August 24, 2009
By Karen Langhauser, Editor-in-Chief, Food Manufacturing
In ten years, when Brett Favre finally retires for real and someone asks “where were you when you first heard the news about Favre and the Vikings?” I can proudly say I was right in the heart of Cheesehead territory.
As luck would have it, I happened to be attending Dorner Mfg.’s Media Day in Milwaukee, WI on Tuesday. After learning about sanitary conveyors, touring the Lean-optimized Dorner plant and suffering an unfortunate Conveyor Wheel of Fortune loss to a competitor who shall remain nameless, I got to hear ALL ABOUT Brett Favre’s NFL movements from pretty much any stranger who felt like talking to me.
Now I have always been a fan of Favre – loved him in Something About Mary – but the media and angry fan frenzy that has ensued in the last 48-hours is a little much. The headlines and chatter reminded me of what happens during a major food industry recall. First, there are the whispers, “they think it's tomatoes!” Followed shortly by media confirmation, “Yup, tomatoes will give you Salmonella, I saw it on the news.” And then, the best part – the explosion of ridiculousness, “[Name of foreign country we currently dislike] Sends U.S. Killer Tomatoes!” “Tomatoes Banned from Shelves Forever” “Why Your Ketchup Might Kill You.”
Now that Favre’s place in the Viking’s lineup has been confirmed, media outlets are abuzz with the news – some of it toeing the line of ridiculousness – and most of it villianizing Favre. Personally, I’m calling the bluffs of these irate fans. In the same way that we are all back to eating tomatoes, spinach, beef, peanut butter, etc. – and probably still supporting the same brands we know and love – I don’t think true football fans can sustain this level of hatred for Favre.
After all, didn’t I see Billy Joel’s “last” concert on at least seven different occasions? Didn’t I watch Roger Clemens throw his “last” pitch off at least three different mounds? My advice: reserve a spot on the couch for the Vikings/Packers game (October 5th) this season and give the guy a break…for the love of the game. And if you are going to throw something at the t.v., make it a tomato…those things are bad news.