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ESPN Says It Is, So Now It Must Be True

by Ryan Hudson

Over the weekend, it was reported that Brett Favre called Detroit prior to their Week 2 game against Green Bay to help the Lions game plan against his former team. Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, who originally broke the story on Sunday, said that his sources told him "...Favre actually spent over an hour on the phone with Lions coaches, who were connected with Favre by then-team president Matt Millen." So why was ESPN mum on the issue? They were told not to report it, at all:

“Yesterday, FoxSports reported that Brett Favre spent 60 to 90 minutes before the Week Two game between the Lions and the Packers educating the Detroit coaching staff regarding the Packers’ offensive strategies. WE HAVE BEEN TOLD BY RELIABLE SOURCES THIS REPORT IS NOT TRUE. We did NOT report it yesterday. Today, the NFL responded to the report, saying even if Favre did this he did not break any league rules. We are NOT reporting it today, because that would mean airing the erroneous report. DO NOT REPORT IT.”
Days passed, Glazer stood by his story and sources, people within the Lions' organization were saying it was true (despite Peter King saying on NBC's Football Night in America that the story was "complete b.s."), and yet still, no mention of it at all by ESPN, the supposed Worldwide Leader. Finally, nearly 72 hours after it was first reported, those in Bristol decided is was now "hot":
This story is now HOT.

We had not reported it because it was unsubstantiated.

Today, however, Favre addressed the issue in a public forum so we will go with it.

Use this lead-in:

On Sunday, Fox Sports reported that ex-Packers quarterback Brett Favre had been in contact with the Detroit Lions before their Week 2 game with the Packers, educating the Lions coaches on Green Bay’s offensive schemes.

The Lions, by the way, lost that game 48-25.

Later that day, Favre denied the report in a text message to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.

Today at Jets camp, Favre addressed that report in his weekly press conference….


Yes, the Lions did end up losing that game, and Favre calling them is not illegal or against any NFL rules, but that's not the story here. The issue is: why didn't ESPN report on this to begin with? Sure, it was a rumor at the time, but Glazer is rarely, if ever wrong, and people with the Lions were confirming the accusation. Is it all because they feel they're in some weird competition with Glazer, or are they that in bed with Favre?

Whatever insecurities or favoritism ESPN may have, it owes it to its viewers to at least mention this story before late Wednesday morning.