Green Bay Packers
Hanging on The Fickle Whims of Aaron Rodgers
Congratulations, Packers fans! You have been chosen by the football gods to usher in the NFL player empowerment era!
[Pauses for the screaming.]
I know, I'm excited, too. Even with the expansion to 17 games, the NFL regular and postseasons fill just 22 of the 52 weeks in a year. Add in the eventized draft, combine, schedule release, and, inevitably, new team uniform fashion show weeks, and we're barely at half the year. But with the player empowerment era, you can have 365 days of NFL content if you closely follow the Instagram accounts of celebrities such as Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller and comb through country club membership records.
[That screaming gives way to a barrage of profanity with a barely audible "NBA" mixed in.]
What was that? You thought the NFL was too stuck in its ways to devolve into a reality show soap opera? Heavens no! Haven't you heard about us Millennials? We live on social media! And we're entitled! Always complaining about our silly little problems like "mental health" and "crippling student debt." And with a December 1983 birthday, Aaron Rodgers is the tip of an iceberg of Millennial and Gen Z quarterbacks in the league. Soon enough, every team's future Hall-of-Fame signal-caller will be demanding a trade for the tiniest of perceived grievances—like when his team, which is an upgrade or two away from winning a Super Bowl, trades up and drafts his replacement in the first round without first consulting him.
[That tirade turns to silence with some vigorous headshaking.]
You still aren't convinced? You think Rodgers' situation with the Packers is different from the ones that James Harden had with the Rockets, Anthony Davis had with the Pelicans, Paul George had with the Thunder, Jimmy Butler had with the Timberwolves, Kawhi Leonard had with the Spurs, Kyrie Irving had with the Cavaliers, Dwight Howard had with the Magic, and Chris Paul had with the Hornets? OK, let's talk it through.
Objection: NFL players lack leverage because they don't play for enough years or make enough money to sit out a season and sacrifice income...