Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thursday 08/07 A.M. Quickie:
Favre, NFL Preseason, Olympics, More

Depending on your perspective, this Favre-to-the-Jets story -- which will assuredly dominate the day -- is either the blissful end of a grueling chapter of our fan experience this summer OR merely the start of the next grueling chapter. It was unavoidable that Favre would lead today's SN column. Here are a few non-column observations about Favre in New York:

Favre in New York is like media wish-fulfillment -- god, can you imagine what emotions Peter King is feeling right now? The Jets store already had Favre jerseys to sell (or pre-sell) when I checked at 6:30 this morning; by 8, the site was down, presumably overloaded with would-be buyers.

Packers fans had sort of frustrated me during this whole saga -- although polling this week made me feel better that at least half of the fans were sick of Favre, too -- but now that his departure to another team is real, I feel kind of bad for them.

It can't be easy to see your icon -- your favorite player -- in another team's jersey, with another team's fans now with more claim to root for him than you have.

The Jets now become the center of gravity in the NFL -- maybe not for the duration of the season, but certainly for the next month. That's a hell of a trick, given that they share a city and stadium with the defending champs and given that they share a division with a team that hasn't lost a regular season in a long time.

Of all the thoughts I have about this swirling around this morning, I think the one that resonates is the "KG Great Man" Theory: On at least a few superficial levels (stardom level, jersey color, Midwest-to-East-Coast relocation, crappy team), Favre is like KG last fall in his move to the Celtics.

But KG was in a title-or-bust situation: Anything less than an NBA title would have been an utter and conspicuous failure for Garnett.

With Favre -- with the NFL -- there is no one-man fix for the Jets. Given the vagaries of NFL success from year to year, the Jets' 4 wins from a year ago could easily become 8 or 9 -- that won't be enough for the playoffs in an AFC where 5 playoff spots seem locked up already.

But Favre is in a different situation than Garnett: KG had to win a title, simply had to. Favre is merely looking to finish up his career. Obviously, he'd like to go out a winner, but I don't think anyone has any expectations that can or will happen with the Jets.

For Favre, getting the Jets to .500 this season might just be enough to call the season a successful one. I appreciate the Jets' interest in "win now," although the chances of going from 4 wins to the Super Bowl on Brett Favre's back seems fantastical -- not fantastic.

I said this about the Wizards and Gilbert Arenas, and I think it applies to the Jets with Favre: As long as they're not winning a championship, they can at least be relevant. For a megomaniacal guy like Favre and a team that plays in a megomaniacal city like New York, that is probably all that matters at this point.

Complete SN column can be found here, including all sorts of other topics, like MLB Instant History, LeBron vs. David Beckham, BYU's chances of crashing the BCS, Olympics ramp-up and more.

More later.

-- D.S.

No comments: