This has become so awful, so tiring, and so, well, excruciatingly boring that the only ESPN show I’ve watched lately is Baseball Tonight, because I am relatively sure that I can avoid mentions of Brett Favre on it (you know it’s really bad if the “FAVRE” ticker section still exists on the scroll at the bottom of the screen.) Now, we have teh news that forced me to run on the clicker to a Gregory Peck marathon on Turner Classic Movies as soon as I saw it — Favre says commissioner Roger Goodell has reinstated him and he is on his way to Wisconsin to force the showdown he wants. If he doesn’t get to start, he wants his outright release and not a trade.
This is understandable (who wouldn’t prefer to have his freedom of movement?) except for the fact that he wants his release out of spite: Favre went on record saying that if he couldn’t play for the Packers, he wanted to beat them twice a year as part of an NFC North team — and this is GM Ted Thompson’s worst nightmare; Favre coming back to Lambeau Field in the uniform of a division rival, especially if that rival happens to be the Minnesota Vikings. (Our easy solution: deal him to the Detroit Lions. Let’s see how much he likes playing for a Matt Millen team.)
What’s been reprehensible, outside of Favre’s prima donna behavior, is the aggressiveness of ESPN in making anything and everything NFL about the Favre question. It couldn’t even have been left alone for the Hall of Fame ceremonies yesterday in Canton — and how much of a pass Favre’s selfishness has been given thus far. Reports dictated he had a chance to come back in March when he spoke with Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy, and passed on it. Now, he’s demanding a starting spot or the ultimate freedom to get back at the team? No front office guy worth his salt is going to give in to demands like that.
In maybe a day or two, we’ll be witnesses to a Gross Media Spectacle, as everyone will be camping out for the arrival of a man who decided that his petty vengeance was more important than a clean break and start. It’s admirable that Favre feels he has earned the right to dictate his future, and to an extent, he has. But Favre has excoriated other players (i.e. Javon Walker) for far lesser offenses and fights with management, and the longer this drags on, the more Favre risks unnecessarily dragging his name through the mud.
Favre says Goodell has reinstated him, will fly to Green Bay for Family Night [ESPN]