A housekeeping FYI: my new Men's Journal piece, "A Jock's Guide to Getting Arrested," is now live and up on the MJ website. Having written a sports crime blotter column for something like six years now – I've been doing it for my hometown Boston Phoenix for over four years – I always get up for the pre-NFL training camp period of the sports calendar, which almost always turns out to be the most arrest-heavy stretch of the year, thanks in large part to the flood of football rookies getting their first big checks. The MJ piece goes through the rules of Arrest Season.
While we're on the topic of the NFL… I feel genuinely unsure of how I feel about today's Brett-Favre-is-finally-retiring news. I can't decide whether it's funny or not. It's an interesting question probably best posed to a quantitative physicist: is there a point at which annoyingness transforms itself into comedy?
If this turns out to be a real retirement – at least sort of (see below) – I figure there's a lot of comic upside to this news, potentially at least. In order, the best things about Brett Favre's retirement:
1) The Sage Rosenfels Era;
2) The second Tarvaris Jackson era (the first one was pre-Favre), beginning three weeks into the first Sage Rosenfels Era, after the stunning week 3 upset loss to the Lions;
3) The second Sage Rosenfels era, beginning right before the week 7 showdown with the Packers, and right after a week 6 shellacking by the Cowboys – a game in which Wade Phillips unveils his revolutionary "11 in the box" defense against coach Childress's Tarvaris-hands-off-to-Peterson offense;
4) The week 7 headline:
VIKES CRUSHED BY PACK, 52-6: ROSENFELS INJURED AS LAMBEAU CHEERS
Doc on Reattached Leg: "All We Can Do Now is Pray"
5) Merrill Hoge on Tarvaris Jackson before week 8 game in Foxboro: "He still has all the tools"
6) Pats crush Vikes by 44; outpouring of Viking fan hatred toward Favre finally reaches Mississippi, inspiring Brett to attempt his inevitable I'll-show-you mid-season comeback attempt for a rival team. But the ploy is stopped in its tracks when Favre realizes he can't re-join the Packers in order to stick it to his ex-fans in Minnesota.
7) Weeks 9-13: race between Detroit's Matt Stafford and Chicago's Jay Cutler to see who can play worse and become implied victim of inevitable "Brett is coming back for one last year in the NFC North" rumors.
8) Christmas: inevitable "Cutler could learn a lot from a Hall of Famer like Favre" column by Windy City dingbat Jay Mariotti.
9) Current odds on the appearance of a "Favre says 2011 situation 'still fluid'" tweet from Adam Schecter sometime in the next six months: 1-5.
10) The look on Ed Werder's face when he gets sent back to sit vigil in Hattiesburg next March; the look on Lovie Smith's face when he has to go to Brett's ranch that same week and pretend to think shooting armadillos is cool.