What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Yeah, we’ve all been here before. At least we’ve learned over the last four years how this plays out so that we can all really ignore most of this bluster and get back to what matters most: heaping scorn and derision on the false idol Vikings fans have accepted.
Tuesday brought us Stage 1: The rumors circulate that Favre is retiring. Amazingly enough, this always seems to happen right about the time training camp starts. This invariably leads to ESPN getting into a full lather, covering what will likely be a big non-story as if somebody just shot the President.
Wednesday brought us Stage 2, which is “The Waffle.” This is where Favre says that he will play with some sort of “if” attached. The “if” is usually related to an injury that may or may not have healed.
MANKATO, Minnesota (AP)—Brett Favre might play this season after all, with officials saying the quarterback plans to return for the Minnesota Vikings if his surgically repaired ankle allows it. Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Favre’s agent, Bus Cook, both said Wednesday that the veteran quarterback plans to play if he is healthy. He had surgery on the ankle in May. Bevell has been close friends with Favre since he was his quarterbacks coach with the Green Bay Packers.
“I know it’s a decision that he wrestles with,” Bevell said after Wednesday morning’s practice as Favre was throwing the ball around with high school students in Mississippi. “He’s a great player. He’s a great competitor. He mulls things over. He’s an emotional guy. So he thinks things through long and hard and takes his time with his decision. So I’m not surprised that things started to come out. We just have to wait and see.”
But this isn’t all there is. Whoever gets to give this speech to the media then is required by law to establish their credentials as a member of King Brett I’s “inner circle,” and therefore are officially “in the know” to offer such tidbits for which we are so seemingly hungry.
Bevell said he has spoken to the 40-year-old quarterback recently, but not in the last 24 hours. He said it’s been his understanding that if Favre’s ankle heals well enough, he will return to play for the Vikings this season. “That’s what I’ve been getting all along,” Bevell said.
The problem is that when things don’t come from “inner circle,” the rumor mill hits full stride. Note the following pantload in this AP story, and remember these two sentences were adjacent.
Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe confirmed the report, saying Favre “told a couple guys on our team he’s going to retire.” Shiancoe said Wednesday he still had not heard from Favre directly and declined further comment.
I’m not a formally trained journalist, but I do know that when you are quoting a guy involved in a story, you might want make sure he’s involved in the story.
Then there’s what I like to call “The Twist.” This involves subtly inferring that this might just all be about money.
The two-year contract Favre signed last year calls for him to make $13 million this season and Cook said he has not begun negotiations on any adjustments to the contract. Outside Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Favre told reporters his decision is “not about the money.” He also said he has been in touch with the team and “they know what’s going on with me.”On Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the situation (remember, all information must come from “the inner circle) told The Associated Press that Favre had contacted teammates and team officials to tell them his ankle was not healing and that he wasn’t going to return for a second season in Minnesota.
Of course, for “The Twist” to really get a hold in the rumor mill, it has to be amplified, and NFL.com senior writer Pat Kirwan does just that.
“To me, this is about money. You know, he’s got one year left on his deal, it’s a $13 million unguaranteed contract. I think he’s seen Mr. [Sam] Bradford get $50 million guaranteed [from the Rams], and I think he knows how he plays. I would say if the Vikings get involved with a multi-year deal, and put some money on the table, you’ll see this thing go away.”
“So I’m not expecting him to retire, and I’m going to stick to that. For all the people that claimed he was going to retire, 10, 12, 13 times in his career, they were all wrong. I’ll stick with the idea that he’s going to play this year. I wrote a piece about it. In my mind, he’ll be there about August 23rd, get a couple snaps in the third preseason game and move on. Until you hear Brett Favre stand at a podium and say it, I don’t think you should be paying much attention to what’s going on.”
Frankly, I agree with Kirwan, and I would take it even a step further; I’m not buying it even if King Brett I stands at a podium and puts on another waterworks display. But it is an interesting theory, and this time around, it does beg a few questions. After everything that happened Tuesday, why would King Brett I stand on a practice field Wednesday morning and not say a word to reporters?
Because Favre is walking the most interesting of high-wire acts. At once, he sells “He-man” Wrangler jeans to the kind of weekend “He-Men” that play tackle football in the park on Sundays AND acts like a complete pussy who can’t make a simple fucking decision while somehow keeping anybody’s respect. It is such a precarious balance that if word got out that his antics were all about a few more dollars it might be a cataclysmic public relations disaster.
This, oddly enough, brings us to Stage 3, the public relations disaster. Luckily for Favre, this one hasn’t escaped the blogosphere, because if it became something mainstream journalists could not ignore, Favre might just have to be suspended by the league. Thanks to the good people at Deadspin, we get a view of King Brett I that none of us (except his wife and Jenn Sterger that we know of) have seen.
Here’s another reason Brett Favre should stay retired this time: Turns out The Daily Line’s Jenn Sterger has kept a ridiculously disturbing (but HILARIOUS) secret about her interactions with The Gunslinger while they were both part of the Jets organization.
For those who don’t know (or forget) who Jenn Sterger is: formerly buxom Florida State Cowgirl who gained internet notoriety for being a buxom Florida State fan who parlayed that popularity into a full-time career. She did Maxim shoots. Playboy shoots. She wrote a “Confessions of a Cowgirl” column for Sports Illustrated. Then, in 2008, Ms. Sterger joined the Jets as an in-house sideline reporter. It was during that fateful time that her and Mr. Favre’s paths began to cross. Sort of.
Last winter, close to the Super Bowl, Ms. Sterger and I were discussing a possible collaboration on the proposed “Deadspin Swimsuit Project,” which turned into a conversation about the whole “athlete dong photo” phenomenon. She claimed that she’s been on the receiving end of several of those types of cell phone interactions by drunk men, some of whom were professional athletes. We later had a phone conversation about who some of the more well-known dong-shot senders were. One person, she claimed, who was very into cell phone-donging her was none other than Brett Favre. Now, at one point in his career, this news wouldn’t be too surprising. Favre’s time in Green Bay is littered with stories about his boozing and carousing. But gray-haired Favre? Oh yeah, she said. Sterger said that Favre first began to call her early in the season and leave strange, friendly messages on her voicemail. She played me one of these voicemails over the phone. It was Brett turning on the Mississippi simpleton charm on his way to practice giving Jenn a friendly good ol’ boy hello to a pretty lady. It was odd, but nothing incriminating. Then the phone calls from Brett started to turn weird.
Sterger claimed she spurned Favre’s advances because he was married, but also because she was working for the Jets at the time she didn’t think it was the best idea to start a torrid affair with the team’s highest profile player (the Jets have not responded to a question about any knowledge of the Favre/Sterger saga at this time). Plus, if she went forward with how aggressive he was and how skeeved out she was to some of her superiors, she suspected she might lose her job. The interactions were flirty and strange but she didn’t think there wasn’t anything that made her too uncomfortable. But then, one night, Sterger received a picture on her phone which was so shocking that she just tossed it across the room. It was his dick. Brett Favre’s dick. And it happened multiple times. In fact, Sterger claims that, in one of the photos Favre allegedly sent her, he’s masturbating — while wearing a pair of Crocs. In another photo, Favre is holding his penis while wearing the wristwatch he wore during his first teary-eyed retirement press conference.
But soon after Jenn told me this story, she balked about releasing the photos or voicemails she still had on her computer. They were still on her computer because they were fun to laugh at amongst friends, but she never planned to sell them or use them to bolster her profile. We invited her in into the Gawker Media lair many times to have a nice discussion about what we could do with the photos and how they could be presented and how she wouldn’t look bad in the process if she just had fun with it. Alas, that didn’t happen. When this Favre conversation first took place, Jenn started on Vs.’ “The Daily Line” show so this wasn’t the added publicity she wanted or need at the time. Plus, she really didn’t want her name attached to this whatsoever. And I was told by her to keep my big mouth shut. Here’s her email to me on February 15, 2010:
AND NOT A WORD OF THAT SHIT TO ANYONE.
I like ya AJ… and if there is a way to expose this dude for the creepy douche he is WITHOUT me being attached to it in any way that is fine. I just want to make it clear I never met him, saw him, etc… because I don’t roll that way. That way meaning old.. or married. Some big boobed hoes have morals and souls believe it or not..
I agreed, but still persisted because I’m a dick and it’s an incredibly funny story, but one that didn’t really hold any real weight unless she either gave us the A.) photos B.) voicemails C.) attached her name to it. She was reluctant to do so up until yesterday because I pressed her on it:
“Okay, here’s the deal: I’m very close to running your Favre allegations today. I’ve spoken to the Jets about this. So let me know how you want to proceed, please. I’d prefer you were on the record about this stuff, but I understand if you don’t want to be. However, I do have our email conversations we had and, frankly, that’s enough to get this started. Not trying to dick you over, but, there was no way I was going to sit on it forever, either. So lemme know.”
Her Blackberry was messed up, though. However, she did respond by saying she would (finally) go on the record with her tales of Favre’s creepy cell phone stalking:
I can… as soon as I get this thing back and running.. or you could meet me in person on my way to studio in a few hours.
So I’m gonna say she’s settled on C. There’s no turning back now. But who knows? Jenn and I never connected yesterday, either in person or on the phone. Maybe those photos will surface at this point since I assume many people would like to hear her side of this story, given it’s a helluva lot more interesting than any retirement rope-a-dopes.
And there’s no real evidence that Favre’s been horndoggin’ it throughout the latter part of his NFL career. Maybe he was just lonely while he spent time in New York and sought some companionship with Sterger who, if you hadn’t noticed, does resemble his wife, Deanna. One thing that is notable is this: it turns out that Brett watched last year’s Super Bowl at home in Mississippi. He didn’t watch it alone, however. According to one source, he watched the Saints miraculously defeat the Colts in the company of one special guest: Tiger Woods. I wonder what those guys talked about?
Stay Tuned, sports fans, you know this one isn’t over. Besides, some of you sick fucks just want to know what Favres’ wiener looks like.