All Favre, All The Time
Somewhere in Bristol, Conn., Chris Berman is laying in bed unable to control the flow of tears from his eyes down to a newspaper on the floor.
The emotionally spent Berman picks up the paper, re-reading the headline "Favre announces retirement" over and over, and bursts into tears. He does this because Brett Favre, who on Tuesday announced his retirement from the NFL after 17 seasons, is the greatest player of all time.
Didn't you hear? The bullet-proof Favre was able to dodge onrushing defensive linemen well enough to start 275 straight games. He leaves with a Super Bowl title, three MVPs, a record 61,665 passing yards and a record 442 career TDs. He has also produced the most wins of any NFL quarterback ever.
But did you also know this: He single-handedly spurred the growth of the economy during Clinton's presidency in the 1990s; he, not Al Gore, is responsible for the Internet; he got Rush Limbaugh and Jesse Jackson to golf together; he found Jimmy Hoffa's body; he is the real reason Nas and Jay-Z aren't beefing anymore; he helped Joshua fight the battle of Jericho, he helped Daniel get out the lion's den and he helped Gilligan get off the island, lawd have mercy. (thanks Eddie Murphy and yes I know it's the wrong scene).
Favre, folks, is the single greatest human being in the history of the world - if you subscribe to the punditry of ESPN.
Before I continue, I'll inform you that I'm not a hater of the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. I understand that they are quasi-journalists, aspiring to cover sports with the integrity that being a slave to ratings and profits delivers.
But that's no excuse for the sometimes over-the-top worship given to athletes, especially Favre. Me and a few friends joked that ESPN's flagship "Sportscenter" would become "Brettcenter" for the day with its ad nauseum coverage, over-analysis and opinion.
Turns out the joke was on us.
ESPN's morning show "First Take" discussed for four hours Favre almost exclusively. As soon as "First Take" stepped aside, a "Sportscenter" special aired from 1 to 3 p.m. - then "Outside the Lines," "NFL Live," "Jim Rome is Burning," "Around the Horn," "Pardon the Interruption" et al passed the Brett baton before the 60-minute "Sportscenter" told us a final time what we already knew.
When it was all over, the ole' gunslinger quarterback from Mississippi had to his credit nine straight hours of coverage on ESPN.
As Nuggets' guard Allen Iverson so eloquently said: "I mean, we're talking about Brett Favre here. The Brett Favre. What are we talking about here? Favre? Not Dean Smith. Not Dean Smith. Favre? We talking about Brett Favre."
A check of ESPN.com shows 24 Favre-related stories posted on the site in the last 36 hours. Seriously.
Favre was a great quarterback, but people leave out some of the devilish details - like his tendency to single-handedly lose games by throwing sidearm 40-yard passes into triple coverage with his eyes closed. A mistake that was easily excused by the comment, "That's just Brett being Brett."
I get it. Favre has overcome personal tragedy, and he suited up every Sunday, and he helped his team win a lot of games. He was a great quarterback.
See? That's all that needed to be said. And once is plenty.
I know Berman and Tom Jackson are disconsolate.
Relax fellas, you still have Tom Brady.