he NFL has launched an investigation into allegations that Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre sent inappropriate messages and photos to at least one woman who worked for the New York Jets when he played for the team in 2008. The scandal began when the sports blog Deadspin posted a video (clip includes nudity) including voicemails and nude, below-the-waist photos from someone former Jets game-day hostess Jenn Sterger reportedly believed was Favre, a married father and grandfather. Favre, who has declined to comment, has bounced back from controversy before, including reports of heavy drinking and Vicodin addiction and two temporary retirements. But if these charges prove true, will the scandal finally sink him? (Listen to the voicemails in question)
This could wreck the rest of Favre's career, and his legacy: Unless the investigation goes Favre's way, says Sean Leahy at USA Today, his legacy could be irreparably "tarnished." And if what happened to Tiger Woods' post-sex-scandal golf game is any indication, the embarrassment and distraction could wreck his performance on the field. After 20 years in professional football, Favre's last impression, if he did this, will be as a guy who harassed Jenn Sterger at work.
"Jenn Sterger controversy surrounds Brett Favre on his 41st birthday"
Stay out of Brett Favre's private life: "Leave the man alone," say the editors of Mobile Tribune. In the alleged smoking-gun voicemail, left by someone who may or may not be Brett Favre, a man merely says he is alone in his hotel room and would like some company. So what? Favre's wife has a right to ask about this, but nobody else does. "Just because you are die-hard football fans does not mean you own the players and their personal lives."
"Brett Favre story proves Americans hung up about sex"
Favre made his life our business: Favre used to be the guy who would "pull himself up out of the muck and throw a 60-yard bomb for the winning score," says Doug Farrar at Yahoo! Sports. But somewhere on his odyssey from Green Bay to New York to Minnesota, he became just another insecure, aging athlete, using "bravado" and his "annual retirement drama" to keep the spotlight shining in his direction just a little longer. He probably wishes the media would look away now, but he has no one to blame but himself.
"Are the walls closing in on Brett Favre?"
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