Chat with Gene Wojciechowski
Wojciechowski was named ESPN.com's first-ever senior national sports columnist in June 2005. He joined ESPN The Magazine as a senior writer in January 1998, after serving as a college football reporter for ESPN since 1992.
Send in your questions now and stop by Monday at 4 p.m. ET to chat with Gene!
Gene Wojciechowski (4:02 PM)
Like Favre, I have returned. Let's chat.
Why do you think the Packers really don't want Favre back?
Gene Wojciechowski (4:03 PM)
They've spent too much time in the sun? A bad bottle of Tequila? It can only be that they got tired of the annual will he/won't he thing. It can't be because they honestly think Aaron Rodgers is a better QB than Favre. Look at Favre's 2007 season. Top shelf stuff.
i cant stand brett favre... im sick and tired of the media making him out to be better then what he is... I think the packers should trade him 2 the vikings get the draft picks and get rid of the headache
Gene Wojciechowski (4:05 PM)
OK, you're tired of the saga. Fair enough. But from a football standpoint--and that's what should count--he's coming off a 4,000-plus yard season, set a career high for completion percentage, finished second in the MVP, and led the team to the NFC Championship. The Packers should consider his return a gift from the football gods.
Scott (Hopkins, MN)
Gene, what are the odds that Green Bay is really just holding onto Favre, under false competition pretenses, only to release him just before the opener, when he'll be virtually useless for any other team for the first part of the season? Are there any rules against this?
Gene Wojciechowski (4:07 PM)
Is a fair question, though I would hope the Packers wouldn't be that petty to do something like that. No, I'll take GB at its word and say Packers management is interested in an open and, I hope, fair quarterback competition. Anything less would hurt the Packers, and their credibility.
Eli (Irvine, CA)
I see why Green Bay doesn't want Favre, did you see him in the Championship game last year? They would have done better if the had the statue of Rocky behind center.
Gene Wojciechowski (4:08 PM)
Cheap shot. Yeah, he threw a costly interception. It happens. But Favre wasn't the only problem that day. I can recall the NYG's running backs doing some damage. And Favre wasn't playing LB that day.
Broad Street Brian (philly)
Gene, have you ever heard of a nuttier situation than what's going on with Farve? I REALLY dislike him now, and I am shocked at the reaction in Green Bay.They seem to support him. If any Eagles QB, decided to retire and un retire to play for, let's say, the Cowboys. That QB would be crushed by the fans here. Where's the anger in Green Bay?
Gene Wojciechowski (4:10 PM)
There are some GB fans who have turned on Favre. I get their emails. But Favre spent 16 years with GB. He helped them win on of their Super Bowls. He's played 275 consecutive games, counting playoffs. That should be good enough for one, just one, Get Out of Retirement card. And it's not like he pulled this during the season. He's only missed 8-9 training camp practices.
Lindon (Pine Bluff, Arkansas)
Gene, Can you clarify the $20 Million dollar go-away pay day? Was Favre always going to get that money anyway? Even if he would have quietly stayed retired?
Gene Wojciechowski (4:12 PM)
I think it might have been closer to $25 million. As I understand it, this had been in the works for a while--when it was understood he was retiring. And I'm not sure how the language was structured--that he had to stay retired if he took the marketing/personal services deal.
Steven (Talladega, AL.)
I have to agree that I am tired of this as well, and they can have an open competition, but it should be between Rodgers and Brohm because they put in the hard work to be there, and as of now, A-Rod deserves the starting spot, because he's learned from 3 years of being a backup, and he needs an opportunity to show what he can do, and no one can truly say different. I hope that they understand what they are doing as of right now is just unfair to the kid, because he didn't quit on them.
Gene Wojciechowski (4:13 PM)
Favre didn't quit on anybody. There's bits and pieces of his body all over Lambeau Field. He retired. Then he changed his mind. He didn't retire during the middle of the season, and he doesn't want back during the middle of the season. As for fair, the NFL doesn't stand for National Fair League. The best players play, and Favre is the best QB on that roster.
John (Rumson, NJ)
Here's a fun little conspiracy: ESPN airs Favre strories around the clock 24/7 (even bumping the Manny Ramirez trade news for a Favre reporter interview). Favre says he will only play for either Green Bay or Minnesota. Now check the first Monday Night Football game on ESPN.
Gene Wojciechowski (4:15 PM)
What? Huh? Well, I'll be. I had no idea. We're very, very clever here at ESPN. Nah, who knew? But, c'mon, it's going to be great theater, no matter what the situation is by then. Favre could be in Minn, GB's starter, or GB's backup.
So hot Tex (Dallas)
Gene, do you think Rodger's performance in training camp combined with a lack of what the Packers consider a 'reasonable' offer has left them embracing the idea of a QB competition? Anger in GB? Obviously Brian doesn't remember the pre-Favre era... 'Course, they don't beat up Santa Claus either...
Gene Wojciechowski (4:18 PM)
Favre, with help from NFL commish Roger Goodell, outflanked Packers management. Favre forced the issue, which is what I would have done. The Packers, in my humble opinion, could have gotten more for Favre had they been more open to ALL options from the very beginning--such as a deal with an in-division opponent. Now, the market appears to be small. I haven't seen Rodgers in camp yet, so I can't comment on his performance, other than to say, they've only had eight practices, and I believe a scrimmage last night.
Shane (Madison, WI)
I can't for the life of me understand the animosity shown to Favre for coming out of retirement. He played because he loved the game, and people are resentful that he still wants to play? What gives??
Gene Wojciechowski (4:19 PM)
Look, I sort of, kind of understand why some people turned on Favre. I mean, he has waffled in the past. But Michael Jordan retired three different times. Nobody seemed to upset about his change of hearts.
Why in God's name aren't the Bears interested in even talking to Favre? They make me so angry......
Gene Wojciechowski (4:21 PM)
Well, it's not always as easy as that. The Bears' situation is different than the Vikings' situation. The Bears say they feel good about Orton or Grossman. I'd rather have Favre, of course, but if the Bears want to stick with those two guys, so be it. But management will have to answer questions later if the Orton/Grossman tag team fails.
Why in the world would the Packers trade Favre to the Vikings anyway? Vikings-Packers a bitter rival and all the Vikings need is a QB and then they have a big chance. I would be shocked if that happened.
Gene Wojciechowski (4:24 PM)
Because if you think Rodgers is your guy, you probably don't want Favre (at $12 million per) on your bench. That could create all sorts of problems. So you might as well get a high draft pick for him. At least, that's how I think the Packers are looking at the situation. Me? I don't think it's going to come to that. I think Favre is the best QB on the field when he reports for practice.
Does anyone in the front office in GB care about keeping their job? Seriously if Rodgers is the starter and he is awful TT, MM, and Murphy are gone right?
Gene Wojciechowski (4:26 PM)
Well, I think this has been orchestrated by GM Ted Thompson. The guy has some stones for trying to keep Favre on the curb, I'll give him that. But if they trade Favre, or make him the backup, and Rodgers fails--and I've got nothing against the guy--then I think Thompson will have to explain why he should keep his job. This wasn't anybody's finest moment: Thompson's. . . or Favre's.
At least admit that Favre is the most selfish QB in the league..... he doesn't care about his team only himself.... which personally is why I believe GB brass were so ready to get rid of him....hes a terrible teammate
Gene Wojciechowski (4:28 PM)
Selfish? The guy last missed a game when Aaron Rodgers was 8 years old!!! Selfish players protect themselves and don't play hurt. If you want to call Favre a bit of a diva, fine. But I wouldn't describe as a selfish player.
The NBA is not the NFL..... the nfl is the ultimate team game and in the nba one player can win you a championship..... and comparing favre to jordon is insulting to jordan.... jerry rice, the original LT and jim brown are the only 3 nfl players in jordans realm
Gene Wojciechowski (4:29 PM)
Please. Jordan didn't win championships until he got a supporting cast. And did Kobe win a title this year? Put it this way: ask those Packers vets who they'd rather have under center at crunch time. It will be Favre.
While posting great regular season stats, Favre can't get it done in the postseason, especially in the harsh conditions of Lambeau. His age truly showed in last year's NFC championship game. What say you GW?
Gene Wojciechowski (4:32 PM)
Yeah, he looked cold and old. Guess what? So did the Packers defense at times. I'm not excusing the way he played, or the costly interception. But you're going to judge him off of one game when it was 11,000 below zero? Judge him by his season, not one game.
Bill (York, PA)
To follow up on Jeff's question/comment: TT is in a sort of a catch-22. If Rodgers is the starting QB and he stinks, TT is fired. If Favre is the starting QB and he stinks, TT is fired. The ONLY way TT keeps his job at this point is if the starting GB QB plays well.
Gene Wojciechowski (4:34 PM)
Well put. Look, I'll give Thompson credit for realizing that he had to compromise here. At the end of the day, you do what's best for your team. The Packers roster is better today than it was yesterday. And all because Favre is on it.
Speaking of MJ... is worse case scenario for Favre that he plays terribly this season and is remembered as Jordan was in his final years?
Gene Wojciechowski (4:36 PM)
Different situations. Jordan was showing definite signs of decline. Favre is coming off a 4,000-yard passing season, an NFC Championship, a No. 2 finish in the MVP, and he helped lead the Packers to their third-best total net yards and point total in frachise history.
Lucas (SLC, UT)
A lot has been said of a divided locker room - publicly players have said that it won't be an issue, but is that really possible? It would seem the vets would gravitate back to Favre, while rookies and younger players would stick with AR.
Gene Wojciechowski (4:38 PM)
Players want to win. The player who gives them the best chance to do that will earn their allegiance. Sure, I think the vets favor Favre right now. But Rodgers is such an unknown commodity. Sure, he had a nice performance against Dallas. But you want to base everything on that game? That's like basing everything on Favre's game against the Giants in the NFC Championship.
Do you think that Green Bay will trade Favre? If yes, where? If no, why not?
Gene Wojciechowski (4:40 PM)
I think Thompson would love to trade Favre. But he has to find a trading partner, for the price he wants, and Favre has to want to report to that team. Lots of moving parts.
Jake (Denver, CO)
Gene, be fair... he's 38 and the two seasons prior to that Favre threw a combined 47 picks. Maybe an unfair comparison. What if Favre went down and Rodgers ended up starring ala Bledsoe/Brady?
Gene Wojciechowski (4:42 PM)
You be fair too. Remember that running attack back then? And the receiving corps? Favre had a semi-brutal year, but his offensive line was suspect, etc. I'm just saying. And sure, injuries are possible. Rodgers could end up with the job. And keep it, I suppose.
Robert (Robertsdale, Al)
I guess I'm going to have to say it! I am tired of Brett Favre! Why can't he stay retired? Every year we go through this same crap!
Gene Wojciechowski (4:43 PM)
Because then I wouldn't have been able to chat with you, and answer your anger-filled question/rant. Take care everyone. It's going to be a gas seeing how this Favre saga plays out. Thanks for the questions.
SportsNation on Facebook
THIS WEEK'S CHATS
- 11:00 AMFantasy's Stephania Bell
- 12:00 PMGigEmNation's Sam Khan
- 12:00 PMBoxing with Dan Rafael
- 1:00 PMNittanyNation's Moyer
- 1:00 PMNFL with Pat Yasinskas
- 1:00 PMGiants with Youngmisuk
- 1:00 PMBoxing with George Foreman
- 1:00 PMMLB with Jayson Stark
- 1:30 PMBarry Melrose on Stanley Cup
- 2:00 PMNFL blogger Mike Sando
- 2:00 PMJets with Rich Cimini
- 2:00 PMNFL blogger Mike Sando
- 3:00 PMEx-MLBer Barry Larkin
- 11:00 AMNoleNation's David Hale
- 12:00 PMNFL with Dan Graziano
- 1:00 PMCubs, Sox with Levine
- 1:30 PMMichael Wilbon on NBA Finals
- 2:00 PMBoxing with Brian Campbell
- 2:00 PMNFL blogger Kevin Seifert
- 2:00 PMNASCAR with Terry Blount
- 3:00 PMFantasy's Stephania Bell
- 3:00 PMGolf columnist Bob Harig
- 4:00 PMHornsNation's Strickland
- 4:00 PMNFL with James Walker