When the long-awaited confirmation came last week (via Deadspin) that Brett Favre had, indeed, sent pictures of his junk to Jenn Sterger, reaction from the sports world was immediate. Many thought Deadspin shouldn't have dignified Favre's actions or Sterger's claims with space on the site. Others thought it was wrong to put Favre's family through any sort of fallout. But honestly, I think 90 percent of us out there just sat back and enjoyed it.
What does that say about us, or this incident? Are we a culture in decline? Are we so obsessed with the celebrity news-driven media that we'll even pay attention to ridiculous stories like this? Have we lost our sense of dignity and respect?
While the answer to some of those questions might, in fact be yes, in this case I don't think we should judge ourselves too harshly. We care about this story for one simple reason: it's freaking hilarious.
Aside from the disturbing sexual harassment aspects of Favre's actions, the story itself is what makes this funny.
Brett Favre, 11-time Pro Bowler, three-time NFL MVP, father of two and husband of one, saw something he liked while a member of the New York Jets in 2008. That something was Jenn Sterger, a girl who parlayed internet notoriety as one of the FSU Cowgirls into a career as a model and sports personality. Sterger worked for the Jets in 2008 when Favre was there.
Apparently they spoke in passing before Favre dug up her MySpace account and sent her some odd messages. Then he got her phone number through other Jets personnel and started calling her... and leaving messages... about how much he wanted to see her at his hotel.
Eventually the relationship blossomed (on Favre's end) and the quarterback thought it would be a good idea to send Sterger multiple pictures of his little Viking.
What makes this story so funny is that Favre has been held up as the bastion of all things great in football for the past 15 years. ESPN, John Madden and the NFL have made him the example of what every player in the league should be. Tough, gritty, talented and a special person on and off the field.
So it's more than slightly amusing to find out that Favre is just as flawed, insecure and idiotic as the next guy.
If you listen to Favre's voicemails, he's clearly shocked that Sterger hasn't thrown herself at him yet. He's almost angry that she's ignored his advances. What guy hasn't gotten insecure after being rebuffed by a woman? The thing is, not many of those guys have a Super Bowl ring or hold virtually every major NFL passing record.
What gets me is Favre's mindset during this one-sided courtship.
What was he possibly thinking by sending those pictures? It had to have gone something like this: "Well Jenn you've turned me down so far, but what do you think of this!"
What was he expecting to happen? That Sterger, who had ignored his immaturity to that point, would see a picture of his hog and throw herself at him?
Then after that didn't work once, why did he send more? Dude, Brett, take a hint buddy. She doesn't like you or your digit, move on man.
The 41-year-old Favre refuses to respond to the allegations but the NFL is aggressively investigating the claims under its personal conduct policy.
Favre's family has yet to respond as well but don't be surprised if other women begin to come out of the woodwork alleging the same treatment Sterger got. Reportedly, two other Jets staff members have come forward saying they received the same treatment as Sterger.
Come on people, it's OK to laugh at this one. After the avalanche of revelations concerning Tiger Woods last year, a funny "athlete not getting sex scandal" might be just what we all need.