As you’ve been able to tell, we’re staunch supporters of Conan O’Brien. You’ve probably also noticed we like to straddle that fine line between sports and pop culture in our articles. So it should come as no surprise that I came up with this comparison amid a conversation last night with Ciaran, a fellow frumpster. It dawned on me that Jay Leno changing his mind about retiring from late night television closely mirrors Brett Favre deciding(multiple times) he wasn’t ready to retire from the NFL.
Brett leaned towards retiring, actually retired, then came back and in doing so altered the careers of Aaron Rogers of the Packers, Chad Pennington of the Jets, and the two headed monster of Tarvaris Jackson/Sage Rosenfels of the Vikings. Jay Leno announced retirement, changed his mind and came back and is now in the process of altering the careers of Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, and the often forgotten about Carson Daly. Continue reading after the FRUMP for more on my comparison as well as funny-man Patton Oswalt’s feelings toward Jay Leno after all this mess.
(image via Mike)
On one hand, you have Brett Favre. Brett said in January of 2006 that he was leaning towards retiring from football. This would open the door for Aaron Rogers to take the reins of the Green Bay Packers. Not so fast. He then announced he’d be back for the 2007 season, forcing Aaron to wait another year. Then in March of 2008, he announced officially he would retire for good from football saying “I know I can play, but I don’t think I want to. And that’s really what it comes down to.”. Once again, this opened the door for Aaron Rogers. Not so fast. In July of 2008, Favre told the Packers he wanted back in. Rightfully so, they ended up telling him no. This put Aaron Rogers in an awful postion because now not only does he have to follow in the footsteps of a future hall of famer, but he has to do it while all Packer fans know they could’ve had Brett back. Horrible situation.
Long story short, Favre ends up with the New York Jets for the 2008 season, who already had a quarterback in Chad Pennington. This leaves him the odd man out and he ends up being released by the Jets and thankfully picked up by the Dolphins. 2nd career altered by Favre’s decisions. Fast forward to the 2009 season and Brett Favre ends up a Minnesota Viking(rivals of the Packers btw). The Vikings already had 2 quarterbacks battling it out in Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels. They pretty much get the bench thanks to Favre. Careers 3 and 4 altered by Favre. This brings us up to date on that hand.
On the other hand, you have Jay Leno. I’ve covered most of this in my other article, but here’s a very brief synopsis. In 2004 Jay Leno announced he would retire from The Tonight Show on NBC in 2009. In this five years, Conan prepares for his move, turns down other offers, and moves his entire family, crew, and crew’s family out to California for the Tonight Show. In 2009, Jay decides he’s not ready to retire, so to make him happy they give him a show at 10pm. It bombs. Badly. 7 months later, instead of getting rid of Leno(like they should), NBC decides to move his show back to 11:35, moving Conan’s show to 12:05, Jimmy Fallon’s to 1:05, and who knows what happens with Carson Daly. Careers 1, 2, and 3 altered by Jay Leno. Now, who knows what will happen to Conan, all I know is that guy will land on his feet, running.
To sum it up, you can see how these situations closely mirror themselves. Really the only difference is Jay Leno is no where near as good at his job as Brett Favre is at his. Also, Conan definitely isn’t the Chad Pennington/Tarvaris Jackson/Sage Rosenfels of his profession either. Your reward for reading all of this? Check out the audio of Patton Oswalt’s rant on Jay Leno below. It’s been taken off of YouTube faster than it can get put back up, but lets face it, we’re not YouTube and we aren’t patroled like them either.
(thanks to Sarah for the tip on Patton!)