Brett Favre-Jenn Sterger Incident Puts ESPN, Roger Goodell on the Spot

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As we found out yesterday, the Jenn Sterger allegations against Brett Favre are indeed true. Deadspin delivered the goods, and the only way Favre could be innocent, is if some elaborate and carefully orchestrated conspiracy/cover-up were at work. You know those people who don’t believe in the moon landing? Or think O.J. was framed? Or believe 9/11 was an inside job? The conspiracy would have to be that complex.

So now that the bomb has been dropped and the mushroom cloud is smoking, time to deal with the fallout.

Let’s overlook the fact that Sterger looks EXACTLY like Deanna Favre on a 15 year delay with fake breasts (and later, sans fake breasts) for a moment. Yes, this story is very sophomoric, but both ESPN and the NFL are accountable here. Because it’s also serious.

Roger Goodell has been attempting to legislate morality in his league for some time, and ESPN has become a sports marketing company; and less a sports news corporation these past few years. It’s time for both to go to work.

By Paul M. Banks

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I can’t tell you why the mainstream media is still ignoring this story.

And right now, I don’t care. If the spineless members of the MSM don’t have the stones to touch it, fine.

I will. Their loss, my gain.

I have a friend who works for ESPN, and he’s told me that if you’re an ESPN employee and you’re caught looking at Deadspin at work, you could be fired.

The main reason for this policy? ESPN wasn’t too thrilled about Deadspin publicizing all the sexual harassment and other monkey business going on in Bristol these past few years. Remember Sean Salisbury? I guess he and Favre are kindred spirits.

Well, the current situation is serious enough for the Eastern Seaboard Programming Network to lift that embargo.

Think about how much they’ve rammed Favre down our throats since 2008! Think about how every time he plays a game on the four letter network, we have to suffer through the announcers and their INCESSANT SLURPING of Favre!

“He’s just a kid out there!”

“He’s just having fun playing like a kid out there!”

“Oh, he’s just such a lovable gunslinger!”

“He’s an aw-shucks good ole boy!”

“He just loves the game so much!”

Are you vomiting yet?

The point I’m trying to make is ESPN is his de facto promotions department, they don’t actually “cover” him.

The boo-yah network has the same relationship with the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees, USC football (until all the stuff hit the fan), LeBron James and the 2010-11 Miami Heat. There is nothing objective about how ESPN “covers” any of those teams, and if you don’t believe me, then you don’t believe in facts.

You’re probably one of those morons who thinks the President is actually a Muslim or was born outside the country.

If ESPN is a legitimate news agency, then they must act like one here. If you build someone up for all their achievements and successes, and yet fail to also publicize their faults and wrongdoings, you’re a hypocrite! Without consistency, you’re not a medium of journalism, you’re only a forum of public relations.

So I guess we’ll just see what ESPN does on SportsCenter tonight, and Monday night for their MNF broadcast.

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Next we move on to Goodell and the NFL.

They’ve released a statement today saying they are in fact investigating the incident.

Jason Whitlock’s must-read column on the topic says it all:

Let’s see, the image-conscious National Football League fined Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil $40,000 for flashing his middle finger at grown men.

What’s the appropriate punishment for a legendary quarterback sexting his johnson to a 25-year-old female sideline reporter?

And in a much later paragraph in the column, he rightfully talks about how this incident is for the New York Jets a thousand times bigger than the Ines Sainz saga.

Goodell has no such excuse. He elected himself the NFL’s top cop. He can’t brush this off. Again, if true, this is sexual harassment.

It does not matter that Jenn Sterger’s on-full-display, fake breasts were her only qualification to land a job with the Jets. She should be afforded protection from harassment. Unsolicited e-mails, phone calls and Full Monty pics are quite different from locker-room catcalls and coaches running pass plays in the direction of a provocatively dressed Sideline Barbie.

So here we go, the NFL’s biggest icon, who’s been shoved down our throats as the consummate “family man,” turns out to actually have a lot of traits in common with Tiger Woods. And none of them revolve around golf.

Stay tuned. This is all just starting.

Paul M. Banks is President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

He also does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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