Green Bay Speaks; Entire City Surveyed; Wants Favre Back, But Should He Start?

CHICAGO, July 13 / — An overwhelming majority of Green Bay residents want Brett Favre to stay with the Packers this upcoming season but not necessarily as the starting quarterback, according to an extensive survey commissioned by a Chicago communications company.

Seventy-four percent of those responding Sunday to a telephone survey of Green Bay residents said the Packers should retain their contractual rights to Favre, and not trade him. Thirty-three percent said he should be the starting quarterback.

The poll was commissioned by Serafin & Associates, Inc., a Chicago-based communications firm founded and headed by Thom M. Serafin.. It was conducted by “We Ask America,” a division of XPS, a national firm that specializes in large participation polls and surveys.

Other than the 33 percent who want Favre to start, 19 percent said they want him to return to the club as back-up quarterback and 15 percent prefer him in a role as player/coach. Only 17 percent of those responding to the poll said Packer management should trade Favre.

Favre stunned the Packers and the football world last week when it was revealed he wanted to return to the Packers, even though he bid adieu in a tearful farewell after last season. His decision threw Packers management into crisis mode, and management still faces a potential public relations fiasco.

The Packers have said that Aaron Rodgers is their starting quarterback next season; but have refused to grant Favre’s request that he be released contractually. If Favre was released by the club, he would be able to strike a new deal with any other team, even the Minnesota Vikings or Chicago Bears, bitter Central Division rivals of the Packers.

Of those responding to the survey, 55 percent said they will feel betrayed if Brett Favre won the Super Bowl with a team other than the Packers. Eighteen percent said it would make no difference to them

Favre has played 16 years as a starter for the Packers and led the team to the NFC Championship game last season. He is a sure Hall-of-Famer.

After several ambiguous statements, Packer General Manager Ted Thompson said on Saturday that the Packers will allow Favre back, but in a role yet to be determined.

“I agree with Ted Thompson that this is a gut wrenching situation for the organization and the fans,” said Serafin. “The poll results clearly indicate that. Nearly 75 percent want Brett to remain with the Packers; but they are split on whether or not he should start.

“These results are much more meaningful than a poll, which takes a sample of opinion. Every telephone number listed in the Green Bay white pages was called, and more than 21,000 people picked up the phone. ”

“We Ask America” conducted the survey by telephoning everyone listed in the white pages of the Green Bay phone book between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday. Of the 49,721 calls that were made, 21,377 answered the phone and 9,995 took the survey, 46 percent of those who answered.

According to Greg Durham, of We Ask America, that is an exceptionally high response in a telephone survey, and the margin of error is virtually nil.

“Everytime you see this type of heavy response to a survey, it is a clear indication that the beliefs being expressed are deeply held,” said Durham. “It also is an indication that the Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre are considered to be a big part of the fabric of that community.”

Among the specialties of Serafin & Associations is crisis communications, but Serafin had a more personal reason for commissioning the poll. He is a Packers shareholder and a Favre fan.

Full results of the survey are available at the web site .

Source: Serafin & Associates, Inc.