Sports talk show host opinions on Favre not representative of fan base

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Last Friday, I emailed the Star Tribune’s sportswriter Patrick Reusse about an article he’d written on the Favre situation. He had interviewed Drew Olson, from Milwaukee’s ESPN’s the D-List as his main source for the article. As much as I respect Drew Olson, I don’t agree with his position entirely on this Favre matter because I believe it’s been clouded by Favre-Fatigue. Olson and the other D-Listers (Bill Johnson and Dan Needles) like all the talk show hosts I’ve listened to (except Homer on ESPN Milwaukee who says the team should say “fine come back, but your done after this year”), are squarely in the camp that Favre is done, and the Packers need to move on. Anyway, the gist of Reusse’s article was that this is how most Packer fans feel (mostly because that’s what Olson thinks and that’s what he seems to hear most from his callers). Olson told Reusse that when the Brewers got CC Sabathia, people didn’t care as much re the Favre news because they were so sick of it – well, that was true only for a couple days and while plenty have tired of the Favre saga, this happened mostly because the Brewers had just completed perhaps the biggest trade in their history. But it stopped being true shortly thereafter and ever since, Favre’s situation has dominated headlines.

Anyway, right now as we all deal with this situation, the sports talk show hosts are the ones who have to deal with it most. So, when you and I wake up and think about what we’ll be doing today, we can think about other things. But for these guys, for the last 2 weeks (minus a couple days for Sabathia), all it’s been for them is Favre this and Favre that. I too might get a little tired of the lack of topic diversity and talking about it non-stop. So I can understand the talk show host general tendency to slide negative on things like this, because it’s exhausting and frankly, given the information that is coming out, Favre’s position has become harder to defend. But the risk that’s run here is that these talk show hosts are major holders of local opinion on sports matters and while they do shape public opinion often, sometimes their opinions are simply not representative of the fan-base. So when I emailed Reusse, I told him that his sourcing was narrow and I guessed that it was probably closer to 60% of fans actually wanting Favre back.

Consider these two polls, the first a Green Bay poll done on Sunday and second at jsonline:

What do you want Favre’s roll to be in 2008?

  • 33% starter, 19% back-up, 15% coach, 34% stay retired

Should the Packers trade Favre?

  • 18% yes, 74% no, 9% release him

(Of note: 53% of respondents were female).

jsonline poll:

Which QB do you want to start next season for the Packers:

62% Favre

36% Rodgers

2% Someone else

So, my overall point here is that some of the loudest voices are the ones lining up against Favre – but don’t be fooled into thinking that is how most Packer fans feel. In fact, the polls and stats I’ve read seem to indicate the opposite.

As for me, I continue to be frustrated like most fans and if anything, I’ve come around to thinking that the organization has handled this perhaps better than I initially thought. As I said yesterday, I can’t fault the team for wanting an answer prior to the draft. So, I too have grown increasingly frustrated with Favre’s back and forth. But there remains a part of me that still believes that he would be very effective if he were to play in 2008 for the Packers because he can clearly still play.

But the more this plays out, the more I can see a trade materializing…

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