Everyone’s talking about Aaron Rodgers, so I figured why not follow suit?
If your off-season news feed has been filled with endless Aaron Rodgers updates, rest assured that’s just the way he wants it. I’m not sure who’s running his promotional campaigns, but they deserve a hearty raise in pay. With all the money he’s earned over his career, nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in NFL salary alone, I’m quite certain he can afford it. Nor am I clear on why we as a collective are so consumed with the everyday affairs of this precious, mushroom-taking, Jeopardy-hosting, State Farm-pimpin’, multiple MVP-winning, nearly forty-year-old quarterback… but we are.
So are the New York Jets, the team that might just be his new home, from green to green and everything in between.
As Mr. Rodgers’ world turns, it appears more and more likely that the constantly spinning globe (but not the chatter) will finally stop in New York City, making the third greatest quarterback in Green Bay history the second to become a New York Jet. Who knew he and Brett Favre had that much in common? Here’s hoping he doesn’t pocket any illegal state funds on his way out of Wisconsin.
For more than a while now, Aaron Rodgers has held our attention spans, along with multiple cities and sports networks hostage. If you haven’t been paying attention, which I know is impossible at this point, the writing in Green Bay appears to be on the wall, with Rodgers telling America he intends to play for the New York Jets next season. Finally, Green Bay, you have some closure.
Which leads me to ask a few questions.
Let’s start, of course, with the legacy nonsense.
There’s been plenty of criticism about Rodgers’ legacy and the fact that he has only one won Super Bowl in Green Bay, as if those things grow on trees. There has also been (awfully premature) talk about what winning in New York would do to that legacy. Obviously, it would cement him as one of the greats (isn’t he already – he’s won four MVP awards!) but even if he doesn’t, Rodgers’ legacy will remain intact amongst most people with any sense. This is also a fact, I’m pretty sure, that Rodgers doesn’t lose much sleep over.
While winning a Super Bowl is obviously the optimal outcome for both Rodgers and the New York Jets, it’s not the only thing that matters. There is such a thing as the bottom line. In fact, it’s highly likely the New York Jets have already received both financial and attention windfall with just the introductory hoopla and he hasn’t even signed a contract. Seriously, when’s the last time you spent any time talking about the New York Jets without also mentioning Joe Namath or butt fumble. For New York, signing Rodgers is the biggest no-brainer in sports. The team could go 0-17 and still profit from the decision to land Rodgers. You can already hear the box office phones ringing off the hook.
In two of the last three NFL seasons, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles both bought championships so why not New York, especially if they can get Green Bay to pay a good portion of Rodgers’ whopping salary? Before the Buccaneers signed Tom Brady, they were an afterthought and never, if at all, mentioned by the media. Enter good old number 12 and overnight, they led every broadcast, not just sports-related, from coast to coast. The same will happen in New York for a team that’s needed a shot in the arm ever since Namath wagged his finger in victory some fifty Super Bowls ago.
Heck, it’s already happening. The incessant media coverage, the jerseys they’ll sell, the seats they’ll fill, the marketing possibilities, these are all shrewd business decisions that have as much to do with winning as actually winning. All Rodgers needs to officially kickstart this madness is to hold his press conference wearing a fur coat, a la Namath. Can you imagine?
In a league where winning is the only thing that matters, allegedly, Super Bowls are both bought and built. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams rode their newly acquired veteran quarterbacks all the way to Disneyland. The Jets now hope to do the same. They have nothing to lose for even in losing, they’ll still be the talk of the town.
Even though the Bucs and Rams won Bowls with nabbed vets, the likelihood of Aaron Rodgers doing the same is astronomically unlikely regardless of what Las Vegas would have you believe. The Jets are currently listed at 10 to 1 to win the Bowl, despite playing in an increasingly competitive AFC. If you think there’s value in that future, I have some Powerball tickets to sell you.
Furthermore, why aren’t we making more of an uproar about Aaron Rodgers dictating the terms of his own roster, yet we bash NBA players for doing the exact same thing? Rodgers has all but given the Jets a wish list, which they appear to be fulfilling player by player, so much so that I think they’re getting a discounted rate on bulk moving vans from Wisconsin. Sure, we criticize Rodgers for the attention he craves but why aren’t we bashing him for hand-picking the besties he wants to play with like we have players in other sports?
I’ll let that marinate for a while.
Either way, it sure as apple pie sounds like Aaron Rodgers will be landing in the Big Apple, which means he’ll soon be hanging out in the Village, wearing inconspicuous beanies, and visiting coffee shops with Leo DiCaprio on his off nights. Both New York and nationwide media will exhaustingly keep us abreast of his every step and misstep. The paparazzi in Green Bay is three fat guys in parkas. Manhattan will kick it up a notch.
Rodgers has tough skin but he’s about to run into a media that’s altogether different from the Wisconsinites he’s grown accustomed to. Either way, win or lose, he and his new bosses will be laughing all the way to the bank teller. The Jets will be the only thing any of us will talk about, which is exactly what they, and their new quarterback, want. If you thought the attention that he’s getting now is bad, prepare yourselves.
This is only the beginning.