I was listening to the radio last week after the Vikings victory over Dallas. One caller said he had just been listening to Dallas radio on the internet, and that rather than talking about the particulars of the game, the callers were talking about how one of their players should have just sucked it up, taken the punishment, gone after Favre on the sidelines, taken him out at the knees, and destroyed them.
I was in the car alone, and I shouted to no one, "That's just evil!" I'm sure I looked like one of those women who practically botoxes herself to death, I was so surprised. I didn't use the word "evil" lightly, either. How could someone advocate doing that to another human being over a game? I truly felt that even talking about potentially ruining not only a man's career, but his life (if you have bad knees, you know it can be hell to live with the pain), was truly an evil thought that should have never made it out of someone's mouth, let alone into their brain.
I guess I'm naive.
I have to admit I didn't watch most of yesterday's game between the Vikes and the Saints--just the last 45 minutes or so. But when I came into the room and asked my family what had been happening, they all told me the other team was hitting Favre "hard" and that they had hurt his ankle.
"You mean they're actually doing it?" I said to my husband, who had to listen to me rant about how evil I thought the radio caller's account was earlier in the week.
"Oh, you should see Favre's wife. They keep showing her every time he gets hit below the belt and she has her hands over her face."
"That's because she knows that at any moment, their lives could be ruined," I said. "Chronic pain's a bitch. It's hard to live with and sometimes even harder on the family. I'm sure he has some [chronic pain] already, but to watch people purposely trying to make life worse for your husband for the sake of a game has got to be horrible."
My husband then educated me on Brett Favre's previous struggle with chronic back pain and painkillers. I had no idea. I just haven't followed football much since before I had children. The knowledge of his past made the whole thing even worse.
Isn't there some rule against this?" I asked.
"Yeah, I suppose they would have been more strict about it if it had been earlier in the season, but it's so close to the Super Bowl they're letting it slide."
"You know--it happens. It's just hard to watch," he said.
Hard to watch? Hard to believe.