Tournament of Hearts

by Ryan

Sometime today Brett Favre will strap on the pads wherever the Packers have training camp. I’m not sure where they have training camp, but that’s mostly because I don’t give a crap.

I may be the only one, however. SportsCenter is going to have a special at camp watching for the moment he touches down on the “playground soil” he will “frolic like a kid” on for the next few weeks.

Every single day from that point on, we will receive updates on his every drill, every snap, and every water break. From 7 on 7s to the running drills that will make him look like a gunslinger to the wind sprints where he will be “just having fun out there”. Sometime during the day, he will throw on a pair of jeans and launch footballs over a river. Peter King will orgasm, and Mel Kiper will mock draft their lovechild to go in the first round twenty years from now.

If you are not laughing, I’m glad you understand how serious the above is. If you were at all tired of the Brett Favre Saga at this point, you better stop watching television for the next year or so. Not to scare anyone, but it’s about to get all crazy up in here.

I’ve had some time to think it over, and I’ve come to this: somehow, in some sick twisted way, we want this.

Sure, ESPN has screwed the pooch on a lot of things. Titletown, Who’s Now, Arena Football, Rick Reily, Schrutebag, The Budwieser Hot Seat, Ultimate Highlight, Barbaro, Rush Limbaugh, ESPN Mobile, Woody Paige, Skip Bayless, the entire concept of First and Ten, and the WNBA to name fourteen. However, all of these tragic events have one thing in common: they think we want this.

Think of it this way: ESPN is a business, and every decision they make is based on the idea that they will profit off it. Even stupid things like “Who’s Now” are built with profit in mind. It may sound crazy, but they think the average sports fan wants to watch crap like that.

And maybe they do. If there is anything I know about myself, it is that I am not an average sports fan. Maybe there really are millions of people out there that are dying to know what Lo from Laguna Beach thinks about the ’04 USC football team, or who want Chris Berman to make up nicknames for players based on popular waffle houses. However, I don’t fall into that category, and everyone I know would straight up murder Berman if he made that “WHAP” noise more than six times in person.

However stupid and irritating those things are, somehow they make money for the network. The proof is the fact that there are more of them, and that Norby still has a job. This makes me think that maybe we, the ones who complain about ESPN, are the wrong ones. The coverage of Brett Favre may be the perfect example of this.

For starters, there are people interested in this. Favre is very popular, and a major NFL star coming out of retirement is a big deal. Next are the Packers fans, of which there are a lot of them across the country. Perhaps the green and yellow color palette is alluring, or maybe a Super Bowl does that for you. Whatever.

Beyond that, what good is it to pull Linda Coen from the X Games to sit in a field somewhere and wait for Favre to toss his sweat bands at her? Are casual NFL fans that interested in what is going on? To a certain extent yes, but here is the real audience: The people who hate Brett Favre.

Yes, those of us who are sick of the act, sick of the fanfare. Deep down, we want to know what happens. The fact of the matter is that we are sports fans, and just because we hate all the accolades Favre gets for looking like he enjoys the game of football, we want to know what happens next.

Perhaps it is for fantasy value, or maybe you just because you want to know where to direct your hate. No matter, you want to know about Brett Favre, and just because you don’t catch the SportsCenter special doesn’t mean you won’t catch a recap later. There is a level of schadenfreude involved in this whole thing that, even if you can’t stand the whole process, you can’t turn away. Even if you just give it a passing glance, you are giving in.

It sucks to know they have you, doesn’t it?

One Comment

  1. Jonathan Grant Keller

    Since when did Braden Looper getting off a plane become news?