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Credibility has taken it on the chin this summer.

Whether it has been BP’s awful communication efforts from the gulf, Apple’s arrogant response to iPhone problems, Toyota’s constant misery or on-going examples of governmental officials behaving like three-year-olds; trust has been shaken.

But I didn’t realize how cynical I was becoming until I thought about Brett Favre and his newest retirement statement. Now, I am a football fan and I always liked Favre even though he never played for my team. I liked his leadership, his bravado and his way of rising to the moment. I don’t know when he wore me out, but it happened.

As I walked past a television in my gym showing ESPN’s breathless coverage of Favre’s latest retirement, it occurred to me that ESPN really gets off easily. All they have to do each year is simply add some footage to last year’s retirement show and the broadcast is ready. In fact, they probably have an editorial calendar that includes advertising opportunities each August geared to Favre’s retirement announcement and, of course, his decision to return two weeks later.

That’s cynical and sad. I am, after all, years beyond putting much faith in athletes as their behavior tends to disgust more than inspire these days. But Brett Favre has really pushed it. Couldn’t we try honesty for one moment? If he wants more money, then say it. If he doesn’t want to attend training camp, say that. And please, ESPN, stop covering his third retirement as if it were shocking news. Your own correspondents are greeting the news with skepticism.

For the rest of us, let’s learn a lesson that credibility and trust are fragile. Choose your words and how you use them carefully because trust doesn’t come back easily.

That’s my Thursday morning Eye-Opener.

- Michael Sansolo
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