Aaron Rodgers is on a new team, in a new city, playing in front of new fans and answering questions from new reporters, but Stephen A. Smith still expects New York to welcome their new quarterback with open arms.

Since Rodgers was traded to the Jets, many have forecasted epic battles between the polarizing quarterback and New York’s media. Rodgers has dealt with reporters and been treated as a national superstar throughout his career, but for some reason, New York’s media has been portrayed as a much shrewder fourth estate than anything the polarizing quarterback has encountered before.

“This is not Green Bay where they fawn over Rodgers and they bow over Aaron,” Chris “Mad Dog” Russo said Wednesday morning on First Take. “In two weeks, they’re gonna be on the back page and the front page of the New York papers every day, and that’s before a game is starting. And they’re gonna look at Rodgers and they’re gonna scrutinize him like you wouldn’t believe and that is gonna drive them absolutely crazy.”

In response to Russo’s assessment of Rodgers, the Jets, and the way they’re about to be covered by the New York media, Stephen A. Smith suggested his debate partner receive a drug test.

“That is the most asinine take that you have given since you have arrived here,” Smith ranted. “New York’s got a lot going on. But if there was ever an individual that was in position to be a godlike figure in the world of sports, it would be Aaron Rodgers.

“Because you got to take into account the purgatory that has been the New York Jets for ages. This dude pass gas, they’ll think it’s perfume. What are you talking about? It makes no sense, what you’re saying!”

In this battle of two media members who know the New York market well, Smith wins. Rodgers is not going to be rattled by what’s on the back page of the Daily News or New York Post in two weeks. As long as Rodgers plays at an above-average level and keeps feeding reporters headline-worthy quotes, New York and their media will love him. They might not love his gas, but they’ll certainly relish the relevancy he brings to their NFL season.

[First Take]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com