1. And now there’s controversy about the controversial report.
As you know, on the afternoon of Round 1 of the NFL draft last week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Aaron Rodgers wanted out of Green Bay.
Many people found it curious Schefter would drop this bombshell a few hours before the start of the draft.
On his Thursday radio show, Dan Patrick asked Schefter about how the timing of the report came about. Here is Schefter’s answer:
“You know Dan, the funny part about it is, I heard people say, ‘Oh, Aaron Rodgers wanted that out before the draft.’ I can assure you Aaron Rodgers did not want that out before the draft. I’ve had people say, ‘The Green Bay Packers planted that. It was a very pro Packers story.’ I can assure you the Green Bay Packers didn’t plant that.
“When people guess at where stories come from, more often than not, they’re usually wrong. And in this case, they’re wrong. This was an accumulation.
“All during the offseason, of just listening to people talk. And observing. If we go back to the NFC championship game that the Green Bay Packers lost at home, did we not hear Aaron Rodgers after that game talk about his level of unhappiness, if you will? Uncertainty for the future. Just go back and listen to that press conference and it sounds almost like he’s saying goodbye to Green Bay.
“And so, your antenna’s up. And I’m just telling you throughout the course of the offseason, there was rarely a week that went by without where I didn’t hear something about Aaron Rodgers. And on draft day, there’s a report that morning by Paul Allen out in Minneapolis that the 49ers made a draft offer, which they didn’t make a draft offer; they never made an offer. And other people saying that the 49ers called and I said, ‘How long till it gets out that Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay? Is it next week? Is it when he doesn’t show up to the OTAs?’ … It’s gonna come out. What does it matter if it comes out now or next week or next month?”
So, Schefter told Patrick his report was based on an “accumulation” of information. It was based on one tip or leak he got last Thursday afternoon.
Schefter made that clear again to Patrick, saying, “There was nothing that morning that came in. No one said to me, ‘Yeah, he wants out; you should report this.’ It’s like, it was going on all offseason. You just keep hearing and there’s more and more talk, and now there’s starting to be Aaron Rodgers talk and I said, ‘You know what? This isn’t gonna wait much longer.’ And it just happened to be draft day.”
Now I can understand why some people think Schefter’s actions were shady.
But here’s the reality: Schefter did nothing wrong. Fans can be angry with Schefter. Fans, and even people around the NFL, can think Schefter lost some credibility. But his report was accurate. Rodgers confirmed this at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday when he told NBC’s Mike Tirico he was upset his rift with the Packers came out publicly.
You may not like the timing of Schefter’s report, but he did not make it up. He didn’t just throw it out there and hope it would stick. He had information and that information was correct.
And if you think it sucked he decided to drop that report hours before the draft, that doesn’t really matter to Schefter because you can certainly bet ESPN was beyond thrilled with what he did on draft day.
On a totally different topic, some of those people who were mad at Schefter came through with some creative tweets.
2. This week’s SI Media Podcast features two interviews. The show kicks off with Ryen Russillo of The Ringer. I recapped a meaty portion of what we discussed in Thursday’s Traina Thoughts. Other topics covered include going from ESPN to The Ringer, deciding to stick to sports, does he ever get sick of podcasting, Pam Beesly is “evil,” can we take any joy out of this NBA season and much more.
Following Russillo, Brian Baumgartner, who played Kevin Malone on The Office, joined the podcast. Baumgartner talks about hosting The Office Deep Dive Podcast, what kind of Dunder Mifflin swag he has, the anniversary of his famous chili scene and how he feels about outlets editing out scenes from The Office. Baumgartner, who is good friends with Rodgers, also shares his insight on the Packers’ quarterback’s being unhappy with the team.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
3. Charles Barkley trying to explain the concept of the NBA’s playoff play-in format is as good as you’d expect.
4. I would pretty much do anything to see an MLB player do this.
5. I’m not an NHL guy so this could be a terrible take, but just as an outside observer with no dog in the fight, it seems the NHL is doing the Rangers dirty. The league didn’t suspend the Capitals’ Tom Wilson after he punched a New York player in the face while he was on the ice. O.K., fine. But then when the Rangers release one of the greatest statements in sports history, the league fines the team $250,000. Ridiculous.
6. If you have a lot of time on your hands this weekend, you should listen to the SI Media Podcast. If you have even more time after that, read this oral history of The Sopranos‘ famous “Pine Barrens” episode from The Ringer.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: My old-school Hot Clicks readers already know this, but I just want to remind everyone that this is still the greatest news blooper of all time.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.