Anyone who tells you they know how a case will turn out is either lying or stupid. No one ever knows how any case is going to go. There are too many factors. Too many things no one can control. Too many unpredictable, but inevitable, twists and turns that can turn a winner into a loser in the blink of an eye.
I’ve seen it happen, on both sides. Great case goes up in smoke with one bad witness. Shit case turns to shinola (if shinola is good; I never really know) after one clunky answer to a seemingly simple question.
And so the proper reaction to the recent boasts from Eric Herschmann that his client, Brett Favre, has a “slam dunk” case against Pat McAfee and Shannon Sharpe for defamation should be skepticism.
“We think it’s a slam dunk,” Herschmann told The Daily Wire, via The Daily Mail.
Herschmann also pointed out the different ways that the two defendants have handled the case.
“Shannon Sharpe, since he’d been sued, has been quiet,” Herschmann said. “Pat McAfee keeps talking about it. In all of my years as an attorney and being a prosecutor previously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a defendant build a case against themselves.
“His defense was, ‘Oh, I threw in the word “allegedly”‘ but two things is; the things that we cite, he didn’t throw in the world ‘allegedly,’ and secondly if he did any research or had a lawyer looking, that’s not really a defense.”
Frankly, if Herschmann believes McAfee is digging a deeper hole for himself, why point it out? Herschmann should follows Sharpe’s lead and shut up.
Of course, Herschmann possibly thinks that he’ll potentially goad McAfee, who seems to relish the P.R. boost that the lawsuit has brought, into saying even more.
Even if McAfee or Sharpe technically defamed Favre by taking the dots and connecting them prematurely into an assertion that Favre had done something he shouldn’t have done in Mississippi, it was still a major mistake for Favre to sue. He has now put everything he’s ever done in issue, because there’s no way to determine the damage to his reputation without fully fleshing out his reputation before he was allegedly defamed.
Brett Favre was no Fred Rodgers. We only need to look to the Jenn Sterger fiasco, which culminated in Favre being fined $50,000 by the league for not cooperating with the investigation regarding whether he sent inappropriate images of a body part to the former Jets media employee while he played for the team.
There will be other things, too, that the defense lawyers dig into during discovery. And Lord help Favre if he allows himself to be drawn into a sparring match during his sworn deposition and commits perjury in the heat of the battle.
No, Favre would have been better off doing nothing. Winning a verdict against McAfee and Sharpe for saying out loud that which many were and likely still are thinking will do little to restore Favre’s reputation, in my opinion. And the risk of further harm to Favre’s life and legacy far outweighs whatever de minimis verdict he may win in court.