“”I don’t let my daughter text or go on SpaceBook,” confessed Brett Favre to the Washington Post’s Stephen Roderick during the taping of a Wrangler commercial last May. “”I don’t think we really understand what’s happening out there. I know I don’t.” Rodrick, however, seems to know all too well, calling a cell phone, Farve’s “preferred instrument of professional suicide”.
The Text de Favre allegations seem as preordained as they are baffling. Favre is a coarse guy who has copped to every indiscretion imaginable short of bad tipping at Applebee’s, and he is simply joining a long tradition of sports stars sinking into the moral primordial ooze. Only this time, the media-industrial complex is joining him.
While the specifics couldn’t be predicted, Favre’s alleged revolting behavior and subsequent tear-filled apology to his teammates for being a “distraction” were as predictable as the quarterback throwing into double coverage late in a game. He’s been warning us for years. Favre’s public fall doesn’t resemble the descents of Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong, holier-than-thou icons whose comeuppances had more to do with their self-righteousness and hypocrisy than their sins. Favre was never that guy. He’s always been a redneck, an egomaniac, an addict and an eternal child. Those shocked by the allegations haven’t been paying attention. To paraphrase the philosopher coach Dennis Green, Favre is who we thought he was.
The rest of us? We’re living in a busted play. The media has come a long way from the days when reporters hushed up Mickey Mantle’s chronic drunkenness, behavior that obviously affected the outcome of actual games. Fans spending 90 bucks a seat deserve to know if their cleanup hitter reeks of Boone’s Farm. But now we’ve moved too far in the other direction. As much as we pretend otherwise, sports are an escape — we’re determining who is going to make the playoffs, not who controls the nuclear football. It’s not clear whether betraying dubiously qualified broadcasters, paying sources and writing about Ryan’s recent lap-band surgery is really a value-added experience like, say, DirectTV’s Red Zone Channel.
Let it be noted this is the second time this week that Jenn Sterger’s shortage of Peabody Awards has been cited by one of her colleagues. It’s also the second time that such a reference seems utterly gratuitous ; the only crime she’s guilty of is having conversed or corresponded with an editor of Deadspin (something Rodrick himself has done).