Brett Favre: More On Manly Men Crying

Friday, I asked a question about Brett Favre’s public melt-down during his retirement announcement press conference. See video here. Did Favre’s tears indicate a feminization of the culture? I took a poll of my readers, and while not scientific, over 60% of them believed it wasn’t a big deal at all that Favre cried crocodile tears. In fact, they felt it displayed a refreshing sensitivity.

My feeling? “Get a hold of yourself, man!”

Brett Favre reached the pinnacle of his career. He left at the top. I would have liked to see him go all the way and be the one who kicked Tom Brady’s ass, but oh well, that didn’t happen. He had a fantastic season anyway. After this season, it seemed like the perfect time to retire. He has been banged up and quarterbacks get their bells rung so often, brain damage seems like too big a price to pay for the sport at a certain point. It was no surprise to me when I heard the news.

What did surprise me is that this manly man came undone during his press conference. What the hell? After his father died, he endured it with stoic grace and played anyway. And won, by the way. But his sobbing for himself at the press conference seemed narcissistic and out-of-proportion. He is retiring after playing a game. No one died. His child isn’t sick. There was no tragedy. His beloved, obviously, career ended on a high note. What more could a person want?

I liked it better when men kept a tight upper lip. Women, too. Queen Elizabeth II’s stoicism impresses me. I like that ilk of leader. Restrained, dignified, and intense in feeling but not expression. I just don’t want to see leaders cry; any leaders, male or female. I don’t want to see Hillary Clinton cry. I don’t want to see George W. Bush cry. I want to see people suck it up and soldier on with grace.

The culture has changed. Americans seem so unacquainted with real tragedy that it is normal to emote over relatively trivial things. It seems that American men, and women, have gone soft. Cry for a fallen soldier. Cry for cancer. Cry for the death of your child.

Some feel that the culture has been feminized. That the only virtues extolled are feminine. But what is virtuous about sappy tears? How does crying puddles and displaying vulnerability publicly denote a good thing? When Nancy Pelosi self-indulgently surrounded herself with her grandchildren on the Senate floor, I wanted to barf. When Hillary got choked up over her own relatively minor struggles during this campaign, it felt just icky. Grown women acting like sappy little girls is bad enough. Seeing a man boo-hoo is even worse. Will any one extol typically masculine traits anymore? I see it as how far we’ve declined that a modern gladiator weeps publicly at his retirement.

Tom Hanks said,”There’s no crying in baseball.” Well, there’s no crying in football either. It’s a sport. Man up!

Cross-posted at Dr. Melissa Clouthier where I’m also talking about what’s wrong with public schools.

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