Thursday, October 14, 2010

Backlighting for Maximum Effect, by Brett Favre

Surprise! Another professional athlete does something stupid—allegedly.

But this time it's Brett Favre, a guy who is admired, even worshiped, among football fans across our great land. Over the past eighteen years of his quarterbacking career, he has epitomized grit, character and sheer love for his trade. Sure, he's retired and un-retired more frequently than I discover new skin tags, but his boyish enthusiasm has won him legions of supporters.

And now, it appears he has additional passions.

A woman has come forward, accusing Favre of texting illicit photographs of his "team member" to her cell phone. Although this isn't illegal, it would constitute workplace harassment, since both were employees of the New York Jets at the time of the alleged incident, and the National Football League is investigating.

Let's break this down. The guy is forty-one years old. He's married and is about to become a grandfather. I wonder if, like most parents, he's discussed with his children the potential risk in posting incriminating images of themselves. Or, to spin it differently, maybe Grandpa Brett simply decided to add a "genital geneology" category in the Favre family photo archives.

If not, then why do guys do this in the first place? Do they think it's some EBay-type situation, where the item needs to be viewed prior to bidding? I'd be willing to wager that, if you ask ten women which physical attributes they find attractive in men, they would list eyes, smile, chest, shoulders or bottom. I'm nearly positive that Favre's "little quarterback" wouldn't even be in the top five.

And let's face it—Brett Favre is a wealthy man. He could arrange an entire photo shoot to portray his "flesh flanker" in the best possible light. He could arrange stylists, props, a fuzzy, Barbara Walters-type lens filter and the finest hair and makeup professionals. Unfortunately, when that portion of the anatomy is isolated and highlighted, it's like putting a pig in Prada.

Other athletes have performed dumber stunts—New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg in a crowded nightclub after his concealed weapon accidentally fired (A lot of us guys already have that problem; we don't need the gun). Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger nearly killed himself riding a motorcycle with no helmet, and later engaged in his own escapade of sexual impropriety.

But Brett Favre, good old Number Four? Come on, man. Keep your player in the locker room.

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