Monday, August 03, 2009
Now that Brett Favre has officially turned down the Vikings, we can finally get back to the "Favre the Analyst" sweepstakes. It's been no secret that ESPN has been buddy-buddy with the ex-QB, and has pandered to his every whim and announcement, so the obvious choice is for him to sign on with the "Leader". While that makes the most sense, there are other networks that need him more, namely CBS. There are some issues though, and Michael Hiestand of USA Today, has laid them out for us....
•He might not have much to say. This seems unlikely. But there is precedent for something like that, such as Joe Montana's stint on NBC.While I don't think he would have "nothing to say", I certainly think he's not cut out for calling live games. However, during an age of Sports Broadcasting in which networks hire big name former players for tryouts all the time just for the hell of it, there's really no risk in taking a flier on Favre. If he works....he works. If he doesn't....there's another crop of big names retiring this year.
•He'd never do TV. Just like Bob Knight never would.
•Hamlet can still change his mind. You've offered to mount cameras on Favre's riding mower so he can talk from there and not drop by a studio. You've put him in clever promos. And then by, say Week 4, some NFL quarterbacks go down and vacancies pop up and … well, who knows what happens then?
•Would he matter? Occasionally, analysts who've never called football on TV — the late Bill Walsh, Tony Kornheiser and, this season, Jon Gruden— go directly to calling marquee games. That involves quickly learning TV's mechanics and could be risky. But otherwise, it could be a waste to sign such a star for obscure games going to, say, 7% of the U.S.
Which leaves NFL studio shows which, in TV terms, are a pretty big deal. The four pregame shows — on Fox, CBS, ESPN and NFL Network — each week collectively draw ratings that approach coverage of, say, a big college bowl game or final-round coverage of The Masters. And, unlike live event coverage where networks can't control whether you end up getting a good game, pregame shows are one of the few venues where networks compete directly for the same viewers with shows they control.
While I'd personally like some time without Brett Favre taking up the screen every second, I completely understand why ESPN would try to grab him now. But there is one thing that could save us from Favre in an analysts chair. The seriousness of Tavaris Jackson's knee injury. It's basically a coin flip but I'd much rather deal with Favre the Player nonsense, over Favre the Analyst nonsense, every week. That's just me though.
Favre on TV? Seems like a no-brainer but ... (USA Today)