Framing an NFL legend : a comparative analysis framing and structural pluralism in regional vs. national newspaper coverage of Brett Favre's retirement(s)
Lundy, Catherine M.
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Champ, JosephWhen legendary quarterback Brett Favre retired from the Green Bay Packers, not even he knew what the coming year had in store. Favre’s subsequent un-retirement, additional season with the New York Jets, and re-retirement attracted immense media attention unparalleled by another athlete. Framing theory was used to compare regional (Green Bay Press Gazette) and national (New York Times and USA Today) newspaper coverage during the tumultuous yearlong period. Qualitative content analysis revealed differences and similarities between the publications’ framing of the storyline. Structural pluralism theory proposed further differences between the two classes of publication. This phenomenon suggests smaller, less varied communities’ media report less conflict than news reports covering larger, more complex areas. Additionally, the study provided evidence of a ritualistic, religious treatment of sports in modern society and its print media.