Adoration is not a commodity

Let’s talk for a second about what’s expected of us when something great happens to someone we know.

For background, I present Mike Greenberg, co-host of Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio.

Greenberg, who tends to take offense at everything, wondered aloud why, after Green Bay’s Super Bowl win, Brett Favre hadn’t bothered to call and offer congratulations, specifically to Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

To which I wonder aloud, “Why should he?”

Why does a player need to call his former team to offer congratulations? He had nothing to do with this current incarnation. He has no connection other than a playing history. With that argument in mind, why didn’t Ron Jaworski call Aaron Rodgers? Or Mark Chmura? Sterling Sharpe?

When you win the Super Bowl, or the World Series, or the NBA Finals, or any individual sporting event, there are certain expectations when it comes to congratulations. You get a call from dignitaries, and from the commissioner, and from friends you haven’t talked to in years and will never talk to again.

The problem: when it becomes expected, it no longer means anything.

If I suddenly turn around and win the French Open, I expect a call from the President. If I don’t get it, I’ll be disappointed.

“Why didn’t he call me?”

Because he didn’t HAVE to. Support and joy don’t need to be VOICED to be TRUE. And relationships don’t need to be conjured in the name of success.

Brett Favre didn’t say “congrats” because he didn’t want to. He doesn’t have a relationship with Aaron Rodgers. He played for a division rival last season. He feels wronged. He is his own person. It doesn’t matter why.

Let’s stop pretending like adoration is a commodity.

This was lovingly handwritten on February 10th, 2011