As debate over Aaron Rodgers appearing on The Pat McAfee Show on ESPN continues, a longtime former Rodgers interviewer has spoken up. Dan Le Batard on Wednesday described his discomfort and embarrassment over no longer having a relationship with Rodgers, who used to appear on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz at least once per NFL season.
“Our show was fascinated with him and friendly with him and awed by his general excellence when we didn’t know certain things about his opinions,” Le Batard explained.
“It’s weird to me to hear our cynical show that’s been around for a few years get hurt because an athlete’s opinions don’t align with ours.”
They discussed how Rodgers sharing his views on public health, big pharma, and politics have made him a larger celebrity even as his football relevance waned. Le Batard acknowledged that when he interviewed someone he just saw as an NFL player, conversations were much easier.
“Back then he was just a football player and a State Farm insurance man,” Le Batard said. “Now he’s polarizing, so it’s fame and infamy.”
Rodgers appeared on Le Batard’s show for football and life talk each season for several years. Le Batard even got a long sitdown with Rodgers in 2021 for his South Beach Sessions interview show.
Rodgers has not appeared on Le Batard the past two seasons. Meanwhile, Rodgers arrived on the favorite NFL team of Le Batard’s cohost Jon “Stugotz” Weiner. That was enough to get Rodgers to join Weiner’s God Bless Football podcast early last season.
The only Rodgers run-ins the main show has had in that time is when Weiner mistook country singer Jake Owen for Rodgers at a celebrity golf tournament.
This week’s conversation led Le Batard to get pretty honest about how the show’s approach to discussing the pandemic may have turned off viewers. Le Batard wondered aloud on-air previously why Pat McAfee, who interviews Rodgers weekly, succeeded at ESPN while Le Batard could not.
Cohosts Mike Ryan, Amin El-Hassan and Charlotte Wilder then discussed the growth of The Joe Rogan Experience in recent years (Rodgers appeared on that show last year as well). They explored why some audiences seek out what they believe are alternative ideas or prefer hosts who buck the status quo.
Rarely do you hear media personalities discuss their beliefs or views on guests’ beliefs. Even more rarely do hosts express remorse over botching a relationship or losing a perspective.
As he often does, Le Batard raises an idea for the audience to mull over. And he clearly is unsure how he feels about Rodgers’ commentary. Or his show losing its connection to Rodgers.