Interest in tonight’s Vikings/Packers showdown is expected to be so high that it will break regular-season television ratings for an NFL football game. And that is, of course, due to one person: Brett Favre.
The evidence of interest in Brett Favre has manifested itself online. Let’s first look at the general interest in Favre over time. This chart shows searches for Brett Favre for the past year. As you can see, the peaks in search volume occur in January, about the time Favre is considering retirement, in after the draft in May when he asks the Jets for his release, in August during the Vikings/Favre flirtation, then the radical spike in August when the quarterback finally signs, and again in October as tonight’s game approaches:
Twitter chatter follows the same pattern. This Trendtastic chart shows Twitter chatter about Brett Favre From April 28, 2009 to October 5, 2009. As you can see, Favre-related chatter spikes in predictable places: 1) In April, around the time of the NFL draft and when Favre asked for his release from the New York Jets, 2) in early May when he suggested he may unretire, 3) in June & July as he flipped and flopped about unretiring, 4) on August 18, when Favre finally signed with the Vikings, and 5) around gameday.
The following chart of searches for Brett Favre-related products shows just what the man means to the Vikings and to the league. Notice the massive spike in interest in merchandise upon signing with the Vikings and as tonight’s game approaches.
If there was any question about whether or not Packer’s fans had “moved on,” this chart showing the showing the geographic concentration of Favre merchandise searches for 2009 should lay that to rest:
Not surprisingly, Favre is a popular topic for bloggers.
The following chart shows the volume of blog posts that mention Brett Favre from 9/5/09 to 10/5/09. Notice the dramatic peak in posts on September 27, 2009, the day of the Minnesota Vikings dramatic last second victory over the San Francisco 49ers on the strength of Brett Favre’s game-winning touchdown pass. The number of posts remain high the following day as bloggers were still talking about the game.
Finally, the next chart from Trendtastic shows the increase in Favre-related Twitter chatter during the past 24 hours ending at 3 PM today.