Friday, November 30, 2007

Sports Media Bias: Brett Favre

We have all heard of the liberal Media bias displayed by most Media sources. But there is a Media bias far more glaring and obvious than anything the Media does related to politics. That bias is towards Brett Favre.

If you took Cal Ripken's durability and work ethic and combined it with John Kruk's wit and love of the game, and put it into a football player, you would have Brett Favre, who is without question one of the great quarterbacks playing, as well as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.

But the media treatment of Favre would lead you to think he transcends the game itself. Last night's Cowboys-Packers game was a disgusting example of Favre bias on full display.

Favre got injured in the second quarter. Mind you, the game was still being played, but you might not know it from the coverage. While Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collinsworth were droning on about Favre's injury, we got to see repeated replays of the play where Favre got hurt. While Aaron Rodgers led the Packers on a touchdown drive at the end of the second quarter (something Favre had not accomplished while he was in there, and I don't count Ryan Grant's 62 yard touchdown run as Favre's accomplishment), you would think Islamic terrorists had flown an airplane into Brett Favre's arm based on the amount of coverage it was getting.

But it was clear from the replay that Favre hit his arm on a defender's helmet as he was trying to throw. Worst case scenario was that Favre broke his arm, but it didn't even look that serious from the replay. Considering Favre is hoping to play next week, it is safe to say it is a minor injury.

The halftime show was even worse. At one point, Rich Eisen nailed the bias when he called the score of the game "secondary" to Favre's injury. I might buy that if Favre had broken his neck, or sustained some other life-threatening injury. But was it really necessary to have the camera on the locker room door when the Packers came out for the second half, with the constant "we don't see Favre coming out with the team" comments?

Just when you think the "Favre love-in" cannot get any worse, the third quarter started. Or did it? Forget the game! Forget replays of the action on the field! Favre is leaving the locker room! Favre is returning to the field!

Thank God the Packers announced Favre would not be returning to the game. Otherwise, Gumbel and Collinsworth might have spent the entire second half wondering if Favre would be returning. As it was, we got treated to plenty of camera shots of Favre standing on the sidelines in the second half, as if just the mere presence of Favre on the sidelines added to the game somehow.

While the announcers were busy gushing over Brett Favre, his replacement was actually having a better game than Favre. The final stat line for both:
Brett Favre: 5/14, 56 passing yards, 2 interceptions
Aaron Rodgers: 18/26, 201 passing yards, 1 td, 5 rush attempts, 30 rushing yards

During the second half, Bryant Gumbel noted how there would be "no quarterback controversy in Green Bay". Probably because the Media would skewer Green Bay's management if they even hinted at benching Favre.

Don't get me wrong. I am NOT saying the Packers should bench Favre. But the Media will not even consider the possibility, which is a dereliction of the Media's duty. When a public figure is not performing as well as they should, the Media has a responsibility to question whether that public figure is worthy of their position. For the Media to place a public figure above scrutiny is the definition of bias.

Any politician would kill to get the kind of Media bias that Brett Favre enjoys. The drinking problems from early in his career? Forgotten. The fact he has thrown more interceptions than any other quarterback in the history of the NFL? No biggie.

If it wasn't for the Media genuflecting before Favre at every oppurtunity, I might enjoy watching the end of Favre's career. As it is, I will be glad when he retires.


William R. Barker said...


Who is this Brett Favre guy?


Ball busting aside, I know this sports stuff has a central place in your life and I respect that. Me... not so much. Which brings me to a question, or perhaps simply just a point to ponder and discuss:

Is it simply my personal decoupling from sports fandom that leaves with me the impression that "the greats" of 2007 aren't all that great compared to earlier eras?

I don't mean "great" in stats - I "get" that today's players are bigger, stronger, faster...

No. I'm talking their place on the national stage. I mean... back before he cut his wife's head off... OJ was OoooJjjj!!! Joe Namath was Joe Namath in the way Mickey Mantle was Mickey Mantle. Joe DeMaggio was Mr. Frigg'n Coffee and ex-Mr. Marilyn Monroe's husband. Larry Czonka was Larry Czonka. Mean Joe Green was...

You see what I'm trying to say, Ed???

You're a few years younger than me I believe (I'm 45). Is it just me or do my impressions represent some level of larger reality.

WERE the players more "larger than life" back in the olden days (*GRIN*) of my youth and back way before that?

Anyway, I'd be interested in your thoughts as I consider you something of an expert on this sort of thing.


Nathan S said...

I dont remember this game but I can very well imagine what they were saying!
When Favre injured himself this season (2010) Troy Aikman said on air something similar to what Eisen said (per your blog). He in fact said "our thoughts are with Favre and his family" (I am paraphrasing, of course).
The whole notion makes me puke!
I cannot stand the likes of Peter King and John Madden who think Favre is the next best thing since the invention of wheel!
All these judges of characters have no comment on Favre's flirting with Sterger. While infidelity maybe his personal issue, it is a problem when an employee in a position of power (team's starting QB) makes a pass at an employee of lesser power (sideline reporter) - both with the Jets.
Peter Freaking King says that we should not judge him just yet.
When he judges everyone of the black players that have some issue. Hell he even rushed to judgment on the CB from Redskins who was shot midseason - couple of years back (I forgot his name).
BTW - I am not black! :D