this fiasco spirals toward something resembling denouement ("the final unravelling"). It must be said the Packers fans brought this on themselves. This is what happens when you rhyme parties with Lombardi:
Negotiations dead; Favre to compete for starting job (Packers Blog)