You thought Marcellus Wiley was going to let Fran Tarkenton‘s hatchet job on him go by without a response? Think again.
First, what Fran said about Marcellus, in response to Marcellus calling him “a grumpy old man”:
Marcellus Wiley, who is trying to parlay a minimal football career into still making more money. This grumpy old man is 69 years old, I own six businesses, I’ve built 16 over the years, I’m paying my taxes, I’ve started two new businesses, we’re hiring more people, we’re not laying them off, we’re not cutting their salaries — we’re increasing their salaries, and in this society we are productive when so many people are not productive. I’m not playing croquette down at Orlando at the Villages, I’m not playing golf every day, I’m out there as a 69 year old … making money out of sports or with sports — I’m creating and building businesses from the ground up: that’s this grumpy old man.
And now, Marcellus’s comeback:
Yeah his response, I heard how he dedicated a line or two to me as he called my football career minimal, that was cute, and then from there he just started rambling on about his businesses and how he’s doing well in the recession and all those kind of things. It was pretty interesting.
Marcellus claims his main gripe with Tarkenton was Fran’s little (possibly ill-advised) remark about wanting Favre to fail:
As I took Fran’s comments, I had no problem with him having a public opinion about Brett Favre coming back or not. I have the same division between should he come back or not as well. I think most people have an opinion towards that. When you say ‘OK, come back and fail’, hold on now Fran. You’re part of the fraternity, the special fraternity of guys who played in the NFL, and one of the rules in the code of conduct is you don’t want another guy to fail. You want a guy to give you his best and you give your best and you just hope your best is better than his. To want a guy to fail, and I went back to my mental rolodex through time and I’ve never heard another guy say that, it was unfortunate because it’s a Hall of Famer, and you come into this game respecting those guys who are in Canton. You respect the guys who played the game and paved the road for you, and for one of them to come out and say hey, why you’re battling one of the toughest decisions in your life which is to retire or not retire, you say I want you to come and fail, I mean that was very unfortunate and I think that was underneath what Fran Tarkenton really is. I said that he sounds like a grumpy old man because who says that? I mean the next statement out of someone’s mouth like that is ‘hey, get off my lawn’ and ‘leave me alone’.
So the best Marcellus can muster by way of a response is more ageist jokes? Thanks for raising the level of the conversation Marcellus. How about next you make a crack about him needing a diaper? Clearly, Marcellus is only taking advantage of this controversy to further his career as a TV analyst. Well? If you can accuse Fran of only doing it for his book, why can’t I accuse Marcellus of only doing it for his media gig? I’m only posting this for the traffic. We’re all whores.