And by "the real stories," FoxSports.com's Michael Rosenberg means a bunch of other stories that are just as overplayed and annoying as Favre's (along with a handful of bad jokes). Out of the frying pan and into the fire we go.
American adults can only use so much brain matter on pro football, and lately, all of it has been occupied by Brett Favre. And in the meantime, we're missing out on some more interesting training camp stories. Here are seven:
Brace yourself for some fresh angles.
1. The Patriots huddle and discuss: "What the hell do we now?"
The who? The Patriots? What? Damn you, Brett Favre. You're keeping us away from stuff we need to hear about. Like stories that haven't been mercilessly run into the ground for months on end.
This team was basically one helmet-catch away from the greatest season in NFL history.
I must've missed that. I'd better Google it or something. Anyone want to link me to a story about that?
If the Pats had won the Super Bowl, this summer would be filled with speculation about when they might actually lose a game.
Oh, if only.
Instead ... well, we bring you back to the question at the top: What do they do now? They were clearly determined to run the table last year, more than any team in modern NFL history. Can they bring that kind of focus again? Is that even possible?
I don't know, but I'd sure love to read about it for another 6 months. Let's get that train rolling.
The suspicion here is that the Patriots follow the example of the Steelers, Colts, Miami Heat and St. Louis Cardinals in recent years. Those teams all followed dynamic regular seasons with disappointing postseasons, then won the championship the following year.
If you're a Patriot, how can September dominance seem so important again?
I don't know, but I'm sure the sports media will be there to fill us in every step of the way as they try to handle that challenge.
2. The Saints try to save several careers
Not sure this one would be getting too much press regardless of what Favre was up to. But let's see Rosenberg's angle.
There are a lot of exciting players in the NFL. There are only a few that make you say "Wow, I don't know if I've ever seen anybody quite like this guy."
Jeremy Shockey burst onto the scene as one of those guys. If Shockey is the player he thinks he is, New Orleans can be a Super Bowl threat.
Jeremy who? I hate to re-use my "fake ignorance" joke, but fucking seriously. Is this clown (Rosenberg, not Shockey) really trying to say that we need less Favre because he's getting in the way of the Patriots and Jeremy Fucking Shockey? Really?
Reggie Bush is one of those guys, too.
Never heard of him.
Nobody puts together a highlight like Bush.
An NCAA highlight, maybe. Not sure I'm willing to give him that stamp for his body of work in the NFL.
Bush was supposed to revolutionize the running-back position, but so far, the position has transformed him. We'll find out soon if he is truly an NFL star, or another electrifying college player whose skills don't quite translate to the pros.
We've been hearing about this issue since week 3 in 2006. This Favre-induced break from that topic is welcome in my book.
3. The Cowboys are throwing Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, The Artist Formerly Known as Pacman Jones, Tank Johnson, Zach Thomas, Roy Williams, a coach who is rumored to be a lame duck (Wade Phillips) and a coordinator who could take over for said duck (Jason Garrett) all into one pot.
So far, our list of topics that are being ignored because of Farvefest 2008:
1. The Patriots
2. Jeremy Shockey and Reggie Bush
3. The Cowboys
I'm beside myself with rage. Is this article being written ironically? Is Rosenberg spoofing one overplayed story to make a broader point about the sports media's tendency to consistently ram other stories down consumers' throats? Or is he just simply fucking clueless? You decide. (I for one already have; I'll bet you can guess which conclusion I came to.)
The result could be a Super Bowl champion. Fascinating.
Two years ago? Mildly interesting. Now? Completely and totally unfascinating. (sic)
4. The Giants try to do things in reverse order.
Lose your highest-profile player, then win the Super Bowl, then win your division. It's a twist, you gotta admit.Very confusing. First, more talk about Shockey, which is pretty much nauseating. Then, an implication that the Giants are more concerned with winning their division than repeating as Super Bowl champs. All this framed by the idea that the usual order of goals for any given team is to win their division, then win the Super Bowl, then lose their highest-profile player.
5. Will the Detroit Lions finally be good?
No.As infuriating as it was at the time, now that we're at this point I kind of liked it better when he was talking about the Patriots and Cowboys.
6. The Norv Turner Show!
(I don't know if there is, or ever has been, something called The Norv Turner Show. I assume there has. But I can't imagine why anybody would watch it.)Then don't try to write a joke about it, dummy.
The San Diego Chargers are threatening to be one of those teams that seems like it should win the Super Bowl five years in a row but never even makes it. At some point, LaDainian Tomlinson will start to decline. At some point, so will the Chargers. The NFL is cyclical.
Will this be the year San Diego comes through?You know what? I'll give credit here. This story (particularly the Turner angle) isn't exactly underappreciated, but at least it's not the Cowboys or Patriots.
7. Green Bay makes a bold decision to ... keep its team.
Am I the only one here who is more interested in watching Aaron Rodgers this season than Brett Favre? (Put your hand down, coach McCarthy.)
Rodgers is an unknown. In his one extended stretch under center, against the Cowboys last year, he was terrific. And the fact that the Packers are willing to end Favre's ironman streak, or trade him, and risk the public backlash, just to see what Rodgers can do ... well, that's enough to get me to watch the guy.
Don't worry, you'll be hearing about it. In fact, if you were paying attention, you'd know that you're already hearing about it three-quarters as much as you're hearing about Favre himself. This is the perfect wrap-up to the article, really. Michael Rosenberg: utterly and completely clueless.