Who would’ve thought an exhibition golf match involving Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers would be must-watch television in the middle of July?
It doesn’t matter if you don’t like golf. If you don’t like Tom Brady, that’s irrelevant. Whether they’ll admit it or not, Packers fans all over the world will be tuning in just to see what Rodgers says — or doesn’t say — as he gallivants around the course. Because of everything that’s transpired this offseason, they’ll have to tune in.
And make no mistake, Rodgers seems to be enjoying the attention.
It’s debatable whether or not he would’ve participated in an event like this if it were a normal offseason, but it just seems fitting that Rodgers is seizing the opportunity to mess with the Packers’ front office once again.
This isn’t a sob story for Brian Gutekunst and Mark Murphy. They have mishandled this debacle. Rodgers just has that dash of vengeance in him and will revel in this opportunity to go on national television and promote whatever narrative he would like.
Certainly, the situation in Green Bay won’t be ignored, and it would almost be more awkward if it was. Brady will get his jabs in, and Rodgers may deflect them towards the Packers’ front office. TNT has to be licking their chops; many of the people who tune in from Green Bay to hear Rodgers’ spin on the ongoing drama wouldn’t otherwise be interested.
The most recent edition of The Match featured Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods against Brady and Mickelson. There were plenty of storylines entering that exhibition. Brady and Manning were rivals for well over a decade, and the same goes for Woods and Mickelson. The marketing on that showdown was focused on those entrenched rivalries and how long it would take for each person’s competitive nature to come out on the course.
This time around, the storylines are less concrete.
Brady and Rodgers aren’t really rivals. They are regarded as two of the best to ever do it, but outside of the NFC Championship Game in January they didn’t have a head-to-head track record, given that they played in separate conferences for most of their careers. The same goes for Mickelson and DeChambeau. Brooks Koepka is DeChambeau’s biggest rival, and neither golfer has a history on the course.
Rodgers and DeChambeau are arguably the most unlikable duo imaginable for such an event. While that’s fairly subjective, there’s nothing about the actual matchup that is certain to bring in viewers. It’s literally all about what Rodgers is going to say, how often the fiasco will be brought up, and what sort of jokes Brady will make about it and the NFC Championship Game.
Rodgers could go out and blast a five-iron from 180 yards out and jar it, and nobody would give a damn. That’s how unimportant the golf portion of this has become. And that’s likely exactly the way Rodgers wants it.
Don’t be fooled, Rodgers is super calculated. This isn’t going to be a tell-all novel, with Rodgers offering up commentary at every moment, but he will find his spots throughout the telecast. And all Gutekunst and Murphy will be able to do is sit and watch, which is probably a good thing. Shoutout to Murphy for not tripping over his feet blaming the Rodgers situation for “splitting the fanbase” in this month’s newsletter. Murphy did the wise thing and didn’t even bring up that “complicated fella.”
Tuesday will likely be annoying for Packers fans. There’s no evident solution for the Rodgers situation. The next glimpse of the future will come at the end of the month when Rodgers does or doesn’t show up to training camp. Tuesday will be frustrating because Packers fans will tune in to see what exactly No. 12 says, but they will leave not having any concrete answers. Rodgers will move around the course, smiling and cracking jokes, likely acting as though life is exactly as it should be. Packers fans will still be left waiting for a permanent resolution, one way or another.
Like an addict, Rodgers is a drug they can’t kick right now. Because of that, all eyes in Green Bay will be glued to the television on Tuesday.