National Media, Not Brett Favre Creates "Circus" for Minnesota Vikings

LeeVanSpleefContributor IAugust 27, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 21: Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings passes the football against the Kansas City Chiefs at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on August 21, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

Throughout the last seven cruel months, we've all been beleaguered with "Favre Watch," "Favre-apalooza," Favre at night, Favre in the morning, and Favre in the afternoon.

Since Favre declared his retirement from football and the Jets on Feb. 11, he's responded with a two-letter text, held an interview with Joe Buck, claimed his arm wasn't ready before training camp, and then reversed course and signed with the Vikings.

That's it.

Including the response to Trent Dilfer in a text message that said "NO," that's four times Favre has spoken to the media or publicly addressed his career decisions between Feb. 11 and Aug. 18.

No one could possibly count how many times he's been in the news since the conclusion of the 2008 season. Any watcher of the NFL Network would hear five to 30 mentions of him a day this last offseason. 

Certainly, this has sent most fans not from Minnesota running the other way in a Favre-a-Revulsion.

But how much of this is the fault of the target of all this media frenzy?

Is it because he had been so secluded these last months that we've been bombarded with Favre?

Maybe he should have been more accessible to shoot down rumors and respond to the most guessed-upon daily reports. Obviously, AT&T needs to go to Hattiesburg and install a red "Brett phone" in his office.

Adam Schefter might want to employ a "Brett-Man search light," with a big No. 4 in the middle the next time he needs a hot Favre scoop to satisfy his new employers at ESPN.

While it's true that Favre is at fault for his waffling between being retired and not retired, the media is writing and reporting. And conversely, the readers have eaten up everything written, spoken, and thought about Favre.  

Writers and reporters such as Ed Werder, Jay Glazer, Joe Buck, Peter King, and Pat Kirwin, just to name a few, have seen the popularity of their work skyrocket just by employing the tag "Favre" in the headlines.

They write it, we hurriedly read it, and it all adds up to a fanbase crying Brett-nausea.

Now, with the long, cruel offseason behind us and Favre finally making his decision, he's behind closed doors practicing with his new team. With the drama of his waffling now over, the only thing to report on is football.

However, the preseason has its hidden cruelties as well. The games are over after Monday night, and that makes for long weeks of sleepless writers tossing and turning, counting purple goats with No. 4 shaved on to them jumping over fences.

With every game already picked apart and analyzed down to the third-string punt teams, the analysts can't stop thinking about Favre's shoulder, what he's had for dinner, and if his Deep South country farts are wet or dry.

And, of course, we read it.

Most notably, Schefter is back at it, trying to add to the Circus. Obviously employing the confidence of two or three fourth-string special teamers, Schefter is talking about "schisms" in the locker room. 

Supposedly, there's a great divide in the opinions of who in fact should quarterback the Vikings in 2009. Perhaps it's the great insight of Jake Nordin, the fifth-string tight end that's got Schefter's ear.

Maybe Nick Moore, the sixth player behind Sidney Rice, Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Vinny Peralta, and Bobby Wade is chirping like a bird about the divide that adds to the Ringling Bros. and Brett and Bailey "sucker born a minute" drama.

Clearly, it's not any of the Vikings "ones." Pat Williams addressed this when he said that "the young players get caught up, and some of the young guys don't know [expletive].

"You have a role, and you have to accept it. But if someone did say something, it don't matter, because he isn't one of the leaders on this team," said Williams, one of those said leaders. "The leaders are all together."

Schefter and any reporter out there tagging Favre in their headlines would be wise to employ Vikings teammates who will be on the roster come opening kickoff, or to simply let the Circus fade into the season.

But of course, that would mean leaving the biggest story of the last seven cruel months fade away. And in turn, the readership of their articles would drop.

But it also means they'd have to start talking about what really matters: What happens on the field.

That just doesn't have the same ring to it as "Favrakingaloosa Watch," now does it?