Saturday, August 09, 2008

Looking Back on the 4 War

I'm torn. On the one hand, I'm tired of the Brett Favre v. Green Bay Packers '4 War'. Virtually everyone's opinion is set, and nobody seems interested in making adjustments to their opinions. Every conversation on the topic devolves into the same people saying the same things, and I find that tiresome, boring, and tedious (Jiblog, your thesaurus for all things dull).

Still, I do want to look back on some items that I think have escaped attention during all of this. I've narrowed it down to three topics, and I really should do a separate post on each, but I just want to get this over and done with in one post. So bear with the slightly disjointed nature of this post as I look at the fans, the sports media, and the fact that this entire mess was destined to happen.

Okay, first the fans. Overall, I think all Packer fans have the best interests of the team at heart, even though there is a wide variety of opinions as to what those best interests are. I can respect those differences in opinion even in disagreement. Generally speaking, one class of those opinions fall into the area of "Brett was the best thing for this team this season." Of that class, a subgroup has formed. That subgroup is the "Love Favre/Hate Thompson More Than the Franchise" group.

I've come to find that subgroup very disturbing. If the Dan Devine dog murder story had been true (it wasn't), these individuals would have been the ones defending the dog killer. They have lost any grip on rationality, if they ever had one. They seem to enjoy being miserable, angry, and hate-filled more than anything else. In fact, they seem to stew in their own miserable attitudes towards Ted Thompson, Aaron Rodgers, Mike McCarthy, Mark Murphy, and the organization.

What really bothers me is how prevalent and large this subgroup of Packers fans is. Read the comments section to a Packer article, and they are there. Go to your favorite blogs, and they are either the bloggers or the commenters. Your favorite watering hole and water cooler? They are there, too. Packers training camp? They are certainly there. They see nothing wrong with going around puking their putrid attitudes out on anyone and everyone in the organization that they've pinned blame on in their own minds. As a Packer fan, I find myself extremely disappointed by this sizeable and idiotic subset of fans. If I were Ted Thompson, I'd send my dogs out of state, just in case.


Next, the sports media. I now have a much clearer understanding of the contempt that news journalists have for sports journalists. The last month has been filled with some of the worst reporting I have ever seen. Some sports journalists played this entire thing straight up the middle, and I'll give them credit for that. Most, however, took a side early on, and their reporting showed it. I can't count the number of times I read, watched, or heard something reported and then thought, "wait, that wasn't what was said/done at all." The reporters who not-so-subtly took sides molded many things to fit their views of what was going on in this mess. They read between the lines of things Brett and the Packers said and created stories out of whole cloth. And when they weren't doing that, they were just plain getting things wrong and also accepting what they were told by their side with blind faith. The communication between Favre and the organization was a mess, but the sports media amplified the issue and made it worse for player, team, and fans.


Finally, the ultimate problem in all of this comes down to two things: the Packers brass didn't want to look like asses even though they could look no other way, and they were squishy the entire month because of it; Brett Favre is about the most indecisive man there is off of the football field and that indecision put more roadblocks in his way than anything else. Both sides' biggest enemy in this mess was themselves, and the 4 War was destined to happen because of it. Because of that, demonizing either side is completely pointless.

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