Brett Favre Drama Exposes Hyper-Dramatic Sports Media

Matthew LeaveyContributor IMay 19, 2009

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  In this handout photo provided by Disney , Brett Favre, who recently announced his retirement, lounges with Goofy on February 28, 2009 at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Favre, who holds multiple NFL records including most passing yards in a career, is at Walt Disney World this weekend for 'ESPN The Weekend,' a sports-themed fan event held at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.  (Photo by Matt Stroshane/Disney Via Getty Images)

It was the preeminent scroll across the bottom of our television screens yesterday afternoon:

“Favre to undergo surgery this week with Dr. James Andrews.”

Suddenly, the engines revved on satellite trucks across the continental United States, and highway 59 into Hattiesburg, MS began to ever-so-closely resemble the Daytona 500 of sports reporter rental cars.

From their makeshift campsites, Ed Werder and Pedro Gomez emerged from the cover of their tents on the Ironman of the NFL’s front lawn to cover the breaking news.

And ESPN’s NFL Live crew was finally convinced. They could now say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this was the sign that Favre’s return is certain. Trent Dilfer and Mark Schlereth agreed—you don’t endeavor this surgery unless you are dead-serious about playing.

He’s back kids. Pack your bags John David Booty! Look out Detroit! No. 4 is ba...

I dozed off.

You see, I stopped buying into this nonsense a while ago, and I was validated when I awoke this morning.

It seems there had been some terrible misunderstanding. Apparently John Clayton’s glasses were smudged, and someone named Britt Favor, whose signature closely mirrors that of Favre’s, was the person scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery performed by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

It seems that all this time, Favre has been at home—modeling Wranglers and sharpening his pitchfork collection.


This is probably, though not definitely, an exaggeration of the day-to-day sports media’s coverage of Favre, and of sports in general. No, ESPN is not the devil, and in fact they do a pretty good job most days. And Favre probably will come back...again.

And the bet here is that he’ll play roughly as well as he has previously in Dome stadiums—which is not very well at all.

But this Favre-ian hypersensitivity is completely and totally a product of the media’s obsession with the Hall of Fame quarterback to be. They outright demand answers to fruitless questions, and in so doing create stories, even when they were never really there at all.

It may be only a matter of time before Favre, Vikings head coach Brad Childress, Packers General Manager Ted Thompson, a jilted high-school crush, and a monkey that can blow bubbles out of his ears ends up on Dr. Phil ‘s two-hour intervention special: Favre: Lifting the Veil.

It might be time for everyone to take a deep breath.

Will he or won’t he? We’ll find out!

But perhaps in the interim, we can talk about the things that actually affect the 31 other teams in the league, if for just a brief moment in between the steroid accusation of the day, and Michelle Wie’s quest for her first LPGA major title.

For just one 6 PM SportsCenter, it would be nice to have Mike Greenberg’s lead story pertain to something other than Brett Favre: Boxers or Briefs?

Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?


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