ARLINGTON, Texas -- Media Day for Super Bowl XLV did not disappoint with its typical freak-show smorgasbord.
Ross the Intern from "The Tonight Show" coaxed Packers backup lineman Jason Spitz into fracturing a Cher ditty. Some lunatic from Nickelodeon dressed as a demented superhero thankfully could not get coach Mike McCarthy's attention long enough to ask a question.
And on top of everything else, the ice, snow and arctic wind chill outside Cowboys Stadium added the proper surrealistic backdrop.
But the strangest sight of all just beyond the big top might have been Ted Thompson holding court with a handful of reporters.
It wasn't like the Packers semi-recluse of a general manager had much choice. Although he'd rather have been driving all night from Port Arthur to Odessa to look at a prospect, it was the unconventional way in which this reticent native Texan has built the team to the brink of a championship that has made him an attention magnet.
Not only that, outlets from way beyond Wisconsin's borders were trying to get him to bite on his call to swap out Aaron Rodgers for Brett Favre three years ago, the single biggest decision that has put the Packers back in the Super Bowl.
Would he comment on the decision, please?
And would the prodigal son ever be welcomed back for a retirement ceremony?
"I'll answer the second one first," Thompson said. "Brett is an important part of Packers history and he'll be embraced by the Packers. The other part, we have moved on."
Although we all know that's about as effusive as it gets for Thompson, he had every right to climb on the roof of Jerry Jones' massive playhouse and scream that he is the returning conqueror of the Republic of Texas for the Rodgers/Favre move.
Because, get this:
Since Jan. 9, Rodgers has won as many playoff games as Favre did in his final 10 seasons with the Packers.
"It doesn't matter if it's that particular situation or another personnel situation," Thompson said. "You make it and move on. The next thing is the Super Bowl. I'm just proud of the guys."
Well, sure. Rodgers/Favre was just like finding a third-string guard. And the whole controversial episode occurred without acrimony. But that is Thompson's style, the low-key high road.
So let's move on.
How about Desmond Bishop and Bryan Bulaga and Howard Green and Tim Masthay and Sam Shields and James Starks and Frank Zombo, all those seemingly odd-fitting pieces that have helped turn the Packers into the NFC champion and make Thompson look like a personnel sage?
"Sometimes too much is put into this," Thompson said. "We turn over rocks and try to be prepared. "You do your job, evaluate players. Even then, it doesn't always work out."
These things have worked out, all right, all the way to the Super Bowl, which will be exactly the third Thompson says he has ever watched, all as a Green Bay employee.
Now, wait a minute. Thompson played for SMU and the Houston Oilers. He worked in Seattle's front office. And he's only watched three Super Bowls because, why . . . ?
"Jealousy. Envy. Already planning the next draft," Thompson said. "I'm not a huge football fan outside my own team. I don't watch a lot of football on TV, but I watch a lot of tape for my job."
Of course, Thompson is enough of a football fan to appreciate that the Pittsburgh Steelers, with a record six Super Bowl trophies, are a paradigm for excellence. He gets the connection between the franchises.
"The Packers are also like a family," Thompson said. "When I meet with the executive committee, it's like we're all in this together. If I don't do my job they'll get rid of me, but they're good people."
It has even been suggested that the team Thompson built has a chance to be like the dynastic Steelers of the '70s.
"The Steelers are remarkable in their recent history and their long-term history," Thompson said. "Right at this second, I'm focusing on the game Sunday. If I looked past that, I'd be an idiot."
Critics have called him worse. He knows it, even if he is constantly on the road, looking for that next Sam Shields.
"Oh, I get graded daily," Thompson said.
Then he said something on which we all can agree.
"I'm not much of a talker," he said.
No, but he's a doer.