The League

Jason Maloni
Crisis Communications Expert

Jason Maloni

Senior Vice President with
Levick Strategic Communications
and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

Ego Gone Wild

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I realize pulling on a pair of Wrangler jeans and tossing a ball with a few pick-up-driving buddies is little solace come autumn but does Brett Favre truly NEED to come back to football?

Let's make one thing clear: This isn't Montana finishing with the Chiefs or Unitas giving it one last go with the Chargers. Even before Brett signed his contract with the Vikings, the court of public opinion had delivered his verdict: Favre was guilty of multiple counts of hubris, jealousy, and hypocrisy.

Sure, Favre has an insatiable appetite for winning and the Vikings, on paper, appear to have all the pieces for a Championship puzzle. Maybe Favre is just what they need to bring one back to the "Land of 10,000 Lakes." Still, the situation reeks of revenge and it doesn't take an astute NFL fan to sniff out the truth. This is about ego. Period.

Favre's admitted in prior interviews to wanting to "stick it" to the Packers. His disdain for the way things ended in Green Bay isn't a secret. "If I'm not good enough to play here, let me play somewhere where it might be against you." The public record makes it too difficult for anyone to believe that Favre's coming back for anything but another shot at his former team. Favre's latest move is anything but believable and may turn out to be reputation management disaster.

That's because Brett Favre's most important fan base doesn't live in Minnesota, Atlanta or New York. It's the fans who paid to sit in ice cold weather while Favre strode across the frozen tundra. This is the Packer faithful. The Cheeseheads. These are the folks Favre has rudely dismissed with his latest "unretirement."

As a public relations specialist, I struggle to define success for Brett. If he comes out and lays an egg with a few more six interception games then he's disparaged his legacy. If he succeeds in winning the NFC North then he'll make twice as many enemies as friends. How many people bought New York Jet #4 jerseys? There are 10 year old kids in Ramapo, New Providence and Red Hook with a size SM Favre jerseys who feels gyped. How many Hall of Fame inductees have people booing at the ceremony when they enter Canton? This could be the first instance.

These days, the more we see of Favre, the more we wish he'd walk away. Instead of an inspiring story of an old school gunslinger QB who couldn't bring himself to walk away from the game he loves, Favre's story has become one of the annoying party guest who thinks everyone wants to hear him yak on and on well past midnight.

If it does all fall apart, the only players you'll see tossing a ball with Favre will be on his Hattiesburg farm wearing muddy Wrangler jeans. And they'll only be there because they're paid to make another commercial.

By Jason Maloni  |  August 19, 2009; 10:48 AM ET  | Category:  Atlanta Falcons , Brett Favre , Green Bay Packers , Minnesota Vikings , NFL , New York Jets , Quarterbacks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Stunned and Intrigued | Next: Favre the Betrayer

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