Recently retired Packers quarterback Brett Favre is one of the most beloved players in NFL history. And one of my favorite non-Browns.
But the truth is I have never seen so much hero worship by sportswriters and announcers in my life, especially towards the end of Favre’s career. Countless Sportscenter and NFL TV personalities have expressed adoration for this legend.
If Wisconsin allowed it, I’m pretty sure Chris Berman would marry Favre.
Maybe its the everyman work ethic that helped Favre start 275 consecutive games, an astonishing NFL record at the QB position. Or maybe its his down-home image of a Southern boy made good. Or maybe it’s the fact that Favre may be one of the best quarterbacks ever and he did it as the ultimate gunslinger.
But the truth is that not only is he overrated off the field, he’s been overrated on the field as well. Check out Sal Palantonio’s take on the whole Favre lovefest. Basically, Favre won a Super Bowl title in his prime AND three consecutive MVPs but since then he has not been the greatest ever – just above average. There’s nothing wrong with that, but he is no Joe Montana.
Moreover, off the field he has gotten a free pass despite consistently letting his team wonder if their signature star was coming back or retiring. For each of the past three offseasons the Packers have been unsure if Brett would come back. Favre also admitted to having a painkiller addiction earlier in his career, which should at least dampen all the hype of his consecutive games streak.
But it didn’t, and that’s where the public relations perspective comes in. When he talked about the addiction he explained why he had the addiction (multiple injuries and surgeries) and voluntarily went to rehab. He also was careful to call it a “medical dependency.” Favre also had a history of speaking very frankly with the media and had developed a strong relationship with them. This same trusting relationship is something any public relations person wants to develop with the media and Brett had this.
With the retirement talk, he did not need to do much public relations work. By staying in one city for almost his whole career and playing hard and very well every week, Favre had earned the right to do what he wanted and end his career on his own terms. And his great relationship with the media didn’t hurt. Clearly, Favre knew how to handle people and build relationships. I mean, Chris Berman doesn’t obsess over just anyone!
With Favre retiring, I have also considered that maybe its time for me to hang ’em up. I mean, my blog is just as legendary, right? Well, maybe not. But like my professor Bill Sledzik, I’m going on hiatus. I’m going to give myself a few weeks, because blogging is really time consuming, even if you love what you’re doing.
I’d love to get an internship, make some money, or maybe even go to a Tribe game. And with the semester ending, I think now is the right time to focus on school and work. After I give myself some time, I’ll decide whether or not to continue.
I’m going to pull a Brett Favre and hint about coming back, but not make any commitments. Hell, maybe I’ll even go on Letterman and drop hints. For now, I want to thank everyone who has read and posted on my blog and hopefully I’ll be pushing the sports and public relations conversation again in a few weeks.