By Chris Havlicek
I’ll admit it – it’s almost becoming fun to follow, almost. It’s an annual tradition that blesses/curses us every March. It fights its way onto the front page of the sports section, dominates sports radio in the month of March, and keeps many many people on the edge of their seats. March Madness you may be guessing…..? Not even close. It’s the annual, self-organized, Aaron Rodgers beauty pageant.
He’s about to hold the sports world, hostage, again. He did it last year, teasing Packers fans with his should-I-stay-or-should-I-go drama. He finally signed a contract extension with the Pack for a ton of money, promised publicly he wanted to stay in Green Bay, had a weak season and here we are, being subjected to a soap-opera few people remember asking for. He loves it, and the world, finally, has grown weary of this ONE-TIME Superbowl Champion.
It typically begins with a crushing and early playoff loss OR an outright whiff on the post-season – something Rodgers has done far too often in his HOF career. This is then followed by some cryptic comments in the locker room and some sort of self-congratulatory media appearance. What famous person is he dating now? Where is he vacationing? What substance is he ingesting to achieve self-realization? Can darkness retreats breed inner peace and produce a championship-caliber quarterback? I don’t remember asking for any of this – and neither does anyone else. I don’t get the sense Rodgers cares. I think he cares about one thing and one thing only…..being the MVP. Not Superbowls. Not Division Championships. Not being a great teammate. When asked recently on the Pat Mcafee show, Rodgers had this to say. “Do I still think I can play? Of course. Of course,’’ said Rodgers, 39. “Can I play at a high level? Yeah. The highest. I think I can win MVP again in the right situation. Right situation — is that Green Bay or is that somewhere else? I’m not sure, but I don’t think you should shut down any opportunity.” No mention of a Super Bowl. No mention of teammates or titles. Instead, Rodgers chose to focus on what he is always focused on – himself.
And now it appears Rodgers is likely headed to the NY Jets. He recently just submitted a list of players he wants, like a spoiled brat 15-year-old picking out the car he wants when he turns 16. I feel like we have seen this movie before. The aging Green Bay quarterback sets his sites on a bigger market. Sure his skills have diminished, and he isn’t what he once was, but the big market has to sell season tickets, and Rodgers can do that. What’s interesting is that Green Bay seems more than ready to move on, which is telling, and you get the sense that they just ended a bad relationship. That hissing sound you heard was Green Bay exhaling after the breakup.
So let’s get it over with Aaron. It’s March – we should be focused on March Madness, MLB Opening Day, golf (the masters is coming), the triple crown, and maybe even pickleball. Get off the front page – you don’t belong here in March. And that’s the thing with Rodgers – it seems to be all about him. There’s No “I’’ in Rodgers, but with some unscrambling, there is a “god.’’