Saturday, May 09, 2009

An Allegory

A construction foreman is making plans to build a new house and he learns that one of his best workers will not be available for the job. The foreman is disappointed, since the guy is a really good mason, but he understands. He proceeds to fill out his crew and commences work on the house.

But just as he's getting started, his former employee comes into his office and wants his old job back. He's changed his mind and wants the work.

What is the foreman supposed to do? Should he fire one of his new hires? That doesn't seem right since it would it deprive the new guys of their jobs--jobs they pursued when the foreman was filling out his crew. Moreover, the request puts the foreman in a tough spot because he's invested resources in training a new workforce and has tailored his plans to their particular strengths and experience. He's purchased new equipment and spent a lot of time drawing up his plans. So the foreman tells the guy sorry, but no.

Spurned and upset, the mason looks for work elsewhere. Indeed, he has a lead on a job with the zoning commission that would allow him to tie up the construction project in hearings and paperwork for years, effectively killing the work the foreman is trying to complete. There is nothing really wrong with the project--the foreman has gone through all the proper channels and the public very much supports it--but local governments being what they are, the mason's new role would still enable him to stall the project.

What is the foreman supposed to do now? Maybe there's nothing that he can do--people are free to work wherever they want, right? But suppose the foreman knows of something he could tell the zoning commission that would keep the mason from getting the job. Could you really blame him for doing so?

Attentive readers will no doubt have gotten the point of all this by now. The foreman in this story is Green Bay Packers' GM Ted Thompson and the mason is Brett Favre.

Favre apparently wants to come back and play for the Vikings so that he can stick it to Thompson. But it is entirely unclear to me what Thompson did that merits having it stuck to him (or whatever). Favre may just not like Thompson and he may be upset at not having his every whim indulged. That's fine. He doesn't have to like him. And since there is now nothing that Thompson can do to prevent Favre from deliberately trying to "wreck his house," Favre is free to do that too. But what he can't do, it seems to me, is try to claim the moral high ground.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Brett Favre, Redux

Brett Favre got his release from the Jets this week and now there are rumblings that he wants to come out of "retirement" again to play for the Vikings. That's fine. He can do what he wants (though even the greatest Favre apologists have to admit that he's now made a thorough mockery of himself and that you can't believe anything that happens to fly out of his mouth).

But Favre should know that Packer fans are loyal to one thing: the Green Bay Packers. And so he shouldn't be surprised the first time Aaron Kampman drives him into the Frozen Tundra and the Lambeau faithful cheer wildly as Favre slowly makes his way back to his feet. I'm not saying it's right. But if #4 shows up in Viking gear, I guarantee it's going to happen.