I’ve blogged before about the idiotic heights some Green Bay Packers’ fans are reaching in anticipation of Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Brett Favre’s return to Lambeau Field on Nov. 1.
In September, Chris Carriveau announced a “purification ceremony” at a “Black Sunday Event” Oct. 31, at which fans can toss their Favre Packers paraphernalia into a big steaming cauldron and dye it black. The ceremony will include a prayer by St. Vince over the dye cauldrons and a photo op with St. Vince when it’s all said and done. Insert eye roll here.
A few weeks later, in anticipation of Favre Bowl I on Oct. 5 at the MetroBarn (which the Packers lost), a bar and grill in Eau Claire, Wis., announced a “burn your Brett Favre gear” promotion planned for halftime. Eau Claire is my hometown, and I was embarrassed when the story went national. Fortunately, the Eau Claire Fire Department quickly doused the idea, citing the potential for toxic smoke. Stupidity averted.
However, now we have a new attempt to capitalize on Favremania.
Meet Rob Sax, some guy from the Madison, Wis., area who sent the company I work for a press release Tuesday morning promoting his site, Mourn4.com. Sax is selling No. 4 black armbands that he wants all Packers fans to wear during the Nov. 1 Packers-Vikings game. The kicker? Proceeds from the $5 armbands – which Sax claims to have sold thousands of already – go to the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition.
Now, obviously, raising money to curb breast cancer is NOT A BAD THING. By any means. But the cynic in me immediately asked “Aaaaand how is this in any way connected to Favre’s return to Green Bay?”
Sax tries to explain:
“In anticipation of Brett Favre’s Nov. 1 return to Lambeau Field as a Minnesota Viking, Packers fans everywhere are showing their disapproval in many ways. But one fan is working to harness that passion and negativity around this once-in-a-lifetime sports spectacle for something positive.”
I still didn’t get it. Maybe Jo DeMars, a board member with the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition, can explain it better:
“The Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition is grateful for being selected to receive the proceeds from the sale of Mourn 4 armbands,” she said. “We can’t help but notice a connection between the Coalition and Mourn 4. Part of our mission is expressed in the name of our website: ‘stand up and speak out;’ and Mourn 4 provides another opportunity for us to express our opinions. We encourage everyone who shares these ideas to stand up and be counted.”
Sorry. Still don’t see the connection. Yes, I know Deanna Favre had breast cancer and that the NFL is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month right now, but this is just lame. I can’t fault the guy for seizing an opportunity, but man, what’s next in this circus?
Green Bay’s mayor, Jim Schmitt, is also making national headlines after he asked the public for ideas to “tastefully” welcome Favre back to Titletown next month. One suggestion on the city’s Web site calls for making the world’s largest waffle in the shape of a No. 4 – a playful jab at Favre’s indecisive approach to retirement. Our friends at CheeseheadTV.com suggested creating a montage of Favre’s interceptions and showing it before the game. Le SIGH.
I know the majority of this is all in fun. The thing is, I don’t want Packers fans to look stupid and spiteful in the process. And they’re starting to. Like I said before, No. 4 isn’t going to care. Really. He’s not. And all this does is further feed the media firestorm that fans of both teams bitch about.