Cal Football: Aaron Rodgers Bares His Soul About 'Outlandish' TV Sports Talk

Jeff Faraudo

Aaron Rodgers owns the highest career passer rating in NFL history. And on a recent podcast with Kyle Brandt of the NFL Network, the former Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers once again hit his target when asked his thoughts about TV sports journalism.

Rodgers doesn’t lump everyone together and, in fact, makes a point of complimenting the network’s “Good Morning Football” program, featuring Brandt, Pete Schrager, Nate Burleson and Kay Adams.

He said the program is regularly shown in the Green Bay Packers locker room or cafeteria, and he gives it high marks.

“I think you guys do an amazing job. You really do,” he said. “You guys make sports less douchey. I think that’s the best way I can say it. You guys talk on the real about things.”

But when asked during the podcast, “10 Questions with Kyle Brandt,” to describe the “worst kind of football television,” Rodgers unloads with a calm but pointed 3-minute rant. Much of it seemed aimed at ESPN, although Rodgers never identifies any commentator by name.

Here goes:

Everybody’s trying to say the most outlandish thing possible to get the most click bait. . . . My problem with putting ridiculous headlines on stories is that in this culture where the attention span is so short for many people, even people probably listening to this interview or watching this who can’t stay on the entire time because they’ve got other things to do or other things to look at on their phone.

All they’re going to read is eight words on an ESPN front page and . . . that’s what these people are trying to get people to click on. One second on that page, that counts as a page view. And the more page views you get, the more ad revenue you get. And I think it’s really low-class journalism. Some of the headlines that get put on some of these articles that have nothing to do with what’s actually, contest-wise, in the article. I think it’s poor journalism. I think it’s a total lack of integrity. And I don’t want to look at that.

And I don’t want to listen to four people on some show, yelling at each other about opinions that, `Do they really feel that way? Or are they trying to be the most outlandish opinion possible so they get the most views when it gets retweeted on Twitter or posted as a 10-second blurb on ESPN.com or something. I just think it’s really done a disservice to the industry of journalism, for sure.

Brandt then steps in briefly to acknowledge that that type of programming often scores high ratings. Rodgers is unimpressed.

Look man, it comes down to this: If you’re willing to sell out . . . and not have any character to stand on, then you kind of get what you deserve. If that’s what it’s all about with you, if your integrity is worth clicks or likes, then that says a lot about you.

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