Wednesday night, as the Olympic Channel was showing last weekend’s women’s super-G from Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany, the commercial breaks were the standard fare for a niche sports channel, targeting the key demographic of middle-aged men.
There was the hair-replacement ad that weirdly says “this isn’t 1970,” while showing a bald man disco dancing, which wasn’t a thing in 1970, but much later in that decade.
There was the Nugenix commercial with Frank Thomas and Doug Flutie, in which The Big Hurt gives his Hall of Fame endorsement to the power of testosterone boosting and weirdly and unsubtly tells a guy at a driving range that if he uses it, he’ll be better at sex with his lady, and the dude returns a blushing smile. Maybe someone can ask Courtside Karen’s stunningly jacked husband about that.
And then there was Brett Favre, appearing with Jerry Rice in yet another ad for CopperFit, because if you’ve got a product that can be sold in the “as seen on TV” section at Walgreen’s, the Ol’ Gunslinger is your man.
Favre made $137.8 million playing football, but that hasn’t stopped him from going out of his way to seek out every last possible dollar in his post-playing career. That’s fine. We live in a capitalist society, and he’s entitled to go get his money, no matter how stupid it makes him look.
He even took $1.1 million from a Mississippi nonprofit to record radio public service announcements, dollars that Favre returned after it was revealed that the money had been siphoned from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Even though Favre returned the money, he never did explain why he was getting such an exorbitant sum for a gig that shouldn’t, under any logic, have paid anywhere near that.
There are lots of interesting questions to ask Favre at this moment in time: about getting clarity on that Mississippi money, about his late-to-the-party support of Donald Trump, about how he’s managed to remain so heavily in the public eye when “cancel culture” is supposedly a thing and Favre was one of the earliest men to achieve infamy by sending dick pics.
“I’m kind of old school,” Favre said. “I think you play. You get paid a ton of money to do a certain job and just do it and let the chips fall where they may. I think we make too much money to voice an opinion, but I’m not saying he’s wrong. Again, I think it’s a different day and time, and it will be interesting to see how the organization handles it.”
There’s something amiss about Favre’s analysis when, just before that inflammatory quote, he was talking about John Elway and Eli Manning refusing to play for the Colts and Chargers, the teams that drafted them. That undercuts the notion of “a different day and time,” as does the tale of the Packers quarterback in the 2000s who retired, unretired, demanded to be traded out of Green Bay, got his wish, played a year for the Jets, retired again, asked out of his contract with New York, unretired again, and then went to Minnesota to finish his career.
What sets Watson apart from Elway, Manning, and Favre himself? Why can certain quarterbacks make a lot of money and voice an opinion, while Favre thinks that Watson needs to shut up and dribble, as it were? Wait, that’s a line from a different Fox News blowhard than the one Favre was yukking it up with about cheese this week.
It’s also interesting that just a few months ago, Favre went on about how he supported Trump because of “what makes this country great, freedom of speech,” and “hard working tax paying citizens.”
Watson has freedom of speech. Watson is a hard-working, tax-paying citizen. Why does Favre have a problem with him using his voice in a way Favre himself once did? The Hall of Famer’s stance here is really qwhite interesting.