If I can be serious about Brett Favre for a moment …
Sorry. I can’t be serious about Brett Favre, not for a nanosecond. Last year he showed up (late) at Vikings camp being driven by the head coach. This year he showed up (late) being driven by the kicker. As ever, the Worldwide Leader in Overkill was tracking his every move, even if his every move couldn’t quite be seen because he was in a moving vehicle with a roof and the cameras were in helicopters.
And I for one am ecstatic beyond reason that Favre will apparently play — I say “apparently” because at this moment he still hasn’t yet stated his intentions publicly, even though a Favre statement of intentions is worthless — again this season. Because I was feeling guilty over my sudden dislike for LeBron James, who up until “The Decision” had done nothing to make me think he was a bad guy, and now my default dislike position has been reset.
LeBron James has been dropped to second on the list. Brett Favre is again the athlete against whom I root the hardest. (Lane Kiffin is the sports figure against whom I root the hardest, but he’s not a player and really not a coach. He’s just a clown.) Being a sports writer and all, I’m really not supposed to root, but Favre has become so objectionable that I grant myself a waiver.
Brett Favre is a handy combination of everything I value least in sports. He’s not as good as advertised, and yet he’s one of the handful of neo-athletes — LeBron, Tiger, T.O. and A-Rod would make up the remainder of the top five — around whom the Worldwide Leader has decided the world indeed revolves. He’s insincere. He can’t abide the thought of the game continuing without Ol’ No. 4 and his Wrangler jeans, and apparently neither can ESPN.
There are times when I think that if Favre didn’t exist, ESPN would have just invented him. Then I correct myself: ESPN did invent him, like Dr. Frankenstein and his henchman Igor conjured up their monster. And every year we get another sequel: “Son of Frankenstein,” in which Favre goes to the Jets and makes his teammates hate him; “House of Frankenstein,” in which Favre takes his talents to Lake Minnetonka and throws the interception that blows the Super Bowl for the Vikes, and now …
“Bride of Frankenstein,” in which placekicker Ryan Longwell drives the honeymoon car and a covey of helicopters serve as the tin cans being dragged behind.
What I want to know: When is Mel Brooks going to give us “Young Frankenstein” as it pertains to the Wranglin’ Man? Because only Mel Brooks — he of “Blazing Saddles” and “The Producers” — could skewer Brett Favre and ESPN in the way those egregious entities deserve to be skewered.