Favre’s Wrong (Again)

While Favre’s play has shown signs of resurgence this year, his penchant for saying inexplicable things at press conferences is rivaled only by Arizona Cardinals head coach Denny Green.

Favre’s latest comments surround the one-year suspension without pay of wide receiver Koren Robinson for Robinson’s third violation of its substance-abuse policy. Favre seems to have no problem with Koren’s suspension, saying, “if you suspend him for a year, fine.” But the quarterback takes offense at the NFL’s policy that a player suspended for a year is not allowed to “participate with his club in any way” which includes not being allowed at team facilities. In response to this restriction, Favre comments: “To ban him from the building and the support group that can help him? It doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

“A support group”? Is Favre serious? He makes it sound as if he, Robinson, and the rest of the Packers organization have logged more time than Hawkeye and Hot Lips logged in the 4077. Remember that Robinson just signed with the Packers on September 11, 2006, and only suited up for the team for three games. I’ve spent more collective time with the crew at my local Arby’s and I wouldn’t ask any of them for movie recommendations, much less counseling and advice for overcoming a life-crippling illness like alcoholism. And which of the Packers players are really qualified at keeping Robinson from running further afoul of the law? Ahman Green, who was arrested on charges of domestic abuse and disorderly conduct this past offseason after reportedly becoming so irate with his wife that she fearfully ran out of their house in her pajamas? Or maybe cornerback Al Harris, who last year was under investigation for an alleged assault at a strip club? Too bad the Packers cut Najeh Davenport, because he could have counselled Robinson on how avoid the bottle by performing the community service of defecating in the closets of women’s dorm rooms.

The Packers knew what they were getting when they signed Robinson. They knew he was a seriously troubled young man with a disease and they knew he was in danger of being suspended by the NFL for off-field actions related to that disease. Should we feel sorry for the team now that the combination of Robinson’s suspension and Robert Ferguson’s foot injury means that the Packers will be starting the likes of Ruvell Martin at wide receiver? No way. And we certainly shouldn’t feel sympathy for Koren Robinson, who should consider himself lucky his immediate future only includes a year’s suspension from football and not a trial for vehicular manslaughter.

The combination of professional triumphs and personal tragedies that Brett Favre has endured while with the Green Bay Packers is the stuff of legend. Koren Robinson’s past is the stuff of stupidity. Robinson is 26 and will likely — if he stays clean, and that’s a BIG if — be a wealthy star in the NFL. Favre is 37 and is likely playing his last season. Robinson has a lot to learn –some of it about football, but much more of it about himself, his addiction, and how to keep his addiction from ruining or ending his or someone else’s life. Robinson needs to stay away from football and re-connect with a real support group of friends, family, and fellow addicts battling alcoholism. And Favre needs to concentrate on his family and on saving the Packers’s season (again), and not on saving a troubled guy like Robinson. He’s not worth it.

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