When word starting circulating on Tuesday that NFL quarterback Brett Favre was on an airplane heading from Mississippi to Minnesota, there was a collective groan from sports writers across these fruited plains.
“I knew he was coming back.”
“That guy loves the drama.”
“He always waits until training camp is wrapping up so he doesn’t have to put in the work.”
“I hate his Wrangler commercials.”
Fine, I might have made up the last one, but I read just about everything else between columns, blogs and tweets on Tuesday. Though nearly each and every one of those writers would instantaneously agree that the Minnesota Vikings are a significantly better team with Favre playing quarterback, you get the feeling that those covering sports would just as soon see him go away and silently ride his tractor around his property.
I honestly don’t get it. Well, no, I understand their frustration with his annual “will he or won’t he” act, as I get more than a little tired of it, as well. But the rancor they show toward him is completely disproportionate to his “crime.”
Is Favre being accused of spousal abuse? Dog fighting? Dealing drugs? Attacking a coach? Homicide? Ripping the tag off a mattress?
No, his problem is he is undecided every year as to whether or not he’s going to come back and play football again.
A few weeks ago, a story was making the rounds that Favre was going to pack it in this time, as his surgically-repaired ankle was not responding the way he would have liked it to. The story took off after he allegedly sent text messages to a few of his teammates telling them that he didn’t think he’d be able to play anymore.
As I was driving to lunch and listening to the Sirius NFL station, host Adam Schein was going off on Favre. His complaint was that Favre was being a drama queen again, and he was being sneaky by sending text messages to teammates as opposed to holding a press conference to announce his intentions. Callers were arguing vehemently with Schein that Favre wasn’t doing anything wrong, but Schein continued on the path that Favre was being egomaniacal and selfish.
Actually, I couldn’t disagree with him more. The media has destroyed LeBron James for the way he handled his intentions to go to the Miami Heat. James, if you remember, held a ridiculous hour-long special on ESPN to announce he was “taking my talents to South Beach.” He never told the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers he was leaving. He never gave his teammates a heads-up. It was all about Lebron.
And Schein was mad that Favre thought about his teammates before he took into consideration the feelings of sportswriters. I love Schein — listen to his show every day during lunch, and I believe he’s as good as it gets on sports talk radio. But it was Schein being self-serving and selfish on this occassion. Not Favre. I mean, what did Schein want? Favre to call in live on his show, wait through a commercial break to build suspense and softly whisper his intentions into Schein’s ear so he could be the one to tell the world that Favre was going to ...
But I digress.
Give me Favre and his indecision over the millionaire athlete that decides to go drunk driving over calling a cab, or the one who tosses his girlfriend down a flight of steps, as the NBA’s Lance Stephenson allegedly did this week. I’d rather he struggle with making a decision than making a conscious decision to be a horse’s Schein.