For someone who said they haven’t hit the links much this summer, Aaron Rodgers sure looked the part of a golfer during TNT’s The Match on Tuesday evening. He’s had plenty of time this offseason to work on his swing, that’s for sure.
Rodgers and Bryson DeChambeau out-dueled Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, but that mattered little to most viewers. The majority of them tuned in with the slightly unrealistic expectation that Rodgers would let something slip regarding his future with the Green Bay Packers. Instead, the event came and went; the reigning league MVP was baited by almost everyone involved but kept his lips sealed. So what’s next in this ongoing drama?
The next pit stop will be Packers training camp, which starts July 28. If Rodgers shows, a lot of this gets put to rest for at least this season. If he no-shows and hangs tight to the grudge game, it will further fuel trade speculation or the possibility of him sitting out the year. Tuesday’s national spotlight provided very little in terms of answers.
It was awkward at times, and while the trio of broadcasters, including Brian Anderson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Charles Barkley, all tried to pry an answer out of Rodgers at once, the only response was, “I don’t know, we’ll see.”
Even Brady got in on the fun now and then. Perhaps the most hilarious moment came when Rob Gronkowski called into the event, and he and Brady were having a chat. When Gronk gave Brady a hard time for not attending OTAs and golfing all summer, Brady said he was studying the competition. He noted that he was 30 yards away from Rodgers and questioned whether or not he would be the leader of the Packers.
Rodgers loves this, by the way. He’s not an attention seeker necessarily, but keeping Green Bay’s front office guessing while appearing on national television for seven hours for a golf exhibition — that’s poetry in motion for No. 12. While it would be foolish to expect Rodgers to flat-out spill the beans when he’s been coy all summer, the whole spectacle of just seeing him casually golf 18 holes on TNT while not knowing where he’s playing football this year — or if he’s playing football this year — was beyond strange. This isn’t a free agent who’s picking between teams. It’s the MVP winner quarreling with the front office of the franchise he’s spent his entire career with.
A moment that any football fan can appreciate happened when Rodgers and Brady played catch between holes on a couple of occasions. Two of the GOATs, just enjoying each other’s company. Rodgers was zipping tight spirals as Brady fluttered the ball back in Rodgers’ direction each time. Truly, a sight to behold.
For those who care about this golf element, why did Rodgers look like a professional golfer? Why did he appear to be better than Bryson DeChambeau at times? How much does this guy actually golf?
It’s incredibly annoying watching an NFL player pick up a golf club and swing it so effortlessly and accurately as if it’s second nature. So many spend one grueling round after another trying to perfect an impossible craft while they guzzle beers to forget about the last triple bogey they rolled in. Rodgers strolls in, picks up the driver, and blasts it like it’s supposed to be easy. Brady sinks 15-foot putts like it’s a surprise if he misses.
Rodgers not only piped great drive after great drive but also sank putt after putt, including the clincher in the match.
Packers fans are used to seeing him dominate. Maybe Rodgers will hit up some amateur events if he skips training camp. Maybe he’s holding out hope to become the new full-time Jeopardy! host. Imagine a scenario where Rodgers, coming off an MVP season, bows out to become a game-show host. It sounds crazy, but Rodgers is a different breed.
The Match provided an opportunity to see Aaron Rodgers with a microphone for 18 holes, appearing comfortable with his current situation. Now the clock starts to tick down until July 28th and training camp. Rodgers has everyone eating out of the palm of his hand, and he knows it, so maybe training camp isn’t the next date to schedule. Who is to say an appearance on Good Morning America won’t randomly pop up, or that he won’t stop into The Pat McAfee Show just to say hi and not stir up any more drama whatsoever? For now, the date is July 28th, but as we have learned already from this offseason circus, it’s all just one big guessing game between Rodgers and the Packers.