By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Oct 28, 2008 at 5:20 AM

For the life of me, even after hours of soul searching, I can't figure out why so many people are so willing, even eager, to believe the worst about Brett Favre.

All you need to do is have some reporter or some source somewhere say something that is critical of Favre, and, in Wisconsin at least, you might get trampled in the rush to jump on the bandwagon.

The latest about Favre, of course, could easily be called the Ma Bell scandal. I know there isn't a Ma Bell anymore, but you get the idea. It's all about the telephone.

First, we had Brett calling Tony Romo to give him advice on how to cope with his broken thumb. People were upset because Brett didn't call Aaron Rodgers to console him for having a sore shoulder.

Then, we had Brett calling Matt Millen to give him secrets about the Packers before they played Millen's Detroit Lions.

Let's start with the easy one.

Tony Romo called Favre. He was very concerned about his hand and, recalling that Favre had played with a bad hand, placed the call. Favre said that and sources in Dallas confirmed it.

Now, for this second story, that was broken by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports and fed and fueled by radio guys, television guys and print and online guys.

The secret story.

Favre denied it. And he gave a very logical explanation of what actually happened.

But one thing that is critically important here, and Favre probably knows this better than anyone:


For all those grassy knoll conspiracy theorists, it's important that you know something.

Under NFL rules, every team tapes each of its games from cameras located above the sideline and end zone. When a game ends, video crews record offensive, defensive and special-teams plays on separate tapes. Each play is shown from each angle, in sequential order. Plays are indexed for easier entry into team computer systems. A few hours after each game, the home team overnights copies to its next three opponents.

The video can be sorted by quarter, series, down, distance, field position, 2-minute situations, short-yardage situations, goal-line situations, passes, runs, completions, incompletions, scrambles, dropped balls, runner, receiver, penalty information, how the possession ended, personnel groups, shifts, formations, motions, audibles, coverages, fronts, stunts, twists and anything else a staff might consider important.

Every team has more information than it could possibly use.

Hell, even some reporters know more about schemes and execution than some coaches. Everyone knows what everyone else knows.

And we are supposed to believe that Favre had some other secrets that he wanted to tell the Lions so he called Millen?

This story is ridiculous on the face of it. Guys who I know and respect have been quick to jump on it and get on the Favre-bashing bandwagon.

And as I say, I can't figure it out.

Here's a guy who gave everything he had to give to a football team and its fans for 16 years. He never sat down. He showed up every time they blew a whistle. He played hurt, sad and dispirited.

He doesn't hate the Packers. He loves the Packers. And he loves those players on the team. He's a loyalist. He's proven over the years how loyal he is. Actions speak a lot louder than words.

And still, so many people are so disappointed in him or angry with him or hurt by him that they are ready to believe even the most absurd of claims.

I don't know why. Some of the possibilities are mild, some are sinister. Whatever it is, I think it's unseemly for Packers fans to act like this.

Did Favre talk to Millen? Sure. Were other people listening? Who knows and who cares? Did he give Millen Packers secrets?

I'm going to say it again, as loud as I can.


Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.