by Guest Contributor invisman52, originally published at Max Protect
After Brett Favre threw an interception at the end of the NFC Championship Game–a fatal mistake that cost his team a chance to make the Super Bowl–I knew that if the Saints would go on to win the game in overtime, many in the media would bemoan the end of Favre’s incredible, improbable season. (At age 40, he had the best statistical season of his career.) Since the Saints did win the game in the extra period, I was immediately attuned to how those in the football punditry would react to the game. To be fair to Favre, with the exception of that crucial late-game turnover, he played remarkably. Yet, in a twisted sort of poetic football justice, and if Favre retires, his last pass as a Minnesota Viking will be an interception. His last pass a New York Jet: an interception. His last pass a Green Bay Packer: an interception. For all of Favre’s success, he has also thrown more interceptions than anyone in the history of the league.
Many will attribute this fact to his longevity and durability, that Favre has played so many games. This argument is often coupled with the notion that Favre is a “gun-slinger,” risking whatever it takes to help his team win. But what underlines most of this line of defense is a love affair that many in the media have for Favre; and it is much more than a so-called “man crush.” What is clear to me is that what courses through pundits’ constant approbation and excusing of Favre is a deep, racialized identification. That is, many white pundits in the media are quick to absolve Favre of any kind of blame because of his particular brand of whiteness–a whiteness that I argue is consciously performed.