At least LeBron James’ long-ago exercise in narcissism raised $2.5 million for the Boys and Girls Club.
What Aaron Rodgers seems determined to do at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday — announce his “Decision” on a heavily promoted episode of The Pat McAfee Show — appears to be (like most things Rodgers does) about him.
Aaron Rodgers is no LeBron James
“Be a friend, tell a friend,” McAfee tweeted out Tuesday afternoon. “You are cordially invited. 🗣🗣 TOMORROW AT 1 PM.”
The picture attached? A massive photo of a smiling Rodgers in a Packers uniform (perhaps for the last time).
It’s pure pro wrestling schtick, and it’s on brand for both the host and its famous guest.
But unlike what James did 13 years ago, there’s nothing redeeming about using the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers (not to mention their fans) as extras on Aaron Rodgers’ Reality TV show.
And certainly, the timing is questionable. There’s no way Rodgers hasn’t known which way he’s leaning for a while. And while the wait isn’t 100% his fault, he certainly leans into the drama in a way that serves his ego.
Rodgers is arming the Jets to hire all his old buddies (Allen Lazard was the first, but likely won’t be the last). For Rodgers to even consider changing his mind at this point and either retire or decide to stay in Green Bay would be the height of selfishness.
But nothing at this point would surprise us with a guy who has choreographed every move to maximize attention—and serve no higher purpose than to satiate his ego.
If you’re of legal drinking age, this should all seem strangely familiar.
Almost 13 years ago, The Miami Herald sent me to South Beach to cover local reactions to James’ “The Decision,” a 75-minute charity special on ESPN hosted by Jim Gray.
It was overwhelming self-aggrandizement that clearly didn’t take into account the feelings of Cleveland Cavaliers fans devastated by James’ decision to leave for Miami after playing for their hometown team for seven years.
But it was also effective.
The drama he built was real enough to compel 10 million people to tune in. And when James famously announced, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach,” the bar where I took in the play went crazy.
Do you think people are huddled in large groups around their smart devices or tablets in Hoboken, Williamsburg or Greenwich on Wednesday waiting for Rodgers’ decision?
Also, don’t expect to see jerseys used like firewood across Wisconsin on Wednesday if Rodgers decides to go wild, which happened all over Northeast Ohio back in 2010.
The Packers actually not-so-secretly want Rodgers to go to New York, and we feel their fans have grown tired of his performance as well.
Which begs the question: Why is he doing it this way? Why keep the world in suspense?
Because it’s about Aaron – as it has been for a long time.
Rodgers chose the platform because it is friendly (McAfee is not a journalist) and the timing because Wednesday is the most important day of the NFL offseason.
The league’s new year begins at 4 p.m. ET today (Wednesday), and the Packers and Jets need clarity on Rodgers’ decision (if they don’t already have it) so they can make other similar moves.
For Rodgers to wait until three hours before this deadline to announce smacks of cynicism and narcissism.
In other words, it’s Peak Rodgers.
The good news: You don’t have to look. We do it for you.