Sunday, January 4, 2009

ESPN's Talking Goo Tub Outdoes Self Yet Again

Today's NFL Countdown on ESPN was a must-see for me, if only because I knew the Brett Favre controversy would be "debated". Further, I knew that Chris Berman would make every excuse possible for his boy.

Sure enough, I was right.

The only analyst to call the situation correctly was Keyshawn Johnson (who is turning out to be imminently more tolerable as a talking head than as a player). Key stated that the Jets players voicing concerns over their quarterback receiving seemingly preferential treatment--not being with the team at every practice, not being chewed out by coaches for mistakes--was a natural part of being a team competitor. Then Mike Ditka railed against footballers running off at the mouth to the media. Then someone yelled "Obama!" and Mike went pale, then wept widow-style.

Former Bronco (loser, in other words) Tom Jackson then used the old "what has Thomas Jones done prior to this year, is he a first ballot Hall of Famer?" to try and undermine the argument against Favre. This tactic is an appeal to ridicule, saying that since Jones is not a superstar caliber player nor has he ever been, his opinion of another player with many individual records to his credit is absurd. This tactic is also used by people who can't admit that someone or thing they love beyond reason is fucked up.

No one brought up the idea of Favre retiring, which is what he should do. His arm is shot, his field vision is terrible, and his comprehension of football as a team sport is muddled at best. Instead we got a lot of "he needs to adapt if he wants to continue". This is where Berman shined.

"Knowing Brett as I do...if that is what he has to do, he'll do it. He absolutely will do it. I know that he will."

It was brilliant; it sounded like a parent encouraging their young child to finish reading a sentence out loud. "I know you can do it, Brett! Sound it out!" I bet Berman cried elephantine tears into his Large-Ass Popcorn when he saw Free Willy for the first time.

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