Pigskin Detention: ESPN's delicate BrettFavre dance
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Oct 12, 2010
By Pat Imig
Cold, Hard Football Facts sexting fiend
BrettFavre was recently accused of sexting his junk to Jenn Sterger, the former Jets employee described by ESPN "pundits" so delicately as "the former Jets employee" and not, you know, by her actual name.
Which is odd because Sterger is one of the most popular sex-pots in the history of the interwebs: She's the former Florida State student whose brief appearance in the stands one day during a Seminoles football broadcast spawned one of the great gold rushes in internet history.
She's not just some anonymous "former Jets employee." We're guessing every American man under 40 is familiar with Sterger's every nubile curve. Hell, even crusty old Brent Musberger couldn't help but pick her out of a crowd.
Regardless, just 90 minutes before the Vikings and Jets took the field Monday night, the BrettFavre-Sterger scandal was the lead story on ESPN ... sort of.
Apparently, ESPN will tackle controversial topics like, you know, Boise State's blue field. But when it comes time to rip the cable giant's favorite son, a married man caught in a sex scandal and a case of alleged sexual harassment against a very famous former co-worker, at the same time he's doing his best Ryan Leaf imitation on the field ... well, that's too hot to handle.
Instead of hard-hitting journalism, the kind you expect from the worldwide leader in hype, what ESPN offered the world was the most delicate dance we've seen since Gregory Hines-Mikhail Baryshnikov in "White Nights" back '85.
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Here's how ESPN's Chris Berman described the BrettFavre-Jenn Sterger scandal:
"The NFL has announced that it is investigating allegations of inappropriate behavior by Favre when he was with the Jets towards a former Jets employee."
If it was up to Boomer, they wouldn't dare bring up the story about his friend BrettFavre. Since Boomer had no choice, he convinced himself the "former Jets employee" was head coach Bruce Coslet (1990-1993). Or maybe Boomer's just jealous that he wasn't the recipient of the textual advances.
Hey, BrettFavre's just having fun out there, Boomer.
The coverage of this "story" on ESPN jumped the shark when reporters began to compare the BrettFavre-created scandal to death of the gunslinger's dad.
Said Michelle Tafoya:
"(Ryan) Longwell mentioned something interesting: he compared this (recent Vikings) team meeting to one that happened in December of 2003 before a Monday Night Football game ... and Favre's dad died the night before. Obviously the circumstances very, very different; but Favre was similarly emotional in asking for that team support that he asked for back in 2003."
Longwell is the same kicker who went to Mississippi over the summer to drag BrettFavre back to Minnesota. Now he's building a stage for BrettFavre to climb the wall of adversity and have one more "magical" BrettFavre Monday night.
In any case, yes, Ms. Tafoya, these circumstances are very different. Isn't that right Tom Jackson?
"This is a little bit different from his dad passing away, from his wife being diagnosed with cancer. This is a little bit different."
Wow. We didn't know. When your dad dies unexpectedly, it's not the same thing as when you get caught shooting your johnson to a red-hot much younger lady friend.
NFL Network's Michael Lombardi offered something similar:
"Brett Favre addressed the team earlier today to talk about the allegations; there wasn't a dry eye in the room. Now remember the last time he did that was 2003 on Monday night when he played the Oakland Raiders in Oakland when his father passed away. He went on to have one of his best games of his career."
And with the framework of the drama set by the "pundits," ladies and gentlemen, BrettFavre had the Monday night stage.
Sex sells. So does endless BrettFavre coverage. So, with the "allegations" against Favre leading the way on MNF, you might have been confused had you walked in on your TV to hear any of the following quotes ...
"He isn't afraid to drill it in to double coverage!" – Suzy Kolber
"When it gets hot, it can be magical." – Jon Gruden
"When he got heated up, it was a fun thing to watch!" – Ron Jaworski
"When I threw that touchdown to Randy Moss, I had been thinking about that for eight to 10 years." – BrettFavre
Don't worry folks; Gruden and Jaws once said the same thing about Aladdin heating up the lamp to earn three wishes from the Genie. As for BrettFavre, he's big on fantasies.
ABOUT THAT FOOTBALL GAME ...
When BrettFavre's dad died just before a Monday Night Football game in 2003, he responded with one of the great games of his career.
But just as the death of his father bore no resemblance to the scandal surrounding a guy who shot his wad via text, BrettFavre's performance on the field this time also bore no resemblance to the previous soap operas of his life, including his wife's battle with cancer.
In fact, BrettFavre's dreadful performance was a huge disappointment and letdown to the storyline producers.
BrettFavre in the first half completed 3 of 7 for 31 yards, with two sacks and a fumble. His new teammate Randy Moss hauled in only one reception.
But he magically turned into a kid having fun out there in the second half. A 37-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss with 4 minutes to play in the third quarter was followed by two Percy Harvin touchdown receptions in the fourth quarter allowed BrettFavre the chance for one more MNF miracle.
In true gunslinger fashion, BrettFavre threw an interception to Dwight Lowery for a Jets touchdown. During a game in which BrettFavre threw his 500th touchdown and surpassed 70,000 passing yards, he also padded his all-time fumble record (162) and iced the Vikings comeback with a heroic, sandlot interception.
True gridiron theater!
So BrettFavre has been a disaster on the field, off the field and in his personal life. But some "pundits," gripped with a full-fledged case of Old Yeller Fever, just can't come to grips with the fact that the 1996 model BrettFavre isn't walking through that door.
"OK, so he didn't succeed. Big deal. It's a long season. I don't know if a loss can feel this good, but it should for the Vikings –provided that the Favre who showed up in the second half, the Favre who led the Vikings to touchdowns on three of four drives and the Favre who hooked up with Moss for a crucial touchdown pass is the quarterback we see from here on out." – Clark Judge, CBS Sports
According to Clark Judge, BrettFavre's pick six to close out the game didn't really happen or was a one-time event. Surely, Clark, the real BrettFavre is the one who got hot for a few minutes in the middle of the game, not the one who played like ass for most of the night and again messed up at the end of a big game.
But as we've come to expect, the love of Favre is not limited to one pundit.
"That's the BrettFavre you watch for the last 15 years and you just love it. And that's the guy you just love. You fall in love with him." – Shawn Springs, NFL Network
Apparently, Jenn Sterger never got the memo about falling in love with BrettFavre.
Shawn Springs is the former player-turned pundit we here at Pigskin Detention love. You fall in love with him.
Pigskin Detention is written by Patrick Imig. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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