I Gotta Hope Bob Iger’s Aaron Rodgers Plays Nice This Time

I Gotta Hope Bob Iger’s Aaron Rodgers Plays Nice This Time

Pat McAfee (left) has Aaron Rodgers (right) back on his show, just one day after ESPN announced he would not appear for the rest of the NFL season. Bob Iger doesn’t want any headaches.
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  • Aaron Rodgers returns to Pat McAfee’s ESPN show.
  • It was quick — we heard Wednesday that he won’t be on ESPN for the rest of the NFL season.
  • Bob Iger doesn’t need any more headaches, so Rodgers will have to play sports. Will he?

Remember when the Aaron Rodgers/Pat McAfee/Jimmy Kimmel situation was resolved because Rodgers would no longer be at ESPN?

It was Wednesday.

On Thursday, the NFL quarterback returned to McAfee’s ESPN show, commenting The departure of Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Apparently, he didn’t care about his feud with ABC star Jimmy Kimmel, which caused a stir inside and outside of Disney, which owns both ABC and ESPN.

It’s a surprising turn of events considering Tuesday, McAfee announced that Rodgers would appear on his show for the rest of the NFL season, and people at ESPN were unclear on when or if Rodgers would return.

It also shows how McAfee, a former NFL punter, has a unique relationship with ESPN: ESPN pays McAfee a ton of money to be a major face on the network — $85 million over 5 years — but McAfee doesn’t really work for ESPN: He produces his own talk show and licenses it to ESPN, which means he has a lot of control over what does and doesn’t appear on the show.

On Wednesday, it appeared that McAfee’s control had found its limits: While both he and Disney executives said the decision not to appear on Rodgers’ show was McAfee’s call, people in and around the company believed Disney made it clear to McAfee. they desperately wanted Rodgers to stop fighting Kimmel, causing Disney CEO Bob Iger a headache he didn’t really need.

So McAfee’s announcement that Rodgers is out for the season solved that problem.

But what happened since then? ESPN declined to comment, but my understanding is that the company believes it’s OK for Rodgers to appear on McAfee’s show. is committed to sports.

Which kind makes sense? Still, ESPN has invested heavily in McAfee, and one of McAfee’s main selling points is that he’s the go-to place for superstar Rodgers to offload. (By the way, McAfee is also paying Rodgers for this.)

On Wednesday, after the announcement, McAfee accepted Twitter/X to tell people that there’s really no news and nothing to see here, and that Rodgers might actually show up again: “He’ll make occasional surprise pop-ins during big events or offseason adventures, but that’s always been the case for a season.” issue. I never said he would never be on the show again. I hope he still chooses to talk to us,” McAfee wrote.

Now it’s back in an appearance that McAfee is clearly delighted with:

There are more than a few what is the definition Here’s a word analysis of what McAfee said about Rodgers on TV, what he actually meant, and what he believes Disney is willing to do. But it doesn’t matter.

What matters for now: Disney is letting one of its biggest stars control who appears on its show — a power generally unheard of on Big Time TV.

And at least for one day, it worked for McAfee and Disney, because Rodgers wasn’t using his TV time to attack another Disney star.

The unanswered question: What if Rodgers or another McAfee book causes trouble for Disney again? We have years to learn this.

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