At least LeBron James’ long-ago exercise in narcissism raised $2.5 million for the Boys and Girls Club.
What Aaron Rodgers seems determined to do at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday — announce his “Decision” on a heavily-promoted episode of The Pat McAfee Show — seems to be (like most everything Rodgers does) all about him.
Aaron Rodgers Is No LeBron James
“Be a friend, tell a friend,” McAfee tweeted out Tuesday afternoon. “You are cordially invited. 🗣🗣 TOMORROW AT 1PMEST.”
The image attached? A massive picture of a smiling Rodgers in a Packers uniform (perhaps for the last time).
It’s pure pro wrestling schtick, and it’s on-brand for both the show’s host and its famous guest.
But unlike what James did 13 years ago, there’s nothing redeeming about using the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers (not to mention their fans) as extras in the Aaron Rodgers Reality TV show.
And certainly, the timing is dubious. There’s no way that Rodgers hasn’t known which way he’s leaning for some time. And even if the holdup isn’t 100% his fault, he’s certainly leaning into the drama in a way that services his ego.
Rodgers is strong-arming the Jets into hiring all of his old buddies (Allen Lazard was the first, but likely won’t be the last). For Rodgers to even consider changing his mind at this point and either retire or decide to stay in Green Bay would be the height of selfishness.
But nothing at this point would surprise us with a guy who’s choreographed every move to maximize attention — and to serve no higher purpose than satiate his ego.
If you’re of legal drinking age, this should all seem strangely familiar.
Nearly 13 years ago, The Miami Herald sent me to South Beach to cover local reaction to James’ “The Decision,” a 75-minute, for-charity special on ESPN hosted by Jim Gray.
It was an over-the-top self-aggrandizement that clearly didn’t take into consideration the feelings of Cleveland Cavaliers fans who were crushed by James’ decision to leave for Miami after seven years playing for his hometown team.
But it was also effective.
The drama he built was real enough to compel 10 million people to tune in. And when James famously announced “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach,” the bar where I took in the spectacle went nuts.
Do you think people in large groups are huddling around their smart devices or tablets in Hoboken, Williamsburg or Greenwich (where LeBron announced his decision) on Wednesday, waiting on Rodgers’ decision?
What’s more, don’t expect to see jerseys used as firewood across Wisconsin Wednesday if Rodgers decides to bolt, which happened all across Northeast Ohio back in 2010.
The Packers actually not-so-secretly want Rodgers to go to New York, and our sense is their fans have grown tired of his act too.
Which raises the question: Why is he doing it this way? Why keep the world in suspense?
Because it’s all about Aaron — as it’s been for a long time.
Rodgers picked the platform because it’s friendly (McAfee isn’t a journalist) and the timing because Wednesday is the most important day of the NFL offseason.
The league new year begins at 4 p.m. ET today (Wednesday), and the Packers and Jets need definition on Rodgers’ decision (if they don’t have it already) so they can make other corresponding moves.
For Rodgers to wait until three hours before that deadline to announce smacks of cynicism and narcissism.
In other words, it’s Peak Rodgers.
The good news: You don’t have to watch. We’ll do it for you.