On ESPN, Favre and Where Journalism Goes to Die

August 4, 2010 – 2:27 pm by TheRiot

You know, I was really enjoying a pretty quiet beginning of August. Should’ve known Brett Favre was fixing to ruin that.

You see, I’m a Packers fan. Always have been. As a result, I’ve morphed into something of the Brett Favre expert on this site. Truth be told, Favre was my boyhood hero. As a kid I watched him lead the Packers to a Super Bowl victory and win three Most Valuable Player awards. Pretty big stuff.

Over time I’ve grown tired of his act.

It’s not so much that he left Green Bay — I was sick of his flip-flopping back then and, let’s be serious, Aaron Rodgers has turned into a pretty fine replacement.

It’s more about the hype and speculation that surrounds his every offseason move. The guy is one of the best quarterbacks of all-time, no argument there. But seriously, I know more about his balky ankle than I should.

Which brings me to Tuesday, when the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported, via unnamed league and team sources, that Favre was starting to let his Minnesota Vikings teammates know he wouldn’t be back.

That began an avalanche of reaction on ESPN. Really, it was ridiculous.

Keep in mind nobody in Camp Favre — not the quarterback, his family, or his agent — was confirming the story. Nor was Vikings head coach Brad Childress or anybody else. Longtime teammate Ryan Longwell basically denied it, saying he hadn’t heard anything to back up the claim Favre was retiring.

Then Wednesday morning we finally get some actual reporting from ESPN’s Ed Werder, who Favre told he hasn’t made a decision and he will play if healthy, which is pretty much where everyone figured he was with the process.

The ridiculous part, the absolutely ridiculous part, is ESPN’s reaction when the Star-Tribune story broke Tuesday. It essentially forgot every other piece of sports news existed and went immediately into reaction mode as if it were God’s truth that Favre was retiring.

There were several spots with former teammates and NFL savants putting Favre’s career into context and analyzing what would become of the Vikings if he had indeed decided to hang them up.

Heck, even we got into the mix by doing a piece on Tarvaris Jackson.

Sometimes, I guess, it just pays to, I don’t know, do some real work and reporting to get to the bottom of a story rather than run right into talking head mode. These are the kinds of things that infuriate people about ESPN.

In case you hadn’t noticed by this little diatribe I just penned.

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  1. 3 Responses to “On ESPN, Favre and Where Journalism Goes to Die”

  2. So when you say journalism went to die, does that include not proofreading your bitchy rant on journalism? Maybe someone should write an article on your article and say “This is the article where proper writing went to die.” Bitch. STFU.

    By PlayaHata on Aug 4, 2010

  3. Man, PlayaHata is kind of pissy.

    But let’s be fair–Star Tribune did their homework; they had players in the locker room who said they had received texts from Favre that said he had retired.

    Favre can deny he sent those texts, but that’s pretty doubtful to me. He sent texts to players in the Vikings locker room–I believe that, absolutely. That’s sourcing.

    The problem (this time) isn’t so much the press, aside from the fact that they believe Favre. He’s been known to lie outright to the media before. I suspect he’s done it again. I also suspect his ankle is bothering him.

    By Big Blue Monkey on Aug 6, 2010

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