And while Sterger's unexpected return to the national stage will have some root in the media's obsession with all things Brett Favre, it will largely be based on the changing culture of whatever passes for journalism these days.
Actually, Sterger, 26, is not an unknown quantity. A random camera shot of her during an ABC college football telecast in 2005 got Sterger noticed and she's steadily been in front of a camera since.
From there, she wrote occasional columns for SportsIllustrated.com. Sterger has posed for Maxim and Playboy, and currently hosts "The Daily Line" on Versus, while serving as game-day host during New York Jets games.
To be sure, Sterger is no babe in the woods when it comes to media exposure. Still, she probably doesn't want the attention she's received this week because of her alleged connection to Favre and because she knows Deadspin.com editor A.J. Daulerio.
According to a post on Deadspin Wednesday, Daulerio and Sterger met to discuss a project for the site. The conversation morphed into a discussion about the novelty of athletes sending photos of their penises via cell phones.
Daulerio wrote that Sterger -- who began working for the Jets in 2008, the season Favre played in New York -- told him that Favre had sent her similar photos as well as leaving messages on her cell phone. She maintained that she had never had any relationship of any kind with Favre.
Though Daulerio persistently asked her for permission to tell the story, Sterger said she resisted, even going so far as to e-mail him not to publish her story or to use her name in conjunction with any story about the topic.
However, at some point, Daulerio told Sterger that he was going to proceed, using the e-mails they had traded on the subject as the foundation. Daulerio said he finally did get her permission, though her BlackBerry was not working properly. As a result, she offered to either meet him in person or to respond once she got the BlackBerry to work.
Daulerio admits that the two never talked again, either in person or via cell or message. Nonetheless, he posted a piece, even printing e-mails he traded with Sterger.
For his part, Daulerio does in the original piece admit a level of squeamishness over what he did. However, in an e-mail to columnist Jeff Bercovici of Daily Finance, which, like FanHouse, is an AOL site, Daulerio wrote, "As much as I'd love to have her on the record about this (and the photos/voicemails, obvs.), she was spooked by it and I didn't want to wait much longer for it. Unfortunately, she also knew who she was telling this story to and there wasn't any way possible I was going to sit on that conversation forever. She's a nice girl and I honestly believe she had real strong ethical feelings about why this story should never see the light of day with her name attached to it, but I feel differently about that, obviously."
In a certain sense, while there are few reputable newspapers in the country that would have done what Daulerio did, Deadspin and TMZ and sites like them serve a useful purpose, quiet as it's kept.
The truth is that while mainstream journalists may hold Deadspin and other blog-oriented sites at a distance like a stinky diaper, it's at moments like these that the new media most helps the old.
You see, now that this tidbit is out, someone will ask Favre about it, assuming he comes back. The question might get posed at his first press conference or before or after a practice, but rest assured, someone will ask.
And while the mainstream media may pooh-pooh the means by which the information came to light, they'll duly report Favre's answer or non-answer, because everyone else will.
It's virtually pointless to call out Daulerio for what he did to Sterger, for a couple of reasons, most importantly that he has no shame. Given the same set of circumstances, he would do the same thing again and again.
This story doesn't remotely pass the breakfast table test, meaning is something so distasteful that it can't be read over the breakfast table, either silently or aloud.
There is no on-the-record source or enough off-the-record sources (usually two or three with first-hand knowledge) to verify the material, and by his own admission, Daulerio ran with an item without the expressed permission of the source/victim.
And then there's the matter of how much of a victim Sterger is. If the alleged voicemails and pictures that Favre sent were so distasteful, why did she hold on to them for well over a year?
Still, this story -- and stories like it -- present an essential problem for those of us who fancy ourselves as newsgatherers. Namely, we don't really know what you need or want.
Oh, we know that you want to know about your teams and the players, what they're thinking and what they're feeling. But how much more do you want to know?
We know you want to know if Favre is healthy, and whether he's going to continue to drag this 'Will he come back or not?' drama out. We get that. But do you really want to know whether he sent naughty pictures and voicemails to someone who isn't his wife?
No doubt, there will be those who will comment below this story about the prurient interest of the media and how all we want to sell is the salacious. That may be true, but apparently over 100,000 people clicked on the Favre story within the first three hours of its posting.
So, which part of the stinky diaper are you willing to claim?