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NFL

You Are 38 Years Old

Aaron Rodgers
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

I will admit that my patience for anything that Aaron Rodgers does or says decreased by about 100 fold once he started talking about his “cancel culture casket” and shamelessly attempting to make a tortured distinction between “immunized” and “vaccinated.” The tattoo didn’t help. Neither does this:

Rodgers appears to be doing a whole thing with Nicolas Cage during training camp this year. Remember when he arrived at camp dressed like Cage’s character from Con Air, giving every maladjusted guy named Brian a chance to comment, “Ummm, this is so fire!!”

Aaron Rodgers, listen to me: I know what you are doing. I’ve seen it before. I’ve done it before. You are casting about for a personality. That’s what the Nicolas Cage stuff and the tattoo and the mustache and the ayahuasca trip are all about. You are trying to assemble around yourself a set of signifiers that, when viewed by people who don’t know you very well, will cause them to perceive you in the specific way that you desire. You want people to think that you are funny, but also smart, but also not snobbish. You want them to understand that you are a guy who likes to party, but also understands irony. You want them to figure you for a guy who is really good at beer pong but also knows how to play the guitar.

There’s no great shame in wanting to be understood in a certain way. People do this every day. Where you are fucking up is in how you are going about trying to achieve this goal. Semi-ironic Nicolas Cage fandom? In 2022? This is a disaster. It tells everyone (aside from all the maladjusted Brians) that you are one of the least naturally cool people to ever become famous. It tells us that you absorbed some memes about Nicolas Cage at various points throughout the last 15 years, filed them away somewhere in your mind palace’s Potential Personalities folder, and are only just now retrieving them. At some point in 2012 you heard someone say that Con Air is “totally epic” and saw the “Not the bees!” scene out of the corner of your eye, and now here you are, in 2022, trying to make an entire personality out of that.

I look forward to next year, when you arrive at training camp doing the “Gangnam Style” dance.