Green Bay, WI

Aaron Rodgers Is the Villain in His Holdout With the Packers

Walter Rhein
Image by Walter Rhein

Imagine if you decided not to show up for work one day. Imagine if that day turned into weeks, then the weeks turned into months.

Imagine if you turned your back on your co-workers and your employer. Imagine if you turned your back on your word of honor.

The regular working class residents of Wisconsin know exactly what would happen if they behaved that way. The police officers, fire fighters, teachers, postal workers, and all the other people that make our nation great know what would happen.

They’d be fired.

There wouldn’t be endless hours of talk show hosts defending the fact that the workers were “aggrieved.” In fact, for the average worker, nobody would offer any kind of a defense at all.

If you don’t show up for work, you’re quickly shown the door.

But that isn’t the reality for entitled athletes. The same athletes who play in taxpayer funded stadiums and earn millions of dollars a year. The athletes some claim are role models for our children and who are hired as spokespeople for area businesses.

Aaron Rodgers isn’t held to the same rules as the rest of the people in our great state. Rodgers plays a child’s game for a living, and for some reason he’s been granted the benefit of more excuses than arguably anyone else who has ever played his position.

When Rodgers wins it’s because he’s brilliant, a generational talent.

When he loses it’s because of the substandard players that have surrounded him throughout his "entire" career.

The same “substandard” players that play for less money and show up on time in support of their teammates, their employer, and their fans.

The league has been afraid of Aaron Rodgers since he first began to show his brilliance as a player. Like all competitive arenas, they searched for his weakness. Failing to find one in his game, they turned to his psychology.

From the day he was drafted it was apparent that Rodgers was the type of man-child capable of holding a grudge.

Whether it was by design, or only a happy accident, the league has played up to Rodgers’s ego.

They told him he was so great that he should have won more championships. They told him that the Green Bay Packers have “wasted” him. They told him he had “earned” special treatment. Little by little, Rodgers's resentment grew.

Now, as we approach the 2021 NFL season, all these words of false praise have gone to Rodgers’s head. His ego has inflated to the point where he seems to believe he should be designated as the quarterback/general manager. He shows up at golf tournaments wearing shirts that read “I’m offended.”

Meanwhile the rest of the league is quietly chortling. Aaron Rodgers is eschewing an opportunity to quarterback a championship caliber team. That makes the lives of thirty-one general managers a whole lot easier.

The decade long strategy has worked. Play up to Rodgers’s ego with the hope that he'll eventually sabotage his own team. The media likes to portray Rodgers as an intelligent individual, but he’s fallen into the most obvious of traps.

Years from now, with his legacy in tatters, perhaps Rodgers will lament the public temper tantrum that created a rift with the team that gave him everything. But even if he ends his holdout and comes back today, the Packers will not be as prepared for the season as they would have been if he’d complied with the job requirements he agreed to perform.

No matter what the rest of the media says, Aaron Rodgers is the villain in his rift with the Packers. He is the one who has created a needless conflict, and it will be his legacy that suffers because of his actions.

Players and coaches are only voicing support for Rodgers because, ultimately, they know they have a better chance of winning if he sits out. Aaron Rodgers is being played, and he’s blind to it because of his championship caliber ego.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

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