"I'm not getting into that ... I've got my hands full with the Jets." -- Brett Favre, in his weekly press conference on Thursday
Hands full? Right. Sure. With the Jets, Brett. Gotcha.
If everything we're reading, hearing, and (unfortunately) watching on Deadspin are true, Brett Favre's hands may need to make room for tabloids, divorce lawyers, and Roger Goodell pretty soon.
At the very least, be prepared for the term "David versus Goliath" to be replaced by "Favre versus Oden." I'm getting it started now. Tell a friend.
While his impromptu "hands full" double entendre regarding his surgeon-like focus on the Jets was just the right gateway for five bad penis jokes, to me the story about Brett Favre's allegedly dogged pursuit of former Jets' employee and internet legend Jenn Sterger via phallic text message and voicemail is the silence -- the lack of stories, if you will.
Indeed, Deadspin's release of the alleged Favre voicemail messages and X-rated pictures sent all of the Favre-fawning media outlets -- ESPN, Peter King, various locals -- scrambling for their kid gloves.
For years, we've seen the media fawn over Brett Favre. Through redneck folksiness, season after season of productivity, and becoming a "made" man with a Super Bowl win, Favre had somehow compelled the media into establishing a different set of rules in evaluating him.
While seemingly every other quarterback's throws into triple coverage were "ill-advised," Favre's were "risky" or "gutsy." What clear thinkers saw as a periodic football bonehead, sycophants like Chris Berman called the "Ol' Gunslinger."
That media love for Favre has been unconditional. Clearly, the silence from major media outlets validates this because you'd be hard pressed to find a more salacious condition to attach to the "athlete-blind media love" dynamic than the one that emerged yesterday.
To be clear, let's look at what Brett Favre reportedly did.
He stalked a female employee of the same company on MySpace, got her phone number from an intermediary (also a company employee), left her voicemail messages encouraging her to meet him in person, and then followed that up with multiple photographs of his penis.
In the real world, that gets you a termination notice, a security-accompanied stroll to the front door, and a restraining order. At the very least.
In the cocoon that Favre has spent two decades constructing around him, these transgressions netted him one mere (and valiant) attempt by New York Post writer Brian Costello to get him to expound upon the allegations, which Favre brushed off far more deftly than his meandering voicemail attempts to rendezvous with Sterger.
Indeed, without the specter of being the fun-loving all-time leader in passing yards, boil it down and Brett Favre is really just some backwoods, twangy clod stalking a chick with big boobs. (I would make a joke about his Pervert Tactical Manual including his clicking "Like" on all of Sterger's Facebook news feed items, but apparently Brett is one of the five people still on MySpace as of 2008.)
Yes, gentlemen...Brett Favre has less game than all of you. And we've got the voicemail messages to prove it.
To be clear, the oafish way in which Brett Favre tries to seduce Sterger is something to laugh at. The pictures of his mini-Brett that he followed up with to Sterger are something that reportedly she and her friends still laugh at. The story that should be covered by those who fancy themselves as some sort of sports conscience is that Brett Favre was engaging in the same type of conduct for which Tiger Woods got blistered for the better part of the last year. On the surface, Tiger was more of a "volume shooter" than Brett, but is it a real stretch to assume that this wasn't the first time Brett's reached into his bag of tricks for someone other than his wife, Deanna?
To draw a comparison for the application of the "Favre Rules" look no further than Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant. A couple weeks ago, Bryant got taken to town by the media for footing a $55,000 tab at a local Dallas steak house for a couple dozen teammates. Peter King of Sports Illustrated tweeted the morning the story came out:
The Bryant tab is disgusting in all ways -- his mates for joyously taking advantage of him, plus blind spending when all of USA is strapped.
Bryant used his own money that he earned to buy an admittedly overpriced dinner for his teammates, and King jumps on his moral high horse. (Never mind the fact that King makes it sound like Bryant set fire to the money as opposed to spending it in a local business that employs several dozen Dallas-Fort Worth area residents.)
As of one o'clock this afternoon, King has tweeted nothing about Favre and his attempts to sex up Jenn Sterger. Apparently, a decadent steak dinner disgusts King far more than first person point-of-view shots of Brett Favre's dong. Who knew?
I'd say that ESPN should be ashamed of its complete lack of coverage of this story, but ESPN ceased being a news organization long ago. If LeBron's Decision this summer proved anything, it was that ESPN is balls deep with the marquee players in the major sports. To give the allegations against Favre any air time or credibility would be to weaken one of the main characters in its weekly NFL saga. (And save the "fear of legal repercussions" in defending the Worldwide Leader -- slap "Deadspin is reporting" on the front of the story. You're covered.)
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So the latest twist in Season 3 of Favre In Charge (my own made-up name for the post-Green Bay drama that Favre has created annually since the Packers told him they no longer required his services) has taken us to a much darker place. That's what "very special episodes" do. They shine a light on topics that seemed off limits before.
Apparently, for some, the topic of Brett Favre, Skeevy Pervert and Possible Philanderer, is still off limits. The silence is deafening.
How does Favre compare to Joe DiMaggio and Bob Feller? You can find out here.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.