Readers react to the Artists of the Year


Well written article. Not a big fan of Brett, but his influence in the NFL is second to none; he's one of the last major "legends" of the franchise. This is one of the first articles about Brett, not what is expected from Brett. The Vikings certainly got a deal having him as QB, and the record speaks for itself. Love him, hate him, he is a role model for all people over 40 who want to or do excel at whatever they do.


I won't argue with City Pages' selection of Brett Favre as an Artist of the Year. I suppose you can talk about "painting the field with passes" or how great painters and musicians use creativity and improvisation to produce masterpieces (as well as their share of self-indulgent flops). Favre has produced both on the football field over his career.

What's missing from your piece is an appreciation for Favre's true talent: the art of the con. After failing to dictate who the Packers should hire as their head coach and feeling slighted by not being included in free agent acquisitions and draft choices, Favre started to realize he was not going to be able to call the shots under the current Packers power structure. When the Packers told him they needed an answer before the draft on his annual flirt with retirement, Favre "retired" expecting that if he changed his mind, the organization would have to take him back.

Not only did Favre decide he wanted to return and play, but he wanted his job handed back to him and was insulted when it was suggested he would have to compete for a spot like everyone else. Favre's statement at his retirement press conference that "It was never about me. It was about everybody else" was a lie. It had become entirely about him. When he wasn't welcomed back like he expected, he asked to be released so he could play for the rival Vikings. When he was told that wouldn't be happening, he became even more upset and threw a public temper tantrum.

Ultimately, Favre manipulated another franchise, putting in a year with the Jets so he could retire again and force them to release him after they drafted a replacement (all the while talking with or texting the Vikings about how great it was going to be when he got there). Favre knew while he was shooting the Sears commercial that he was headed to Minnesota, having a chuckle over how it was scheduled to air the week he would emerge out of the Metrodome tunnel.

To be fair to Favre, all professional athletes are con artists. They tell the fans what they want to hear: that their team is the only team they want to play for, and that there is some special bond between the player and the fans. Keeping a straight face should be considered performance art of the highest order. While Brett Favre's artistry on the field may have merited consideration for City Pages Artist of the Year, it's as a con artist extraordinaire that we can appreciate his work as a true master.

Paul Barlament

In response to "Con Artist": Don't think for a moment the conning is one-sided. Management does their share. Second, look at what Favre has done for the Vikes this year. Green Bay screwed up, and I'm loving it. There is more than teamwork in Minnesota; now there is synergy. It has been really amazing to watch this team come together. Go Vikings, go Coach Childress, go Brett Favre!

John Hall
Hamilton, Alabama

Painting the town red

I'm just wondering who chose the Red Pens for one of the best albums of 2009 (12/16/09). I saw them play at the Turf Club and I was sorely disappointed. The drummer is a one-trick pony, and the guitarist wishes he was Doug Martsch from Built to Spill. Did you actually listen to their CD? Or just cross your fingers and hope no one would notice you printed that drivel? Go find some actual talent—there is plenty to go around in the Twin Cities. Bands like this don't deserve your attention.

Lucy Ainsworth

Avatar starring Dick Cheney

Since when does City Pages disguise political statements as movie reviews? As I read J. Hoberman's review (12/16/09), it became increasingly clear that here was another paranoid Republican, finding repudiation of those glorious Bush/Cheney years all through the plot of Avatar. It couldn't just be that on the scale of right/wrong this movie decried military imperialism, something that's been around way longer than since 2000. I guess if the hood fits, wear it. But not only did the reviewer express concern over Limbaugh and Hannity's take on the movie, the review ended with a not so subtle shot at Obama. Maybe re-reading all the favorite parts in Palin's book will erase the trauma of seeing all that political correctness.

Tim S

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