We are proud to introduce a new series here at SportsChump called Shut the Funk Up. As we see fit, we will find someone prevalent in the world of sports who we would like to tell to “shut the funk up,” and tie them to some of the most famous musicians the funk has ever known. Considering sports and funk music are two of my utmost passions, I look forward to the challenge.
It would be unjust if we didn’t give our first ever, honorary Shut the Funk Up Award to none other than Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Trust me when I tell you that even Packers fans have had it up to here with the guy. If he weren’t the best to play his position (which if he isn’t, he’s sure as hell close), even the most ardent Cheese Head would be uber-over the ponytail sportin’, State Farm pimpin’, discount double-checkin’, Jeopardy-hostin’ routine long ago. But as we sports fans know all too well, winning cures all ills. So long as Aaron Rodgers continues to rack up MVPs and wins, all is good in Lambeau Land.
The latest reason we want to tell Aaron Rodgers to Shut the Funk Up ironically has little to do with him but rather a catfish text, a simple prank, made more believable thanks to the image Aaron Rodgers has created for himself.
Before he was eliminated from the playoffs, came rumors that he would consider boycotting the Super Bowl, rumors that later turned out to be untrue yet still believable based on the Rodgers we think we know.
Here’s how it all went down.
To preface this beauty of a catfish, the Green Bay Packers had not reached the Super Bowl, but it was not outside the realm of possibility that they would. They were the NFC’s number one-seed and the overall favorites to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Rodgers second Super Bowl win was all but a foregone conclusion.
The reason Rodgers would consider protesting the Super Bowl, it was reported, was because of the NFL’s ramped up, COVID testing-policy. Former quarterback-turned-analyst Boomer Esiason received a text from an unnamed source hinting Rodgers was serious about boycotting the big game.
As it turned out, the text was a rouse and Rodgers had said nothing of the sort. But the fact that this made headlines, that for a moment we believed he would sit out the Super Bowl, makes us perfectly warranted in telling Rodgers to Shut the Funk Up without him even uttering a peep. That’s because he’s already uttered too many.
Kudos to the college prankster who somehow got Esiason’s cell phone number and catfished him into believing this story. It’s the most ingenious prank since the first guy to ever pick up a phone and ask someone if their refrigerator was running. Not only did it hit Rodgers’ persona smack dab on the skullcap, but it simultaneously reminded us how desperate “journalists” are to break “news.” It was by far the best sports catfish we’ve seen since Mantei Te’o’s make believe girlfriend, but better because he knocked down both the seven and the ten-pin in Rodgers and Esiason.
Aaron Rodgers’ funk equivalent is none other than the great Bootsy Collins, who coincidentally has a brother nicknamed Catfish. Like Rodgers, Collins has been around forever and, like Rodgers, he is still going strong.
Want proof? Rodgers just won his division, again. Bootsy just produced the smash hit Silk Sonic album, a collaboration between Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak. That effort was hardly Collins’ first go round. That funky kid from Cincinnati was discovered by, and later toured with, James Brown in the early 1970s. Bootsy went on to become one of the faces of Parliament Funkadelic, providing bass lines that resonate to this day. While Bootsy bounced around quite a bit, Rodgers at least hinted he’d wanted to try other outfits, whether it be this summer, last summer or all those seasons he wanted out from under Brett Favre’s shadow. Rodgers’ unorthodox style of play is as ingenious and unconventional as any of Bootsy’s hardcore funk. Like Rodgers, you might not care for it, but you can’t help but feel its groove. And while both are clearly among the elder statesmen of their respective professions, they each demonstrate a youthful and confident exuberance as they go about their business.
Both Rodgers and Collins revolutionized their positions. Few had ever seen a young bass player with the pizzazz of Bootsy. Few had seen a quarterback the style of Aaron Rodgers. Both replaced legends, Rodgers replacing Favre and Bootsy replacing, and re-accentuating, the thump in James Brown’s former rhythm section.
Both Aaron Rodgers and Bootsy Collins are, without question, the best to ever do it.
Now somebody, please pass me the catfish.
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