Saturday, March 8, 2008

So What If He Cried?



Brett Favre grew on me a few years ago. At first, I wasn’t a fan of his work or the Green Bay Backers since I am a follower of California NFL teams, particularly the San Francisco 49ers. After a while, the rivalry faded as the Niners became less of a threat following the salary cap debacle and disappointing performances year after year. I didn’t really give Favre much though until he started breaking some impressive records.

The one thing I have always admired is his work ethic. For example, here was a guy that had an extra helping of family tragedy in a short amount of time but remained a professional. He lost his father, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, his brother-in-law was killed on his property, and his family home was destroyed in the 2005 hurricane season. If I’m not mistaken, his mother had a brief hospitalization somewhere in there also.

In spite of any tragedy he was experiencing, he never missed a game. In fact, I don’t remember ever hearing him complain about anything. Come to think of it, I can’t recall complaints of any sort in his career. No prima donna contract disputes, no bad-mouthing of teammates…nothing. I could be missing something since I am not anywhere near Green Bay so correct me if you know of any such whining…

Earlier this week when Favre announced his retirement he became quite emotional at the press conference. I was listening to ESPN radio and one of the guys was tearing Favre a new one for shedding tears. In true “good cop, bad cop” fashion, the other was supporting Favre’s honesty. Some of the commentary did seem a bit forced though - like they were just trying to get listeners to phone in and create buzz. Now, the Internet is full of blogs with fans freaking out about the fact that Favre cried.

Big deal! Seriously! Does this somehow upset people because it means he is actually human? I would like someone to explain to me why the big story around this incredible athlete’s career is the fact he had an emotional press conference. Oh, and don’t leave me some condescending comment that I don’t think it was a big deal because I’m female. Spare me the baloney please, I'm personally not a crier (not that it matters) and I’ve conferred with several male sports fans on this. I can’t find one that thinks Favre’s image is somehow tarnished now. Some of these guys have played pro sports themselves and would be considered quite “manly”. Please give me an intelligent argument as to why Favre's behavior is problematic.

I would think that more relevant stories would be to discuss the "big shoes" that Aaron Rodgers has to fill. How about covering what Mike McCarthy plans to do to keep the team moving ahead without their inspirational leader?

So what is really behind the problem with Brett’s show of emotion? Do tell!

22 comments:

Bakin Rapscallion said...

His pores and ducts have been frozen for several months now...something's gotta give.

mfoehrkolb said...

Men just arent supposed to cry, especially in public and especially with that much emotional loss of control. I felt for Brett and still respect him just as I would had the conference been less teary but the stereotype whether deserved or not stands true that Men do not cry, in public, around other men and about sports.

Tony said...

@mfoehrkolb

I think you are sorely mistaken. It takes a REAL man to be able to expose himself and his emotions for all to see. Only an insecure weak man lacks the ability to cry. It's a testament to strength and pride built over 17 years of giving one's all that entitles this man to be able to cry without some other "men" criticizing him.

Kyurious Hype said...

I dare you to find anyone more manly than Favre. Real men can cry, if appropriate. Like at the end of Old Yeller, or a famed football career. The man has endured more than most of us will ever know, and will be celebrated for years to come. He loved the game, his teammates, and Green Bay and anyone who makes fun of him for crying is taking a cheap shot at a man who has until now escaped cheap shots because he doesn't complain, get hurt, or sit on the bench. The man's walking away from something that's been an integral part of his life for 20 years. He can do whatever the hell he wants.

Thomas B said...

I think he had a LOT of reason to be emotional. At 38, he spent 17 years as a football player. If you've never been in team sports, you wouldn't understand, and he had a tremendous family in Green Bay. I can imagine that he was sad to leave those fans and his fellow players behind.

Radio announcers and journalists have to come up with the big story and they have to represent a lot of different points of view, even if they don't personally believe it. This is why I don't give a damn about these radio guys. They will say anything to keep you on their station and stir the pot.

Mike said...

There should be no problem.

Favre has been critical of teammates before (See telling Javon Walker that he got a good deal when he was signed, so wait one more year and you'll get paid then. You signed a contract that you were happy with when you signed it, live with it.)

Favre has cried many times, like when his Dad died he was openly crying, at the end of the 2006 season in Chicago he cried, the guy is a blue collar human and there is no shame in being emotional.

Watching his press conference I got the shivers, but I'm not emotionally attached enough to football to cry about his retirement. sure I've got my Packers stock, the piece of my lawn that use to reside in the stadium and somewhere in the 20k area for the season ticket waiting list after 20 some years of waiting, but his retirement is not that big of a deal to most people. Life goes on.

Good for him in being so secure in himself. The guy has gone through a lot of things in the public eye that everyone else gets to deal with in private. He's an honest guy who isn't holding back the truth.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thanks for all of your comments everyone -its been nice to see what people really think!

Apryl DeLancey said...

@Mike - thanks, I'll look that one up!

Mike said...

here's a small blurp

http://gnb.scout.com/2/376285.html

"Favre feels Walker should be more of a team player and honor his current contract.

"Nowadays you're seeing more and more guys pulling that stunt," Favre said. "If guys continue to do that and are successful getting away with it, then I'll be gone, but I think the game will be ruined. My reaction to Javon's situation was, 'Here we go again.'

"Javon has tremendous potential. We got to see some of that last year. The sky's the limit for that guy, and I'd be the first to defend him, but he's going about it the wrong way. What happened to honoring your contract and saying, 'Let's work as a team to see if we can get this done?' Why not go about it that way?

"Maybe I'm old-school, but I always thought you honor a contract. Sure, sometimes guys pass you up in salary, and maybe it's a lesser player, but it's all based on what a team has as far as value in that person. "I sure hope the Packers don't give into him," Favre said. "

mgalvin said...

When you dedicate most of your life to a profession that you whole heartedly love... it is very hard to leave. Contrary to seemingly popular belief, sports are extremely emotional. I played sports most of my life and there are just as many if not more emotional highs and lows during game play then the other aspects of my life. Epic wins, tragic losses people getting hurt and people becoming sports heros. For pro athletes, stopping doing something you love is like losing a limb. You loss something that is a tremendous part of your life. And I am man enough to admit that real men do cry. We are only human you know. I would cry too.

You will be missed Brett!

LiteralDan said...

There is no problem with him crying-- his tough guy credentials are more than sufficient to cover this. The only difference between him and someone else going through an enormous, bittersweet life change like this is that he has to hold a press conference to talk about it.

There's a reason men don't talk about their feelings.

Anyway, at least he has a really manly thing to be crying ABOUT, right?

Chris said...

well all i can say as a wisconsinite is that almost the entire state cried this past week at some point MEN women and children no one was exempt...I even know a vikings fan that cried because of Favres press conference no one here thinks any less of #4 because he cried ... it is just sad to see that man step down

Apryl DeLancey said...

@Mike - Thanks! I appreciate the info!

Eric said...

When Brett Favre cries, metal shavings come out of his tear ducts.

These radio and tv people are paid to be jackasses. None of what they say has any relevance to what real people think about an issue like this.

Jansie said...

THIS is a REAL man...

Daniel @ Burst said...

There were entire blocks of radio programming dedicated to "men who haven't cried in years but did so with Favre" here in Wisconsin this past week.

Nary a dry eye in the state.

And as one who tears up at flippin' insurance commercials (if the music is just right), well, it was good to see the manliest among us weeping like children at Brett's announcement.

The press will get to the 'more relevant stories' just as sure as they were milking the 'men cry?' angle these past few days. Believe me, all the deer hunting in the world won't alleviate the tears of the Packer Faithful if Rodgers doesn't even make it through one full season!

Enrique O said...

First things first. I'm a lifelong Chicago Bears fan and was raised to hate the Packers. That said, Bret Favre is the finest football player I've seen since Walter Payton hung up his pads. No question: In any contest not involving the Bears, I pulled for Bret.

I think it's perfectly alright and incredibly honest for Favre to cry during this press conference. I challenge anyone to walk away from something that has been your entire life for almost 20 years and not be be overwhelmed by emotion. I've been hit by tearful emotions for things far less significant than this.

What's even more annoying, as far as the critical press is concerned, is that none of the folks who seem to think so little of Bret's tears had anything negative to say about the tears shed by Plaxico Burress during an on-field interview immediately following the Giants' victory in this year's Super Bowl.

AppleTurnover said...

What is this post in response to exactly?? I think 99% of clear-thinking individuals would agree there's nothing wrong with Favre crying as he did, and I think the overall internet-chatter supports that. This seems to me a rant against what the author apparently expects to see (i.e. men by the millions chastising Favre for his pathetic display) but frankly just isn't there.

J said...

I agree with those saying "who gives a s#i+".

Anyone who does not have massive respect for Favre by now is too dim-witted to start now so let's not bother discussing it.

To any who still thinks that men must never cry, particularly in front of others, I say "GROW UP! We don't live in caves anymore, or hadn't you noticed?"

thewebslinger52 said...

I've played and coached football all my life, and currently play for the Marine Corps. The fact that i'm a member of the armed forces, and a football player makes me pretty manly i suppose - and i damn near cried when i heard brett favre retired!

Let the man cry, he's leaving part of his life behind!

H.J. said...

As long as I can remember Brett Favre has been the starting QB for the Green Bay Packers. He has taken more hits and played through many injuries that would put any other quarterback on the bench for a couple of weeks. I personally respect the fact that he cried. His father brought him into the game and, since that day, football has been Favre's life. The man is giving up a big part of his life and he is losing something very dear to him. If anything I respect him more because he shows how much he cares about the game. Favre is a true hero and if anyone disagrees then they obviously know nothing about the game.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Well said, H.J. and thanks for stopping by!