Right after Brett Favre threw an interception to Green Bay Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop for a TD, Cris Collinsworth let loose some inane criticism of the Vikings' wide receivers.
The receivers, you see, were not running their routes with conviction, or some silly bilge. They were listing in the middle of the field, which was obviously why Favre let loose a pass right into the arms of Bishop.
Around the same time Collinsworth was vomiting that lame excuse for Favre, he was hounding Aaron Rodgers for not communicating with his receivers on back shoulder throws. The criticism was well-deserved, as Rodgers repeatedly threw the ball deep when his receiver cut off their routes.
What must be accounted for is why Rodgers was roundly criticized when Favre gets a pass for throwing interceptions in three of the Vikings' last six drives of the game. Suddenly, the receivers must be doing something wrong. They were not aggressive enough to the ball, therefore they were easy picks for the defense.
There couldn't be anything that is more blatantly false. On all three interceptions Favre did what he usually does, put the ball right in a defenders hands with ill-advised throws. Even on the Nick Collins interception, in which Collins made a stupendous leap over Percy Harvin's shoulder, Favre should have read the safety coverage behind Harvin and looked elsewhere.
Never did Al Michaels or Collinsworth utter any of the these phrases, which would have accompanied a similar interception by anybody, but No. 4: "what was he thinking," "he never should have made that throw" or "that was a bad play by Brett Favre."
Instead we get some nonsense about Favre's receivers not running with intensity and an awkward excuse involving the body angle at which Favre was forced to throw the ball right into Bishop's chest.
This is the NFL: Quarterbacks are always asked to make exceptional plays in exceptionally difficult environments. Favre did not do that. He made an exceptionally bad play.
Not once did we hear that said.
So why is Favre above criticism? Is it because he is 41 and a grandfather? Or is it because of the elbow and the ankle?
Ah, yes! Lest we are apt to forget about Brett's ankle or elbow injuries. He clutches the elbow or hobbles off the field after throwing yet another back-breaking pick, so that his apologists in the Sunday Night Football booth can point out how much of a gritty warrior Favre is for playing through the pain.
Those interceptions weren't part of a trend that Favre has displayed throughout his career, they are the fault of his injuries.
And this is a two-way street mind you. The injuries stand to clear Favre's name when he makes mistakes, as well as exponentially increase the praise when he does something right.
Favre even hobbles off the stage after answering questions at a press conference in which he gave his now routine expression of doubt over his status for next week's game.
Maybe, just once, he could spare us the histrionics and say either: "I'm not playing" or "of course I'm playing, I'm Brett Favre damn it, my consecutive start streak is more important than this team's success, how else will everybody know how damn courageous and awesome I am."
Because everything we've witnessed in the past few years indicates that Favre is just that: more important than the team he is playing for.
Let's not beat around the bush here, Favre was almost single-handedly responsible for last night's loss. His defense held a high-powered Green Bay offense in check and his running game produced 196 yards on the ground with a 5.4 yard per carry average.
Sure Brad Childress made some bone-headed decisions, but Green Bay scored 14 of their 28 points off of Brett Favre turnovers. Minnesota wins last night if Favre does not complete passes to the opposition.
When Childress had the gall to say that the team can't afford to gift the opposition a touchdown on a turnover in his post-game press conference, all the fury of the Favre nation (aka the media) came down on Childress.
How dare he throw Favre under the bus!
How dare he say something as offensive as, ""It still goes back to taking care of the football. You can't throw it to them. You've got to play within the confines of our system. Sometimes, it's OK to punt the football, and you can't give seven points going the other way. Not in a game like this."
Doesn't Childress know that Favre descended from on high, riding his tractor in the sky to save the Vikings and bring them to the promised land?
The gall of that man, to say something that is as plain as day to anybody that doesn't worship the decades of entertainment Favre has provided NFL fans.
The Vikings run for an average of 136.2 yards each week, good for seventh in the league, and hold opponents to 308.3 yards of total offense each week, which ranks them seventh in the league. A team like that should not have a 2-4 record. So what gives?
What's giving way is the team's quarterback, who has completed just 58.1 percent of his passes for a meager 6.7 yards per attempt while throwing 10 interceptions to just seven touchdowns. That's good for a QB rating of 68. Oh, and along with those stellar statistics Favre has also brought a distracting scandal.
Yet it's Childress who gets criticized for pointing out the elephant in the room.
Since when has anyone individual become exempt from criticism? Apparently, in the media, accrued service buys you goodwill.
Favre might get a free pass from the mainstream media, but it doesn't change the fact that he is a vain, attention starved celebrity who is sinking under the pressure of the hero facade the media has created for him these past few years.
And even though this ship is taking on water, the mainstream media refuses to bail.