ESPN launches a new network; ESPN Brett Farve

August 11, 2008

by Matt Kane

Have you seen the new sports network ESPN launched just a few weeks ago?

To go along with ESPN, ESPN International, ESPN2, ESPN Brazil, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPNHD, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN on ABC, ESPN Plus, ESPN PPV and the others, the Worldwide Leader in Sports has recently added ESPN Favre to its family.

That’s right, a channel devoted, almost exclusively, to Brett Favre, the most famous quarterback ever.

The other day I was flipping to what the guide on my satellite program said was SportsCenter on ESPN, but apparently ESPN Favre is so new there wasn’t enough time to change the name on the show menu.

During my channel change, I was hoping to get some updated baseball scores and highlights, but found nothing of the sort. Instead, the anchors, who must have transferred from SportsCenter to ESPN Favre, were busy interviewing every NFL analyst, sideline reporter, ex-player, and stadium peanut sweeper available through a switchboard or satellite. And what was everybody talking about through last Tuesday? What they thought Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers would do.

Will Brett Favre show up for training camp in Green Bay? Will the Packers welcome him back? Will Aaron Rogers still be the number one quarterback? Will there be a quarterback tryout in Packers’ camp? Why did Brett Favre meet with Packer officials? Did Favre use a Packers-issued cell phone. Did Favre call Brad Childress with that cell phone? How many grey hairs does Brett Favre have on his head? And, boxers or briefs?

Whatever questions anyone could think of were asked to people who believed they had answers, but actually had no idea what would happen over the past few weeks on ESPN Favre.

And then, finally late Wednesday night, after airing press conference about nothing that would have made for a great Seinfeld episode, ESPN Favre had some news. Brett Favre was traded to the New York Jets for a draft pick and a New York-sized bowl of Thank, God, it’s Over (the latter of the two being the more coveted part of the deal for the Packers).

In the words of Animal House’s “Bluto“: Over? Did you say ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”

I think we all know, Bluto is right. The Brett Favre story is not over, and ESPN Favre will surly keep us posted on everything from Favre showing up at Jets training camp to what time he goes to bed at night.

We can all hope that eventually ESPN Favre will go off the air, and SportsCenter will return to its original time slot. When that happens, maybe sports fans can actually get more than a couple minutes of baseball highlights and Olympic medal counts mixed into their daily consumption of sports news.

I know the Favre coverage will continue to lead every show in the ESPN family well into the NFL regular season, and, to a point, that’s understandable, but, I guarantee, there will come a time when all NFL teams are included in highlight reels. That includes the Vikings, who thanks to Favre, actually got quite a bit of national press this training camp. Not necessarily because of anyone actually on the roster, but, as author Brendan Behan said, “There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.”

Now, though, if the Brett Favre scenario is truly figured out, the Vikings’ publicity will straighten out, and the cameras and microphones will be aimed at Adrian Peterson, Tarvaris Jackson and Jared Allen. Remember those guys?