Some comedian once had a bit called “the five stages of drinking.” Or maybe it was “the seven stages of drinking.” I forget how many stages there were. Point is, it was funny, and it has inspired me to create my own bit called “The 10 Stages of Favre Grief.”
1. Shock. “He really went and did it. He signed with the Vikings. The Minnesota Vikings. From Minnesota.”
This is the worst feeling you’ve ever had in your life. Worse than the time you got back to her hotel room and found out she was a circus clown. All you can see are little spots like yellow explosions inside your eyelids. You’re just glad your buddies aren’t around. You wouldn’t want them to see you like this. With your pants off almost touching a circus clown’s equipment.
2. Homocidal rage. “If I don’t kill something right now, I’m gonna kill something.”
A natural next step after the initial shock. But you have to try and control yourself. Society frowns on murder, unless you’re murdering a hormone-ridden cow with the intention of grinding up its flesh and selling it in patty form.
You don’t want to make the same mistake you made the last time. You don’t want to run out to the pick-up, grab the crowbar and start beating on the circus clown. The horrible screams. The blood.
Hiding the body. Realizing you accidentally left the clown nose in the glove box and the wife borrowed the truck because her car is in the shop and she leaves her breath mints in the glove box too.
3. Drinking. Not beer…that’s for breakfast. The real stuff. The hard stuff. The stuff that, if you’re not careful, will make you lose control of your bladder and go blind. Ah, that’s the stuff.
4. Denial. “It’s gotta be a mistake. Another bad report by Ed Werder. It’s just a damn rumor.”
So the wife gets home and starts waving the clown nose in your face. What do you do? Deny. “Never saw that in my life. That’s not even my truck. And who the hell are you?” The booze aids this process by eliminating key memories. If you’re lucky you will achieve total amnesia.
5. Flight. “They don’t even have football in Nepal. They’ve never even heard of Brett Favre. And anyway I’ve always wanted to travel to the Himalayas and track down the elusive Yeti.”
Unfortunately, it is not possible to drive a snowmobile all the way to Nepal. “Who put that damn ocean there? Must’ve been Ted Thompson.”
The wife, still dangling the clown nose and tapping her foot, wonders why you are scrambling around muttering, “Where the hell did I put those pitons?”
6. Complete mental collapse.
You can only remain in a state of near-panic for so long before your system shuts down. You fall into the broken Barcalounger. You stare blankly into space. Your thoughts become even more disjointed than before. Your wife, having grown used to seeing you like this, is no longer concerned. She just assumes the clown nose is yours. You always did have your kinky side.
7. More drinking.
Your wife turns the TV on for you and leaves a six-pack in your lap. She comes along a half-hour later and wipes your chin and changes your shirt for you. She switches over to Oprah and you don’t even notice. She flips past SportsCenter, which is doing a story on you know who. You see his face just for an instant and begin to twitch like a lab frog wired to a battery.
8. Acceptance. “Aaron Rodgers is younger. He’s got his whole career ahead of him. The other guy is just an old washed-up wreck anyway. He’ll probably be hurt by Week 4.”
She finally hauls you out of the chair, sponges you down and puts you to bed. You wake up with a different outlook on life. You’ve forgotten all about Nepal. The dead circus clown rotting at the bottom of the ravine. The bloody crowbar in the back of the truck. The thousands of dollars you owe on your TV, your snowmobile, the bronze Vince Lombardi statue you still haven’t removed from the crate. The fact that, three days ago, you crapped your own liver.
Things could be worse. Someone could’ve gotten pictures of you with the clown.
9. Realizing that acceptance is for pansies. “What the hell am I talking about? He was our QB and now he’s theirs. He’s ruined all the good memories forever that son of a…”
Thankfully the bar is open. The bartender would love nothing more than to sell you alcohol and listen to you complain. Mmm…who’s that yummy blonde with the bicycle horn and the bucket of confetti? I’d like to take her back to the hotel and show her what a real man can do when he’s too drunk to really control his limbs and such.
10. Slow, simmering rage that lasts for years…and is kept in check by drinking.
You regain your equilibrium at last. You are angry at everything, but not angry enough to kill or destroy or become a sherpa. You could go to church but that would require knowing where there’s a church. And anyway, that’s why God invented alcohol. So people wouldn’t need church. Or human contact. Or a sense of responsibility.
Goodbye Brett. Goodbye growing number of dead circus clowns at the bottom of the ravine. Goodbye normal kidney function.