As an organization, the Jets have their share of media circus dating back to the summer of 1969 and Joe (Willie) Namath’s tearful press conference about his “retirement” over the Bachelors III controversy.
There was also madness over the arrival of Bret Favre, Tim Tebow, Rex Ryan and others. Now, if a deal can be struck between the Jets and Packers, Aaron Rodgers will not only become Gang Green’s next quarterback, but his microphone potentate as well.
Rodgers doesn’t need any of the Jets’ public relations consultants or in-house publicity consultants. In his opinion, he is the de facto head of his own media store. After 18 years with Green Bay, Rodgers has become a master at controlling his own content. It can be about soccer, darkness retreats, immunization, or the effect of ayahuasca. There is enough evidence to say that he is obsessed with message management.
Rodgers figured out how to put a variety of media platforms to work for him. The way he orchestrated the timing of his revelation Wednesday (on Pat McAfee’s YouTube show) of his intention to become the Jets’ quarterback was just the latest example of his intelligence. .
As the Free World waited while he was literally in the dark, Rodgers built suspense before finally providing his own timeline of what happened with the Packers and how he came to his decision.
The buildup worked. Nearly 500,000 viewers watched McAfee’s interview, on a national platform, with Rodgers. It is doubtful that she would have had the same number of listeners if she had decided to limit his reach and speak on one of New York City’s local sports talk stations. He also wouldn’t get the commercial-free, hour-long interview that McAfee gave him.
While McAfee reveres Rodgers, the former punter asked the right questions. This was not a Twinkie Munch. At least until one of McAfee’s coworkers, near the end of the interview, paid his respects by verbally kissing Rodgers’ tuchis.
( Pat Leonard: Little brother Jets draws New York attention from Giants with imminent arrival of Aaron Rodgers )
However, Rodgers’ Wednesday looks also reinforced his desire to control the media. Rodgers was irritated when McAfee raised a “rumor” about him asking the Jets to acquire certain players. Rodgers called the rumor “ridiculous” before berating two ESPN NFL reporters, Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini, for texting him seeking confirmation.
Rodgers said he responded (more or less) to Schefter but not to Russini because he didn’t know her. She said she would have told Russini the same thing she texted Schefter: “I lost my number. Nice try. I will speak for myself.
This is not to suggest that Rodgers will have a contentious relationship with the local media, including the Jets’ chief scribes, if he comes here. They have provided ample evidence that stirring the pot for free is not a priority. And Rodgers’ story suggests he’s more than willing to meet the NFL’s media requirements.
( Antwan Staley: Aaron Rodgers and the Jets need each other because they both have something to prove )
Considering how well it works for both parties, there’s every reason to hope Rodgers will continue to make his weekly McAfee announcement. That would likely mean he won’t appear on ESPN-98.7 or WFAN to participate in a paid weekly interview where Gasbags seeks to improve his own reputation by playing the “gotcha” game.
Surely that’s not part of Rodgers’ media plan.
On Twitter, two usually fair commenters had selfish “I told you so” moments after Edwin Díaz suffered a season-ending injury Wednesday night celebrating a victory for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.
Both voices are harsh critics of the WBC. Howie Rose, the longtime Mets radio player, tweeted: “Thank you WBC.” The other mouth, WFAN/SNY’s Sal Licata, posted a video calling the WBC “a worthless, stupid exhibition tournament” and berating Diaz for “hurting himself celebrating.”
Not once did either of them express sympathy for Diaz, the Mets closer, or show concern for him and his well-being after his injury.
They were blinded by their hatred of the WBC, and in Licata’s case, Diaz’s injury interfered with the Mets’ “World Series or bust” aspirations.
James (Guitar Jimmy) Dolan is busy with facial recognition, the Sphere, the State Liquor Authority and the Garden’s annual property tax break, but he can take some comfort in the knowledge that his MSG network is still covering for his Knicks. .
It happened last Saturday during the Knicks’ 106-95 loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles. Late in the third quarter, Julius Randle was awarded a technical foul after elbowing Mason Plumlee in the face. Randle then spun around on the bench, yelling at the coaches and team security as Tom Thibodeau tried to hold him down.
On the broadcast, the Randle incident was repeated. However, on the post-game show, featuring Ed Cohen, Alan Hahn, and Bill Pidto, it was not discussed or replayed. The only time Randle’s freaking out was mentioned on the postgame show was by Thibodeau during his press conference.
Could it be all the hours waiting and talking about the possibility of, and the machinations surrounding, Aaron Rodgers being traded to the Jets and Brandon Tierney?
Because there’s no other reason (at least one we can make up) why you’d, out of the blue, jump into a WFAN rip-off Monday about the self-deprecating Cooper Manning, Eli and Peyton’s older brother.
“Why so much Cooper (Manning)?” Tierney, on air, asked. “Those (comedy) parts he does are painful enough!”
Tierney will never be known as Mr. Laughs, but on this occasion at least his Manning riff was kind of funny.
Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s senior vice president of sports programming, is moving to more charitable pastures. It will focus on “Shaina’s Wish,” a charity he and his wife founded after his daughter Shaina died in 2017. The charity reaches out to people with mental health and substance abuse issues. Cohen will also serve as a consultant to SXM. Eric Spitz, a longtime colleague of Cohen’s, will assume the role of senior vice president. … As expected, Michael Kay on his radio show Thursday said he will stay at ESPN-98.7 after agreeing to a new deal. Kay was unconvincing while previously raising the possibility of “retirement” on radio… MSG is back in the diamond business airing 10 Fordham women’s softball games and 10 men’s baseball tournaments this spring. … Actually, I thought Adam Schein was going to break down and cry as he paid tribute to the recently “retired” Jim Boeheim on CBS Sports Network’s “Time to Schein.” He tried to inject a bit of balance into his soliloquy, but with lines like “I absolutely love him” and “To all the Syracuse fans, Coach, thank you,” we thought Schein’s next move would be to introduce the dirty masses to his Boeheim blast. doll.
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the striped express
The Daily News sports editors curate the best Yankees stories of the week from our award-winning columnists and writers. Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.
GUY OF THE WEEK: ROB MANFRED
Hold the confetti. We will not get carried away and organize a parade for the committee. However, give him credit for bringing home the new baseball rule changes that are reinvigorating the MLB game.
DWEEB OF THE WEEK: GALAXY MEDIA
For firing veteran Brent Ax of ESPN Syracuse last Sunday. Listeners say he was blunt while talking about Syracuse Univ. Sports, but management says Ax recently turned too negative, calling his tone “dark.” I’m just wondering if recently “retired” SU hoops coach Jim Boeheim, who owns 21% of Galaxy Media, is a contributor to Axe’s demise?
That Rick Pitino he said: “In terms of training, I probably have the same passion that I had when I was 30 years old.”
That Rick Pitino he wanted to say, “I still have what it takes to leave Iona for a bigger school and a bigger paycheck.”