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#pounditSunday, January 16, 2022

Articles tagged: Aaron Rodgers

Erin Andrews addresses her controversial hug with Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers is interviewed by Erin Andrews

Erin Andrews found herself at the center of a silly controversy a few weeks ago when she hugged Aaron Rodgers after an interview, but she may have misunderstood what all the fuss was about.

Andrews and Rodgers went viral after they exchanged a hug following the Green Bay Packers’ win over the Cleveland Browns on Christmas Day. The main reason the hug became a big topic was that it illustrated the hypocrisy that exists with the NFL’s COVID protocols. Andrews and Rodgers remained socially distanced while talking, only to hug before they parted ways.

Andrews discussed the reaction to the hug with co-host Charissa Thompson on their “Calm Down” podcast this week. She said she has close relationships with several players and exchanges hugs with them quite frequently. Andrews thinks the controversy stemmed from her being a woman and Rodgers being a “lightning rod for his stance on COVID.”

“For the first time in my career I kind of thought, this was like a chick thing,” Andrews said, as transcribed by Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post. “They’re going after it because I’m a female. Now, maybe I have it wronged they’re just going after it because Aaron is a lightning rod right now but I will say this, no one has said anything when Greg Olsen and [George] Kittle tackled and hugged each other.”

Andrews added that she has hugged other players like Matthew Stafford, and neither he nor his wife had any issue with it. She then briefly touched on the COVID protocol issue.

“And I know that there’s the other argument where we’re doing the interview six feet apart, because of the COVID protocol,” she said. “It is what it is. I understand that. I’ll do whatever the NFL needs me to do.”

That was the real issue. The majority of people thought the hug proved that many of the NFL’s COVID protocols are strictly for theater. There’s no point in a socially distanced interview that ends with a hug. It just makes no sense.

This isn’t the first controversy Andrews has been involved with this season, but neither was a big deal. For most people, the hug reaction was more of a COVID thing than a “chick thing.”

Matthew Stafford takes funny shot at Aaron Rodgers

Matthew Stafford

The Los Angeles Rams aren’t facing the Green Bay Packers this week, but quarterback Matthew Stafford is still ratcheting up a friendly rivalry with his Packers counterpart.

Stafford is dealing with a toe injury ahead of Monday’s Wild Card game against Arizona, and the issue limited his mobility somewhat in the team’s Week 18 game. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Stafford gave a quick update on his toe, and took a shot at Aaron Rodgers in the process.

Rodgers, of course, famously showed his own toe injury to reporters earlier in the season. That clearly did not go unnoticed by Stafford.

To be clear, there appears to be plenty of mutual respect between Rodgers and Stafford, so this is probably all in fun. It is theoretically possible that the Rams and Packers could see each other in the Divisional round, and the jokes would really be topical if that happened.

Derek Carr shouts out Aaron Rodgers in postgame interview

Derek Carr with a helmet on

Derek Carr insists that the Las Vegas Raiders would not have been content with a tie against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night, and the quarterback seemed to credit Aaron Rodgers for helping him maintain that mindset.

The Raiders secured a spot in the postseason with an overtime win over L.A. Had the two teams tied, both would have gotten into the playoffs and the Pittsburgh Steelers would have been eliminated. There were times in the OT period where it looked like Las Vegas was angling for the tie, but Carr told NBC’s Michele Tafoya after the Raiders’ 35-32 win that his intention was to go for it. He mentioned how he texted with Rodgers about the situation.

“We knew no matter what we didn’t want to tie. We wanted to win the football game,” Carr said. “My mindset all day, I was even texting with Aaron Rodgers this morning, my mindset was to make sure we were the only team moving on after this.

“Aaron’s always been good to me since I came into the league. We became friends, so we talk. Aaron, I appreciate your encouragement today.”

Carr didn’t go into detail about what he and Rodgers discussed, but it seemed fairly obvious. Rodgers probably told him that he would be in trouble if he went into such a big game thinking about tying. That’s a recipe for failure.

Of course, the Raiders may have ended up with the tie had it not been for a horrible decision from Chargers head coach Brandon Staley. Carr and his teammates would have been fine with a tie, but getting into the playoffs with a win must feel that much better.

Photo: Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) before playing against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Packers QBs Jordan Love, Kurt Benkert join in on Aaron Rodgers rumor

Jordan Love throws a pass

Several current and former Green Bay Packers quarterbacks got in on the Aaron Rodgers rumor fun.

On Friday, Boomer Esiason on his radio show shared the wildest Rodgers rumor yet. The rumor claimed Rodgers would “boycott” the Super Bowl if his Packers made it that far.

Rodgers of course wasted no time shutting down that crazy rumor. But then his teammates got in on it.

First, third-string QB Kurt Benkert joked that they supported Rodgers. Benkert called Rodgers “the jerk,” which is a reference to another Rodgers controversy.

Rodgers responded and jokingly asked if Benkert was the source of the story.

Benkert responded with a photo of notorious traitor Benedict Arnold, leading Rodgers to joke about Jordan Love.

Benkert responded again, joking that Rodgers was threatened by Benkert throwing passes to Randall Cobb.

Then current Packers backup Jordan Love jumped in, sharing a meme of a notorious class snitch from the show “Recess.”

Just when you thought all the fun would be over, Matt Flynn jumped in and joked that he was the leak over the offseason.

Flynn was a Packers backup quarterback for two different stints between 2008-2014.

As you can see, they all were getting a kick out of that rumor.

It’s only unfortunate for Green Bay that this rumor was released now and not later. It’s the sort of story that can help unite a team so they can rally and prove the doubters wrong. Maybe it was planted by someone looking to tick off Rodgers to get him to play his best entering the playoffs.

Photo: Aug 14, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) looks to throw against the Houston Texans during their football game Saturday, August 14, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Mandatory Credit: Dan Powers-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers offers hilarious response to crazy Super Bowl rumor

Aaron Rodgers after a play

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers does not usually directly address a lot of the rumors around him. One surfaced Friday that was so ridiculous, even Rodgers had to respond to it.

Boomer Esiason of WFAN’s “Boomer and Gio” show claimed Friday that Rodgers would boycott the Super Bowl if the Packers made it there. The claim was that Rodgers wanted to protest against the NFL’s COVID-19 guidance, and had told backup Jordan Love to “be ready.”

Rodgers did take notice of this. Not only did he retweet the clip on social media with three cry-laugh emojis, but he shared a series of sarcastic hashtags in response. In one of them, he referred to the rumor as the “dumbest f—ing story ever” and called for a bunch of boycotts, including one of coach Matt LaFleur’s eyebrows.

Rodgers has grown more outspoken in recent seasons, but he’ll still usually only address rumors and claims that are put to him directly or spread far enough that they become major stories. Few believed Esiason’s anonymous source, so Rodgers didn’t really have to defuse this one. The story was just too ridiculous for him not to.

Oct 28, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Boomer Esiason shares wildest Aaron Rodgers rumor yet

Aaron Rodgers on the sideline

There have been plenty of rumors about Aaron Rodgers dating back to last offseason, and many of them have seemed quite farfetched. None are more insane than the one Boomer Esiason shared on Friday.

During the “Boomer and Gio” show on WFAN, Esiason shared some information he received about Rodgers from a source he said he trusts. The source claimed Rodgers is planning to threaten a boycott of the Super Bowl if the Packers make it that far. Esiason’s source said he has been told by multiple people in Rodgers’ “direct circle” that the star quarterback will use the week leading up to the Super Bowl to “make a major point” about the NFL’s COVID protocols.

Esiason’s cohost Gregg Giannotti read the text message from Boomer’s source on the air.

“He will threaten the NFL by saying he won’t play in the big game or next season if they don’t eliminate some of the COVID-related rules,” the text message read. “One big one that upsets him the most is the testing of non-symptomatic players. He’s told Jordan Love to be ready.”

It is no secret that Rodgers disagrees with how the NFL has handled the COVID-19 pandemic. He has said as much numerous times during his scheduled press conferences and regular appearances on “The Pat McAfee Show.” Rodgers spent time during the offseason trying to get the NFL to treat him the same as a vaccinated player based on a holistic treatment he received. He has very strong opinions about COVID, but would he really abandon his teammates before the biggest game of most of their lives?

We highly, highly doubt it. Rodgers made some cryptic comments about his future during an interview recently. He also said he committed to being “all in with the team” when he ended his holdout during the summer.

Rodgers has become more outspoken in recent years. He is rarely afraid to speak his mind, which we were reminded of this week when he absolutely torched the MVP voter who called him a “jerk.” We wouldn’t doubt that he would use the week leading up to the Super Bowl to criticize the NFL, but it is impossible to believe he would skip the game altogether.

Aaron Rodgers offers cryptic comment about playing future

Aaron Rodgers after a play

The question of Aaron Rodgers’ playing future never completely went away, and the Green Bay Packers quarterback is remaining tight-lipped about where he sees himself in 2022.

There was an expectation that the 2021 season would be Rodgers’ last in Green Bay after an offseason of controversy that saw him criticize the organization and seek an exit. The quarterback appeared on Wednesday’s edition of “The Adam Schein Podcast” and was asked if his stance on the Packers had changed, and Rodgers’ response was definitely intriguing.

“The grass is greener where you water it,” Rodgers said, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com. “I really believe that. And you know, that’s an adage to dissuade people from going out and taking risk and chances, and you know, I think that where you spend your time and energy and what you choose to water will always be the greenest part of your life. I decided when I came back that I was going to be all in with the team and all in to see things move forward to a better place. And that’s what the conversations were about, you know, during the offseason, was about being a part of those conversations that impact my ability to do my job.”

Rodgers went on to praise Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst for “meeting me in the middle” and working to improve their relationship. Gutekunst was widely reported to be the target of much of Rodgers’ offseason frustration, and the quarterback indicated at the start of the season that their relationship needed a lot of work.

On the surface, these comments certainly will give Packers fans hope that Rodgers may have changed his stance and is open to playing in Green Bay again in 2022. The fact that the remarks come on the heels of a similar assessment he made in December certainly suggests that has grown as a possibility, though far from a certainty.

Photo: Oct 28, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers unloads on MVP voter who called him a ‘jerk’

Aaron Rodgers gets ready to throw

A veteran NFL reporter took heat on Tuesday when he revealed he will not give Aaron Rodgers an MVP vote due to off-field issues, and Rodgers did not exactly take the high road when asked about the remarks.

Hub Arkush, the editor of Pro Football Weekly, said during a radio appearance that Rodgers does not deserve to be MVP again because he is a “jerk.” He said you can make a case that Rodgers is the most valuable player on his team but that you should not win the award if you are “the biggest jerk in the league and punish your team and your organization and your fanbase the way he did.” You can listen to the comments here.

Rodgers was asked on Wednesday about Arkush bashing him. He returned the favor, calling Arkush an “absolute bum.” Rodgers also said Arkush’s only issue with him is that he did not get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I think he’s a bum. I think he’s an absolute bum,” Rodgers said. “He doesn’t know me. I don’t know who he is. Nobody knew who he was, probably, until yesterday’s comments. … His problem isn’t with me being a bad guy or the biggest jerk in the league. He doesn’t know anything about me. His problem is I’m not vaccinated. So if he wants to go on a crusade and collude and come up with an extra letter to put on the award just for this season and make it the Most Valuable Vaccinated Player, then he should do that. He’s a bum. I’m not gonna waste any time worrying about that stuff.”

Arkush didn’t mention anything specifically about Rodgers’ vaccination status, but the way Rodgers handled that situation angered a lot of people. Arkush was critical of Rodgers for what he did to the Packers and their fan base, so that was likely a reference to the QB demanding a trade.

It’s one thing to argue that other players like Tom Brady, Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp have been more valuable to their teams than Rodgers. But Rodgers’ behavior — whether you agree with it or not — clearly has not negatively impacted the Packers. They’re the best team in the NFL by record. Arkush’s rationale is totally out of whack, and many within the NFL community called him on it.

Rodgers could have ignored Arkush altogether, but it’s no surprise he didn’t. The 38-year-old has been fed up with the media this season and even shown it with his wardrobe on occasions.

Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Reporter not voting Aaron Rodgers NFL MVP because of off-field reasons

Aaron Rodgers after a play

Veteran NFL reporter Hub Arkush took heat on Tuesday after revealing he was not giving Aaron Rodgers an MVP vote because of off-field issues.

Arkush was a guest on the “Parkins & Spiegel Show” with Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel on 670 The Hub in Chicago on Tuesday. Arkush, the editor of Pro Football Weekly, said on-field performance aside, Rodgers shouldn’t be MVP because he is a “jerk.”

“I don’t think you can be the biggest jerk in the league and punish your team and your organization and your fanbase the way he did and be the MVP,” Arkush argued. “Has he been the most valuable on the field? Yeah, you can make that argument. But I don’t think he’s been clearly that much more valuable than Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp or maybe even Tom Brady. And from where I sit, the rest of it is why he’s not going to be my choice.”

Arkush also told the hosts that he has talked with some other Associated Press NFL MVP voters who view things similarly to him, which presumably means they will hold off-field issues against Rodgers.

As for what the AP is told are the guidelines for MVP voting, “we are told to pick the guy who we think is the most valuable to his team,” Arkush said.

Arkush is displaying a clear anti-Rodgers bias and holding off-field matters against the quarterback.

It’s undeniable that Rodgers caused controversies regarding offseason trade rumors, and about his vaccination status. However, it’s clear that the quarterback’s behavior did not negatively impact his team during the regular season. Rodgers is having another big season, and his Packers have the best record in the league.

You can absolutely argue that other players, like Taylor or Kupp or Brady, have been more valuable to their teams this season than Rodgers. But the reason should be due to on-field matters, not off-field issues. Green Bay’s success is direct proof that what Rodgers has done off the field hasn’t hurt the team.

Others on Twitter took issue with Arkush showing his bias and not evaluating MVP solely based on on-field performance.

There are 50 votes that go towards AP NFL MVP. If Rodgers wins, we know it won’t be unanimously.

Photo: Oct 28, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers shares how he became friends with Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee talking on his show

Aaron Rodgers and Pat McAfee have a close friendship, and many assume it began when MacAfee was playing in the NFL as a punter for the Indianapolis Colts. However, the Green Bay Packers star says it was actually golf that brought him and his good buddy together.

Rodgers was a guest on the “ManningCast” during Monday night’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers. He was asked to share the story of how him and McAfee met, and he said it was when former Packers star AJ Hawk — now a co-host on “The Pat McAfee Show” — suggested McAfee as a fill-in after Rodgers and Hawk had someone bail on them for a golf tournament. The rest is history.

Rodgers said he had never met McAfee prior to the tournament. McAfee was doing standup comedy at the time, and Rodgers asked if he would do a brief set when Rodgers introduced him at the golf event. You can hear the rest of the story below:

“I had never met him,” Rodgers recalled. “I introduced myself and said, ‘Hey, when I introduce you tonight at the welcome dinner do you mind doing a couple minutes of standup?’ He goes, ‘No, I’m not doing that.’ … So I’m introducing my team and I say former punter and All-Pro Pat McAfee is here. Pat walks up on stage, takes the mic out of my hand and does 10 minutes of standup. I knew from that point forward he was going to be a great friend.”

That story aligns perfectly with McAfee’s personality. He’s sarcastic and hilarious, which is why his show has become so popular. Rodgers has also helped it grow by making regular appearances and speaking freely about a variety of topics.

McAfee recently inked a massive deal with FanDuel, and Rodgers definitely played an indirect role in helping him secure it. The fact that the two have a genuine friendship is part of what makes Rodgers’ appearances on McAfee’s show so entertaining.