There is a very short list of developments that could stop me from watching the NFL. And high up on that list would be if Brett Favre’s rumored interest in becoming a color commentator ever came true. Okay, I wouldn’t stop watching the NFL altogether, but you couldn’t pay me to watch a game if Favre was announcing. At least not with the sound on.
I don’t need three hours of Brett Favre talking about himself in the guise of talking about something else. No one will ever be better than Brett Favre, says Brett Favre every time he opens his mouth.
After hanging on too long and burning three different teams and their fans in the process, Favre can’t just ride off into the sunset and hawk whatever brand of jeans he’s endorsing these days. No, he needs to keep reminding us how great he was, and he needs to diminish the accomplishments of others in the process.
This week’s interview with an Atlanta radio station is symptomatic of Favre’s disease, and I guarantee you it won’t be the last time he does something like this. Given the opportunity to make some positive comments about his replacement Aaron Rodgers, who has already tied him for the most important record of all (Super Bowl victories), Favre instead chose to damn him with faint praise while reminding us how great he was.
Favre couldn’t get himself to say that Rodgers is great. Nope, he’s only “good.”
Favre couldn’t get himself to give Rodgers credit for winning the Super Bowl. Nope, Rodgers should have done it earlier.
Of course, what Rodgers has accomplished he’s done with better support than Favre ever had, and he’s only done it because he learned at the feet of Favre himself.
While I’m sure that Favre is finding it difficult to fill his days now that he’s retired, and now that Mrs. Favre has presumably disabled the camera function on his iPhone, taking to the airwaves to try to remind everyone of his greatness is a sad way to spend one’s time. And not-so-subtly belittling the accomplishments of Rodgers, who has handled every step of the years-long Favre saga with supreme class, is worse.
Please, Brett, shut up.
Unfortunately, Favre isn’t the only former QB who has been running his mouth unwisely lately. It pains me to say this, but one of my all-time favorites, Joe Namath, needs to stop criticizing Rex Ryan and the Jets.
Look, as a Jets fan, I loved Namath. His career and skills have been greatly exaggerated, largely because of where he played, but how could you not love Broadway Joe, the fun-loving guy who guaranteed a Super Bowl victory before everyone and their kid sister started doing that?
Unlike Favre, Namath doesn’t seem to be trying to keep his memory alive, nor does he seem to be trying to bolster his legacy by criticizing others. And, frankly, some of what he has said about the current Jets squad is entirely accurate. The problem is a different one. Because Namath is so revered, Ryan can’t defend himself and his team in the press, and he certainly can’t attack Namath’s knowledge or credentials. If Ryan takes on Namath, he can only lose.
When Namath said the Jets were unprepared for the game against the Raiders, I’m sure Ryan wanted to say, “What the hell do you know? Were you on the field? You can be prepared and still lose. In fact, sport, the last time I looked there were an awful lot of losses on your record. Were you not prepared for those games?” But Ryan had to hold his tongue. Fighting back was not a realistic option.
And when Namath lashed out at team captain Santonio Holmes for allegedly throwing his teammates under the bus after their loss to the Ravens — which Holmes really didn’t do, by the way — don’t you think Ryan and Holmes wanted to say, “Shut up, Joe.” But they had to hold their tongues because you can’t attack Jets royalty, even if it is to defend yourself.
Namath needs to understand that, too. When he opens his mouth to criticize the current Jets squad, there’s an element of unfairness to it.
Here’s betting Namath will be more careful about what he says long before Favre does.