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Aaron Rodgers Blames Media and ‘Fear Porn’ For Dislike Toward Him

“I do have empathy for those people who are caught in this fear state around COVID that continues to be pushed and furthered by media.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The Pat McAfee Show

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has some thinking to do following his team’s early NFL postseason exit this past weekend. Does he retire, does he give it one more season in Green Bay? Or does he follow in Tom Brady’s footsteps and close the book on the team that drafted him and made him the quarterback he is today and play in another city?

Rodgers talked about answering those questions as part of what appeared to be his final interview of the season on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday. But, of course, what a lot of people tuned in for was to hear Rodgers’ response to the reaction of social media and sports media following the loss.

He spent plenty of time in the spotlight for various COVID-related reasons, and for that, many referred to him as “Throw Rogan,” “QAaron,” and “Covidiot.” Add to that the celebrations for the San Francisco 49ers going into Lambeau Field on a cold winter’s night and upsetting the top seed in the NFC.

“You knew this was in the mix,” Rodgers said. “There were a ton of people tuning in, rooting against us for one reason and one reason only. It’s because of my vaccination status, and them wanting to see us lose so they could pile on and enjoy and revel in the fact that my vaccination status was some sort of reason why we haven’t had success in the playoffs.”

He added that he knew he’d eventually have to say something about whether or not he was vaccinated and alluded to the fact that he would catch heat for not getting the shot. Still, Rodgers said a lot of the negativity surrounding the vaccine and his status is rooted in fear and that the media is a factor in that fear running rampant.

“There’s so much fear around this,” he said. “There’s fear of your health, fear of the loss of money, there’s fear of not being able to provide for your family, there’s fear of death for sure, fear of sickness, and the media plays a big role in that. The fear porn that is put out day after day I think causes a lot of strife and stress for people.

“I think because I don’t watch the news, or don’t subscribe to the same type of mainstream narrative at times, and have decided to take my own personal health and responsibility for my health in my hands, and did my research, and looked into things, and also my associations with other people who have done similar things, there’s anger kind of thrown my way,” he added. “But the root of that, I think, is fear. So I do have empathy for those people who are caught in this fear state around COVID that continues to be pushed and furthered by media and by some of the narratives that are out there. I do have empathy for that.”

As for the social media detractors, Rodgers said he’s tuned all of that stuff out. But in retrospect, Rodgers acknowledged the things he’s said publicly did drive a wedge between people when ultimately that’s not what the goal was.

“I know what I’ve never wanted to be is a divisive or polarizing figure on this,” he said. “I’ve wanted to encourage people and inspire people to think for themselves to take their health in their own hands. To realize that this is a pandemic of health, not the unvaccinated, a pandemic of health… to make healthier decisions and to think about what they’re eating and what they’re putting in their bodies.

“That their health is their own responsibility as much as mine is my own responsibility. And hopefully I’ve inspired people… But I hope people continue to turn off the fear and do their own research and take care of themselves and their own health. And hopefully we can move past a lot of this and actually connect instead of continue to divide.”

Sports TV News

Stugotz: ‘Sean McDonough Hates The Aaron Judge Cut-Ins’

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

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College football fans are not being shy with how they feel about Aaron Judge. Whether it is private conversations or social media posts, people are making their disdain for the cut-ins to college football games on ESPN networks when the Yankee slugger comes to bat known. On Monday morning, Stugotz added that it isn’t just fans that are unhappy.

The Dan Le Batard Show discussed the second straight week of cut-ins on Monday morning. Stugotz pointed out that one of ESPN’s primary college football voices sounds just as annoyed as fans are.

“Sean McDonough hates the toss to Aaron Judge,” he said. Hates it!”

Last week, ESPN and ABC cut into games when Judge was sitting on 60 home runs. This week, he was sitting on 61. A 62nd home run would be the most in American League history.

Stugotz added that has to be part of McDonough’s frustration.

“In his defense, what are we cutting in for? I have no idea if [Aaron Judge] is breaking a record, what record he’s breaking, if he’s clean. I have no idea!”

Producer Mike Ryan Ruiz said the fact that Judge is yet to deliver is making the cut-ins more frustrating for fans.

“I think what hurts the whole thing is that Aaron Judge has been terrible during these cut-ins,” Ruiz said. “He’s been God awful during these cut-ins. I haven’t seen a single home runs during one of these cut-ins. There was genuine fury at a watch party I was at. Fury! At Aaron Judge.”

A popular criticism of ESPN has been that this kind of attention would not be paid to Aaron Judge if he was chasing a mark that wasn’t the home run record if he played anywhere other than New York. According to Ryan, the mistake is bigger than that. Why would regular season baseball ever interrupt college football?

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

There are four games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. You can bet college football fans will make plenty of signs for College GameDay if Judge cannot hit number 62 before the playoffs start.

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Sports TV News

Terry Bradshaw Is Cancer Free

Bradshaw’s candor comes after struggling through a sentence during the September 25th edition of the show, in which Howie Long helped finish his sentence.

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During FOX NFL Sunday, Terry Bradshaw revealed he was diagnosed with two different forms of cancer in the last year.

However, after surgeries and treatments, Bradshaw said he is now cancer free.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer said he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in November of last year and surgery and treatments removed the cancer. Then, in March of this year, a tumor was found on the left-side of his neck. Bradshaw called it a “Merkel cell tumor”, which he had removed.

Bradshaw’s candor comes after struggling through a sentence during the September 25th edition of the show, in which Howie Long helped finish his sentence.

The 74-year-old has worked on FOX NFL Sunday since its inception in 1994. He will be inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame later this year.

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Sports TV News

Scott Van Pelt’s ‘Bad Beats’ Becoming 30-Minute Monthly Show

Van Pelt, alongside “Stanford Steve” Coughlin, recaps the toughest losses suffered by sports gamblers with unconventional final moments and unexpected outcomes as it pertains to the over/under or point spread.

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The popular “Bad Beats” segment from SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt is being turned into a monthly half-hour show on ESPN.

Van Pelt, alongside “Stanford Steve” Coughlin, recaps the toughest losses suffered by sports gamblers with unconventional final moments and unexpected outcomes as it pertains to the over/under or point spread, otherwise known as a “bad beat”. Generally, the segment lasts around 5-10 minutes. ESPN will repurpose the content from the show to package it into a half-hour edition.

The new monthly show debuted yesterday at 5:30 PM ET on ESPN.

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