Why Didn’t T.O. Get Coverage Like Favre?

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Of all the stupid anti-Brett Favre articles from the last few days, this one from Slate might be dumbest.

I like and admire many of Slate’s writers, and their reflexively-contrarian impulse is often healthy. But this Robert Weintraub character is clueless. He complains — without any obvious irony — that Brett Favre gets better press coverage than Terrell Owens. I’m serious. First he lists — and downplays — all of Favre’s personal tragedies.

Then comes this:

While Favre is lionized for playing through tragedy, Terrell Owens’ success has never been given the same kind of context. As Catch This! reveals, the fact that T.O. made it to the NFL is a miracle. Owens, who grew up destitute and fatherless in backwater Alabama, wasn’t allowed to leave his front yard as a child for fear of getting whipped. Favre grew up in small town bliss surrounded by his loving family. Not to demean the loss of loved ones, but who has overcome more here? Why is every hurdle Favre has jumped over presented as the Pillars of Hercules, while a guy like Owens is dismissed as a loudmouth?

He continues:

Another Monday night game earlier this year that unfortunately coincided with his wife’s battle with cancer occasioned a sit-down with ESPN’s Suzy Kolber that included such hard-hitting queries as “Where would you be without her?” and “How would you compare your toughness to your wife Deanna’s toughness?”

What “hard hitting queries” would Weintraub have liked? “Is the cancer your fault?” Or “Why didn’t you make sure they found it earlier?” It’s an interview about his wife’s cancer.

Then, at the end of the article, the author complains that Favre gets better coverage than Ahman Green.

No one doubts Favre’s Hall of Fame credentials—three MVP awards, a Super Bowl ring, 200-plus consecutive starts, and an ability to laser the ball between defenders even at age 35. On the other hand, it’s fairly obvious that Favre has been propped up these past few years by his All-Pro running back, Ahman Green. Here’s a guy who plays hurt and plays well, hails from a red state, and is by all accounts a solid citizen who runs youth football camps in his hometown. Yet Ahman gets props only for his yards—I have no clue what tragedies he’s had to overcome. I guess he’s just not a regular dude.

I’ve always been an Ahman Green fan. But this analysis is just silly. (Who cares is he “hails from a red state?” It’s football.) Just a few months before this was published, Green was arrested for battery. Solid citizen?

This drivel was first published in 2005. I can’t imagine what possessed Slate to republish it now.

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