Tuesday, January 11, 2005

This was going to be a comment on the last post...

However; I think it deserves a post of it's own

How interesting... is this article bashing Favre? Is it bashing our fascination with him? Is it wondering why the football public fawns over small accomplishments by Favre and not huge games by Terrell Owens? Let me let Robert Weintraub in on a secret that he seems to have missed out on. Brett Favre isn't a self absorbed ASSHOLE. That is why people care about him.

I understand that every pro athlete has an ego and has moments where you think "Wow this person is full of themselves". But there is a reason that Favre has maintained an endearing and "forgiving" type of relationship with the media and with the fans. The media isn't "desirous" of promoting a WHITE redneck quarterback and keeping a poor BLACK wide receiver down. Look at the praise that is also heaped on players such as Steve McNair, Donovan McNabb. Hell, its even been proved that you can be involved in a double homicide and still have the media grovel over you as long as you keep your act straight after that. Just look at all the featurettes on Ray Lewis. The simple fact is that people relate to Favre because he does not do things like accuse former teammates of being gay, or showboat after every touchdown. After beating the Carolina Panthers 30-8 in a game where Owens did not have a catch in the second half, Owens commented that "Offensively we didn't play well" (Quotes not mine). How ridiculous is that? When was the last time you heard Favre complain after throwing a single touchdown in a Packers win that "Shucks... we just didn't play well as an offense". What Terrell Owens is saying, is that "I didn't get the ball thrown to me enough" and that is the reason people A) can't relate to him and B) don't particularly care what he has overcome in his life and how he has had to do it.

Getting back to Weintraub's point, people do have a fascination with Favre and it comes from an ability to relate to him. And that relationship has been earned. Not only from being an incredible player for over a decade (you just need to look at his player bio to see that), but also by not mouthing off or showboating excessively. And as far as Weintraub's comments about Ahman Green carrying the team, when Ahman Green wins three consecutive MVPs, I bet you'll see a lot more media attention given to him. The Ravens are still considered Ray Lewis' team even though Ed Reed is about to pick up his first Defensive Player of the Year Award. The simple fact of the matter is that people care more about Brett Favre in his twilight years than they do about Terrell Owens playing the best football of his career.


At 12:27 PM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

I think you're really missing the point on what Weintraub is saying - he's not bashing Favre at all, he's just saying that he's not as great as the media makes him out to be. He has a career QB rating of 87.4, with 376 TDs and 226 INTs. Mark Brunell has a career QB rating of 83.9, with 151 TDs and 92 INTs. Roughly the same, except for duration of career - but I don't see the media choking on Brunell's wang at every chance they get.
At the end of your post you point out that you really understand Weintraub's point - you say that "people do have a fascination with Favre and it comes from an ability to relate to him." But being able to relate to a player does not make him an outstanding player, which is what the announcers do at EVERY game I watch on TV (whether or not the Packers are playing). And the fact is that the NFL MVP is picked by the media, which clearly is not some objective measurement of a player's value (as if something could be done). I think Favre was, in the mid-1990s, a great quarterback. Now, I put him in the top 1/3 of starting QBs and that's it. That's why I love watching the Maddens of the world fall all over themselves trying to think of things to say when he has a bad game. They've spent years building him up, and when he has an average game, as he does most days, they have to explain it. It almost has to make up for their wang-sucking commmentary the rest of the time.

At 1:01 PM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

I do understand Weintraub's point. I understand it perfectly. He is pointing out that Favre manages to maintain a media friendly everyday relatable status regardless of how well he's playing. First off, he's playing very well this year. I would hardly call being ranked 5th in the NFL for passing yards and 4th in the NFL for TDs just being "in the top 1/3 of starting QB's" secondly I would also not call having 2.5 times the number of TDs as Brunell comparable. The reason that you don't see journalists choking Brunell's wang is that he hasn't had 3 MVPs, he hasn't won a Super Bowl, he hasn't had the durability of Favre... should I go on?

MY point is that the favorable media coverage is WELL deserved. Let's not forget that sports is entertainment. We're not just talking about performance on the field (of which Favre has had considerable success... far greater than your example Brunell), we're talking about personalities as well. Wientraub seems critical of the presses ignoring of the hardships that Owen's has had to overcome. I am merely pointing out that no one cares about what Terrell Owens has had to go through. Maybe if Terrell Owens weren't such an ass, people would care. Until then, people are content to relate to stories about the athletes they do care about.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

My point is that there is a difference between being media-friendly and being really an outstanding player. Obviously Favre is a nice guy, although his acting skills are TERRIBLE (see: There's Something About Mary). I think though, that he's a guy who, when surrounded by great talent (as he was in the mid-1990s and this year) has an outstanding year, and when he's surrounded my mediocre talent (as he was in the early 2000s) is merely good. I think his MVPs are largely the result of his team winning the Super Bowl(s) combined with his aw-shucks image. Which isn't a knock on him - he's clearly been very long-lived and his "starts" record is definitely cool. But I would argue that is the ONLY difference between him and Brunell over the span of their careers. They have virtually the same QB rating, and the same TD/INT ratio. Sure, Favre had a great year this year statistically - but he was on a winning team in the NFC, which already skews the statistics in his favor. When I said Favre was in the top 1/3 of quarterbacks, I'm talking about who I would pick if I were a coach looking for a QB. And Favre wouldn't be 4th or 5th on my list - he'd be way further down.
You write "MY point is that the favorable media coverage is WELL deserved. Let's not forget that sports is entertainment. We're not just talking about performance on the field" - but yes we are! If they want to talk about what a nice guy Favre is, that's fine. Just don't talk about him being one of the best quarterbacks of all time.
All that being said, TO is a jackass. He lost me permanently when he started talking about Jeff Garcia's sexuality. But I do find it interesting that I had never heard ANY of that stuff about his dad, which at least would have put his behavior in context (not excusing it, just putting it in context). Maybe they could have mentioned it during the time they were showing us the photo montage of Favre's favorite (Favreite?) steer wheezing its way through its last breaths while Favre courageously shows up to play football despite the problems back on the ranch.
Better yet, they could talk about some player other than Favre, Moss, Manning, Owens, or their ilk. There has to be some more interesting stories out there.

At 2:25 PM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

Are you serious? You state "Just don't talk about him being one of the best quarterbacks of all time." Brett Favre is THE only 3 time NFL MVP. He won a Super Bowl (which kind of defeats the idea that he won his 3 MVPs based on that). He holds the record for consecutive starts by a QB. He is third all time in passing yards (Brunell is not in the top twenty). He is second all time in passing touchdowns (Brunell... once again... absent). I mean I could just cut and paste career highlight from the internet all day. And to compare career quarterback ratings is just absurd. Jerome Bettis has a higher career passer rating than both Favre or Brunell. The players are way more than just statistics. I think that is where Favre shines the most. I don't remember Brunell statistics from the 1996 playoff wins in Buffalo and Denver, but it is that kind of intangible quality that Favre has shown throughout the years.

Your statement about the talent surrounding him in the mid-nineties and today is unsubstantiated and doesn't really give any kind of complete picture of the player anyway. The Packers went through a coaching change during that time as well and he still posted some pretty damn good numbers (I'm sure most GMs would take them).

The criticism of Favre has always been his propensity to force plays which leads to a kind of "cowboy" image and "boneheaded plays". If they workout he looks like a magician, if they don't he looks like, well, a bonehead. I do agree with your statement that if I were a coach looking for a QB that maybe Favre wouldn't be my choice, but that is because there is a plethora of young talent that is on the rise. Favre is in his mid thirties (and considering retirement).

Anyway, once again I do understand Weintraub's point. Brett Favre is given a lot of leeway by the press. The same could have been said about Jordan in his later years (especially with the Wizards). It is just the way it goes.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

There is a commentator on Sports Illustrated's website that has been critical of Ray Lewis in the same fasion. How announcers will gush over his play and how dominant he is, when it is really the rest of the defense that is propping Ray Lewis up.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

Yeah I'm serious! :) I don't think Favre is one of the best of all time. He has great career stats, but mostly because he has started every game for like the 15 years (which, as I said before, I can appreciate as a feat on its own). I could really care less about NFL MVP awards - they are determined by the media, and since my whole point is that they are all over him like Catholic priests on Elton John, I don't think they really count for much. That's like saying the Heisman winner is REALLY the best player in college football. I think Favre is good, but he's no Elway, Marino, or Montana.
Then again, maybe I take that back. Favre never lost to the Jags 62-3 (or whatever it was). ;)

At 3:21 PM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

I can't agree. Favre is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. I think that you would be in the vast minority that would say that. His number will be retired and he'll end up in the Hall of Fame. It's as simple as that. I will grant that he is given a significant amount of leeway in regards to boneheaded plays, but that is only because he also has the ability to make them work out a good majority of the time.

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

That's the sound of you going down on Favre.
Just kidding. :) I think they should retire his number - he's certainly one of the best players the Packers have ever had! As for the Hall of Fame, why not. After all, Dan Fouts is in it.

At 8:56 AM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

Lord now your busting on Fouts? Aren't the Packers one of the NFL's most storied franchises (along with the Steelers, Cowboys and 49ers)? If Favre is one of the best players on one of the best franchises... just who is your definition of one of the best quarterbacks?

At 3:20 PM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

"Most storied" does not equal "best". By "best quarterback" I mean one that I would pick to have on my team, over other good quarterbacks.


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