Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Image is Everything: Brett Favre and Old Hats

Brett Favre has an image that throughout his career has portrayed toughness, reliability, resilient-y-ness(?), competitiveness, success. In short, he has been a winner who has excelled against all odds. But over the last year or so, several new adjectives have crept into the description of his Tough Guy facade. Words like, "old," "indecisive," "uncertain," "selfish," "battered," and maybe even, as the Pack Smack "iNournal" points out, "confused" and "forgetful." Of course, even heart-broken Packers fans like me want to believe that Brett Favre is still tough and reliable, but really, there's no telling what the Vikings are going to get this year with Favre under center, and this has some Vikings fans worried.

Take a look at this poll conducted by the Makato Free Press which shows that 16% of Vikings fans believe that Favre will make their team worse, and nearly 20% think he'll make no difference at all:


Add it all up and one-third of Vikings fans just aren't that impressed with what Favre can bring to the table. If public perception of Favre was still what it was two years ago, no doubt 100% of Vikings fans would agree, despite their hatred for the man, that he would make their team better. At the very least, one has to think he wouldn't be driving fans away:

From the article that went with the poll:

A self-professed diehard Vikings fan, [Mary] Bublitz said she’s become turned off by Favre’s prima donna style and by Vikings officials for lying about the supposed end of their mating dance with him.

“He’s an all-me guy. He’s for himself and that’s it. He’s washed up and I can’t see the Vikings going anywhere with him.”

Bublitz said the Vikings have now become an “I” team instead of a “we” team like her new favorite, the New England Patriots.

“I’ll start watching the Patriots and the hell with the Vikings,” she said.

Maybe if at the end of Adrien Peterson's sure-to-be hall-of-fame career; after he spends seven years waffling about retirement, finally retires, comes back with the Jets, retires again and comes back with a desperate Packers team as their supposed "missing piece of the Super Bowl puzzle," I'll become a Patriots fan, too. Incidentally, a Green Bay newspaper recently ran a poll similar to the one by the Mankato Free Press and the results were not surprisingly much different:

But it's not just Packers and Vikings fans who are turning their backs on Favre. No, unbelievably, some in the media are getting sick of him as well. Peter King, who is by all accounts, a good friend of Favre's had this to say last week in his "Monday Morning QB" Column:

You would think I think this Brett Favre-to-Minnesota story is great, but I don't. I think it's wrong. I think it's a circus. And I think Minnesota coach Brad Childress is making a mistake.

On top of that, Peter King's employer, Sports Illustrated issued a press release earlier this week assuring fans who've had enough of Favre that the magazine's next issue will feature, "zero mention of the Hall of Famer." They even went so far as to place a "100% Favre Free Issue" logo on the cover. 

(Don't think of Brett Favre!)
Here's a closer, more pixelly look at the logo:

I suppose placing a "100% Favre Free Issue" logo on the cover of the magazine is exactly how you'd go about getting people to not think about Brett Favre. Or is this some kind of slick and timely marketing scheme to get more people to buy Sports Illustrated? In any case, I heard George Lakoff, the famed cognitive linguistics professor from UC Berkely is writing a new book called "Don't Think of Brett Favre!"in which he tries to get people to stop thinking about Brett Favre by saying, "Don't think of Brett Favre!" It's sure to be a great read that will turn your mind into a "100% Favre Free Issue." 

I can imagine Sports Illustrated is as sick as us Packers fans of hearing about Brett Favre's retirements, his unretirements, his torn biceps, his torn rotator cuff, his inability to control his bladder due to advanced age. But some other media outlets, like the Washington Post for instance, are just sick of looking at him and his grubby hats:



[D]oes Mr. Favre have an unlimited supply of disgustingly worn out baseball caps? Despite a reported two-year, $25-million contract, he showed up to Vikings camp wearing a crusty orange lid and looking like he'd just replaced a worn carburetor. Then, after Friday night's game, he appeared in a ragged-looking white Vikings cap that appeared to have spent the last five years at the bottom of a locker-room hamper...

Where would Favre get a worn out Vikings cap? Do you think he borrowed it from Jared Allen? Allen is probably the only member of the Vikings who has a head as big as Favre's, so that's one possibility. But the Washington Post article continues, offering up a theory:

A Vikings intern was dispatched to tie it to the front grille of a 1959 Chrysler Imperial, then drive it the length of Route 66 and allow men at rest stops to spit tobacco juice on it along the way.

While there is no doubt in my mind that a Vikings intern would have no trouble finding people along Route 66 who'd want to spit on a Vikings cap, this theory doesn't seem plausible. For on thing, the Vikings would never be so clever to choose a car called "The Imperial." That word is too closely associated with the word "dynasty," which in football terms, is something the Vikings know nothing about. No, for this theory to be plausible, the Vikings would have had to go with a vehicle that was  expensive and hugely impractical that would be likely to break down along the way, and that carried a name that was more evocative of their tendency to suck when playing football:


2 comments:

  1. Off the HOOK writing! That was hilarious!

    The great thing about your writing is that I have no idea whether you are spweing facts or just makin stuff up, and it doesn't even matter!

    Like the 1959 Imperial....I think it's b.s. but it's presented as fact and I don't care if it is or it isn't because it fits and it's beautiful!

    And the dang Packer area poll icons! That was three funny!

    And then in the end when you brought that Imperial back in, tied it to dynasty, and then disassociated Minnesota from any such idea was great.

    And the finale with the, em, Hummer, which you say is a vehicle that better describes the Vikings...that was aewsome.

    Very creative writing. Keep it up!!

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  2. Thanks, man! The support is much appreciated! By the way, a lot of it I make up (that's the fun part!) but if there's a link, it's real. There's no way I could make up all the BS surrounding this Favre thing!

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