While acknowledging Brett Favre’s tearful retirement speech “certainly warranted some air time”, the Akron Beacon-Journal’s George Thomas asks, “is he gone yet?…it seemed as if the end of the world had come”.

On the day that Favre let it be known that he wasn’t coming back, ESPN gave us two hours with Trey Wingo and company talking about his impact on NFL football. Given a reason to exist outside of football season (yes, that was harsh), the NFL Network quickly morphed into BFTV with 30 hours of coverage throughout this past week. Do I blame these networks for this? Well, yes and no.

Yes, because it all seems like overkill. He’s a football player. He didn’t cure cancer. He hasn’t run for president, and when it’s
all said and done he will retire with his multimillions to Kiln, Miss., to hunt and fish and be a good ol’ boy. Good for him. After sacrificing his body for 17 years in the NFL, he has earned that.

No, I don’t blame the networks, which includes the monolithic ESPN, because these are the beasts that the American sports fan has created. And now that the beast is alive, it needs to be fed on a consistent basis regardless of whether the news of the day warrants it.

If anything it shows how incredibly out of whack priorities are in this country. In ESPN and the ancillary sports network that includes more than a handful of regional channels, ones dedicated to football, conferences and the likes of soccer and national channels that also include Versus.

Some will say that this all offers an escape from the humdrum lives we lead where we have to look forward to the prospect of gas at $4 per gallon, a potential economic recession, a seemingly never-ending war. And that might be right.

The big fear is that we choose to continue to escape and not deal with those real problems that confront us as a nation.

Favre will get to enjoy his millions and the quiet of life in the Mississippi backwoods, a personal fantastical oasis, as many of the rest of us have to contend with reality ” eventually.

Though I agree with Thomas’ general point (ie. in the overall scheme of things, who gives a shit?), he’s disregarding how a culture that places such import on a public figure like Favre is equally responsible for a scenario in which a person can earn a living writing about sports TV. The minute our misplaced priorities get fixed, this motherfucker’s out of a job.