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Sports Musings for week of April 26

Andrew Hanlon
  • So Aaron Rodgers. As of Monday morning, we have yet to hear anything directly from the quarterback himself. Everything has been “leaked” through agents and “those closest to him.” It was absolutely 100 percent intentional that these reports were released to NFL insiders on draft day from Rodgers’ camp — he wanted the most coverage and most attention possible. It wouldn’t be the first time.
  • Supposedly, Rodgers’ relationship with Packers’ GM Brian Gutenkunst is fractured to the point that he reportedly wants Gutenkunst fired or he won’t return. He “doesn’t like anyone in the front office for a variety of reasons,” Mike Florio of Pro Football talk reported. The key word here with all of this is “reported.” Again, Rodgers hasn’t said anything himself. All these comments are coming from other people. Which, again, points to the fact that this is being done intentionally.
  • The Green Bay front office needs to call Rodgers’ bluff, and it sounds like, at least at this point, they are. One report this past weekend explained that Jeopardy executives really liked what Rodgers did on the show during his brief time hosting; okay, then retire and go host Jeopardy. There’s zero reason the Packers should trade the reigning NFL MVP. It’s become clear over the years that Rodgers is a notoriously hardcore grudge holder. Whatever he’s angry about, he’s likely not going to stop being angry about it. So if he’s stubborn enough to retire rather than come back and play for the Packers, then he can have fun in retirement. 
  • Also this ridiculous report that he wants Gutekunst fired? No one player is above the team. I think we learned that when we went through all this garbage with the last quarterback. Completely different situation, yes; but the point remains the same. No one player should ever hold an organization hostage, no matter how good that player is or how much he means to the team, city, state, fans, etc. 
  • I will admit, though, that this quarterback drama, which began with Deshaun Watson in Houston, moved to Russell Wilson in Seattle and has now found its way here, seems like the beginning of what’s been happening in the NBA with the “player empowerment movement.” It’s just much, much more difficult to force your way out of a team in the NFL than it is in the NBA. 
  • Speaking of the NBA – the Milwaukee Bucks earned a huge victory over the Brooklyn Nets Sunday afternoon behind 49 points and 8 rebounds from Giannis Antetokounmpo. Khris Middleton added 26 and 11 and Jrue Holiday had 18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a block. Brynn Forbes added 12 points off the bench. The Nets are the best team in the East and the most talented team in the NBA; a strong (perhaps easy) argument can be made that Brooklyn is the favorite to win the NBA title. The Nets were without James Harden, but still had Kyrie Irving (20 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals) and Kevin Durant (42 points and 10 rebounds) and Milwaukee was still able to come away with a 117-114 win. It’s a good sign for the Bucks as we head closer to the playoffs — Milwaukee will likely have to go through Brooklyn to reach the NBA Finals.
  • Oh yeah, other than all that Rodgers drama (garbage is still the word I prefer to use), there was an actual draft where the Packers picked actual players. Green Bay selected Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes in the first round — higher than the draft “experts” had him, but Stokes is long, athletic and incredibly fast (4.29 40-yard dash), was a two-year starter in the best conference in the country and broke up 26 career passes. I’m trusting the Packers’ front office on this one; they’ve recently selected Jaire Alexander and Darnell Savage, both of whom have turned out to be young, defensive cornerstones in Green Bay’s secondary.
  • I’m also a fan of third-round selection Amari Rodgers, a wide receiver from Clemson. Rodgers played in huge games during his collegiate career and led the ACC in catches last season. Think a better Randall Cobb. I also liked Green Bay’s final pick, running back Kylin Hill from Mississippi State. Hill opted out of last season after three games due to COVID concerns, but is big, agile and doesn’t turn the ball over. The Packers lost Jamaal Williams in free agency and needed to add a running back, and Hill is certainly capable of being a good rotation back like Williams was.
  • Heading into Monday the Milwaukee Brewers were tied for the most wins in all of baseball. They swept the Padres and took three of four from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the top two teams in the National League prior to the season. Milwaukee also has 15 players currently on the injured list. So.