Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Brett Favre Vs. Hamlet
Compare and contrast!
* Both are cripplingly indecisive.
* Favre played for years in Wisconsin, known for its cheese. Hamlet is prince of Denmark, known for its cheese. Likewise, Denmark and Wisconsin (plus New York and Minnesota) are known for being cold.
* "Hamlet," Shakespeare's play, has been endlessly analyzed for centuries by literary analysts and critics. Favre has been endlessly analyzed for what seems like centuries by NFL analysts and sportswriters.
* I own shirts promoting both --- a Favre Packers jersey and a Hamlet t-shirt from its production at Stratford ten years ago. That's right, I buy theatre shirts, I'm cool. It was a good production too. Good Canadian boy Paul Gross in the lead role, working hard in the corners, keeping his stick on the ice, etc.
* Hamlet is motivated by revenge against his uncle Claudius for the murder of his father. Favre is motivated by revenge against Packers general manager Ted Thompson for not letting Favre un-retire and play for Green Bay to so Aaron Rodgers could take over the starting quarterback job. (I'll save the Fortinbras/Rodgers comparisons for a future post.)
* Hamlet is faithfully followed by his pal Horatio. Favre is faithfully followed by Sports Illustrated's Peter King. Little-known fact: Shakespeare's original draft of the play included a long soliloquy from Horatio about the quality of Starbucks coffee.
* Rosencrantz and Guildenstern = Frank Winters and Donald Driver.
* Hamlet spends about 10 minutes dealing with two gravediggers. Favre spent 10 years playing with Gilbert "The Gravedigger" Brown, who is roughly the size of two normal men.
* Hamlet stages a play at the castle that is a mock retelling of Claudius' murder of the king. Favre stages a season with a green-clad team that is a mock retelling of his time with the Packers. Admittedly, Hamlet's performance worked much better.
* Hamlet delivers the famous "speak the speech" dialogue to the actors before the performance. Favre led the Vikings sideline in a rousing rendition of "Pants On The Ground."
* Hamlet has an on-again, off-again relationship with Ophelia. Favre has an on-again, off-again relationship with Cameron Diaz in "There's Something About Mary." In the end both women are driven to insanity and/or getting together with Ben Stiller.
* Favre takes apart the Oakland Raiders (399 total yards, four touchdowns) a day after his father's death. Hamlet takes apart the Danish court an indeterminate amount of time after his father's death.
* Favre, while a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, is more known for great performances that end in game-crushing interceptions. Hamlet, while he does ultimately gain revenge on Claudius, ends up taking a fatal stabbing from Laertes' poisonous blade. (No, I will not put a spoiler alert here, read the damn play, people.)
* Favre has started 285 consecutive games, an NFL record, and has a reputation for playing through pain. Hamlet, after taking the aforementioned lethal stabbing from Laertes, still wreaks much havoc on the Danish court.
* Hamlet unwittingly kills the blowhard Polonius. Favre is unwittingly killing the career of blowhard Vikings coach Brad Childress, not to mention the credibility of dozens of blowhard NFL broadcasters that praise his every move on the field.
* Laurence Olivier, who won an Oscar playing Hamlet in 1948, was in "War Requiem" with Sean Bean. Bean was in "North Country" with Richard Jenkins. Jenkins was in "There's Something About Mary" with, you guessed it, Brett Favre.
* Hamlet's indecisiveness is interesting to debate and analyze. Favre's is sure as hell not.
* Hamlet never sent cellphone pictures of his penis to Ophelia.