If Favre isn't playing, why does he need a locker?
The Packers can do whatever they want to do with Brett Favre's locker. They can encase it in Plexiglass, erect a statue of him next to it, whatever. It's their locker room.
I have to respectfully disagree with coach Mike McCarthy and the team keeping it intact, as it is was during the Packers' organized team activity practices. Even though the Packers legendary quarterback called it a career in March -- albeit with a few public unretirement ruminations afterward -- his nameplate is still above his locker, and his shoulder pads are still on the shelf.
I think that's wrong. It isn't fair to Aaron Rodgers, who has as tough a follow-up gig as anyone has ever had at quarterback in the NFL. Not only is he following a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer, which has been done before, but Rodgers is following a guy who started 275 consecutive games without missing one with an injury, and he's doing it in a town where Favre is a deity.
Rodgers is trying to play with the specter of Favre hovering over him, and there's a tangible reminder of the guy 10 feet away. To bring Favre back for the jersey retirement at the regular-season opener is one thing; to have his locker still there is another.
The subject first came up at the NFL meetings in Palm Beach in April, when McCarthy asked rhetorically, "Would you want that locker? You've got to be kidding me. We're talking about a couple things."
When I saw Favre's locker was still intact at the post-draft rookie orientation camp in early May, I asked about it again.
WILDE: How come Favre's locker is still intact?
McCARTHY: Who do you want me to put in there?
WILDE: I don't know. But isn't it just a locker?
McCARTHY: I think it's more than a locker, and there's some plans for the locker that will be addressed in the future. But there's nothing else to it. I wouldn't want his locker, especially after his hygiene, my goodness. It's a locker of a very special player in the history of our organization, and there are some plans for the future, and we'll address that when it comes. I'll just leave it at that.
While the hygiene line was funny, McCarthy didn't say exactly what the plan for it is. Will they save it for posterity, as the Washington Redskins did with the late Sean Taylor's locker, or the Minnesota Vikings did with the late Korey Stringer's? I don't know.
I still think it's just a locker, and Favre didn't die, he retired. Put ex-University of Wisconsin punter Kenny DeBauche, who grew up in Green Bay, in it, and it's a story for one day. DeBauche talks about how cool it is to have Favre's locker, and then, after that, it's not Favre's locker anymore. It's DeBauche's. And then someone else's down the road.
The approach just seems so incongruous with everything else they've done since the news of Favre's retirement broke on March 4, since everything from planning his jersey retirement to taking two quarterbacks in the draft sends the message that the team is moving on, despite Favre's second-guessing.
This is not to say that Favre doesn't deserve to be celebrated. Just not in this way. His No. 4 will be retired at the season opener, his name will go up in the ring of honor once he's inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and I'm sure there'll be more tributes to him down the road, such as naming a longer street in town for him (right now, he only has "Brett Favre Pass," which essentially runs in front of his restaurant and nowhere else).
But if they want to leave the locker intact, why not take it out of the locker room altogether and move it to the Packers Hall of Fame?
While Rodgers handled the 35-minute Q&A session at his locker with aplomb, the only two times he bristled were when I asked him about being labeled "injury-prone," since he doesn't like the term and Favre's track-record makes it difficult to follow him in that area, and when I asked him about the locker.
"C'mon, Jay," Rodgers replied. "What do you want me to do about it? I don't care."
Whether his answer would've been different off the record, I don't know. All I know is if I were Rodgers, it'd bother me. I'm not Rodgers, and it does.
"Aaron Rodgers certainly doesn't care,..." of course, now YOU "think" you know what Rodgers is thinking.
This is much ado about nothing. Who cares? Aaron Rodgers certainly doesn't care, he has more important things to worry about. The only one it seems to bother is Wilde. Of course, Wilde "thinks" he knows what Rodgers is thinking. Jason is the one who should move on.
Well its obvious you only read part of what I said. Technically until they retire his number they don't have to do anything with the locker. And yes I realize that other players may have been given the status change of retired/inactive, but you can't compare him to the other retired players now can you? How insulting would that be, on your part. I am not bashing anyone, I just don't think this is even an issue of great importance at this point. If the locker remains intact after the organization retires his number then take it up with the Pack at that time. I would be first in line for that one, but this is a non-issue as far as I am concerned.
Wilde's right again about this one...move it over to the Hall of Fame. In fact, save the labor costs and just by a duplicate and install it over at the Hall rather than tearing up the lockerroom to get it out. For those of you Wilde-bashers, he is just reporting the obvious...not bashing Favre. In fact, Favre has little to say about this although he undoubtedly probably is enjoying the attention. I get so tired about how people think just because he asks the tougher questions or doesn't kiss #4's butt as he conducted his weekly press conferences that he doesn't "like" him. You know what? Who cares? I often have the same questions and want to know the answers to many of the same questions that Wilde brings up! Keep it real Jason!
I love the "I think it's more than just a locker" bit. I wish I wasn't pulling into work (late) right as Mike & Mike started talking about it. I say cover it in plexiglass and leave it.
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