Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Sport Held Hostage

So I'm listening to Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN this morning, waiting for an upcoming football training camp report. I'm told Sal Paolantonio is at the Cowboys camp, where of course I expect an update about the state of my team.

About 20 minutes later, Sal is on the line, all right, but he's not there to talk about Dallas or the NFC East or any other football team per se. Instead it's all about one player, the prima donna diva of the NFL: Brat Favre.

How foolish I was to think ESPN might deliver some actual football news on the eve of an incredibly intriguing NFL season on so many levels: How will the Patriots respond to their devastating loss to the underdog Giants in the Super Bowl? Will the Giants be able to defend their crown or will their amazing run prove to be a one-year wonder? How will the Cowboys bounce back from their own disappointing defeat in the opening round of the playoffs, and will QB Tony Romo continue to deliver the goods under increasing scrutiny?

There is legitimate reason for optimism at training camps around the country, but ESPN and other news outlets continue to bombard NFL fans with all Favre, all the time. When he signs with another team or gets his release from Green Bay, which is very unlikely, then I will be interested. Until then it's a soap opera.

I'm glad people are finally seeing Brat Favre as the self-centered, me-first player he's been his whole career. Winner of exactly one NFL championship, Favre's recent postseason history is littered with subpar performances. You wouldn't know it from the sometimes sickening displays of hero worship writers like Peter King have resorted to in making their pro-Favre case.

Before training camp, Favre did a lengthy cable TV interview in which he basically called his GM a liar, expressed reservations about his coach, and in general behaved like it's Brat Favre's world and everybody else should just adjust. In this regard he's a lot like a player in another sport who couldn't make up his mind about retirement: Roger Clemens. Although, come to think of it, Roger Clemens would've had a better playoff game than Brat's embarrassing stinker against the Giants.

Maybe Roger Goodall should mandate a huge farewell tour over the next two seasons where Brat Favre plays one game for each team every week on a rotating basis. Every game would be a Sunday Nighter so that John Madden can fawn over him like a teenage girl with a crush, and then his leading sycophant Peter King can give him a backrub at halftime on national TV.

Not only the Packers, but the whole league is being held hostage by Favre. First he retires, then changes his mind and wants to play for the Packers; then he wants to be traded, now he wants to be released. The Packers don't want to trade him in division, and they don't want to trade him to a team on the schedule; Brat wants to be traded but only to certain teams (sorry, Jets fans). It's all Brat Favre, all the time. If you're like me, you're sick of it, but get used to it, cause it ain't ending any time soon, that's for sure.

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