Put Some Respect on Ted Thompson’s Name
Ted Thompson is going in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame next Summer. That’s a great honor for any member of the Packers organization. You look at the names that have been honored and it’s a ‘who’s who’ of people that helped mold and shape Green Bay. Thompson deserves a ton of credit for regaining the success of the Green Bay Packers after Mike Sherman let it hit rock bottom. Thompson made many critical moves to help Green Bay win a Super Bowl, and even though his haters will bring up his flaws, he did more right things than wrong things as the Packers general manager.
Thompson’s legacy will be defined by one move and one move alone, keeping Aaron Rodgers. In 2008, Thompson dealt with the tough choice of trading away Brett Favre. Arguably the biggest athlete in the state of Wisconsin, and the fresh-eyed GM moved Favre to keep Rodgers. Think about that for a second. When Favre put on the Jets jersey, Ted became enemy number one for so many Packers fans, and they carried it with them for his career. Imagine if Thompson succumbed to the pressure of the fan base and gave away Rodgers. Could you even think of that world? Would people blame Favre for it and ruin his legacy? The Packers GM got the final laugh when he held up the Super Bowl trophy while the Fave-led Minnesota Vikings drafted 12th to take Christian Ponder.
Keeping Rodgers isn’t the only Thompson gem, but it’s the best one. He also discovered some of the best talent that went through 1265 Lombardi through the last decade. He drafted Nick Collins, Davante Adams, Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji, Casey Hayward, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings, James Jones, T.J. Lang, David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton and countless others. THere are names all over the place that Thompson put on this roster to have a successful Packers team. Should Green Bay have played in more than one Super Bowl? Yes. 2014 should have been Packers-Patriots, and who knows the outcome from there.
Some will speak to Thompson’s past few drafts being the reason Green Bay is where they are today. Most successful general managers and coaches stay on too long. That’s part of the business. That happens in corporate America too. A once-successful person can’t maintain his or her job anymore as they’ve gotten older. Those drafts were not his best work and letting players like Hayward and Micah Hyde (Another TT special) go were not sound decisions. That said, he did enough to let the final part of his career not outweigh what Thompson did in the past.
Thank you, Ted and congrats on your honor.