The New York Jets have acquired quarterback Brett Favre in a trade with the Green Bay Packers. The deal ended a high-profile divorce between Favre and his former team, which declined to welcome him back after a short-lived retirement. (The New York Times)
What the commentators said
Favre got what he deserved, said Ken Warren in The Ottawa Citizen. Packers fans worshiped their future Hall of Fame quarterback—until he got testy when the team balked at giving him his old job back. “Let's face it, in the era of modern free agency and salary caps, loyalty is a fleeting concept.”
It wasn’t always this way, said Dick Harron in the Green Bay Press Gazette. In the old days, a previous Packers star quarterback, Bart Starr, knew that football was supposed to be a sport that instilled sportsmanship and character. When Starr was aging, he retired “graciously” and with unwavering loyalty, and that’s why he still stands tall “as a role model in the game life.”
It was the Packers who were disloyal, said George Kimball in the Irish Times. Favre took the team to within one game of the Super Bowl last year, at age 38, by throwing for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. By “giving the appearance of treating the most popular player in franchise history like a piece of spoiled meat,” the Packers’ management seem to be “thumbing their noses at their fans” as well as their hero.
This soap opera has certainly made the team’s managers “unpopular,” said Vinnie Iyer in Sporting News, but they had to think of more than Favre’s feelings. “They're also responsible for creating the best possible solution for the rest of their team," so if they get to the playoffs all might be forgiven.