With the ferocity of a blindside sack, ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio called Favre overrated and argued the last decade of his career was pedestrian. Paolantonio not only attacked Favre’s credentials, but blasted the media for heaping undeserved praise on the quarterback.
It’s an absurd notion, particularly coming from an experienced pro football observer.
Having witnessed the Packers’ starting quarterback first-hand since 1992, my job has been to call it like I see it, with no vested interest in defending Favre and no reason to inflate his career accomplishments. The unemotional, objective facts show clearly that over the wide arc of his career, Favre was brilliant.
Vandermause points to the same major flaw in Paolantonio’s argument that we did: He focuses largely on Favre’s playoff record over the past ten years, ignoring the fact that without Favre as quarterback the Packers might not have had much of a playoff record at all.
Now comes the news that Paolantonio has written a letter to the editor of the paper. You can read about it here.
Thank you for Mike Vandermause’s smackdown of my espn.com column on Brett Favre. But I take issue with one major point: I was not trying to criticize Brett Favre, only offer some healthy perspective, provide an alternative take. Favre, as I pointed out, is a bona fide first-ballot Hall of Famer. But I just wanted to hit the pause button on the over-the-top deification of No. 4. In my view, he is not even the greatest Packers quarterback of all time. That would be Bart Starr. Bart Starr has always been treated like Ringo Starr — underappreciated and, these days, overlooked. I was trying to provide some historical context that my brethren in the media often ignores.
By the way, I do use a hairblower, but I never bring it to the press box with me.
Okay, at least the guy has a sense of humor. But I’m not sure it’s worth losing such man-cred to make the joke.