Wednesday, August 4, 2010
"Mr. Water Cooler"
He's the guy everyone is tired of hearing about around this time of year, but that everyone continues to talk about.
Every off-season since 2006 Brett Favre has managed to manipulate the media and his team's plans for the future with rumors of his retirement. It's almost the equivalent of that high school girl that would spread rumors about herself to remain relevant. Many sports fan grow sick of it. I find it to be genius from a PR standpoint. Here's why...
First off, this isn't some washed up veteran that wants attention and doesn't produce much anymore (cough, cough... Shaq, anyone?). Brett Favre proved with his performance last season that he is still a top NFL QB. He virtually rolled out of bed, practiced for a week in pre-season and picked apart defenses like he was playing Madden '09 on rookie level. He hasn't missed a single start since the fourth game of the 1992 season, after he was traded from the Falcons to the Packers. He hold the career records for most wins by a QB (181), most TDs thrown (497), completions, passing yards, you name it. Granted these stats are accumulated over an 18-year career, but you have to be pretty good at what you do to hold your starting job for that length of time, especially in the NFL where most starting QB's only last less than 10 seasons. The man is damn good at what he does. Period.
A few seasons ago, Green Bay's front office got a little tired of Brett handcuffing the franchise and preventing the progress of Aaron Rodgers, who was drafted in the 1st round in 2005 to replace him once Favre called it quits. Favre refuses to take a backup role and is eventually traded to the Jets. His season in NY was subpar, and again Brett decides to retire due to an injured biceps (and eventually be released from his contract w/ the Jets. Smart man.) Signs with the Vikings in 2009, and my guess it was to stick it to the Packers who wanted no parts of his return to play football. And did he ever. Vikings have a great season, Favre has arguably his best season statistically and all is roses in Minnesota. Until Favre injures his ankle and again says he'll let the Vikings know if he's healthy enough to play. See a trend here?
I'm sure by now you've heard or read the numerous reports of if Favre is playing again or retiring. Whether or not Favre can still play isn't the issue here. What's amazing to me is how much one person can dictact the plans of an entire franchise. It's going as far as Minnesota being prepared to offer him more money to play in 2010 (mind you, he's already under contract for the upcoming season). Do they lack that much confidence in Tavaris Jackson? Are the Vikings that desperate for Brett to come back and start? When has there been talks of a hold out? Correct me if I'm wrong. I'll wait...
Let's call it what it is... As much as he portrays this image of down home Mississippi guy that just wants to play football and ride his tractor in the summer, Brett Favre is an attention whore. He loves being in the media and the spotlight. He relishes being a hot topic and a headliner on your daily local sports pages. And writers, editors, bloggers and fans alike all eat it up because he's proven that he can still play, and just might be deserving of all the attention. You can't be too upset at the man for using the media machine for the purpose it was intended for, to generate interest.
Plus, there's no way this pick in the playoffs can be his last NFL play. See you in Viking purple when the regular season begins, Brett.