Sports Illustrated's Andrew Perloff tells us "Let's start with five Week 1 quarterback performances everyone will over-hype" and begins with Favre:
"He looks just fine as a caretaker against an opponent that can't stop the run and isn't a threat on offense. He won't have the luxury of sitting back against tougher competition."
In this case, I guess I'll just say Perloff made an inaccurate prediction: he tells us that this is a performance "everyone will over-hype," but he's just wrong. Certainly not "everybody" is overhyping it.
Yahoo!'s Dan Wetzel's column is titled "Too early to get excited over Favre." The column is fairly reasonable: the questions about Favre are how he'll hold up in December and January, not how he'll play in September (at least, those are my concerns). Like Perloff, he points out that the Browns were an easy opponent, and that Favre is going to face tougher teams this season. We know this. But Wetzel tells us:
"Vikings fans should temper their emotions because every thing always starts well with Favre. It’s the ending that gets dicey."
"There’s no reason to be displeased with Favre’s opener. There’s also no reason to be naïve."
Wetzel also expects gushing in the media that I'm not sure exists. Quoting Childress calling the performance "workmanlike" and using words like "uspectacular" and routine," Wetzel writes:
"This was a slightly more restrained – and honest – assessment than Favre will receive from his worshipping media crew."I don't feel like making a survey of media reactions to Favre's game. What I will do here, however, is survey Viking bloggers' reactions. We're the fans: sure we're neurotic, but we're also the ones most likely to overreact to victory, aren't we? How many of us were gushing? Do we need to temper our emotions, to make sure we're not being naive? Here's a look at all the Viking blogs I have in the blogroll that wrote directly about the game.
Grant's Tomb: decidedly not gushing: DC didn't see anything that answered his questions about Favre.
Defensive Indifference: decidedly negative: Jason complains Favre didn't get down the field enough and didn't do anything Rosenfels or Jackson couldn't do in this game.
(just a side note: I'm speculating that against inferior opponents, the Vikings are going to try protect Favre, winning as often as they can with running and defense. When they need it--and when they're more comfortable in pass protection--they'll open up the pass more. That might be wishful thinking).
Daily Norseman: Anthony21 is sober about Favre ("unspectacular," "wasn't asked to do too much"), Gonzo praises Favre, but moderately, and devotes most of his attention to other Vikings.
The Viking Ship: The Jazzy One offers a fairly objective assessment, I think: praising what Favre did well, pointing out that there were some problems ("Brett just didn't seem to be on the same page with his receivers").
Vikings Gab: Adam Warwas is impressed with Favre: because he played like a game manager.
The Viking Age: a couple days after the game, danzinksi is starting to believe that "this crazy Favre thing just might work." He's positive about what's going on, optimistic that this is a good situation.
Skol Vikes: Newt says little about Favre, but does believe strongly in the Vikings team.
Viking Nation: GB Nordic offers more praise for Favre as game manager.
Vikes Geek: Vikes Geek says little directly about Favre, focusing on Brad Childress.
Maybe Viking bloggers are not representative of most Viking fans (it is possible). And maybe Viking bloggers are more reasonable than national sports commentators (of course we are: we're awesome!!!!!). But I don't see Favre's performance being overhyped, and I don't see naive emotions that need to be tempered.
An extra thought
I think many people are responding to a reality that existed several years ago but doesn't anymore: a reality in which the majority of the mainstream media overpraised Favre and refused to acknowledge his flaws. But several years ago, a backlash really started to develop (prominently on the internet) against the media's treatment of Favre, to the point that complaints about the media coverage of Favre have become the cliche. Furthermore, Favre's behavior in recent years has led to a lot of criticism from mainstream media sources.
I also think/speculate, with no evidence, that the anti-Favre sentiment is behind this year's massive number of positive predictions for the Green Bay Packers, and for Aaron Rodgers specifically.