"ESPN has just learned that Brett Favre's feelings, according to Brett Favre, are extremely hurt." "Yahoo Sports has now confirmed that not only are Brett Favre's feelings hurt, but that the hurting of those feelings has caused a slight rift in the space time continuum that may not be conveniently repaired anytime soon." "If you've got a conspiracy theory about Favre leaving the Packers, a poorly-worded and ill-thought out comment about how professional athletes are different from losers who call sports talk radio shows, or simply a homoerotic and unhealthy affinity for Brett Favre in general, we'll be taking your telephone calls for the next nine hours."
And so it went. On, and on, and further on... and interminably on for hours, days and weeks. On the radio. On Sportscenter. And the intra-nets. Nothing but minute-by-minute, feeling-by-feeling reports and speculation about whether or not a guy who played for 17 years and then retired was actually (COLLECTIVE AUDIBLE GASP!), possibly, going to come back (VISIBLE SHOCK AND PALPABLE AWE!) to play an 18th season. BUT WAIT! There's more. Since he retired his old team got a new quarterback (THE AUDACITY!) and then informed him that he may not be welcome back (WHAT HORROR!). Oh, and did we mention that this had happened at the end of every one of the last four seasons before (SURELY YOU JEST!)?
It is often said that the definition of mental illness is performing the same task over and over but expecting different results every time. If that theory is as true as it sounds, then trying to go about my business as a normal sports enthusiast seeking scores, highlights and analysis while this debacle hijacked all of the normal outlets for such information has been like watching your best friend turn into Hannibal Lector over the course of a week and some change. How do you go from grilling a steak on Monday to pairing brains and chianti by Sunday brunch?
How is it news that a narcissistic gazillionaire athlete thought that the world still revolved around the whims and wishes of the brain inside his battered helmet? Who cares that a bunch of middle-aged and overweight Lost Boy fans still pathetically live their lives through the aforementioned player, who interestingly enough, doesn't give two shovel passes about them because, well, they're not him? And where the hell is the Dodger score?!?! The answer, my friends, was blowing in the multi-medium wind: Sports, however near and dear to our hearts they might be, have become just another limb in the eight-tentacled shock-topus we call entertainment.