If reunited all will be forgiven but for right now Brett Favre is calling Mike McKenzie out!
From todays (06/08/04) Green Bay News-Chronicle Bill Huber has an article outlining the frustration Brett Favre has with the McKenzie holdout.
By now you know the situation. Unhappy when cornerbacks who aren't his equal received more money during this spring's free agency, McKenzie demanded a pay raise. When that didn't come, McKenzie demanded a trade. And when that didn't happen, McKenzie hired a new agent to work out a trade.
Favre, whose only focus is winning a championship, is like the rest of us. He's frustrated that a player can possibly be upset when he's cashing checks for $17.1 million over five seasons.
"I don't think there's anything better than being with a great team, a great organization and making a lot of money," Favre said in his typical slow, calculated fashion. "You go ahead and ask those guys and they'd kill to make the kind of money Mike McKenzie's making. They don't even know if they're going to make this team. I know Mike McKenzie feels like he should be paid more, and he's probably deserving of it, but that's just the way it goes. You honor your contract, you honor your team and you honor your teammates."
Hence, Favre's frustration with McKenzie. McKenzie is putting himself ahead of the team. And for what? Another million bucks? On the other hand, Favre knows the Packers' Super Bowl aspirations take a huge hit without McKenzie. Without him, the Packers' third-best cornerback becomes a starter. And the fourth-best cornerback enters with the nickel defense. One or both rookie corners would be asked to do too much, too soon. And on and on it goes. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and if McKenzie's gone, each link of the chain gets that much weaker.
"My whole career has been based on what can I do to help this football team," Favre said. "Yeah, I know we're better with Mike McKenzie and we're better with Cletidus Hunt. ... I don't know what's going to happen but somewhere during the season and Mike McKenzie's not here, he'll see that we'll still have fun, we'll still compete and we'll still play and we'll be right in the mix again. And whether or not he wants to be a part of that is up to him."
If reminding McKenzie that a championship could be at stake this season isn't a good enough reason to come to his senses, Favre pulled out some more ammunition.
"I like Mike. I think he's a great player, we all think so. But I really feel like in this situation he's wrong," Favre said, before emphatically making this point: "There's quarterbacks out there who make more money than me. Whenever the peak of my career was - I think it's right now - there were guys making more money than me. ... Maybe I was just naive and didn't really give a damn, but it never really concerned me. All I cared about was playing football."
At this stage of the game, with training camp nearly two months away, McKenzie's absence isn't a major problem. But, assuming the gut feeling of pro personnel director Reggie McKenzie is correct, Mike McKenzie will play for the Packers this season. If that's the case, Favre says all will be forgiven - with his teammates as well as the fans, who welcomed another former black sheep, Antonio Freeman, back in the fold last season.
"It's not a concern for the players, as it shouldn't be, until we play for real," Favre said about Hunt's and McKenzie's absence. "Now, with every day that passes, the tension between the team and the player - and I'm talking more about Mike - gets worse and worse. I don't know what's going to happen and it doesn't look good and I don't understand it and I don't really care."
That one player's selfishness is threatening the goals of an entire organization is shameful.
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