Monday, February 23, 2009
And here we.....go! The Brett Favre sweepstakes is underway, and on the heels of the news that Emmitt Smith isn't coming back, ESPN is the front-runner. In fact, Norby Williamson has even stated that they hope to sit down with the retired (?) QB, next month. Via USA Today....
Signing the supposedly retired Brett Favre would bring in a star. Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, says ESPN hopes to meet with Favre next month: "He's a funny, dynamic guy and would add to anybody's coverage."I still don't see the need to fill Emmitt's roster spot, especially when you considering that ESPN has a million people in that role, but I guess for the press that comes with Favre you'd make an exception. No matter how good or bad he is, people are going to tune in to see what he has to see. In fact, it's the same model ESPN used when hiring the man whom Favre would replace.
Unlike networks with far fewer NFL on-air slots, ESPN can let analysts show their moves on ESPN's many studio, news and radio shows and work their way up the depth chart. Fired NFL coach Herm Edwards, who's signed for SportsCenter, NFL Live and ESPNews, is in position to move up. So is Trent Dilfer, after his solid ESPN rookie season last year. Matt Millen, who returned to TV in NBC's Super Bowl's coverage, has talked to ESPN. Says ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys: "Before each season, we look at the full roster and then make assignments."
Emmitt was hired by the network on the heels of his "Dancing With the Stars" popularity, and while he didn't pan out, ESPN still got that initial push from the buzz. The only difference in this case is that people weren't sick to death of Smith, in fact most of the country was in love with him. If Favre ends up under performing like Smith, the network would probably get even more flak for his hiring than the Smith one.
It's a dangerous path to take when hiring retired athletes and coaches, and while there are some who succeed (see: Jaworski, Aikman, Tom Jackson), the majority end up lasting only a short time.
With Emmitt Smith out, could ESPN get Brett Favre? (USA Today)