GREEN BAY, Wis. – Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one of the more polarizing athletes of the era. You either love him or you hate him and there’s little middle ground and certainly no room for nuance.
And so it goes with Tuesday’s appearance on The Pat McAfee Show in which he talked about his future with the team.
On FanDuel TV’s Up & Adams, host Kay Adams asked legendary tight end Rob Gronkowski about this quote from Rodgers:
“Do I still think I can play? Of course. 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. … I think there’s more conversations to be had.”
Gronkowski, who won four Super Bowl rings alongside the legendary Tom Brady, replied:
“I m totally fine with everything he said except one major part, and that’s the ‘MVP again.’ It’s just that I think, ‘I can win another Super Bowl.’ That would have been totally fine. Like, bro, why are you thinking MVP? Don’t you want Super Bowls? Super Bowls, I think, are five times greater than an MVP award.
“We all know that you’ve won the MVP a few times now, but everyone would know even more how many Super Bowls you’ve won than MVPs. So, that’s why I’m a little confused about that quote that he just had. It should be Super Bowls. You should never be thinking the MVP when Super Bowls are … better.”
Gronkowski is right, of course. But that’s not all Rodgers said.
You only had to listen a few more minutes to hear Rodgers talk about the Super Bowl. But that’s not the quote that was presented. Whether it’s Adams’ fault or her producers’ fault is irrelevant.
Gronk dunking on Rodgers goes viral and, boom, the narrative is set and stupidity ensues.
Surely, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk should know better. Florio’s job is to be an NFL expert. That’s how he’s portrayed on NBC Sports for his role on Football Night in America.
Florio, however, makes no mention of Rodgers’ championship comments. Wrote the noted Vikings fan:
“No one will ever accuse Gronkowski of being as smart as Rodgers. But Gronkowski is smart enough to spot the flaw in Rodgers’s remark. It should never be about MVP. That doesn’t matter.
“Champions crave championships. Selfish people covet individual awards and recognition.
“Players like Patrick Mahomes put little significance in winning the regular-season MVP award. Rodgers apparently does. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why he’s won four of them — and only one Super Bowl.”
How about my employer, Sports Illustrated? Nope. In the opinion of Madeline Coleman, Gronkowski made a “fair point.”
David Hookstead of Outkick is another writer with a national platform who chose to crap on Rodgers by copying-and-pasting some quotes rather than listening to the interview.
“The problem is that at times during Rodgers’ career, he has appeared to prioritize himself over the team. Look at the past couple offseasons. The Packers were engulfed in chaos and rumors as they waited for Rodgers to make a decision.
“That’s why when he makes a comment about winning another MVP award and doesn’t put the focus on winning the SB, people don’t have to make much of a leap to think it’s a bit selfish.
“Again, it doesn’t mean Aaron Rodgers doesn’t want a Super Bowl more than another MVP trophy. That’s just simply not what he said, and people are taking him at his word.”
But that’s simply not all that Rodgers said. In response to McAfee asking if the team needs to plot its course – rebuild or reload – before Rodgers decides his future, Rodgers replied:
“I don’t think any team outside of maybe the Texans this year – there’s a couple teams, maybe – who might say, ‘Yeah, we’re rebuilding. We finished down at the bottom of the league and obviously we’re going to start over.’ These teams who have a new GM or head coach and they’re drafting pretty high, they might admit that they’re in some sort of rebuild. Most teams in the middle of the pack aren’t going to say, ‘Hey, we’re in a rebuild,’ unless we have a crazy cap situation, so no GM or president is ever going to say, ‘We’re rebuilding.’
“I’m sure that’ll trigger somebody asking them, ‘Are you guys rebuilding?’ and the answer would be, ‘Of course not. We got this and we got that.’ But it’s a mind-set. If they want to go younger and think Jordan (Love is) ready to go, then that might be the way they want to go, and if that’s the case and I still want to play, then there’s only one option, right, and that’s to play somewhere else. If it’s not and they, you know, like, ‘No, no, no, we still want you to play,’ and this and that, then it’d have to be the right situation with the roster that looks like we can win it all.
“Because there’s no point in coming back if you don’t think you can win it all.”
I’ll translate for the clickbait whores: No point in coming back – not even to win a fifth MVP – if the Super Bowl isn’t a realistic option.
This story won’t go viral. In today’s world, stupid sells. My apologies for trying to bring the smallest amount of intelligence to the story.