Lincicome: Aaron Rodgers might own the Bears, but he doesn't own any common sense
The first image that comes to mind upon learning that Aaron Rodgers is a calculated liar, a toffee-nosed snake and an infectious vax-scoffer is of the Green Bay lout bellowing at Bears fans -- including a whole sideline full of innocents -- that he owns the Bears, the venom coming not just from his vocabulary but from whatever flying toxins he thought he had treated on a hunch while the rest of us were listening to doctors, scientists and realists.
We thought that moment of spontaneous arrogance was uncharacteristic of a man who has been generally laid back and level-headed during a substantial career that has achieved more than just beating the big city team that can never find an Aaron Rodgers of its own.
It is worse than we thought.
Rodgers turns out to be a menace to himself, to his teammates, to strangers at the next table, to trick-or-treaters, to game day helpers on the sidelines. And why? Because he can. Because he believes he knows better. Because no one told him he is just another vulnerable human being, and he wouldn't have believed them if they did.
Confidence is required in quarterbacks even if common sense is not. Arrogance is the inevitable byproduct of success. And what we see now in Rodgers is arrogance without a leash.
He sulked when Green Bay drafted another quarterback, Jordan Love, threatening to quit before slinking back. Now, sweet irony, Love gets a two-game start in place of the duplicitous hero of an insignificant corner of the upper Midwest.
Not that it matters. Green Bay could lose both games and could still be beyond reach in the sorriest division in the NFL.
What does matter is Rodgers' example of flaunting the COVID protocols designed not only to protect players but to reassure customers that the NFL cares about health and safety and integrity.
If Rodgers is not punished in some way, the Packers, too, the NFL becomes the National Feckless League.
It's OK to lie, fellas. Just don't cough on me.
Rodgers knows more than the organization he plays for, more than the league he plays in, more than medicine itself.
Vaccination? Aaron Rodgers don't need no stinkin' vaccination, but he does say he understands those who think they do. How gracious of him.
Yes, Rodgers was "immunized"; he told the press so before the season, offering no actual evidence of it, choosing a bogus synonym for a specific medical procedure. No one challenged him. Why should they? He's a quarterback.
Not just a quarterback, but the quarterback, more or less the measurement for other quarterbacks, excluding Tom Brady, of course. Brady has a fuller resume, more endorsements and greater poster value.
But Rodgers does OK for a backwater oddity, making the national gossip columns and the occasional red carpet, circling glamour and celebrity with a growing sense of self-importance.
It is assumed that quarterbacks are smarter than the average Bear because they are where the light shines brightest. We have elected two presidents on that principle without learning the lesson.
We give quarterbacks the benefit of the doubt -- as long as the team wins -- and would likely have done so with Rodgers had he explained why he believed his chosen homeopathic treatment had immunized him (obviously it did not).
Of course, Rodgers does not have to be vaccinated, and when he finally did explain on Friday, he pouted about being "in the crosshairs of a woke mob" and being put into a "cancel culture casket." Nice alliteration. Bad whine.
Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins offered he would "let nature take its course. If I die, I die." Stupid logic, yes, but honest.
Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson has tested positive twice for COVID. Colts quarterback Carson Wentz said he had studied everything, was aware of everything, that being unvaccinated was a personal decision. "Trust me," he said.
So, is it just quarterbacks who believe they are beyond the reach of nature? Maybe the mindset is stronger, but other NFL players are unvaccinated and must be tested daily.
There is a simple solution to all of this. A league mandate that all players must be vaccinated. Lawsuits await, surely. But so does worse.