Monday Night Favreball
ABC's Monday Night Favreball broadcast officially bottomed out at 12:03 Tuesday morning when sideline reporter Michelle Tafoya quoted Brett Favre's wife, Deanna, about "the tremendous strides (Brett) has made as a human being."
Please, kill us.
Never in the history of television have we been bombarded with such a parade of pandering pabulum passed off as sports reporting. The Monday Night Favrefest began long before kickoff, with an endless loop of Favre clips and replays all over the sports waves. It continued throughout the game, almost to the point of exclusion of the 89 other players in uniform during Green Bay's 45-17 victory over St. Louis Monday night. The governor even declared Monday "Brett Favre Day" in Wisconsin. Postgame quotes from both teams centered around Favre.
The Favre-worship has reached such mind-numbing proportions over the past year that Deanna gets more face time during national broadcasts than any Packers player other than her hubby. Quick: name three Packers other than Favre. Sorry, Reggie White, Desmond Howard and Mark Chmura are all long gone.
There were certainly some compelling storylines Monday night. Favre's Ironman streak reached 200 regular season games and 219 games if you include playoffs. To put that in perspective, Ron Jaworski held the previous streak for quarterbacks with 116 consecutive starts.
The record-shattering streak has been underscored by personal tragedy. Last year, of course, Favre's father died the day before he went out and played the single best statistical game of his career, also on a Monday night. Favre's brother-in-law was killed in an accident earlier this season and his wife discovered she had breast cancer.
Compelling stuff, for sure. But enough already. The Cold, Hard Football Facts want to watch a hard-hitting game, not a Dr. Phil orgy of feelings.
The media feel differently. If there's one thing they're good at these days, it's sticking their claws into a storyline, twisting it out of proportion and not letting go until the last shred of flesh has been ripped off its bones: An emotionally disturbed basketball player goes into the stands to beat on some fans and it's an indictment of society that we have to witness ad nauseum. A bunch of soldiers in Iraq dress up prisoners like girls and it's called "torture" and plastered all over the newspapers. In the case of Favre, it's an aging gunslinger whose best days came nearly a decade ago soldiering on for nothing more than fame, glory and millions of dollars while his itchy trigger finger costs his team one playoff game after another.
Yes, that's right. Favre's best days are long gone and the attention he's been getting on recent national broadcasts is not justified when his career is X-rayed by the doctor of radiology called the Cold, Hard Football Facts.
From 1994 to 1997, Favre had one of the best four-year stretches by any quarterback in NFL history, highlighted by 145 touchdown passes (36.25 per season) and a victory in Super Bowl XXXI in January 1997. Favre played well the following year during a 31-24 loss to Denver in Super Bowl XXXII.
But that was a long time ago, and Favre's career has made a notable downturn since then, particularly in the playoffs where the Packers are 2-4 since 1998.
Favre has been a major roadblock to his team's postseason success. He's thrown 12 interceptions in those six playoff games, including six in a 2001 playoff loss to St. Louis. In fact, since Super Bowl XXXII, Favre has thrown at least one interception in every playoff game but one – last season's 33-27 overtime win against Seattle. He's tossed just 10 touchdown passes over the same period.
How bad has it been for Favre? Jeff George has a better postseason record than Favre since 1998 (1-1 record, 635 yards passing, 7 TDs, 1 INT).
Yes, Favre may be making tremendous strides as a human being. It's his progress on the football field could use a little help, especially come playoff time.
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