Packers don't owe Favre anything   

Updated: May 16, 2007, 11:45 AM ET

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A friend of mine came up with a great nickname for a certain Super Bowl quarterback in Green Bay, who I think perfected the free pass, not just the zip pass.

"Brat" Favre is what we've begun to call the dwindling diva, because he is again showing in the offseason why he's a member of the Susan Lucci drama club, along with Terrell Owens and Curt Schilling.

Brett Favre

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

If you're Brett Favre, putting yourself on a pedestal
is so easy a caveman could do it.

Mr. 47 Interceptions over the past two seasons -- including a hard-to-top 29 in 2005 -- is in the news because he's unhappy the Packers didn't get Randy Moss, and depending on whom you believe, he may or may not have asked for a trade after the draft.

Most Packers fans seem to believe Favre has earned the "right" to complain and tell his employers how they should run the team, even though his annual should-I-stay-or-should-I-go tango is partly to blame for the Packers' current malady.

First, let's deal with this concept that athletes have certain "rights" -- a subject that has come up quite a bit lately because of Favre and Roger Clemens, who supposedly has earned the "right" to skip spring training, play half a season, not travel with his teammates and act as if he's the only baseball player juggling a family.

Contrary to what most athletes believe, they aren't owed a thing. Yet for some perplexing reason, many of them seem to think their "rights" should supersede everything else.

Favre isn't owed any more championships than he's already won. Donovan McNabb isn't owed an explanation from the Eagles because they drafted a quarterback. Pacman Jones isn't owed due process from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

The Packers' philosophy seems to center around building a solid defense through the draft -- which is exactly what they should be doing. They have surrounded Favre with a lot of young talent on offense and rightly expect their 17-year veteran to nurture and build that talent.

I can't feel sorry for Favre because it's not like he didn't know the Packers needed to rebuild. If he didn't want to go through that, he should have either retired or asked for a trade instead of picking a passive-aggressive fight through the media.

Brett Favre

Harry How/Getty Images

It's clear to us that Favre is looking out for No. 1.

Besides, he is partly to blame for his predicament. Maybe Favre would have another offensive weapon if he hadn't sabotaged former receiver Javon Walker during his contract squabbles with the Packers. Favre called Walker out instead of being supportive -- by the way, notice how Tom Brady tried to pressure the Patriots to pay Deion Branch -- and Walker took his services elsewhere. Of course, it was easy for Favre to suggest Walker was being greedy when Favre is sitting on a $100-million contract.

It's not the first time Brat has inserted his self-righteous opinion where it doesn't belong. Remember what he said during the Packers' tense contract situation with cornerback Mike McKenzie?

"He should be here, we expect him to here and the Packers have the upper hand," Favre said at the time. "He says he wants to be traded and all that stuff, but they don't have to do that. When paycheck time starts coming around and you're not getting one, it's amazing how quickly you start waking up."

Oh, I get it. Favre is the only one who can voice displeasure with the organization. For someone who says he's all about the team, Brat sure finds a way to air feelings that should be kept in-house.

Unfortunately, most Packer fans can't see past Favre's yesteryears to notice their beloved QB has become just as adept at undermining the franchise as he is throwing into triple coverage.

If Packers fans were ready to accept the truth, they would see that not much separates Favre from other selfish athletes. Nobody called Moss a diehard competitor when he was critical of Oakland, yet that's how Favre's comments about Green Bay have been framed. At least Moss manned up and asked for a trade instead of playing a shell game with the media.

T.O. is a lot of things (many of them bad), but I can only imagine the reaction had he treated his minicamp like Favre, who is skipping the Packers' mandatory minicamp this weekend because it would interfere would his social calendar.

"They were going to have me sit out anyway," Favre told the Biloxi (Miss.) Sun-Herald. "To be honest, we have [daughter] Brittany graduating in two weeks. Instead of going up there and not doing anything, I will be better off being at home because of graduation parties and banquets."

Let me guess, he's earned the right to do that, too. Wish he'd exercise his right to be quiet.

Page 2 columnist Jemele Hill can be reached at


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