There is a perception held by many folks in the media that NFL fans are sick and tired of this Brett Favre saga. It’s been played out and rehashed and gnashed about for so many years now that NFL Nation is sick and tired of all this minutia. So the theory goes (and it’s one I’ve subscribed to).
But I wonder if that’s really true?
I’ve purposely stayed away from this topic on the early days of this blog, because, well, I have felt the signs of Brett Favre Overload (BFO, from here on out). You know, the mild buzzing in the ears at the mention of another round of high-school workouts, potential home purchases, the latest battery of medical checks. I have experienced the glazed-over look and glossy eyes after reading the various progress reports. But then it hits me … I still/always keep coming back for more.
Perhaps the fan demand for anything related to this future Hall of Famer – the aw-shucks gunslinger with the John Wayne mystique – is more inelastic than media schlubs like me recognize. Perhaps there is no such thing as true Favre Saturation, because in game where the average career is over an instant, this quarterback has been able to command America’s attention for over a decade, both as a player and a human being, rising to meet some of the more difficult emotional, mental and spiritual challenges possible.
And his sense of timing has always been impeccable.
During the June and July doldrums, when all OTAs are over and there is no football of any sort to obsess over (with all apologies to the CFL), do we secretly crave Favre madness to fill the gap until the news cycle truly revs up again? (Man, I’m starting to feel like Carrie Bradshaw here. Never thought I’d discover a nexus between football and Sex And The City, but I may have just stumbled into it).
Has the Favre watch become a normal part of the NFL calendar as we unconsciously calibrate the various timetables and countdowns until real action starts again, our minds filling the nooks and crannies between February and August by churning over hypothetical depth charts and position battles? Maybe it serves a purpose.
Undoubtedly, anything can get overhyped or watered down to the point where people simply tune out or stop caring (Jumping The Shark, as it were). But I’m not totally convinced that’s the case with Favre. Ultimately, it’s the consumers’ call, so you guys tell me. After ruminating on it for a while, doing a little soul searching, do you find that secretly, on some level, you crave it, if for nothing else than a sports-bar time filler, something to kick around with your boys over some beers at times when NFL news is slow?
Because even now, at a time when pretty much everyone I talk to around the league would be stunned if this guy is not the Minnesota Vikings QB – when it would appear like much of the theatre and suspense has been stripped away – it seems to me to still be part of the fabric of football conversations at a certain level. Even if we are “over it” we also seem to still be “of it.”
Could be I’m missing the plot here. Maybe we are ”of it” simply because of media overload and meatheads like me writing/blogging/pontificating about it to the point where you cannot escape it. Maybe it’s merely a product of a 24/7 news cycle and all encompassing tentacles of the internet, in which case, it depends on where you fall on the chicken-or-the-egg specturm.
But the more I think about it – perhaps too deeply at this point (I’m prone to over think, as you will come to find) – the more I wonder if it fills a void. And when that day finally comes when Mr. Favre truly hangs up the cleats for good and retreats to Mississippi once and for all, we collectively – fans and media alike – might end up contemplating some other football tangents to get us through the lean months without having this staple to fall back on.
Maybe we’ll look back one day and thank Favre for all the retirement angst. Then again, maybe I’m nuts. You guys tell me.
– Jason La Canfora