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The Sixth Extinction


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Posted on Oct 27, 2010
AP / Seth Wenig

By Mark Heisler

(Page 2)

If that was undeniably ageist, no one challenged Kornheiser’s description of Storm’s “red go-go boots ... Catholic school plaid skirt” and “typically very, very, tight shirt ... [like a] sausage casing wrapping around her upper body.”

If you haven’t noticed, more and more stunning women are cast in the role of Sideline Reporter, a BS assignment unless someone as hard-nosed as Jim Gray was doing it with few or no opportunities to actually interview anyone down there.

The salient feature of the Internet, aside from sex, is competition.

ESPN’s many pundits not only battle rival networks, newspapers, websites, et al., for attention, but each other.

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So, it shouldn’t be surprising if we get candor like that of ESPN SportsNation’s Colin Cowherd, debating Michelle Beadle (another gorgeous blonde) on the inevitable subject of the media role in the Favre story (duh).

Cowherd: I’m not saying it’s news. I’m saying it’s a story. I’m in the story business. This show is in the story business, the topic business. …

We’re talking about allegations, third party ... [but] I’ve never heard of a story that everybody complains is not a story but it leads every show.

Beadle: Is it juicy and sexy? Absolutely? Is it really anything? No.

Cowherd: I’m not Walter Cronkite. I’m your juicy, sexy guy. I love those kind of stories.

Hopefully, the juicy, sexy guy won’t ever find himself in one of those slimeball stories he loves.

By a 58-42 margin, respondents told SportsNation it was not a story ... with enough participants to prove beyond question that it was.

Not that the media is entirely BS, but it sounds like the health care debate, in which most people wanted change and everyone hated all the changes.

The definition of a big story is one everyone can participate in. Thus, the timing couldn’t have been worse for Favre, obliged to face the Jets on a Monday night a month into the season.

It was more like the gods were having a ball watching this as the Gotham press flew to Minnesota for the lead-in and a New York Post guy boldly confronted Favre about the Sterger allegations.

Favre, who’s extraordinarily gracious for a male slut if he is one, replied without rancor, “I’m not going to get into that. I’ve got my hands full with the Jets. ...”

This was like tea and crumpets compared with Deadspin’s coverage, which included a new twist on the dread man-in-the-street assignment.

Or, as its headline put it:

“The Adventures Of A Guy Walking Around Vikings-Jets Tailgates With Brett Favre’s Cock Photos.”

Actually, wrote Deadspin’s David Matthews, “It was a lot less awkward than it sounds.”

I decided on a group of fathers and college-aged sons in Jets gear [who] were receptive [wrote Matthews]. ... One of the fathers took me aside and briefly began telling me about a web venture he was planning but his sons quickly told him to shut up so I could show them pictures of a penis. ... Finally, I found [Viking fans]. One had what I think was an old Vikings Jim McMahon jersey; another had an Adrian Peterson. The women with them were wearing Vikings jerseys. ... I asked them what they had to say about the allegations.

“You need to leave.”

C’mon, guys, just a quick word.

“If you don’t get the fuck out of here, I’m going to punch you in the throat.”

Meanwhile, Favre was apologizing tearfully to teammates for the distraction he had become.

Of course, it quickly got out.

“That’s between me and my teammates,” said Favre dryly after the game, “although, apparently, not all of them.”

In keeping with the nightmare theme, Favre held the Vikes in the game while the Jets gashed the Minnesota defense for 328 yards, throwing three touchdown passes that included highlight-reel strikes to Randy Moss and Percy Harvin that recalled last season’s last-second game-winner against the 49ers that seemed to define their fairy tale run.

Trailing, 22-20, late in this game, Favre threw a interception that Jet corner Dwight Lowery ran in for the touchdown sealing the 29-20 loss.

Guess who became the lowest of the low?

“BRETT COMES UP SHORT,” said the New York Post front-page headline.

“EXPOSED,” said the Post headline on the back page.

“SORRY BRETT LOL,” said the New York Daily News, opting for text-message humor instead of referring to Favre’s manhood.

The game drew a monster-for-cable 10.7 rating, even after a 45-minute weather delay that pushed the start back to 9:15 p.m., Eastern time.

NFL ratings are on a new rising curve, a phenomenon attributed to HD and flat-screen TVs. More likely, it’s soap opera coverage and sensational weeklong lead-ins. 

So, at least this works for someone, if not the participants.

Happily for Favre, in six years when he’s up for the Hall of Fame, his nightmare may well be forgotten ... because we will have moved on to so many others’ nightmares.

Last week, the 1-3 Vikings beat the 1-3 Cowboys in the so-called “Panic Bowl.” The buzzards turned toward Dallas and began flying lazy circles over the heads of Coach Wade Phillips and quarterback Tony Romo, like Favre a former media darling.

On “SportsCenter” the next morning Storm joked of Dallas’ plight, “If you take that Panic Meter that we love so much and push it, how high does it go?”

Expert Antonio Pierce said there wasn’t a number high enough.

Even if we have to send out for more heroes, or forgive the ones we just trashed, it’s an exciting time.


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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, October 29, 2010 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

Why is it that American news services go catatonic with sex scandals and why do French (and most European) news services just wink at them?

Because of the differing notions of confidentiality as regards one’s private life of even public people. If one spouse is (supposedly) “cheating” on another, that is clearly a matter between the two spouses and not between the two spouses and a nation of puritan gawkers.

Isn’ this carrying “freedom of speech”—which has become a subterfuge for all sorts of mindless tomfoolery—a wee bit too far. Especially the feeding frenzy of “see it now!” TV reporting.

Are there left no notions of privacy or one’s personal dignity?

Methinks that your right to be informed stops where my right of privacy and personal dignity begins. Barring, of course, any extralegal conduct on my part. But is an extramarital relationship necessarily also extralegal? Evidently, in America the answer is a resounding Yes! Despite a marriage contract that does not mention the matter whatsoever?

Which is a shame, since it is simply a matter between two individuals and not the world at large, regardless of anyone’s mediatization.

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By bwin, October 28, 2010 at 6:45 am Link to this comment
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