Sunday, March 09, 2008

Brett Favre: More On Manly Men Crying

Friday, I asked a question about Brett Favre's public melt-down during his retirement announcement press conference. See video here. Did Favre's tears indicate a feminization of the culture? I took a poll of my readers, and while not scientific, over 60% of them believed it wasn't a big deal at all that Favre cried crocodile tears. In fact, they felt it displayed a refreshing sensitivity.

My feeling? "Get a hold of yourself, man!"

Brett Favre reached the pinnacle of his career. He left at the top. I would have liked to see him go all the way and be the one who kicked Tom Brady's ass, but oh well, that didn't happen. He had a fantastic season anyway. After this season, it seemed like the perfect time to retire. He has been banged up and quarterbacks get their bells rung so often, brain damage seems like too big a price to pay for the sport at a certain point. It was no surprise to me when I heard the news.

What did surprise me is that this manly man came undone during his press conference. What the hell? After his father died, he endured it with stoic grace and played anyway. And won, by the way. But his sobbing for himself at the press conference seemed narcissistic and out-of-proportion. He is retiring after playing a game. No one died. His child isn't sick. There was no tragedy. His beloved, obviously, career ended on a high note. What more could a person want?

I liked it better when men kept a tight upper lip. Women, too. Queen Elizabeth II's stoicism impresses me. I like that ilk of leader. Restrained, dignified, and intense in feeling but not expression. I just don't want to see leaders cry; any leaders, male or female. I don't want to see Hillary Clinton cry. I don't want to see George W. Bush cry. I want to see people suck it up and soldier on with grace.

The culture has changed. Americans seem so unacquainted with real tragedy that it is normal to emote over relatively trivial things. It seems that American men, and women, have gone soft. Cry for a fallen soldier. Cry for cancer. Cry for the death of your child.

Some feel that the culture has been feminized. That the only virtues extolled are feminine. But what is virtuous about sappy tears? How does crying puddles and displaying vulnerability publicly denote a good thing? When Nancy Pelosi self-indulgently surrounded herself with her grandchildren on the Senate floor, I wanted to barf. When Hillary got choked up over her own relatively minor struggles during this campaign, it felt just icky. Grown women acting like sappy little girls is bad enough. Seeing a man boo-hoo is even worse. Will any one extol typically masculine traits anymore? I see it as how far we've declined that a modern gladiator weeps publicly at his retirement.

Tom Hanks said,"There's no crying in baseball." Well, there's no crying in football either. It's a sport. Man up!

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Melissa, you are a hard woman!

We just don't know what was going on in his life at the moment. Something very personal could have developed that none of us are aware of. I think those tears were even a surprise to him. It was just fine that he lost it and I found it very endearing.

I have to agree with you on wanting strong leaders not to cry in public.

clark smith said...

"It's a sport. Man up!"

It's emotions Melissa. Woman up!

I think it's strange that when a man chokes up people start wondering whether society has become feminized.

"But his sobbing for himself at the press conference seemed narcissistic and out-of-proportion."

Farve's display of emotions was natural; the inclination to psychoanalyze Favre—however—seems really weird.

"He is retiring after playing a game. No one died. His child isn't sick. There was no tragedy."

Anyone at all acquainted with human emotions, realizes how things can build and up find release at a later point. Has anyone ever thought that Favre was sad because his dad never got to see him retire?, or that the moment of reflection brought by retirement caused all of the emotional stress of these many years (his dad's death, his wife's breast cancer, et al) to flood in upon him? Maybe the thought of leaving the game he loved so much and devoted much of his adult life to, also played a part in his emotional reaction.

Fact of the matter is there are a host of valid reasons why Favre would be choked up that do not involve calling the guy "narcissistic."

I just wonder at the lack of sensitivity, sympathy, understanding, and grace demonstrated in this post.

ESH said...

Nice thoughts...saw you on RWN.

Evan

http://rollingrox.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Clark Smith is right. You, Melissa are wrong. Judge much?

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