When the Jets traded for Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers this season, they were drafting more than just a four-time MVP, Super Bowl winner, and certain Hall of Famer. They weren’t just getting an opportunity to win their first world championship in 54 years. Nope. Make no mistake about it: They were also getting a rock star.
The 39-year-old Rodgers has pretty much done it all in his career – both on and off the field. His incredible play and seemingly impossible heroism made him a star athlete, but it’s his personality and presence that has made him a pop culture icon.
So the stage is set for Aaron Rodgers’ long-awaited premiere on Broadway. Even though it seemed like in the offseason it was never going to happen. Talks between Green Bay and New York seemed to dance back and forth like a bad, high school production of Westside Story.
Throughout the process, Rodgers seemed to be leading the whole orchestra, with stories about him demanding the Jets bring in certain players to accommodate him. Despite the fact that the QB denied he had provided the team a ‘wish list’ of free agents, it still didn’t quell the notion that he was being a diva.
It didn’t matter. Once the deal was done, Rodgers immediately became the toast of the town. And even though it was VERY CLEAR from the beginning whose team it was, he made sure to ingratiate the fans and media. He went as far as to change numbers – from 12 to 8 – even though he was offered the opportunity to wear Joe Namath’s retired digits. It only solidified his sudden, god-like status.
Rodgers has New York being touted as a legitimate Super Bowl contender, and the team should be an exciting watch in 2023
The number of star players who were chomping at the bit to come to New York after they acquired Aaron Rodgers. Sensing that he would only have a couple more shots at a championship, the team added talented receiver Allen Lazard and Vikings’ free agent running back Dalvin Cook.
That appeal has given Rodgers an almost ‘Lebron James Effect‘, where all-stars will take less money or waive a no-trade clause to play alongside a proven winner.
It’s another reason why the folks in the biggest media market have flocked to him. He represents winning; everyone knows. And winning is something the J-E-T-S haven’t done much of in the last twenty years or so.
But there are lots of big-name players who switch teams, and go on to win titles. We have seen it with the aforementioned Lebron James, who famously made ‘The Decision‘, before taking his talents to South Beach. Why would this season, and Aaron Rodgers, be any different than any other legend in the prime of their career?
Well, because it’s Aaron Rodgers, and it’s New York. It’s a go-for-broke, hard push, let’s-bring-it-together kind of season for a team that will have to gel. And because the smart (and sometimes smart-mouthed) Rodgers is one of the most quotable athletes in the world, his words will make regular headlines.
When you add in his media social views, high-profile ex-girlfriends, use of meditation and hallucinogenics, and all the other quirks, Rodgers is a walking scribble-fest for the local media. At the same time, he’s comfortable enough to be who he is. He’s older, he’s proven, and he doesn’t have any fear. Also, he’s media savvy enough that even if he has a misstep, he can take lemons and turn them into an ocean of lemonade.
Aaron Rodgers’ media presence is worthy of The City That Never Sleeps
While there are bigger stars in the city of New York, there may be no larger-than-life figure in the NFL right now than Aaron Rodgers. Win or lose, he will be fun to watch.
Between his play and his persona, he will be a polarizing figure in the world of sports and in the New York media. And as we have seen from players in the past, regardless of all their great accomplishments? Something about winning a title in the Big Apple is iconic.
Start spreadin’ the news… The Aaron Rodgers Story is the one to watch in 2023.