Friday, August 21, 2009

The Wolf Who Cried Favre

By now, unless you've been in a coma for most of the week, or in the NY Jets' front office, you know Brett "The Human Boomerang" Favre is taking it to the turf for the Vikings of Minnesota this season (and maybe next season as well if his telenovella "Dime cuánto me quieres con el dinero" is renewed). I know, color me surprised. My brother Adam, who is amazingly even-tempered and slow to anger (considering both the gene pool and examples of all of his older siblings) had some wonderfully caustic observations on the Mississippi Barn Boy you should check out, here. Go ahead, it's not like I have anything important I'm doing, I can wait.

I grew up a NY Jets fan-no amount of medication or surgery can do anything about that, it seems. Four out of five doctors recommend changing out the fifth doctor and learning to live with the quiet greyness of despair that the green and white carry with them all season long, every season. For those who've had trouble believing it's been forty years since we walked on the moon or danced, covered in mud, on a farm in upstate New York (or was that vice versa?), it's also been forty years since the Jets won their only Super Bowl appearance (I believe of all the NFL teams who've been to the Super Bowl, only the Jets have a PERFECT winning percentage).

Last season when the Jets' press folks rolled out a new red carpet (because they'd worn out all the old ones for the battalions of can't-miss guys they were bringing to play in the Meadowlands) and Brett stepped off on it, I didn't even blink. When he, and with him, the team's playoff chances, went south as the fall winds circled and grew colder, it was just more business as usual. He retired at the end of the season but I don't think anyone believed it and I don't think he expected anyone to.

Perhaps he's working his way through every team in the NFL--I'll bet Al Davis is pinching himself at that thought-finally a player older than he is--though I think Brett's got a little Sally Field in him. He's certainly got a little something in him. I was impressed the other day at the latest return press conference at how he has moist eyes on command with an oh-so-slight catch in his voice. The only thing missing was a "It's not you, it's me" speech as part of the make up to break-up patter, but that will come with time, I'm sure.

I'm thinking maybe Deanna, his wife, puts up with him puttering around the barn for a certain amount of time after football season and, when he doesn't make 'honey, I'm packing for camp' noises, she has a word, or two, with him. And then he does that Bobby Vee impersonation he's elevated to an art form. My moment of Zen at Tuesday's press conference came, realizing that with digital video production as it is these days, there's no need for any more real press conferences. Let's face it, the questions never change and neither do the answers. Just the backdrop, team logo and the kind of doughnuts served to the press corps who wait for the always-late guest. The Vikings' press conference looked like the Jets' press conference which looked like the "Farewell Forever (or the better part of an hour, whichever comes first) Lambeau Field" press conference, and we already know how much news NONE of them contained.

With apologies to Monty Python, 'we'll take the foreplay as read' and leave it at that. The boys and girls from our "Brett's Back 'N' Better!" merchandising division will hit the streets, starting tomorrow, in the twenty-nine other NFL cities where he has yet to play to make sure we get those jersey colors, number and name spelled correctly (Remember: home and away jerseys, ka-ching!). Get the Gillette razor folks on the horn-Tiger is so last week! That three day stubble ain't gonna shave itself now, is it? And tell Wrangler Jeans to get ready to cowboy up. Hall of Famer endorsements cost money, and lots of it.
-bill kenny

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