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.