Carpenter’s Crunch Time Column: My new hero, Aaron Rodgers

BUCKHANNON – I don’t know what Aaron Rodgers’ motivation was for doing what he did was, but I have to admit it: I have enjoyed seeing all the fallout from it.

No one enjoys being lied to. Nobody likes being duped. But when it’s the richest and most arrogant sports league in the world, I am sorry, but I have to sit back and laugh at hypocrisy of it all.

Most of you who follow sports know by now that Rodgers is currently villain number one.

Every talking sports head and even some in Hollywood are coming out of the woodworks and slamming Rodgers for his ‘misleading’ comments about his vaccination status.

From tirades from Terry Bradshaw to Howard Stern, who said Rodgers should be kicked out of the NFL, it has been amusing to me to watch Rodgers give everybody in the NFL — including commissioner and bumbling idiot Roger Goodell — the middle finger, whether he meant to or not, about their hypocritical protocols regarding COVID-19 and non-pandemic issues.

And let’s be clear, this isn’t a pro-vax or anti-vax column. I have my own personal beliefs about it and you probably aren’t concerned with them. Just as I really, speaking as honestly as I can, am not interested about your beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccination.

I will say up front that any potential harmful behavior that could have put anyone’s health at risk by Rodgers is a concern, but this is a column about one of the all-time greats telling the czar-run NFL that he isn’t — or wasn’t — going to play by their rules.

It was a ballsy move, and Rodgers knew exactly what he was doing, except probably actually catching COVID-19 last week.

This is a league that once fined Frank Gore twice for a total of $15,000 for wearing his socks being too low and Brandon Marshall $15,000 for wearing green cleats, a uniform no-no, to bring attention to National Mental Health Awareness Week.

The league has a long history of absurd fines from Czar Goodell and his cronies.

So having one of the all-time greats basically tell the NFL to go pound dirt amuses me, regardless of what his true motivations were.

And you know what the NFL did? Almost nothing.

They fined Rodgers $14,650, which is the average NFL fine on breaking COVID-19 protocols and didn’t suspend him, but exactly how many times did Rodgers break protocol? According to the NFL, just once.

The NFL has fined Dallas Cowboy CeeDee Lamb nearly $20,000 this season for not having his jersey tucked in on two different occasions.

Prior to this latest outrage by the national sports talking heads, Rodgers wasn’t exactly the most well-liked athlete around anyway.

He has rubbed teammates, fans, haters and the sports media the wrong way for years now. That is no secret.

I have to admit that what Rodgers has done to be spiteful to the NFL, intentional or not, was a job well done and I do applaud him for that. Did he lie or mislead anyone? Maybe. Or maybe not. If he did, they will get over it. Or maybe they won’t. Who cares? Well-played Aaron!

Now onto the Crunch Time contest.


Duane 30-15 (4-1 last week)
Brian 30-15 (5-0 last week)

At this point, I really don’t have an end date for the contest yet. Buckhannon-Upshur’s season is over and Wesleyan wraps up things this Saturday, but we still will have the high school playoffs going on and Marshall and WVU games. Let’s just say I won’t wrap this up after I go up a game or two on Brian. Remember kids, if you aren’t cheating you aren’t trying!


Fairmont Senior (5-4) at Herbert Hoover (10-0) — Last year, I successfully predicted the No. 16 Elkins over No. 1 Sissonville playoff game. I really, really wanted to do that again with No. 16 Fairmont Senior this year, but Herbert Hoover’s 28-0 win over Poca two weeks ago made me a believer and that Husky defense is pretty good, giving up just 42 points all year. My pick: Herbert Hoover, 28-7; Brian’s pick: Herbert Hoover, 42-8.

Grafton (8-2) at North Marion (7-2) — I certainly didn’t expect Grafton to win eight games this year, so kudos to the Bearcats for a successful season. That said, I think their season comes to an end Friday. North Marion lost just one game on the field this year, a week three loss to Fairmont Senior. The other was a COVID-19 forfeit loss to Lincoln. North Marion hasn’t played the toughest schedule, but I think they get the win Friday. My pick: North Marion, 23-20; Brian’s pick: Grafton, 24-20.

Glenville State (2-7) at WVWC (0-10) — Wesleyan’s last chance to get a win this season. The ‘Cats held an opponent under 200 yards passing for the first time last week against Frostburg State, so there is something to build on. I hope Wesleyan can get the win because I hate to see any squad put in all that hard work and not come up with at least one victory. Not sure they will get it though. My pick: Glenville State, 42-24; Brian’s pick: WVWC, 13-10.

UAB (6-3) at Marshall (6-3) — Marshall has the 124th toughest schedule out of 130 teams. That is embarrassing. They actually play someone with a pulse this week, although last week’s win over FAU was impressive. Marshall at home should get the win. My pick: Marshall, 31-17; Brian’s pick: Marshall 35-30.

WVU (4-5) at Kansas State (6-3) — Well, it probably can’t get any worse for the Mountaineers than what happened last week against Oklahoma State. If WVU loses this game, they will have to sweep Texas and Kansas to get a bowl bid, which could still happen. I can’t see the Mountaineers getting past the Wildcats this Saturday. My pick: Kansas State, 28-24; Brian’s pick: Kansas State, 42-20.

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