So Aaron Rodgers gets his medical advice from podcast host Joe Rogan. Solid.
Rogan, the standup comic, UFC color commentator and self-described ‘‘psychedelic adventurer,’’ told the Packers quarterback to go with ivermectin rather than the plain old Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine for COVID-19 protection.
Ivermectin, for all you Rodgers wannabes and drug adventurers, is a substance usually taken to treat parasite infestations, most commonly in animals. Oh, and Rogan was once the host of the game show ‘‘Fear Factor.’’ Make of that what you will.
The point here is that Rodgers, the three-time NFL most valuable player and current nemesis of the Bears, tested positive last week for COVID and must miss at least 10 days with the Packers. He already missed the game Sunday against the Chiefs.
That lost showdown with quarterback Patrick Mahomes would have been a dandy. Instead, we got to see Rodgers’ eventual replacement, the untested Jordan Love, show Packers fans what their Rodgers-less future might look like. Not terrible, not great.
Quite a few NFL players and coaches — including Bears coach Matt Nagy and players Jimmy Graham and Robert Quinn — have tested positive for COVID or been exposed to the virus and forced into NFL protocol quarantine. So that stuff happens.
But Rodgers’ early claim to reporters that he was vaccinated against COVID — ‘‘immunized’’ was his crafty word choice — turned out to be false. He never got vaccinated.
Immunized? Well, sure, he did some holistic stuff and — with ‘‘Doc’’ Rogan’s advice and reportedly a legitimate doctor’s prescription for the drug — loaded up on ivermectin. We see how well that worked.
The division-leading Packers are without their star quarterback because he brazenly broke NFL rules — collectively bargained rules, by the way, meaning they were agreed to by the NFL Players Association. The bottom line is Rodgers is not with his team, say what you will about the moral, scientific and ethical lines he crossed or ignored.
It’s even possible Rodgers could miss another game if he doesn’t test negative soon enough. Love would get another chance to prove something.
But this isn’t how the baton is supposed to be passed from mentor to pupil.
It makes you wonder how corrupt the Packers’ organization is. Rodgers claims ‘‘everybody’’ within knew about his stance. If true, that means the Packers covered up for fraud, broke league rules and put others at risk all so their star wouldn’t have to wear a mask or be chastised.
NFL, are you listening?
Talking Friday on ‘‘The Pat McAfee Show,’’ Rodgers listed all the stuff he’s taking — ivermectin, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin B, hydroxychloroquine — and said, ‘‘I feel pretty incredible.’’
Glad he feels tip-top. But he lied about being vaccinated.
This isn’t about personal freedom and choice. This isn’t just about him, as he spouted, sounding like some martyred victim. It’s about teammates and the public. And agreed-upon rules.
“I realize I’m in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now,” Rodgers whined. ‘‘For the media taking shots at me, you now know my story, so quit lying.’’
Lying about what?
Rodgers says he’s not a vaccine-denier, but that’s exactly what he is.
He claims an NFL doctor falsely told him a vaccinated person can’t get or spread COVID. Responding to that, an NFL spokesman told Pro Football Talk, “No doctor from the league or the joint NFL-NFLPA infectious-disease consultants communicated with the player. If they had, they certainly would have never said anything like that.”
I’m reminded here of vaccine-denier Cole Beasley, the unvaxxed Bills wide receiver who stated last summer, ‘‘I may die of COVID, but I’d rather die actually living.”
Yee-ha! Freedom or death!
Great place to make your stand.
Two hundred million Americans have gotten vaccinated. Three-quarter of a million Americans, most unvaccinated, have died of COVID.
Getting the shots is about the simplest, luckiest, most patriotic thing a citizen can do. Much of the impoverished world is crying out for the precious vaccine, yet dudes like Rodgers shun it.
I saw him on Twitter the other day, in a black suit and tie, relaxing with what looks like a glass of bourbon in his hand, promoting a bitcoin site, Cash App, saying, ‘‘I’m giving away $1 million worth of bitcoin right now.’’ He tells his fans how to get some, then raises his glass and says, ‘‘Cheers.’’
The guy might be a football genius. Beyond that, he’s nuts.