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Keyshawn Johnson to Aaron Rodgers: Don't Be So Sensitive to Media Narratives

Kyle Koster
Quinn Harris/Getty Images
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Aaron Rodgers offered some thoughts on the state of media yesterday during his weekly appearance on Pat McAfee's show.

It's absolute horse s— to give a platform to people that have no idea what they're talking about as far as my mental state, my focus, my work habits — people that have not been around me, have not been in my life, I have no communication with them, they're not in the locker room — that's just chicken s—. It's so ridiculous that people can get a platform to do this, and it's the same type of people.

In this day in media, it's all about hits, and clicks, and views, and one second counts as a view, so the actual opinions that are garnering the most attention are the most outlandish. So it's not even Overreaction Monday or Tuesday anymore, it's overreaction every time a microphone's in your face, every time you have a single shot at the camera, and you can talk to a camera. Every time you're on a panel, it's, "Who can say the most outlandish things?" Because that's gonna give you the most hits. That's the media we live in, and that's fine. 

It's a familiar refrain from the Green Bay Packers quarterback and he's not wrong. Though there was plenty of warranted criticism to go around for an awful five-touchdown loss to the New Orleans Saints, plenty of talking heads and idiot fans couldn't keep their commentary within standard deviation, aiming their fire at Rodgers' psyche or willingness to work hard. This, of course is why we can't have nice or reasonable things. To be fair, Rodgers wouldn't be the first athlete to hold up the truly deranged stuff up as a means to shield against all critique. In short, he's always going to be correct about the media because bad-faith actors and just plain bozos will always throw a bunch of slop in the content trough that's largely indefensible. That certainly does not mean everyone who noticed how awful the Green Bay offense was in Week 1 shouldn't have a platform or was being willingly outlandish.

Barring a drastic change in behavior from the unwashed masses who post online or the Hall of Fame gunslinger, this is how things will go for the rest of his career. Speaking for the collective media masses, I feel confident predicting we're not going to change. Observing Rodgers for 15 years, I feel confident he's not going to alter much of what makes him tick.

Keyshawn Johnson thinks he should, though. Speaking on Keyshawn, JWill & Max this morning, he advised Rodgers to simply stop paying attention to all the noise.

"I get exactly what he's saying," Johnson explained. "I've dealt with it throughout my entire professional career. Football-wise, post-wise, all that so you get it. But I also want to caution Aaron Rodgers about the nature of being sensitive at this level paying attention to what the trolls are saying. Stop paying attention to that."

Yes, this is probably what Rodgers and everyone else should do. We have enough evidence to conclude he won't do it. He's a 37-year-old who has won NFL MVP three times. The die is pretty much cast here. Is he more sensitive than other players? Maybe. It's also possible that he's just more honest with his emotions than others. Which isn't a bad thing.

Anyone who has dealt with a sensitive person has learned that telling them not to be so sensitive is a sure-fire way not to fix the problem. Perhaps the conclusion here, in this instant, is that Rodgers and the prism through which he receives his feedback is working just fine. His on-field performance Monday night was excellent and he appears all the way back. If he even went away in the first place.

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