When Brett Favre held his (supposed) farewell press conference yesterday, the tears weren’t that surprising. He’s cried and done the whole “I just love this game so much” routine so many times it would have been an upset if he didn’t becoming a blubbering mess while announcing his own retirement.
It makes one wonder, what will happen when Tom Brady retires? If Mr. Stetson cries as shamelessly as Favre (and you have to check out Gary Radnich next week if you can, he’s got P-Con running the Favre “I guess all…I guess all good things come to an end (sob)” sound bite from yesterday’s press conference nonstop — just hilarious) when he announces his retirement from the New England Patriots, he would be called everything from a faker to a baby, with a lot of synonyms for female anatomy thrown in for good measure.
Why is this? The power of the Southern accent. When Andy Pettitte drawled and y’alled his way through his recent HGH-apology press conference, he was overwhelmingly considered a good guy for coming clean, even though all he did was admit to what he had already been caught doing. And anybody who believes Pettitte only took HGH a couple isolated times to treat an injury also thinks Barry Bonds was clean because he never failed a drug test.
A Southern accent means a lot of things in this country. To some it means a lack of education or polish, which is by no means a fair characterization. However, many people in this country go too far in the other direction, relating a Southern accent to qualities like honesty, strong morals, and being more down to earth. That’s why whenever Favre has played the whole “warrior who loves the game” role it’s been accepted as genuine, while somebody from California or New York would probably be seen as a phony after a while.
Favre has always been a backhanded self-promoter, a rare breed whose fame has never seen public backlash. Although he’s always mugging for the camera during games, holding tearful press conferences, even appearing as himself in “There’s Something About Mary,” there’s always been a lot of “Gee, aw shucks, I just wanna bring a title to Green Bay” with reporters, which have left them drooling for years. Speaking of Favre’s favorite son status with the media, the biggest question about the Favre retirement has got to be: how is John Madden coping? Will he just follow Favre out of the league and retire right now? Or is Madden going to wait and make sure Favre is actually retiring before making his own decision?
For Madden, that’s a smart idea. Favre has been making retirement noise for years, holding Green Bay hostage for weeks last year before deciding to return. That horrendously cold NFC Championship game loss to the New York Giants probably led him to retire, but his team did get pretty close to the Super Bowl. Also, Favre stands to make a lot more money playing than he will by retiring and not going into television, and he swears he won’t follow every other recent Hall of Fame quarterback and become an analyst.
Even with yesterday’s waterworks, Favre is liable to up and come back next year if the Packers make a favorable move, like trading for Chad Johnson. After all, many think that if the Randy Moss had signed with the Pack, Favre would have come back faster than he used to pop a Vicodin. Aaron Rodgers better not brag to his friends that he finally has the starting job in Green Bay, because Pettitte, Roger Clemens and even the president of this country have all shown something in common: just because a man sounds like he’s from the South, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s telling the truth.