Anyone who knows anything about the NFL will tell you for all intents and purposes, pre-season football is crap. If you like to watch a handful of veterans and a lot of rookies and free agents bang into each other to win a spot on your favorite football team, it’s great. Otherwise, it’s unwatchable.
Which doesn’t mean there still can’t be a few moments of fleeting satisfaction mixed in.
Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings came to town to play the San Francisco 49ers. Nothing particularly special about it. The vets on both teams would play a quarter or two, but mostly the game was just another try out for a lot of guys who will be going back home in a few weeks having failed to be among the last cuts to make the team.
However, this was also the first game since Brett Favre ended his annual “am I coming back or not?” ritual. NBC was in full “let’s swing on Brett’s nuts” mode. They talked about Brett before the game. They talked about Brett during the game. They interviewed Brett during halftime. They interviewed Brett again during the third quarter while he was standing on the sidelines.
They were then bringing Tony Dungy into the booth to (guess what?) ask him about Brett Favre. Dungy was to be followed by Rodney Harrison whom I presume would also be asked what he thought about Brett Favre’s nuts. Were they smooth to the touch or rough and stubbly like Brett’s perpetually stubbled face?
Having had quite enough, I had muted the sound long ago. A man can only take so much slurping and sucking before he must say “ENOUGH ALREADY!”
So if the pre-season Favre worship was intolerable and the game itself meaningless, why am I even mentioning it?
Because even if a game that doesn’t count, means nothing and has real importance, it’s still great to watch the NFL’s version of Touchdown Jesus get his dick knocked in the dirt.
The moment of sweetness came during the third of the only four snaps Favre was scheduled to take that night. He stepped back and two 49er linebackers, Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes blitzed up the middle and slammed into the grizzled graybeard like two 18-wheelers squashing a terrified deer.
BOOM! Down goes Favre! Sacked for a 10-yard loss. Punt on the next down. Good night and thanks for showing up. Now drag yo’ tired old ass back to the sidelines to watch the rest of the game with a ball cap on. Welcome back from the rocking chair, grandpa.
Last season Favre built upon his legend with a last-second touchdown pass to beat the Niners. Willis hadn’t forgotten how badly that loss stung and used his brief time on the field to personally deliver that message .
Willis may be the best young linebacker in the league. The 49ers are paying him like he is and learning from a Hall of Famer in Coach Mike Singletary can only enhance his chances of joining his coach and Favre in Canton one day.
There’s no revenge in the pre-season. The 49ers are favored to win their division. The Vikings are favored to make the Super Bowl. Those are two entirely different expectations.
Willis and the 49ers would love a chance to square things with Favre during a game that matters. The two teams don’t play during the regular season so the only way that can happen is in the playoffs. It remains to see if Favre wants any part of that kind of action.
Is this petty on my part? Should I not take so much satisfaction from something that means so little. Does it make me a hater? Fine by me. Sometimes I’m just an evil Black man. What can I say? It may be a superficial thrill but I get one every time I see the holy hell get beat out of the most overrated and overpraised athlete ever to step on any playing field of any type .
If that seems a bit exaggerated, so is the legend of Brett Favre, the Football Messiah. A little dose of humility dealt out to him every so often is a good thing.
It feels good too.
It must be opening week for training camps in the NFL. We’re already starting The Annual “Will He or Won’t He Be Back” Brett Favre BULLSHIT.
This guy is the biggest fucking drama queen to ever strap on a jock. Retire? Where did this story come from? An anonymous source? So it’s not like he’s filed retirement papers with the NFL? Right? And it’s not as if he’s called his coach/chauffeur and told him, “I’m done.” He hasn’t scheduled a TWO-hour program on ESPN where he will tell a breathless Jim Gray if he’s going to “bring his talents” back to the Vikings or sit his grizzled ass in a rocking chair and count his millions.
Call me when any of that happens. But until then? Why does anybody fall for this crap? Every year he pulls this crap and every year ESPN and the rest of the sports media comes back for more like a dog returning to its own vomit.
This act was played out the first two or three this Mississippi moron pulled it. We’ve seen it all before from Favre, the master manipulator. This time I really mean it. I’m not coming back. Really serious this time. Yep. Done made up my mind. No way, Jose. I’m done. Finished. Finito. Close the door. Turn the page.
This is Hall of Fame induction week in Canton, Ohio. Jerry Rice, the greatest wide receiver in the game and probably the last San Francisco 49er eligible to be inducted, is going in this week along with Emmitt Smith and five others. Favre’s piggish craving for the camera is stealing the attention away from the players who deserve it. But that’s what he does. That’s what he always does when the sports world isn’t slurping his stubby little pee-pee.
I am just so tired of Favre. I’m tired of his commercials. I’m tired of him being such a publicity slut. I’m tired of his good ol’ boy persona and ‘all for one, and all for me”
But most of all I’m tired of the way ESPN and the media line up to kiss his overrated ass.
Brett Favre, the old gunslinger? More like Bitch Favre, the attention whore.
As storylines go, the Favre fairy tale has been great for the NFL as his iconic stature elevates him far above any other player. He holds enough records to swagger right into the Hall of Fame as soon as he’s eligible. IF he ever retires.
The problem is the ending Favre seems to have envisioned for himself: Another Super Bowl victory with him being raised upon the shoulders of his teammates in triumph and his legacy as the greatest quarterback ever to play in the game established beyond doubt keeps getting interrupted by his own awful playoff performances.
Whether or not he comes back again, can we finally face the undisputed truth that Brett Favre is the most overrated and overhyped professional athlete in the history of sports? When the game is biggest, Favre plays small. When it matters most, Favre saves his worst for last.
You can’t take away from Favre the great regular season he had in a Vikings uniform. After one lousy year with the New York Jets, Favre unretired and rebounded in fine style throwing 33 touchdowns against only seven interceptions during the regular season.
Which is great if you had Favre in your fantasy football pool. After slicing and dicing the Dallas Cowgirls for four TDs in the second round of the playoffs, Roger Goodell was fantasizing of a Favre vs. Manning match-up pitting the Jedi Master against the younger upstart making a strong bid to prove he, not Favre, is the One. Alas, this scenario was vaporized by Favre’s reckless ramblin’ gamblin’ ways. This all has to look very familiar to jilted Packer fans.
Favre’s shabby 3-8 playoff record over the last decade what makes Favre only a very good quarterback instead of one of the all time greatest.
Favre’s last three playoff games have all ended exactly the same way: Eagles: interception. Giants: interception. Saints: interception. See a trend here? His only Super Bowl win came 13 years ago. You would think someone so great wouldn’t take so long to get another one.
Already the apologists are blaming Vikings coach Brad Childress for a 12-men on the field penalty following a time-out and superstar running back Adrian Peterson fumbling on the 4-yard line in the first quarter. Both were dumb mistakes, but Favre’s was the killer.
Any kid who hopes to play on Sundays for big cash, learns early never to throw the ball across your body and late over the middle. Not in pee-wee football. Not in high school. Not in college. Not in the NFL. Not ever.
Yet there’s Favre, almost two decades in the league with the same piss-poor mechanics and throwing some of the worst interceptions ever seen at critical moments.
Favre is good enough to get a team close enough to see the mountaintop, but not good enough to actually scale it.
In 2008, ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio was one of the rare sportswriters to say the emperor wore no clothes and blasted holes in the myth of Favre as football messiah saying, “…no matter how many dumb passes he threw and how many playoff games he lost, Favre remains immune to criticism.”
Indeed, a decade after his last moments of glory, the football hype machine continues to paint Favre as a hallowed icon of Americana, a symbol of all that is right with sports, a Wild West gun-slinging good ol’ boy. There’s Brett on the farm! There’s Brett with his family! There’s Brett on the cover of Sports Illustrated! There’s Brett throwing another overtime interception!
Favre was among the best in the game, once upon a time. Those days are long gone. Only the idolatry remains.
There’s no buyer’s remorse by the Vikings on the decision to sign Favre. It was the smart move. He made them interesting and except for one brain-dead throw, stood on the verge of taking the team all the way to the Super Bowl.
It was a great run. A compelling storyline. Favre was getting beaten up by the Saints pass rush. He dragged himself off the field and dragged himself back on the field limping and grimacing in pain. Gritty Brett will not let his team down. Hollywood couldn’t have written a better, if somewhat corny, script.
But Brett screwed the pooch and blew it all. That’s Brett being Brett. That’s what he does.
The other day I saw the urologist and he checked my prostate. Two days later, Brett “Satan” Favre stuck it to my San Francisco 49ers. Guess which one hurt more?
You have to handle it to Favre (really, you have to because he’s going to take it anyway) he can flat out stink or just look like an average quarterback for 59 minutes and 59 seconds, and in the last second he’ll find a way to rip out your heart, show it to you, stomp on it and spit in the hole.
Any coach will tell you there’s no such thing as “a good loss,” but this is going to be a really tough week to get through because ESPN will be sucking off Favre non-stop. All things considered when the 49ers lost to the Vikings 27-24 on Favre (lucky? good) last second pass to WR Greg Lewis, the initial crushing disappointment was swiftly replaced by a sense of accomplishment and the budding of potential.
Winning any game in the NFL is tough (unless the Cleveland Browns are on the schedule) and it’s even tougher to win on the road. The 49ers lost their best player (running back Frank Gore) on their first play. After rushing for over 200 yards and two touchdowns the previous week, Gore left on a cart with a high ankle sprain and didn’t return. He’s out for at least two weeks and possibly more.
The Vikings probably weren’t stupid enough to think it would be easy, but they knew the Niners were missing the biggest weapon in their arsenal. They probably relaxed just a little bit. The Niners are a team that pounds the ball on the ground. Their passing game is more of a rumor than a fact.
Since nobody is going to ease up or feel sorry for you in the NFL because of injuries, there’s no point in feeling sorry for yourself either. The Niners held Adrian Peterson, only the NFL’s best running back, to 85 yards and no touchdowns. Vernon Davis scored two touchdowns and finally looks like he might become the great tight end the 49ers thought he was when they drafted him. The defense sacked Favre twice and intercepted him once. The special teams gave up a kickoff return, but blocked a field goal and took it back for a score.
Then Favre parted the waters, pulled a rabbit out of his helmet and walked away with a 3-0 record. Now he’ll wait for the Green Bay Packers next Monday night and for legions of sportswriters to slip on their knee pads and Chap-Stick.
After the game, 49ers coach Mike Singletary made clear he wasn’t upset with his team’s effort. “I don’t want to see you looking at the floor! You didn’t steal nothing! You didn’t do anything wrong! We will see them again! In the playoffs! Hold your heads up! Don’t you look down at the floor for nobody! You have nothing to be looking down at the floor about! Pick your heads up, put your shoulders back and let’s rock!”
As Jim Mora would say, “Playoffs?” A 49ers coach is talking playoffs for a team that hasn’t even played .500 ball in seven years or sniffed the post-season?
Damn right he is. As a long-suffering fan, I’d be happy just to see the Niners finish a season with more wins than losses. Making the playoffs would be like me finding Halle Berry and Monica Bellucci oiled up and glistening up the tree on Xmas morning. Singletary already knows his team is green as grass, but he has a nice blend of kids and greybeards to put them in the hunt.
There are some guys who can make you believe that by the sheer force of their personality and confidence they can take bologna and make it taste like prime rib. When Singletary’s coaching days are over he can stroll right into his next career as a motivational speaker. Like President Obama, he makes you believe in possibilities when the realities say you shouldn’t.
Will the Niners see the Vikings again in the playoffs? Yes. Definitely. But Singletary left himself some wiggle room. He never said it would be this season.
The 49ers aren’t a very talented team. They don’t have much of a pass rush. Their wide receivers are either too young and inexperienced or too old and running on fumes. The offense line plays okay one game and like dog crap the next. Their starting quarterback, Shaun Hill, is only a few seasons removed from formerly being the third-stringer for the Vikings. Without Gore and All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis on defense, the Niners are far from an elite team.
The Niners will lose more games before the season ends especially when they give a grizzled old gunslinger like Favre a last shot. Still, with the incredibly intense Singletary and his laser-like focus running the show, I never expect them to loaf on the field or give less than maximum effort in every game. Other teams have far more talent. Nobody else has an old school coach who despises players who don’t respect their own ability or the game they play.
I do believe. Not that the 49ers will make it to the playoffs, but that there’s the chance they might. They finally have the leadership on the field and sidelines that can take them there (the less said about the front office, the better). A chance isn’t much to hang on to, but it’s been a long time since there was even that much.
Which is yet another reason I don’t care if Michael Crabtree ever suits up in those pretty crimson and gold uniforms.
Brett Favre retired from the National Football League.
What? AGAIN? Haven’t we seen this movie before?
Nothing would make me happier as a football fan than to get rid of Favre and the cult of sportswriters, broadcasters and slaves that worship at his feet.
I don’t think this publicity seeking whore is done yet. Sometime next season a quarterback will go down and immediately the speculation will start. Will Favre come back? Let’s put it this way. If the Cincinnatti Bengals have an opening for a signal caller, hell no, Favre won’t go. But if it’s one of the NFL “glamour” franchises like the Dallas Choking Dogs with a job opening we will see Number 4’s tired ass back in the league.
When Brett the Holy One hung it up last time it was a big deal. This time the response was, “big deal.”
I know some people are hanging on every detail about Alex Rodriguez using steroids, Chris Brown pimp slapping Rihanna before the Grammys, Michael Phelps losing sponsors due to his fondness for sparking up and hitting a big-ass bong or that crazy octo-mom Nadia Suleman and her 14 kids, BUT I DON’T CARE!
Last week the hot story was whether or not Christian Bale needed anger management treatment after threatening to go postal over some crew member who distracted him on the set of Terminator: Salvation. Oh wait. Bale apologized. Okay. Let’s go to You Tube and watch Joaquin Phoenix’s incohrent mumblings on The David Letterman Show.
Or let’s not and say we did. Well, what about Salma Hayek whipping on one of her milk jugs and popping it into the mouth of a baby in Africa who’s mama ran dry? That should be good for a totally gratitutious boob shot .
Or better yet. Look at Jessica Simpson. Hey, she got fat! God, how hard up are we for entertainment?
Simpson put on some weight. Stop the presses! Throw a picture up there. Okay, so she’s a little thicker, but nobody would confuse her with Queen “I am not a lesbian” Latifah. Some more curves, but she’s wearing mom jeans and still ain’t got no butt to fill in those pants.
Brett Favre is the Jessica Simpson of pro football. A bit more talented, but ever bit as irrelevant.
Favre retiring was a major news story the first time he tried it last year. ESPN treated it like it was the announcement of a new pope. Even non-sports media picked up the story and mused over how soon the overrated QB would walk into the Hall of Fame. Favre was celebrated as the greatest quarterback ever and he milked it for all it was worth. Never mind the fact that after 14 seasons he’d only won ONE Super Bowl.
Favre isn’t the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL. He’s the greatest egomaniac in the history of the NFL. The way people like Sports Illustrated’s Peter King and NBC’s John Madden talked about Favre, you could almost see the child-like wonder in their eyes and the worship in their voice.
The mindless adulation of Favre was all out of proportion to his accomplishments on the field. Sportswriters are no different than the fans. They’re predominantly White men writing about sports that are dominated by Black men. It’s a lot easier for a middle-aged guy to relate to a talented, but overrated QB from Mississippi than a tattooed brother from L.A. sporting dreads and dancing like a maniac in the end zone.
When Simpson failed as a pop singer, she made a career change and came back as a country singer. I doubt real country fans are buying into her change up, but what else is she going to do? Start rapping?
Same thing with Favre. He went as far as he could go with the Green Bay Packers and even they were getting tired of his penchant for throwing brain-dead interceptions at critical moments. Favre looked around and saw a Packers team on the down stroke, so he when the team rightly refused his selfish demands to trade him to a competing team in their own division, they shipped him out to the Jets.
As it turns out, the Jets cleared the deck for Favre bycutting starting QB Chad Pennington who signed with the Miami Dolphins. The Jets came out hot, faded in the middle and flopped at the end missing the playoffs entirely. Meanwhile, Pennington led the Dolphins into the playoffs and won Comeback Player of the Year. Is that the sound of poetic justice?
So let Favre retire. He’ll be back. Just like when Simpson will after she drops 20 pounds. She’ll be all over the celebrity mags boasting of how she lost the flab and you can too (provided you can afford a exclusive trainer to work you out).
Meanwhile I’m bored with this week’s celebrity news. What’s up next? Madonna or Amy Winehouse fighting over who’s going to steal Favre from his wife?
So many clowns. So few circuses.