August 19, 2009
Lists are one thing that can be counted on to consistently fire people up, and that's one thing we don't do enough of here on The Corner: make you angry. From time to time, Shutdown Corner will present a list of five NFL-related somethings. Today, my personal favorite quotes from yesterday's Brett Favre press conference, which had about the same amount of credibility as any upcoming press conference for the WWE's SummerSlam.
1. "I'm not gonna lie to ya ..."
Favre used those six words to start his response to an innocuous question about what it felt like to put on a Vikings helmet. It's a small issue, but it doesn't matter: It will forever be hilarious when Brett Favre(notes) uses those six words. If there's anything that this whole experience has proved, it's that yes, Brett Favre will absolutely lie to you. White lies, bold-faced lies, lies of omission ... they're all in the Brett Favre playbook
2. "I think [my return is] great for football. I can't see how you wouldn't think it would be."
Who are you, Kenny Powers? That might be the most egotistical thing any athlete has ever said. "My presence is great for football" is narcissistic enough, but to add on top of it that you can't even fathom how anyone else would feel differently -- particularly in the light of your interception-fest last year and your attention-mongering over the last few months -- is amazing.
That's a level of self-love that most humans can never achieve. Kim Jong-il heard that line and thought, "Geez, that guy might want to tone it down a bit."
3. "I don't know what Brad did, but ... J.D.'s a southern boy, too. Must've talked him into it somehow. I was hopin' I wouldn't have to come offer too much money."
But yes, by all means, Mr. Favre/Powers, who is making $12 million guaranteed for one season; more than Booty might make in his entire career, you should not have to adhere to NFL custom and pay the lesser-known player for his number. You work hard for that Wrangler money.
And frankly, John David Booty, you just don't play like a little kid out there. So Brett Favre is going to take his $10,000 -- which he makes for every 48 seconds of Vikings football, whether he's on the field or not -- and buy some awesome new lawnmower instead. Oh, and he's also probably going to put you out of a job, too. Sorry. Enjoy being a Florida Tusker.
4. "Don't watch."
That is what Brett Favre has to say to the people out there who might have gotten tired of the two-year "I'm retired, no I'm not" soap opera. Back on "Joe Buck Live," Brett Favre seemed to acknowledge the circus and to be slightly apologetic and embarrassed about it, but I guess that's out the window. If you don't like what he's doing, you can simply choose to ignore ESPN, ESPNews and the NFL Network. I think that leaves Lifetime and the Home Shopping Network. Thank you for your advice with my cable package, sir.
5. "If you're true Packer fans, you'd understand."
Ah, the coup de grace ... where Brett Favre has the nerve to stand in front of Packers fans and tell them which of them are "true" fans and which ones are not. I don't know when Brett Favre became the great arbiter of Packer fanhood, but I love the new rule: "If you don't sympathize with me, you are not a Packers fan." That's not arrogant at all.
Everyone struggles sometimes with making decisions. If you're looking for a textbook, though, on how not to handle your inability to make a decision -- especially when it effects so many other people -- Brett Favre just wrote it for you. Now that it's all over and it ended up where we always thought it would, I don't think Brett Favre could have damaged his public image any worse if he had tried.
It's not about whether or not he wants to play football. He certainly has every right to keep playing, as well as every right to not be able to make up his mind about playing. The way he handled it, though, with a shocking lack of grace, honesty, consideration and forthrightness, was, in my opinion, extremely poor.
This whole farce is something that will always be attached to his name, and that's a shame. His career has been too good and too enjoyable to be tarnished by something like this, but there's no avoiding it now. Even if he goes out with another Super Bowl win, the mention of Brett Favre's name will forever have a bit of a "punch line" feel to it.
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