By Pat Imig
Cold, Hard Football Facts social disease petri dish
The Cold Hard Football Facts diagnosed another outbreak of Old Yeller Fever on Monday after Brad Childress was infected with a fatal bout. As you know, Old Yeller Fever has been around for about a decade.
The pundit who has suffered the plague from day one, Chris Berman, gave a predictable, of not pathetic response to the canning of  Childress.
"This is BrettFavre, the first ballot Hall of Famer ... It's a football tragedy. We'll talk about this 10 to 15 years from now."
Sadly for Vikings fans, new head coach Leslie Frazier never injected the Old Yeller Fever vaccine, which involves nothing more than admitting the 41-year-old, mistake-prone quarterback is a liability.
Instead, here's what he said upon taking the job:
"Brett's a tremendous quarterback. He's been a leader of our football team in the year and a half that he's been with us. There are things we have to do as a group to help support Brett, and that will be my message to our football team. BrettFavre will be our starting quarterback on Sunday."
You and we know that BrettFavre ranks 32nd in passer rating this year. You and we also know that there are 32 teams in the NFL. Victims of Old Yeller Fever, however, are unaware of these sobering facts. To the most infected patients, BrettFavre hasn't thrown 17 interceptions this season with a piss poor passer rating of 69.8. Hell, most of them still think it's 1996.
Thankfully, people like Cris Carter can call things the way they are:
"The Vikings had a bad plan ... but they didn't give Brad security because Brett undermined his leadership. You can't bring Brett in and he tells the guys 'don't worry about Chilly.' They have paid this guy close to $30 million and he undermined the leadership of the team and he didn't play good!"
Carter finally laid it all out for the Vikings: "You got the worst quarterback in the league!"
Kudos for Carter's colleague Keyshawn Johnson, too:
"Brad Childress did this to himself ... BrettFavre is the worst quarterback in the NFL."
Don't be surprised if Keyshawn and Cris get a pink slip from Bristol by year's end. Hell hath no fury like a Berman scorned.
Historians and sociologists point to the 2007 season as the most severe outbreak of Old Yeller Fever. In 2007, BrettFavre threw for over 4,000 yards and tossed 28 touchdowns to 15 interceptions. In so doing he led the Packers to a surprising 12-4 record. It was then that he was re-annointed as the most holy media darling.
Take a look at these classic comments from the infected "pundits," tallied by yours truly, the Principal of Pigskin:
Chris Berman: "I'll reiterate what we said: rooting for Favre is like rooting for America."
"The smile that he still has, it must have been the same kid running around in Kiln, Mississippi, it's still the same kid, except he's running around often in the cold and the snow in Green Bay thrilling everybody. Congratulations Brett!"
"Brett Favre is going to be 38 October 10th. October 10th should be a national holiday." Yup: Washington, Lincoln, Columbus, King and BrettFavre.
"He's never changed. Please don't, Brett. Not at this point. We know you won't."
We interrupt today's episode of Pigskin Detention for a Casey Kasem-style 1980s long-distance dedication, to Brett in Kiln from Chris in Bristol. TLA:
show video here
Bill Plaschke: "The number one sight in football thus far has been BrettFavre running down the field into the arms of his receivers. It's wonderful. America loves that. This team can play. BrettFavre is back. This guy has captured America."
Jay Mariotti: "The rebirth of Favre is bad news for Bears fans. But it's great news for football, sports and, when you think about it, life."
Sean Salisbury: "BrettFavre is everything that is good about football."
Tony Kornheiser: "Nobody, not even Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, brings the flare that Favre does.  Nobody shows more enthusiasm. He doesn't make all the crazy throws he tries. But he'll keep trying them, no matter how many times they're picked off because nothing ever discourages him."
You and we see a guy who hijacks his 52 teammates with awful mistakes in the biggest games of the year.  Kornheiser, a victim of Old Yeller Fever, sees a hero who never gets discouraged.
Kornheiser: "He always thinks that the next one is going for six. And that's why we give him a hall pass for all those interceptions. Because Brett Favre will keep slinging, and the next pass he might fit through the eye of a needle and then jump into someone's arms like a teenager. Look, you don't just get to watch BrettFavre, you HAVE to watch him!"
Several months later, BrettFavre "officially" retired amid boyish tears. But he would be infected with the fever later in the summer. This virus then poisoned the Jets during the 2008 season.
The headlines you missed because, like Thanksgiving morning biscuits & gravy, we made them from scratch ...
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NFL fines TSA for illegal pat-downs
Giants sign homeless saxophone player outside New Meadowlands to play wide receiver