Sports Heavies Finally Stoop to Covering Brett Favre-Jenn Sterger Controversy
That seems to be the case with the NFL's investigation of the Brett Favre "sexting" incident, which, if you watched or listened to the Sunday NFL shows, just landed on the radar in the last week.
The truth is that this story has been in play for more than two months, since Deadspin first ran it around the time teams were reporting for training camp. That it has just now exploded says a lot about the myth-making machinery attached to sports media and the NFL in general.
It's baffling that this story sat dormant for two months and only was noticed this past week. Cynics might accuse ESPN, which will carry the Monday night game between the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets, of ginning up this matter to drive eyeballs to the telecast.
Nice try, but that doesn't work. There are enough storylines at work (Randy Moss' first game with the Vikings, Favre's return to New York) at play -- not to mention the idea that people are watching football at unprecedented levels -- that a salacious angle isn't required to sell the game.
If anything, this may well turn out to be yet another example of ESPN being slow on the draw to cover negative stories with athletes of considerable stature. How long did the Worldwide Leader sit on reports about the misdoings of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before it had to move on them? And how aggressively did ESPN initially probe questions about Tiger Woods last fall?
In fairness, ESPN is hardly the only NFL partner who has sat on its hands on the Favre piece. No one, not CBS, not FOX, not NBC and surely not the NFL Network, went near this piece before last week, when apparently two additional Favre-text recipients stepped forward.
Some of their reluctance, to be sure, stemmed from the way the story first came to light. Deadspin is known for taking chances that other reputable journalism outlets wouldn't, and the fact that Sterger -- who has not publicly commented to date on the matter -- was ostensibly outed by a Deadspin editor, made the story less than savory.
And yes, some of this has to do with Favre's stature. He is viewed in many circles as a sports god, while Sterger, a Jets stadium host whose photos have appeared in "Playboy" and "Maxim," is better known for her looks than her reporting skills.
That may all be true, but this piece just goes to show that if you wait around for Sunday or Monday to get NFL news, you may have to wait a long time.