Celebrity divorces are messy things. Too much information is shared and both sides usually come out looking worse for wear. Brinkley v. Cook, Alex & Cynthia Rodriguez, the list goes on. In the sports world divorces are a little different, but once again we see that there are no winners, well maybe the media, but neither side is going to look good. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I give you Favre v. Green Bay Packers.
Brett Favre has spent the last couple of years hemming and hawing, thinking about retiring, talking about retiring, and then, finally, kind of, sort of, actually retiring. Until he decided he didn’t really want to retire after all. Well, see, the thing is, the Green Bay Packers have already decided to move on and aren’t exactly welcoming Brett back with open arms.
So of course things are now getting messy. And when things get messy, it’s time to go to the media:
And, now nobody is a winner. Not Brett Favre, who has clearly burned bridges with the Packers, and maybe, just maybe, even with some of the Packers fans. The Packers certainly aren’t the winners. They don’t want to bring Favre back, but they don’t want to let him go to another team either. Since 20/20 hindsight doesn’t solve any problems, what can the sides do right now, to make this a PR win for both sides?
For both parties a quick resolution is the best option. So:
1. Hold a joint press conference where both sides announce publicly what the next steps are going to be. Favre’s going to stay with the team or the Packers are going to trade him or he’s not going to come back after all. Whatever, but agree to what’s going to happen, let everbody know and then move forward.
2. If you are going to trade him, do it quickly and don’t worry too much about where he goes or what you get in return. Yes, the Packers are a special club with a unique relationship with the community and their fans. But they aren’t so unique that they can’t function like other teams. The San Francisco 49ers traded Joe Montana, who won three more Super Bowls than Brett Favre. The franchise moved on, Montana moved on and that was that. Montana had another good year or two, but the Niners committed to Steve Young (admittedly easier than committing to Aaron Rodgers) and moved forward.
3. Take the high road. Wish Favre success in the next stage of his career.
4. Understand that no player is bigger than the Green Bay Packers. Once the season starts, fans will fill Lambeau Field. There will be some signs and some booing, but ultimately the fans want to root for this team. Remove the drama and refocus on the season ahead.