Sports activities are a unusually transformative human occasion. They modify folks — the individuals who play them, the individuals who watch them. The pandemic modified sports activities and perhaps the athletes, perhaps Aaron Rodgers. Searching for unorthodoxy, he found villainy and embraced it, maybe in a scheme to get traded, damning being adored in pursuit of a self that appeared true. Individuals had been baffled by that, too. In skilled wrestling, they name this kind of manufactured misbehavior a heel flip. Finished improper, it’s baffling.
For now, the heel in him seems to have mellowed. So what classification will make sense for Rodgers’ time right here as a Individual of Curiosity? A second probability, a redo, a doubling down, a clear slate? Revenge? Rodgers has but to throw a single landing cross for town. The season might be superb — or the kind of debacle that turns a easy jaunt just like the one he took “with” me the opposite day right into a trial. Perhaps the skilled relationship doesn’t final greater than a yr. However perhaps the residential one lasts, thrives. Rodgers turns 40 on the finish of the common season. I’m not an athlete, not to mention an elite one. I’m, nonetheless, a New Yorker, who turned 40 right here, and I understand how it feels to let among the previous go, to really, lastly have a house right here — right here in New York Freakin’ Metropolis. Whether or not you’re broke or flush, it’s a aid, a fantastic fortune, presumably the seed of some social and emotional gluttony. “If this city is simply an apple,” Michael Jackson as soon as sang, “Then let me take a chunk.”
Perhaps he’ll come to like about this place what a number of us do, that regardless of the evident struggling, inequality and mismanagement, New York stays a city the place you’ll be able to expertise a lacerating, queer farce about Black existentialism like “Ain’t No Mo’” and an artist as self-astute and paradigmatically white as Taylor Swift and groups with fates as addled and fanbases as infected because the Rangers and Knicks (and the Jets and the Mets), the place folks on the road will provide you with your house till, in fact, they gained’t.
I caught Rodgers on the Tonys and swore I acknowledged a man discovering what it’s wish to be himself however some place else, to expertise what he’s seen on TV and within the films, what he’s learn in books. It’s been a dream for a few of us to dwell right here, in “the best metropolis on the earth,” to cite the musical concerning the historical past undergirding such goals. I’m positive I’m being naïve. However that’s sports activities, which actually isn’t so totally different from artwork. It really works finest once you droop disbelief.