Thursday, July 31, 2008

Not everything needs to be news

I'm so utterly tired of one of the best football players of all time right now.

Brett Favre has created a hurricane of interest in the past few months, and the eye is now settled directly on Wisconsin. I think ESPN is running a news update every time Favre sneezes or goes to the bathroom (I think John Clayton is on that beat for the World-Wide Leader). He has single-handedly stolen all of the attention away from every other team in the NFL, which is almost unfathomable.

I'm just tired of it. I'm tired of the hyper-analysis of every move in this chess game, I don't care about every single detail, and I hate that it can hijack sports news coverage so easily. I hate that there's an almost-constant "FAVRE" ticker on ESPN. I hate that I'm writing this column.

With all due respect to all the incredibly talented athletes out there, please, please, please take your contract squabbles out of the media's eye. I just don't care anymore, and I'm sure even the most hardened NFL junkies are starting to get soured. If the people around Favre hadn't started squawking to the press, if Favre himself had come out and said "I'm going to go negotiate with the team and we'll talk when I'm done," if the agents hadn't whipped everyone into a frenzy, I'd have much more sympathy of the plight of the ancient quarterback.

As it stands, this is a black mark on his legacy and a sad way to keep a fanbase chasing its tail.

It isn't just the NFL that is falling prey to this. European soccer is rife with players going to the press and trying to work their way out of deals and hogging the sports pages. Manny Ramirez just earned about two weeks worth of press coverage leading up to his deadline-day trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It's ridiculous.

I'm all for the freedom of player movement and in now way would I ever advocate to a return of the pre-free agency days, but come on, have some respect for your teams. I'd have more sympathy for Favre if he had kept the talk in the board rooms and between himself, his agent and the Green Bay Packers. As it is, it just stinks of attention grabbing, with the dogs baying for blood up in Bristol, CT.

I can't wait for real, meaningful football news to get started.


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