Category: Packer Reports

On Favre And “Couch Time”

Tom Cruise was box office gold. His personal publicist was a woman named Pat Kingsley. For 14 years she steered Cruise, from “Top Gun” to “Mission Impossible”, and his marriage and subsequent divorce from Nicole Kidman, whom he met on the set of “Days Of Thunder.”


Kingsley was known around Hollywood for her shrewd, calculated decision making on what media settings were the best for her client, and which ones were were not. A taped one-on-one with Barbra Walters was OK. Out in public, in-person, working a line of fans and media along a red carpet? Or on a live talk show? Not so much.


Cruised stopped listening to Kingsley. When she’d had enough, she quit, telling a few Hollywood media types “he’s going to regret this. Now you’re going to see the real Tom Cruise.”


Next came his outbursts defending Scientology. He argued with Matt Lauer on the “Today Show” criticizing Brooke Shields for using an anti-depressant for postpartum depression. Then he jumped up and down Oprah Winfrey’s couch professing his love for Katie Holmes. The following year he got dumped by Paramount for “unacceptable behavior.”


I don’t think Brett Favre is that far along. Yet.


Once again, the Packers season ends, and away from the daily routine of football, coaches, a GM, a team president, a PR staff, Brett Favre is apparently wallowing in indecision again. This is not just an active player deciding to comeback for another season. Now he's a retired player changing his mind 90 days later.


There doesn’t seem to be anyone around Favre to tell him no.


LeRoy Butler said as much on the “Gary & Cliff Show” on 1250 WSSP last week. Butler said while he’d love to see Favre play again, it was time for him to declare exactly what he was going to do, and that it should probably be playing for another team. "It is now Aaron (Rodgers) time in Green Bay," said Butler. 


Favre told the team he was done. They team accepted that, and spent two draft picks on quarterbacks, and April/May/June working out under the assumption the Favre era was over.


On Monday night, March 3rd, I was up until 2am. Making phone calls, checking stories. Something was up on the Favre story. But I couldn’t make any headway.


The next morning our station called me. Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer was reporting that a source within the Packers had told him Favre had phoned in his retirement. I quickly placed a phone call to Scott Favre in Mississippi, who said “Well, I guess ‘ol Jay is right,” confirming the story.


This week has been different. I have been unable to reach Favre’s agent, a family friend, or his brother Scott for the past week.


Today Lance Allen from TMJ4-TV, Milwaukee reported Favre sent Ted Thompson a text message over the weekend, and the reply from Thompson was “I’m on vacation, we’ll talk when I get back.”


Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, who was able to get close to Favre and his family back in the early 90’s, is now shaking his head, disappointed in Favre’s inability to be more decisive, more sensitive to the Packers organization, fans, and to Rodgers.


Both King and ESPN's Jon Clayton have always said Brett Favre is probably the most honest quote in pro sports. Sometimes to a fault. If he's thinking about something, you're going to find out, usually sooner than later.


I spoke to some people in the Green Bay media tonight. They find it curious why people around Favre are only talking to the Milwaukee media and a few national guys, while none of their calls were getting returned from Mississippi.


Within the next 10 days, Thompson will return to the office from vacation, and perhaps issue a statement if any of this is true.


Favre may come to Green Bay July 19th for his scheduled appearance to introduce his friend and former teammate Frankie Winters into the Packers Hall of Fame. 


At best, we can hope that he says something like “Yea, I had some doubts there, and I have been in contact with Ted and Mike. But it never really got that serious, and a lot of what was said was overblown. I am officially retired. I’m done. I’ll never take another snap.”


Or, if Favre has decided, (with no disrespect to the Packers or fans), he’d like to play another year or two for someone else, allowing Aaron Rodgers to start in Green Bay, and giving Favre a fresh surrounding, a new challenge of trying to win in a different city, hey – no problem. Tell the world you want to be released. Or traded, with no hard feelings. Forget about Ted’s vacation. Just do it.


But for now, it looks like it won’t be that easy.


In the meantime, hide the couches.


– Mike Clemens

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Mike Clemens