Sunday, August 8, 2010

So did the Vikings smoke out Favre?

About a week ago, the Football world was "rocked" by the news that Brett Favre had retired... again... but then he immediately unretired... again. I don't know if it was for the 3, 4th or 5th time. I lost count. Somebody just called out the number 3.

The false report surfaced through Pro Football Talk and ESPN. It went around like wildfire. I will never understand the reasons why. The NFL Network jumped on it, and two agents were tasked with the job of confirming or denying these alegations. Mike Mayock at Vikings' camp, and Coach Marriucci, Brett's original position coach in Green Bay.

Dr. Mike ran around to all the Vikings executives asking about the truth of these rumors. They denied everything. They stated they had no known developments in the case. Marricci started text messaging like crazy with Favre. Favre claimed he hadn't said a word to anyone. Brett wondered how this hurricane story got started.

In the end, Favre wound up declaring that he would play if the health and condition of his ankle permits.

Mission accomplished. Favre has been smoked out. He's not on the fence about retirement anymore. He will play if he is health enough. So he's only kinda on the fence, but it is on a medical fence. He doesn't want to retire.

I am going to be real blunt: The Vikings started the title wave of bullshit. They had one of their low-level execs plant... errr.... leak this false report to Florio and some folks at ESPN, which started the title wave. ESPN might have tried for further confirmations, but Florio had already published the scoop. This took ESPN off the hot-seat for initiating the bullshit, so they ran with it.

ESPN even attributed this to protected sources leaking the news from inside the Viking organizations. I am sure that is accurate. I am sure they did leak it, and on purpose. The purpose was to smoke Brett out, and find out what was really on his mind. As I said before, mission accomplished.

Of course, the Vikings turned right around and denied everything. So did Favre, and that is the important part.

Folks, this happens all the time. During the 2010 draft, Devaney planted the story that Sam Bradford didn't want to play for the Rams, and would hold out, perhaps even petitioning for a return to Oklahoma in a bid for the 2011 draft if selected by the Rams.

The story smelt like horse shit the second it surfaced on ESPN. Still, it gave Rich Eisen the opportunity to put the question directly to Sam Bradford on NFL Total Access (when he appeared with the famous Dr. James R. Andrews.). Sam looked stunned. He denied everything, and then he brooded for the rest of the interview.

He looked pissed and sad. "Who is trying to blow my opportunity to be selected #1!" You could read his face. You didn't have to be a psychic Pisces to read his mind. Mission accomplished. Bradford has been smoked out.

Ever since the NFL Network emerged, we have been seeing more and more of this kind of thing. If officials of any team need to smoke out any hidden position, all they need to do is issue the false report through ESPN and then pose the question on NFL Total Access. It is a perfect media hammer and anvil for smashing down those walls of secrecy.

I wonder how ESPN feels about being manipulated like this? I wonder how the player confidentiality guys feel about this hammer and anvil play?