In addition to playing at an MVP level this season and leading the Green Bay Packers to a 13-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the NFC Playoffs, Aaron Rodgers has also caused a good deal of controversy. His Week 17 appearance on the Monday night Manning Cast on ESPN2 was no exception. Although, the QB revealed the next day that his comment that sent social media into a tizzy was actually just a giant troll job.
Aaron Rodgers shouted out a controversial book on the Manning Cast
Seemingly every time Aaron Rodgers makes public comments this season, controversy ensues.
Whether he’s antagonizing his own front office, playing fast and loose with the definition of “immunized,” or calling a Chicago sportswriter a “bum,” there are few of Rodgers’ media appearances that don’t end in controversy.
With this in mind, Eli and Peyton Manning invited the contentious quarterback on to their last regular-season Manning Cast. However, they did save his spot for late in the fourth quarter.
The appearance was relatively uneventful, with Rodgers putting on his best national TV smile and trotting out tame anecdotes. That is, until late in the interview.
For the conversation with Peyton and Eli, Rodgers sat in front of a stocked bookshelf. Late in the game, the Manning’s asked what books the Green Bay QB had displayed.
Rodger first joked with Eli that he’s got “a lot of French poetry” on the shelf before adding that he’s “got Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand over here.”
This mention of the polarizing 1957 novel set social media alight. Rand’s book is “one of the most controversial books in modern literature,” according to The Guardian, and “has been dubbed ‘the bible of selfishness.'”
However, the book has also sold millions of copies and influenced “a lot of Fortune 500 C.E.O.’s” and notable people like former Federal Reserve Chairman Allen Greenspan, per the New York Times.
After all that’s gone on this season with Rodgers, it’s not shocking that he touted this philosophical and political firebrand tome on national TV. However, it turns out, he was just messing with us all.
The next day, Rodgers revealed he’s never even read the book
Every Tuesday, Aaron Rodgers joins Pat McAfee and company for his weekly guest spot on the Pat McAfee Show.
In addition to the rants and the takedowns and the wild admissions Rodgers makes during these appearances, he also recommends a book (almost) every week as part of the Aaron Rodgers Book Club.
This week, the signal-caller steered right into his controversial claim from the Monday night Manning Cast but added a surprising admission when McAfee asked him what this week’s book would be.
“First, let me tell you what it’s not. This might disappoint some and cheer some others, but it’s not Atlas Shrugged. Rodgers said. “I actually have never even read it. I just keep it to make it look like I’m smart.”
This admission sent McAfee into hysterics, laughing while exclaiming, “He’s openly f****** with people! That’s awesome.”
Although Rodgers may not be an Ayn Rand devotee, after all, he still came through for both his fans and his haters with his Aaron Rodgers book club selection this week. In a pick that seems very on-brand for the controversial QB, Rodgers recommended a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson.
Seems about right.
The Green Bay Packers don’t play their next meaningful game until late January
Aaron Rodgers will have plenty of time to poke at people through the media the next few weeks as the Green Bay Packers won’t play another meaningful game until Jan. 22 or 23, 2022.
In Week 18, the Packers take on the 2-13-1 Detroit Lions. Win or lose, it doesn’t affect the Packers’ playoff positioning either way. Rodgers has repeatedly said that he will be under center on Sunday. But will he be on the field for all four quarters (or even two)? Probably not.
On Wild Card Weekend, the Packers will be one of two playoff teams (along with either the Tennessee Titans or Kansas City Chiefs) who get to watch from home with a bye. That means that Divisional Weekend will be the next time Rodgers takes a truly competitive snap.
When Rodgers does return to competitive football, it will be at Lambeau Field as the QB looks to lead his team to its sixth NFC Championship Game and second Super Bowl appearance as the starting signal-caller.
The 2021 season has been all about Rodgers in so many ways. It shouldn’t be a surprise if the playoffs are as well. A date with the AFC champs in Los Angeles (or maybe Dallas) would be a fitting end to the Season of Aaron Rogers, and that would be the biggest troll job of all.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference