In the general scheme of things, I’m a relative nobody. In life, and at my age, I’ve learned words matter but the meanings of those words matter even more. Yet, I’ve also come to the realization that good people should enjoy life to the fullest. Recently I praised New York Jets Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers for showing up for his team to support his young quarterback protegee, Zach Wilson, but Tuesday he took a shot at one of our own, and it didn’t sit well.
From all accounts the decision by Aaron Rodgers to show up in New York to support his teammates, who were about to face the defending Super Bowl Champions the Kansas City Chiefs in primetime Sunday, was the right move for the team and his public relations value. Overall, I thought the decision to join the Jets was a great fit for him and the team.
When he arrived it was well documented, that he refused to work with his understudy in Green Bay, Jordan Love, but when he came to New York he took embattled Quarterback, Zach Wilson, under his wing. So when he arrived on Saturday, I felt like a progression of his enlightenment had come front and center. The Jets played their best game of the season and appear to have gained confidence going toe-to-toe with the Chiefs. So, despite the fact they lost the game, with Rodgers in the house, the team rallied together.
Yet on Tuesday, when Rodgers made a quip about Kansas City Chiefs Tight End, Travis Kelce, by referring to the All-Pro with two Super Bowl rings, as ‘Mr. Pfizer’ via his weekly appearance on Pat McAfee’s show. I found it slightly disappointing and felt it was unfair. Especially since both Rodgers and Kelce were so engaged on the field in pregame warmups.
To be clear, Aaron Rodgers is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. His multiple MVPs and singular Super Bowl Win speak volumes of his work on the NFL field. Yet, he’s also been known for being highly demanding of his teammates, coaching staff, and the front office. Yet, when you are as good as he has been, those things are not abnormal for an elite player – considering they strive for perfection. In fact, they are accepted as positive traits of leadership. He is also entitled to his opinions.
In panning to Rodgers during the Sunday night game the Chiefs won 23-20, he had the same emotions as Chiefs and Jets fans. Each had highs, lows, and complaints until the outcome of the game was decided.
Yet out of nowhere on Tuesday, he decided to jab Kelce for his recent commercial endorsement.
Further, the New York Jets are owned by Woody Johnson the heir to the Johnson and Johnson brand, who by the way has developed numerous vaccines.
If I’m being honest, Kelce has the right to be a spokesperson for anyone he chooses. In this particular commercial, there was an element of schtick to it, that was entertaining. At the end of the day, Kelce’s endorsements won’t sway me from using products he pitches, such as Geico over State Farm or YouTube TV over DirecTV, so it’s still all subjective to each of us.
Yet, Kelce is the hot NFL brand right now and it’s not because he’s dating Taylor Swift. He has multiple endorsements as mentioned, including DirecTV, State Farm, Papa Johns, Bud Light, Experian, and locally Hy-Vee, just to name six of the 25 companies that see value in their association with the Travis Kelce Brand. His ‘New Heights’ Podcast, with his brother, Jason Kelce, has reached levels never seen before in that arena with over 1.2 million subscribers who have their own set of advertisers on board. So understandably he’s a hot commodity.
Kelce is playing in his 11th NFL season. He’s battled on so many fronts to become the greatest tight end of all time. At the age of 33, he’s still playing at an elite level because he pushes himself to climb the mountain of excellence every single day. He is adored by the entire Chiefs Nation because he’s never wavered on who he is on or off the field.
Today, he’s enjoying life professionally and personally. Further, without a lot of fanfare, he gives a significant amount of coin to charities he is passionate about. I’ve heard stories that he’s helped individuals who reach out to him for a few moments of his time ranging from a simple autograph, photo, or words of inspiration. Sometimes his generosity goes beyond that helping strangers in time of need. He does that because of the compassion in his heart.
As I wind down this road, this isn’t an anti-Jets or Rodgers thing, because I’m sincere on this point, I hope Jets fans are rewarded with a Super Bowl Trophy in the near future. I waited fifty years for my second in Kansas City, and the Jets fan base has waited a lot longer for number two. Rodgers is supposed to be the man to upstage Joe Namath and bring a Lombardi Trophy back to the faithful, and I hope for their fans, that he gets that done.
For Travis Kelce, you just keep being who you are and enjoy every second of life because that’s the ultimate inspiration to grab ahold of for each of us.
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