1. Aaron Rodgers was not a fan of the media before this week, so we can’t imagine what he must be thinking today.
With Rodgers’s wordplay on “vaccinated” vs. “immunized” coming back to bite him, the future Hall of Famer has been taking shots from all types of media figures over the past few days.
Pro Football Talk reported Thursday that Rodgers was “furious” about getting exposed for being unvaccinated (as if there was any chance that would remain a secret).
But if Rodgers was already furious, he must be downright apoplectic after Thursday’s feeding frenzy.
It started in the morning with Stephen A. Smith saying on First Take, “Aaron Rodgers is a liar. Period. He lied through his teeth with a smirk on his face.” Smith then said Rodgers should be suspended.
Former NFL linebacker Bart Scott also lit into Rodgers Thursday morning, saying on Get Up, “The dude is a liar. He’s a straight-up liar. He lied. He misled the public. He misled his teammates. He misled his opponents that went up to talk to him after a game. He put everybody at risk and he wants to be John Wick on Halloween and run around showing that he’s not following proper protocols.”
Veteran sportscaster Bob Costas also had strong words for Rodgers during an appearance on CNN Thursday night, calling the quarterback "disingenuous" and saying Rodgers's reputation will take a hit because of his actions.
The Rodgers bashing ended late at night with Jimmy Kimmel saying, “Aaron is a Karen.” Kimmel then said, “The only thing worse than not getting vaccinated when you’re in close contact with other people is letting them think you’re vaccinated when you’re not. It’s basically the COVID equivalent of ‘the condom fell off.’ ”
And in between Stephen A. and Kimmel was by far the best rant of the day, courtesy of SiriusXM’s Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who went ballistic while addressing the Rodgers controversy.
You have to listen to the full clip to get maximum enjoyment, but it was a tour de force with the Doggie barking about everything from Rodgers meeting the media without wearing a mask, Rodgers attending a team Halloween party maskless, Rodgers not following NFL rules while making $35 million a year and much more.
Just a couple of weeks ago Rodgers rambled about “woke PC culture” on the Pat McAfee Show and said this:
“And ultimately there’s a game within the game. And in this game, there’s a player and there’s a game. If the player abides by the rules of the game, he’s a part of the game. Now the rules of the game are you must acquiesce with the woke mob at all times. You must. However, when you live above the game, the game does not exist. That’s where I’m at. These things, I realize them, I see them, but I’m not a part of this game that’s being played. The game is being played out by these individuals and I see it, I hear it, but to me it’s comedy.”
It’s a good thing Rodgers finds this all to be comedy, because the shots are going to keep coming.
2. One more thing on the Rodgers saga. Packers coach Matt LaFleur was asked yesterday about the team not following protocols with Rodgers. LaFleur insisted the team followed protocols in the "football space." When pressed about Rodgers not wearing a mask during his press conferences with media, LaFleur implied that the "football space" isn't the same as the media room. LaFleur then said, "I don't pay attention to the media rules."
More cute word play from the Packers is not going to sit well with the NFL.
3. HBO has released the trailer for the upcoming, first-ever in-season edition fo Hard Knocks, featuring the Colts.
4. Very cool video here for all the baseball fans out there: the final outs from the past 50 World Series.
5. Many people on Twitter had the same thought after Odell Beckham's release became official Friday morning.
6. The latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features an interview with Al Michaels.
The voice of NBC's Sunday Night Football addresses reports that he's headed to Amazon to call Thursday Night Football next season. Michaels also talks about how he views certain games on the Sunday night schedule, the wildest games he's called, his old feud with Boomer Esiason, the good and bad from the Dennis Miller years on Monday Night Football and his thoughts on the success of the ManningCast.
Michaels also talks about steakhouses, his favorite sides and why he puts ketchup on his steaks.
The podcast closes with the weekly "Traina Thoughts" segment. This week, Jimmy and Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY talk about the Aaron Rodgers COVID-19 saga, whether Von Miller was traded because of a Halloween party, highlights of the last ManningCast, Episode 2 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and the revelation that Tony died in the final episode of The Sopranos.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 69th birthday to the always amusing Bill Walton.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.