Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brett Favre: Energizer Bunny or Duracell Goat?

As the reader of this internet journal -- or "iNournal," for short -- is aware, I am not a fan of Brett Favre the Viking. I just can't be. But  perhaps I have not made it clear enough that I love Brett Favre the Packer, the man, and yes, even Brett Favre the Jet. I am a huge fan of those Brett Favres because I grew up watching them lead the Packers to many exciting victories, and overcome many personal hardships with dignity and grace. (Recent decision-making hardships excluded.) In fact, until Aaron Rodgers did so last year I had never seen another quarterback knuckle up to the grundle of a Packers center. So when Favre circumvented or, if you will, "gave the old reach around" to the Jets in order to become a Viking, I was devastated.

Certainly there is no way I can cheer for the Vikings and neither, I suspect, can any self-respecting Packers fan. So I felt the need to give voice to my angst over this situation and I created this "iNournal." But had I lacked the time to do so, I might have been drawn to expressing my dissatisfaction by buying clever T-shirts such as this one:

(It's funny because we've forgotten his real name is "Brett")

Obviously this T-shirt needs no explanation and is pretty funny. But if you're the type of person who magnifies to biblical proportions events that are, in the grand scheme of things, not really that important, you could do one of two things:
  1. You could start an "iNournal" about Brett Favre becoming a Viking.
  2. You could buy this T-shirt: 

Of course this shirt implies that Favre is a modern-day Judas Iscariot, the guy who was paid 30 pieces of silver over two years to make Jesus look gay in public. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) The first question that comes to mind is how much is 30 pieces of silver in today's money? (The answer, according to my calculations, is $25 million.) The answer to the second question that comes to mind is, "yes, Favre makes the Vikings look gay in public."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

(Judas trying to make Jesus look gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Beyond that, this 100% cotton metephor becomes confusing: Obviously the Vikings are the heavily-monied, closeted homosexual priests of Jerusalem. But are the Packers Jesus? Or is Jesus us, the Packers' fans? Jesus stood for some pretty awesome stuff -- love, peace, forgiveness -- and while I think that many Packers fans dig him, very few of us compare the Packers, or ourselves to him. And obviously, even if Favre beats the Packers three times and wins the Super Bowl this year, none of us are going to die because of it. (I think...) At any rate, I wonder what end to this nightmare situation would satisfy this T-shirt's makers? Judas, after all, felt so bad for what he did he committed suicide. Maybe they believe that's the only way to stop the Energizer Bunny that is Brett Favre from making the Packers look gay.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. (Being gay, I mean. Not committing suicide.)

I very seriously doubt that to be the case, as the obvious and most satisfying conclusion to this metaphor is Favre's shameful retirement after an embarrassing 2009 season. I'm sure the people behind the Judas Favre T-shirt are just like me: heart-broken Brett Favre fans. No one, not Packers fans, and not the makers of the "Brent" or "Judas" Favre T-shirts wish Brett Favre, or any other Viking for that matter, any physical harm. The only wishes of ill will Packers fans have for Brett can be granted in the forms of interceptions, sacks and fumbles. But there are some crazies out there, who seem to be wearing their Bad Idea Jeans when it comes to dealing with Favre, the Viking.

Take for instance this video of ESPN's Jemele Hill suggesting Packers fans give Brett Favre the "Duracell Treatment" when he returns to Lambeau on November 1st:

Sort of shocking, isn't it? I feel now like I must go on the record and say in no uncertain terms that I do not condone throwing batteries, or anything, at Brett Favre or any other NFL player, at any time, for any reason. The only concession I will make in this context is that it's ok to throw a football or baseball at Favre, but only if you two are having a catch. I also feel like this might be a good time for me to go on the record as saying that it's not ok to paint, shave, taunt, or otherwise torture, maim or kill any living thing in the name of Brett Favre. Not even a cat.

An auto mechanic in Winona, Minn. found out just how crazy things can be now that Brett Favre is a Viking.

That's what happens when you find a live, purple-and-gold painted goat with a "4" shaved into its side in the trunk of the car you are working on.

James Prusci told the Winona Daily News a woman brought her car in to have a belt replaced on Friday and warned him the goat was in there, saying she planned to butcher the animal later...

Perhaps this woman was only joking when she said she planned to butcher the animal. Maybe she really just planned to show her support for the Vikings by painting a goat like their new QB and letting it tend to her front lawn. Maybe it all went south when she realized she had no way to transport the goat and, being from Minnesota, the best solution she could come up with was to stick it the trunk and not go straight home. But no matter how you slice it, news like this makes the Vikings, the Packers and Favre look bad. And since the Vikings incited this riot, their PR people should be the ones who spin these worrisome stories into something nicer. Really, for the creative minds that are asking Vikings fans if they're "ready '4' some football," it shouldn't be that hard. But just incase they're suffering a creative block after coming up with that ingenious slogan, I'm willing to help them out.

Earlier in this post, I mentioned that to some, Brett Favre is like the Energizer Bunny, which seems like a no-brainer for cross-promotion. The problem is, the ugly stories in question involve a goat and a different brand of batteries. Plus, the pink bunny isn't tough-looking enough to represent Favre, and not Viking-y enough to be one of his team's mascot. Yes, a goat is a better fit for the Vikings if for no other reason than it has horns, so let's stick with that idea. But instead of painting a real one purple and butchering it, let's paint a stuffed toy goat, and not butcher it. Then, to get the same implication of longevity that comes with the Energizer Bunny, let's give it a Duracell battery pack.

(The Brett Favre Dura-Goat)

Of course, everyone knows that Duracell Batteries don't last as long as Energizers, and certainly the former won't last a whole sixteen-game season. But at the very least, this is another Vikings Turd polished. (You're welcome, Vikings.) I am afraid though, that even with this gift horse looking them in the mouth, the Vikings marketing and PR staff won't be able to do half this well. Just take a look at their latest, and perhaps saddest, effort to use Favre in marketing their team:

Pointing out the fact that at Favre's advanced age, he can no longer control his bladder for the duration of an NFL game is no way to promote your team. Though it does make me wonder if the Vikings' doctors  tested Favre's ability to control his bladder when they gave him a physical last Tuesday. I mean, his latest product endorsement deal should have been a big red flag:

1 comment:

  1. Another great post. Keep up the great writing. Word will get around.

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