Suddenly interested in Favre

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Suddenly interested in Favre

By Rich Levine
CSNNE.com

It pains me to pay attention to Brett Favre.

Not that I need to explain why, but heres a quick recap:

Over the past decade, Favres become the poster boy for all thats wrong with todays sports coverage; a muse for lazy, short-sighted writers and broadcasters whod still rather blindly harp on his grit, determination, courage and toughness than recognize everything he does to offset those redeeming qualities. Hes developed and cemented a reputation as one of the most needy, insecure and self-centered stars in sports, which in relative terms is as impressive an accomplishment as his Super Bowl ring. Anytime you hear someone say, You see, this is why I cant stand ESPN!, theres an 80 percent chance theyre talking about Favre.

Quite simply, Brett Favre makes it less fun to be a sports fan.

His presence clouds better, more interesting and inspiring story lines, and always leaves us wanting more. And by more, I mean different; anything other than Favre. It will literally be a relief when he finally hangs them up for good. Seriously, 2035 is going to be a fantastic year.

So given all that, writing a column about Favres latest headline stealing story feels wrong. It pains me. Its like theres a garbage fire burning in my living room and Im ready to toss in a bucket of human hair. Thank God its Columbus Day and everyone's out of the office. Well, everyone except for you. (Sorry.)

But the more I think about Favres alleged voice mails and MMS crotch shots, the more I find myself paying attention.

Im not so much talking about the actions themselves. I mean, yeah, its awful; a stupid, unprofessional move on his part. But Im not going to pretend that Favres the only married guy in America sending sketchy text messages to another woman. Im not going to get on a soapbox and criticize his morals, question his marriage, or call for his head. Although, I will say that I wasnt surprised to hear what (allegedly) happened.

Had Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or pretty much any quarterback other than Ben Roetlisberger been caught in a situation like this, I might be. But Favre? He hasnt necessarily portrayed himself as the most loyal, stable, considerate or trustworthy guy over these last few years. When I saw the video, I wasnt like, Wow! Brett Favre, really?! This wasnt a Tigers a sex addict revelation. It was more, Ha! Man, Favres such an idiot. Not that I saw the whole incident coming, but it kind of fits. Its not a shocker.

But what is shocking, and what keeps me coming back to this story, are the potential consequences a suspension, and the end of the most impressive and unbreakable record in NFL history.

288 consecutive starts and counting.

For all the trash I can talk about Favre, theres no denying his consecutive-start streak is all kinds of remarkable. Seriously, just think about it . . . the guy hasnt missed a game since 1992!

For comparisons sake, consider the team the Patriots fielded the day Favres streak began September 27, 1992. They started Hugh Millen at QB and Leonard Russell at RB. On that afternoon, a 41-7 loss to Buffalo, New England's leading receivers were Greg McMurtry and Marv Cook. Irving Fryar was still a Patriot; Andre Tippett, too. Dick MacPherson was coaching! This was ages ago.

Its hard to compare baseball and football in this respect, but given Favres degree of difficulty, you can make an argument that his streak is just as impressive as Cal Ripkens. Its beyond legendary.

And the fact that after withstanding 18 years of battle against the biggest, baddest and craziest monsters in the world, this streak has the potential to end at the hands of three pants-less photos is . . . I dont know.

Fitting? Unjust? Hilarious? Karma?

Really, I dont know. But its certainly interesting. Its definitely a Brett Favre subplot that Ill follow intently; one that wont make me want to throw myself into that garbage fire every time it comes up on SportsCenter. Its a story that Im excited to watch play out.
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Until Roger Goodell chickens out and only gives Favre a fine. Then Ill just go back to despising him.

Rich Levine's column runs each Monday, Wednesday and Friday on CSNNE.com. Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrlevine33

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."

But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood. 

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The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity. 

The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet. 

With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside. 

While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that. 

What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other. 

Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability. 
 

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering what Claude Julien would do if one of the Bruins players was running Facebook Live during his postgame comments.
 
*Auston Matthews is obviously making a huge impression in Toronto as his Centennial Classic jersey sold for over $11,000 at a charity auction.
 
*Clark Booth knows it’s time to talk about the NFL, but instead he wants to talk about Milt Schmidt. I agree with Clark.

*Sabres goalie Robin Lehner says that his Buffalo teammates need to start doing their job as the season circles down the drain.

*Pierre McGuire talks with TSN sports radio about the Ottawa Senators, and the tough road trip coming up for them.
 
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has more bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning as Ryan Callahan is going to be out for another four weeks with a lower body injury.
 
*As the Detroit Red Wings continue to round up the bottom in the Atlantic Division, Thomas Vanek may become trade bait.
 
*Peter Budaj is giving the Kings the saves that they need with Jonathan Quick out long term with injury.
 
*For something completely different: Tom E. Curran points out some togetherness issues with the Pittsburgh Steelers based on Antonio Brown’s Facebook post.