Ted Thompson Deserves All The Accolades
Ted Thompson will be honored into the Packers Hall of Fame this weekend. It is a great honor. Some make light of the Packers Hall of Fame, but honestly, it is a historic place with memorable people that helped mold the Green Bay organization. It is not hard to get in, but I do think the team holds the Hall of Fame to a standard. This year, the only person entering is Ted Thompson. Some will never give Thompson the credit he deserves for making a Super Bowl team and while mistakes were made along the way, no general manager pitches a perfect game. Thompson did his best and deserves this great recognition from the Packers.
Do you know how hard it is to be a general manager in sports? Pick a sport, and it is extremely difficult. You have to deal with so many contributing factors besides just picking talent on the field. Thompson did not have an easy job when he started with the Packers. They were a team that had lost its way with Brett Favre at the helm and a poor general manager in Mike Sherman which was an overcorrection after Mike Holmgren left due to not enough power. Thompson cleaned house and hired an unknown in Mike McCarthy to coach Favre and the team. He drafted a young quarterback that careened in the draft named Aaron Rodgers. He built a roster that went 13-3 in 2007 and after going 3-13 two years before. Do you know how hard that is? That was only the beginning for Thompson.
People forget that Favre retired from football in March 2008. Like this idea that Thompson parted ways with Favre is simply untrue and false. This team moved on from Favre because he had moved on from them. Then when the itch came back, Green Bay did not get disabled by old-timer at quarterback. What if Green Bay’s general manager traded Rodgers to keep Favre around for two more years? That would eclipse the Tony Mandrich draft pick and be an instant 30 for 30 with Thompson likely getting fired in the early 2010s. Instead, they won a Super Bowl.
Green Bay rode Rodgers, and a few other guys building a juggernaut through the draft. They were a great team for a few years, and a team that should have made another visit to the Super Bowl. But the same can be said for so many great teams with one Super Bowl appearance. Success stayed with the Packers, even though, they did not get to another Super Bowl. Other than the New England Patriots, there was not a more successful team than the Green Bay Packers.
Did Thompson stay too long? Yeah, he did. Does that happen in sports, sometimes? You bet. People overstay their welcomes all the time. It is ironic that one of the calling cards of the Thompson era was getting rid of players a year early before a year too late, and Thompson himself definitely stayed a year too late with the team. Fans have short memories, therefore, that is what they remember about Thompson versus what he did in the past.
Thank you Ted. And one last time, in Ted we trust.