I've never covered one when I was in news, and this is my first after purchasing a share in the recent stock sale. As various media outlets are reporting, Ted Thompson didn't give away any trade secrets in his speech to the crowd. What did strike me was the sustained standing ovation Thompson received. Oh the difference four years make.
Remember the blithering idiots in Wisconsin, including a mental midget radio talk show host or two(no, not me) who felt it was a terrible mistake for Thompson to let Brett Favre go. And these folks made it clear they felt Thompson should be fired. I stood by Ted Thompson then and blamed Favre for the ugly divorce. Of course most of those who blamed Thompson won't admit it; they either keep their mouths shut or join in the ovations now.
Since Brett Favre played his last game for the Packers have gone 42-22, won a Super Bowl, Aaron Rodgers has a Super Bowl and League MVP award on his mantle and Thompson is recognized as one of the very best at what he does, not just in the NFL, but in all of sport. It was worth the price of my share just to be there when Thompson got the love that he did.
And it was also pointed out that the Packers have been to the playoffs 14 times in the free agency era, more than any other team. The Packers were a moribund team as the free agency era arrived and many felt it would be the nail in the coffin of the franchise; in an open market how will tiny, perenially bad, Green Bay attract the best players. In short; great management(Harlan and Murphy), Hall of Fame caliber QB's during that era and two men with an uncanny eye for talent; Thompson and Ron Wolf. Combined with hiring the Mikes (Holmgren and McCarthy) they have stocked the wagon very, very well.
Name a NFL personnel guy, a coach, or a QB you'd rather have right now. Me either. Green Bay's organizational structure is the envy of the NFL. Unlike some people who do what I do for a living, I knew that in 2008. Because most won't come clean now I settled for standing and clapping as loudly and long as anyone there today.