This is officially the silly time of the NFL offseason. Right before training camp opens for all 32 teams around the league and months removed from both free agency and the draft. Not only do we get to wait around for real football to start again, we are fed a vast amount of crap (for the lack of a better term) from some (and I stress some) of those in the sports media world.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio decided to speak up on injuries in football and whether former quarterback Brett Favre has the qualifications to talk about the ongoing controversy.
For Favre, the concern has a second prong that traces back to his own ego. Favre seems to believe it would be impossible for his male child to be as good as him at football, so he wouldn’t want him to be subjected to undue pressure to live up to the awkwardly-pronounced family name. (Joe Montana may agree with that general sentiment; Archie Manning may not.)
Ego? Is it possible that Favre worries about how his hypothetical son might react to getting hit and hit a lot on the football field? Is it possible that Favre might have firsthand knowledge of what it means to get bruised and battered on a consistent basis during what was a two-decade long football career? After all, when speaking about qualifications, I’d rather listen to a primary source than a secondary source.
Regardless, folks who don’t have sons who are asked about whether they’d let their sons play football should think about choosing their words a bit more carefully and pragmatically, especially since those who have harvested the words will be tempted to blow them up into some broader indictment on the sport and/or to provide ammunition for mothers who would bubble wrap their baby boy and put him on a mantle. (But not so high that he might fall off it.)
Just like folks who didn’t play competitive football at a high level don’t understand the toll that it takes on ones body.
Deadspin writer Albert Burneko also points out a double standard in Florio’s argument.
Not for nothing, but this undermines his earlier argument against Favre. If having a son is what qualifies one to participate in the letting-our-sons-play-football conversation, then these helicoptering soccer moms sure as hell don’t need validation from Brett Favre to issue a ruling on the matter.
So fathers, not mothers, are qualified to understand what exactly it means for their child to play sports at a young age? That is likely one of the most absurd and sexist arguments a respected sports writer has made in some time. It also represents a machismo ideology that modern sports seems to be going away from in recent years.
In any event, Favre is way more qualified than a scribe who is sitting at his/her desk thinking up ideas for the next inflammatory article. He has lived through the hell that comes with playing football on the biggest stage. His previous addiction to painkillers and often-questionable lifestyle off the field lends credence to this.
Oh, how it must feel to live in that bubble and view things through a semi-blind looking glass.