My phone rang at the ungodly hour of 6:00 a.m. this morning, a time I rarely see unless I have not yet made it to bed. It was my sister, a busy MD in a city a few hundred miles from me. "Brett signed with the Vikings! Did you get our tickets yet?"
She is referring to our annual trek to see the Vikings and Packers play. It's been a family custom since I was about seven. My sister and I both have birthdays in November, and my dad, a Wisconsin cheesehead before they had them, always took us to a Packer game in November for our birthdays.
My dad died a few years ago, but my sister and I continued the tradition on our own. But no, I had not gotten any tickets for this year yet.
I question her, "Are you sure about Favre? I went to bed at 1 a.m., and the story then was he was going to have his torn biceps tendon surgically corrected."
"Yes, I'm sure, the announcer on the radio just said so. He is a Favre hater, so he wasn't saying anything good about it, but he said Brett signed with the Vikings." Now, my sister is not a regular follower of offseason news, so this was the first she heard about this whole courtship.
I agree to get out of bed and do some research. She gave me her private work number and asked me to call her as soon as I verified the story and got tickets.
I drag to the computer in my bathrobe while I turn on NFL Network to see what's up. NFL is reporting Favre is heading today to Alabama to have surgery on his shoulder. That sounded strange to me, because I know Brett is anti-surgery.
I go to the ESPN website, and they report Favre is NOT going to Alabama and was NOT going to have surgery.
I go back to the NFL Network, and they mention what ESPN is reporting, but for the rest of the hour they stick to their story that Brett is on the way to Alabama for surgery.
I call my sister back. I get voice mail. I leave a message telling her it's just a rumor. No one has the same story right now, but no one is saying he has already signed. I have secured our tickets, however. Our tickets are about history, not about Favre.
I get in my car to drive to work, and the local sports channel is discussing Favre. One announcer says there are two men he never wants to see on a football field ever again: Michael Vick and Brett Favre. They have just disrespected the game too much.
HUH? Wasn't Vick IN PRISON?
He says the way Brett Favre is jerking us around this year is too much, and he should not treat his fans this way.
I come home at noon, and now even NFL is saying that Favre is NOT going to have surgery. Instead of saying they had a poor source, they act like Favre changed his mind this morning.
Through all this, even all the reporters on Favre's lawn have not seen him or heard from him. ESPN reporters have no text messages from Favre. It sounds like the Iron Man has, in fact, said nothing all along.
So, who is jerking us around? Who is turning the fans against Favre? Who is changing their story all the time? Who is ruining the legacy of this future HOF football player?
The answer to each question: the media. There has been no better example than today.
This summer may turn out to be the biggest rube of all. All the Brett Favre news this summer has been a fabrication of the news media. All those vitriolic remarks fans have been making? The press fed them the info.
This year, finally, Brett Favre is not involving the public in his offseason decisions. Good for him. Folks say, "His ego can't take not being in the news."
I have a better theory, "News channel ratings can't take not having Brett Favre in their news"—even if they have to make it up or go with something that is clearly rumor.
When Favre signs a paper, I'll believe it. I have yet to hear anything from the subject in question, Brett Favre—have you?
Do you think about the source of all the news you are hearing before you judge No. 4? That might be a good step for all of us.
If you are tired of the changing story of Brett Favre's summer, don't blame Brett. He's trying to do it differently this year.