As we all know, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has fallen from grace. He is in the midst of a malaise that has lasted for a year now, since the blowout last year against Denver. Back-breaking interceptions are up and ball security has been an issue. Rodgers’ accuracy is so off its glaring, with passes being thrown wildly behind and over receivers. This, among so many issues that a book could be written about it.
It cannot be an issue of physical decline, but rather is undoubtedly something psychological. Precisely because it is not a lull of a few games, this malaise should become a case study in sports psychology. Off-hand, the closest thing to what we are seeing that I can think of is the case of Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jim Everett in the 1980s. Having shown flashes of an elite quarterback, bad offensive line play allowed defenses to pummel him with an unending battery of sacks and knockdowns. Eventually it got in his head, culminating in an infamous phantom sack where he went down before he was ever touched.
While returning somewhat to form after being traded to the New Orleans Saints, Everett was never really the same. Thus, it seems that we too face the very real prospect that Rodgers may never be his old self again. Baseball, of course, has many more of these case studies, such as Chuck Knoblauch, Jeff Weaver and Rick Ankiel, among many others, but it is seen far less often in football.
The question then is, what is the nexus of this psychological breakdown? Reading body language, it is clear that coach Mike McCarthy and Rodgers are, at the very least, having difficulties, and they are having difficulties on a more permanent, consistent basis. However, this may stem from mutual frustration from the systemic collapse of this offensive unit, which in turn suggests something else is the root cause.
Indeed, with rumors that Rodgers is not speaking to his family on account of his relationship with Oliva Munn, reason suggests that this Hollywood strumpet is the kryptonite poisoning the heart and mind of our falling hero in Packerland.
Recall that last year Rob Demowsky speculated as much, writing, “A longtime NFL agent told me recently that when he sees one of his top-performing clients play differently, as Rodgers has of late, the first thing he wonders is if something is going on in his personal life.”
This makes sense intuitively. I myself look no further than Ace Rothstein from Casino (based on real-life mobster Frank Rosenthal). He become so good at gambling on football, he moved the odds in every bookmaker in the country, and he did that by knowing everything. This voiceover quote informs how personal and relationship problems do affect performance and are relevant, and how they can predict who wins and loses:
But he didn’t bet like you or me. …He bet like a fuckin’ brain surgeon.
He had to know everything, this guy. He’d find out the kind of inside stuff nobody else knew, and that’s what he’d put his money on. Even back home, years ago, when we were first hangin’ out together . . . he’d know if the quarterback was on coke or …If his girlfriend was knocked up. (emphasis added)
There was nothin’ about a game he was gonna bet that he didn’t know.
Season after season, the prick was the only guaranteed winner I ever knew.
More telling, you have Olivia Munn’s outrage and consternation at Demowsky for making such a suggestion. If readers recall, this was all over the tabloids. Perhaps though she doth protest too much. If what he wrote were truly so outlandish and wrong-headed, why would she or anyone care?
Throw in vaguely confirmed rumors that Rodgers is not speaking to his family over this woman, and this theory becomes even more persuasive.
Perhaps most convincing of all is that she has done this before, to another star athlete, a hockey player for the New York Rangers named Brad Richards. Much like Rodgers did in the beginning, Richards played well when he first met her. Rangers fans even dubbed her a good luck charm.
Then she broke up with him. And he went six games without a score, and had just one goal over the next 12. At least one Rangers blogger states that after that “his game has never been the same.” Only until he really got over the tramp by getting engaged to Australian model Rechelle Jenkins did his stats improve. Of course, this statistical drop off in the year of the breakup is confirmed in these reference stats.
And so when one puts this drop off together with Rodgers’ mysterious jinx, we now have a pattern with this broad.
Still not convinced? Consider that before he became entangled with this guttersnipe, Rodgers was such a private person that he would neither confirm nor deny an engagement ring was worn by a woman believed to have been his fiancée, Destiny Newton.
Munn, on the other hand, went on a faghag talk show on Bravo hosted by Joel Cohen to brag about how much she likes to get fucked. Years ago, the hussy put out for Justin Timberlake right after her breakup with Richards, bragging to gossip rags about having a “weekend of great sex.” This even though he was with Jessica Biel at the time.
There are doubtless other examples demonstrating this woman is just the worst sort of Hollywood harlot, but this foray into celebrity sex gossip is already too painful to bear. A pox on her for obliging yours truly to read a bunch of Hollywood gossip rags to uncover hard truths, let alone for sabotaging the most important passion in my life, the Green Bay Packers!
It is plain for anyone to see that this sort of lewd, lascivious lack of discretion or propriety is not compatible with the Aaron Rodgers we once knew. The conflict she is sure to be generating in Rodgers life — both on an inter and intra-personal level — must rival that of a breakup, which would seem inevitable given this mismatch in personality types.
Of course, since neither Brad Richards’ prior relationship with Munn nor the year long bit of yips he had is hardly kept secret, one must ask why the Wisconsin and sports media have not asked these hard questions? Why, with inside connections and off-the-record, confidential sources, has there not been more focus on this? Why, for that matter, do so few Packers fans know who Brad Richards is?
Some journalists, like Jason Wilde, think personal matters are off limits. Every great bookie and for that matter every student of human nature knows otherwise. Of course, the stakes could not be higher. Any postseason aspirations are already in great danger if not outright lost. Going beyond that, because this has been going on for a year now, this problem could spell the end of the dream and promise of multiple Super Bowl championships for the foreseeable future.
Yes, the dream could very well be over, not just this year, but for this present era that ought to have been a far better contender than it has proven to be. And all at the hands of a tramp.
Queue the ending to Dr. Strangelove, where the world is destroyed to the tune “We’ll Meet Again Someday” by Vera Lynn. To a Green Bay Packers dynasty with multiple Super Bowl championships, I can only say with tears, “We’ll meet again / Don’t know where / Don’t know when / But I know we’ll meet again / Some sunny day.”
Perhaps when I am 70 if I am still alive, or in some other lifetime.