Oh, sports fans! They do love a good drama, don't they?
Spygate. Derek Jeter's "cheat." Tiger Woods. The perfect game that wasn't. Roger Clemens. HGH. OJ. TO. Tastes Great. Less Filling.
Everyone has an opinion when it comes to sports controversies. The latest drama is no different.
Sitting back and watching the reaction to the Brett Favre sexting scandal, I have noticed three things:
- A lot of people are backing Favre and calling Jenn Sterger every dirty name in the book (while ironically showing her about the same amount of respect as Favre allegedly did).
- Many are hoping the allegations are true and an NFL icon is humiliated and leaves the game under a cloud of shame.
- Some people don't care, or just think a player's personal life is their personal life and should be kept off-limits.
After all, what fun is it to watch something like this and not have an opinion about it? Heaven forbid anyone look at this from every side of the story before taking sides.
But one thing all sides must accept, especially group no. 3, is that a celebrity is, rightly or wrongly, open to having his or her personal life exposed for all to see. It's the price of fame. And Favre is one of the most polarizing figures in sports. Love him or hate him, the man has made a career of keeping himself in the media through action, words and especially inaction to stories and rumors he could easily quell with one of his famous texts to his media buddies.
In that aspect, Favre has brought this massive attention to himself and has earned every bit of it, positive or negative.
Looking at this issue from a neutral perspective is difficult, but not impossible. And the following are the key parts of this story that matter most to the outcome and fans views.
The Deadspin Story
The Deadspin website is what initiated this controversy in early August. Not many media outlets ran with the story back then. Some like ESPN all but ignored it. But this is a site that, while not mainstream and full of credible or recognizable journalists, has had legitimate information broken on their site and has even been credited by Sports Illustrated as the source for some of its stories.
Now that the voice-mails and photos have been released, there seems to be validity to the accusations against Favre if they are proven authentic.
Opinions may vary on the morals of getting this story and running with it, but you can't deny it has sparked one of the biggest sex scandals in sports since Tiger Woods. Is this site the Internet version of The National Inquirer? Or is it trying to be the sports version of TMZ? The outcome of the Favre-Sterger story may determine just how credible this site is.
Sexism in the Media
While reading blogs, comments and articles about this story, I have come across a disturbing trend highlighted by an article by NFL writer Jason Whitlock. After making some poor taste jokes about the Favre situation, then stating how serious work-place sexual harassment is, Whitlock went on to describe Sterger by saying, "It does not matter that Jenn Sterger’s on-full-display, fake breasts were her only qualification to land a job with the Jets."
Yup, Whitlock said how bad sexual harassment is, then went on to say Sterger was only there because of her fake breasts. Touche Whitlock.
To be fair, I'm sure he has a story out there stating how some guy only has a job because of their hair plugs or capped teeth or a huge bulge in his pants.
Most bloggers and fans siding with Favre tend to have the same attitude, which is she has fake breasts so obviously she is a bimbo or just out for money.
And lets not forget most all stories written about this have plenty of links to sexy pics of Sterger to reaffirm she is just a pair of fake breasts. As long as she is just a Deanna Favre clone with big boobs it keeps her from being an actual person who was allegedly the recipient of unwanted sexual advances.
Based on the fact it has been reported she wasn't the one who leaked the voice-mail and pictures, and in the original story in August Sterger was reluctant to go on the record, it doesn't appear Sterger is out for the attention or money. This may be wrong and it could be a cleverly thought-out plan for national attention to promote her and her budding career on the Versus network. But somehow that doesn't seem likely.
He is a gunslinger. A man's man. An everyman. An iron-man. A hero to some. A diva media whore to others.
But what many fans nationally don't know is that early in Favre's career in Green Bay, he was a wild child. Stories of him drinking and carousing around Green Bay and Appleton were commonplace. And his faithfulness to his high school sweetheart Deanna was lacking. She even writes about this in her book, "Don't Bet Against Me." Deanna walked in on Favre in 1995 while he was on the phone with another woman and threatened to leave him. So there is a history of promiscuous behavior by Favre.
However, to be fair he is one of the highest profile athletes in America and would be a prime target for a sex scandal. But with two more former Jets employees coming forward with alleged similar complaints, its looking more like a trend in behavior, not a one-time attempt to discredit a super star with a false accusation.
The NFL will not take this incident lightly if found to be true. Recent reports say Sterger and her manager might not cooperate as easily as first thought. This would be a benefit to Favre. But if these allegations are found to be true the NFL will act swiftly and decisively.
What might surprise many people is the fine and suspension Favre could receive could be on par with Ben Roethlisberger's. The reason being is because of the current NFL promotion of Cancer Awareness Month. Anyone notice all that pink on the players, coaches and referees?
What does that have to do with the Favre-Sterger situation? Plenty.
The NFL is trying to tap into its largest area of opportunity in viewer demographics, which is the largest one it doesn't have. Namely: women. The NFL has cornered the market on male viewers. If the NFL comes down soft on Favre should the allegations hold true, they could lose a large percentage of the potential new female fans they are trying to bring on board.
That view may seem cold-hearted, but in the end the NFL is a business. And you can't have one of your most recognizable faces (or anyone for that matter) sending inappropriate messages and texts to its female employees.
The NFL will act quickly to clear the name of, or find the guilt of one of its most famous faces.
So far, Favre has kept quiet about the allegations. But a recent tearful apology to his Minnesota Vikings teammates, and no public support of him by his wife does not bode well for No. 4. This by no means shows his guilt or innocence but it doesn't help his cause. And the fact of the matter is, the only person he truly has to answer to is Deanna.
In the court of public opinion Favre's image is protected by his die-hard fans who refuse to see rust in the armor of the NFL iron-man. While those who believe he is guilty are all too quick to throw the iron-man on the trash heap.
How will it all end? The answer is coming soon to every sports media outlet near you.
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