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Aaron Rodgers Blames Media and ‘Fear Porn’ For Dislike Toward Him

“I do have empathy for those people who are caught in this fear state around COVID that continues to be pushed and furthered by media.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The Pat McAfee Show

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has some thinking to do following his team’s early NFL postseason exit this past weekend. Does he retire, does he give it one more season in Green Bay? Or does he follow in Tom Brady’s footsteps and close the book on the team that drafted him and made him the quarterback he is today and play in another city?

Rodgers talked about answering those questions as part of what appeared to be his final interview of the season on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday. But, of course, what a lot of people tuned in for was to hear Rodgers’ response to the reaction of social media and sports media following the loss.

He spent plenty of time in the spotlight for various COVID-related reasons, and for that, many referred to him as “Throw Rogan,” “QAaron,” and “Covidiot.” Add to that the celebrations for the San Francisco 49ers going into Lambeau Field on a cold winter’s night and upsetting the top seed in the NFC.

“You knew this was in the mix,” Rodgers said. “There were a ton of people tuning in, rooting against us for one reason and one reason only. It’s because of my vaccination status, and them wanting to see us lose so they could pile on and enjoy and revel in the fact that my vaccination status was some sort of reason why we haven’t had success in the playoffs.”

He added that he knew he’d eventually have to say something about whether or not he was vaccinated and alluded to the fact that he would catch heat for not getting the shot. Still, Rodgers said a lot of the negativity surrounding the vaccine and his status is rooted in fear and that the media is a factor in that fear running rampant.

“There’s so much fear around this,” he said. “There’s fear of your health, fear of the loss of money, there’s fear of not being able to provide for your family, there’s fear of death for sure, fear of sickness, and the media plays a big role in that. The fear porn that is put out day after day I think causes a lot of strife and stress for people.

“I think because I don’t watch the news, or don’t subscribe to the same type of mainstream narrative at times, and have decided to take my own personal health and responsibility for my health in my hands, and did my research, and looked into things, and also my associations with other people who have done similar things, there’s anger kind of thrown my way,” he added. “But the root of that, I think, is fear. So I do have empathy for those people who are caught in this fear state around COVID that continues to be pushed and furthered by media and by some of the narratives that are out there. I do have empathy for that.”

As for the social media detractors, Rodgers said he’s tuned all of that stuff out. But in retrospect, Rodgers acknowledged the things he’s said publicly did drive a wedge between people when ultimately that’s not what the goal was.

“I know what I’ve never wanted to be is a divisive or polarizing figure on this,” he said. “I’ve wanted to encourage people and inspire people to think for themselves to take their health in their own hands. To realize that this is a pandemic of health, not the unvaccinated, a pandemic of health… to make healthier decisions and to think about what they’re eating and what they’re putting in their bodies.

“That their health is their own responsibility as much as mine is my own responsibility. And hopefully I’ve inspired people… But I hope people continue to turn off the fear and do their own research and take care of themselves and their own health. And hopefully we can move past a lot of this and actually connect instead of continue to divide.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Sells Out Super Bowl Ad Time

Some advertisements were sold for more than $7 million, while the average price slotted between $6 and $7 million.

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FOX Sports has reportedly sold out its allotment of Super Bowl ads, with some fetching $7 million for a 30-second spot.

According to a report from Deadline, the average price per ad was between $6 and $7 million, per FOX Sports Executive Vice President of Ad Sales Mark Evans.

Evans also told Deadline the ad slots for the event sold out two weeks ago. Volatility with some advertisers — like cryptocurrency brand FTX — and economic conditions were listed as reasons for why it took until three weeks before the event to sell out.

“As things have now settled down a bit and people feel better about the economic trajectory, a few of those units that were available picked up in earnest,” Evans said.

FOX claimed in September it had sold 95% of its available ad space for television’s largest event.

The $7 million price-tag for a 30-second commercial is in line with what first-time Super Bowl ad buyers paid for in 2022 when the event aired on NBC. That network’s reported asking price for commercials was between $5.8 and $6.2 million, with 40 advertisers joining the fray for Super Bowl LVI.

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Kevin Harvick Joining NASCAR on FOX Booth in 2024

“Getting the chance to step into the booth with Mike and Clint in 2024 is an honor.”

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NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick is retiring from the sport after the 2023 season, but he won’t be leaving completely. Sunday, Harvick announced he’ll join the NASCAR on FOX booth next season.

Harvick will join Mike Joy and former teammate Clint Bowyer for FOX’s portion of the NASCAR schedule.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the FOX NASCAR team full-time,” Harvick said. “I’ve enjoyed the experience in the booth the last several years because it has given me valuable insight into what being in the booth is all about. Getting the chance to step into the booth with Mike and Clint in 2024 is an honor and a great way to stay connected to the sport and NASCAR fans.”

Harvick has been a regular contributor to the network’s coverage of NASCAR’s lower series’ — the Craftsman Truck Series and the Xfinity Series — since 2015. He’ll make appearances in the FOX booth for select races in both of those series’ telecasts during the 2023 season in preparation for his full-time role in 2024.

“I can’t overstate how thrilled we are for Kevin to be an official member of the FOX Sports family,” FOX Sports President of Productions and Executive Producer Brad Zager said. “This is a marriage eight years in the making — since he first stepped into our NASCAR Xfinity Series booth with more presence and poise than most newcomers dream of. It has been fun to watch Kevin learn the TV ropes, and we cannot wait to hear him, Mike (Joy) and Clint (Bowyer) call their first race together.”

Harvick has raced in NASCAR’s top series since 2001, having the unenviable task of replacing legend Dale Earnhardt after his death during the 2001 Daytona 500.

The 47-year-old Harvick has won 60 races during his career. He won all four of what would be considered NASCAR’s “crown jewel events”, the Daytona 500 (once), the Coca-Cola 600 (twice), the Southern 500 (twice), and the Brickyard 400 (three times). He also took home the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series Championship, in addition to two Xfinity Series Championships.

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Carlos Beltran Leaving YES Network For Mets Front Office

Beltran was preparing to shift from a game analyst to a studio analyst for the 2023 season at YES Network.

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Carlos Beltran will leave his broadcasting position with YES Network to return to the New York Mets organization, a report from The New York Post reveals.

Beltran was preparing to shift from a game analyst to a studio analyst for the 2023 season at YES Network, but will instead be rejoining the Mets organization in a yet-to-be-announced front office position.

The Mets hired Beltran in 2019 to serve as the team’s manager, but fired him before the season after he was named as one of the leaders of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scheme during the 2017 season. In the report from MLB, Beltran was the only Astros player implicated as a conspirator behind the plot to steal opposing teams’ signs and relay them to batters by banging on trash cans.

The 45-year-old played for the New York Mets for seven of his 20 Major League seasons.

YES Network has now experienced several changes to its Yankees coverage this offseason. Cameron Maybin was not retained for the 2023 season. He has subsequently joined the television booth of the Detroit Tigers, where he’ll announce select games. Meanwhile, YES Network strongly courted Don Mattingly this offseason before the Yankee legend ultimately decided to join the coaching staff of the Toronto Blue Jays. The network reportedly continues to chase after Yankee legend Derek Jeter for a broadcasting role, as well.

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