Maybe I am alone; maybe I am out of touch; maybe I am just missing something. No matter what, I do not think it’s a bad thing.
When I woke up this morning, I made my normal voyage over to ESPN.com. I don’t like ESPN, never have and never will, but I need to make the trip in order to keep the proverbial enemy closer.
And there I see it.A tag-line that seems as foreign to me as Louisiana electoral procedure. A tag-line that I would have hoped would be considered a cold-blooded lie. A tag-line so incomprehensible I was not sure whether to be afraid or laugh.
“Are you on Brett Favre watch? Us, too, so here’s the latest from him:”
ESPN asked me, did not wait for my response, and told me anyway what was going on.
The network told me that he had not gone to camp, yet. That he hadn’t been traded, yet. That he hadn’t sent in his letter of reinstatement, yet.
Basically, ESPN told me that Brett Favre’s situation is exactly the same as it was three hours after he retired.
And people care about this?
I look down the right side of the page to view the other, so-called secondary headlines. These are things that news, nay, status quo reports about Brett Favre trump, apparently.
Gold medal-winning gymnast Paul Hamm withdraws from Olympic games.
Goose Gossage inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Rafael Nadal wins the Rogers Masters to close in on Roger Federer’s top ranking.
And those are just the news reports that interest me.
Champions were crowned in the Arena Football League, Tour de France, and World Cup of beach soccer. An unheralded golfer came back to beat John Cook to win the Senior Open Championship. A feature-length article about a player traded to the Harlem Globetrotters is almost impossible to find.
All of these, each and every one of them, clearly news, and each and every one of them is trumped by nothing.
And I’m supposed to believe that I’m the only person who does not care?
I am jonesing for football season unlike anything else, but this was never what I wanted. I never wanted a 24-hour-a-day media frenzy into each action Brett Favre has taken. Why would I? What am I learning? What do I get out of it?
Yet apparently, this is what everyone wants, at least according to ESPN.
Yes, ESPN thinks everyone wants to know everything Brett Favre, well, hasn’t changed, from the last update. We apparently want to know every team that he hasn’t been traded to, whether it is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Minnesota Vikings, the New York Jets, or whomever. Of course, we also want to know the thoughts of all the players on all of these teams that Brett Favre has not been traded to.
Gene Wojciechowski, never one to shy away from the easy, obvious argument, claims that nothing has happened because Green Bay is in a no-win situation. The Packers don’t want to trade him to an NFC North team or wave him to where he signs with an NFC North team, but they also don’t want to alienate Aaron Rodgers further. They also owe Favre at the very least the ability to play somewhere if he wants to play.
And that’s all fine and dandy.
But we knew that four months ago.
We knew four months ago; we knew in the middle of his retirement speech when he said, “I still can play” and just a minute later reaffirming that with, “I know I can play;” we knew when he threw that interception in overtime against the New York Giants in the NFC Championship that Brett Favre would be back in 2008, even if it was not with the Green Bay Packers.
And yet, somehow, this entire saga in which nothing has happened is news? I don’t get it.
When Brett Favre gets traded, that is news.
When Brett Favre gets waived, that is news.
When Brett Favre is reinstated by commissioner Roger Goodell, that is news.
When Brett Favre reports to training camp, any training camp anywhere, that is news.
But when Brett Favre answers his telephone, when he considers doing something he’s been considering for five months, when he fills out a form that means nothing until sent, that is news? I really just don’t get it.
Maybe I am alone when I think ESPN is being just a tad bit presumptive when it assumes we are all hooked on the Brett Favre watch, stalking his every movement like only ESPN knows how.
Or maybe I am just out of touch.
But I’d like to think that I’m not. I’d like to think that there are some slightly more significant things going on in the world of sports.
I’d like to think Bruce Vaughan’s birdie on the first playoff hole of the Senior Open Championship is a better story. It’s a story that signifies that a career journeyman who never finished better than a tie for 22nd in one year on the PGA Tour, who previously only won two minor-league tournaments in his life, can still compete with and defeat someone who won 11 PGA Tour events in a major championship.
Isn’t that what we want to hear?
There are definitely more riveting, more charismatic and heartwarming stories out there, even if ESPN is too caught up in the nothingness to let you know what is happening.