Skip Bayless wants credit for labeling Aaron Rodgers a ‘diva’ 14 years ago

Boomer Esiason wants credit for reporting Aaron Rodgers to the Jets before Trey Wingo did, and Skip Bayless wants credit for labeling Rodgers a “diva” before the world did.

As recently as three years ago, nobody could have predicted the lightning rod that Rodgers would become. Nobody except for Skip Bayless, that is. Bayless frequently refers to Rodgers as a “master media manipulator,” blasting the superstar quarterback for being a “finger-pointing, blame deflector.”

And Thursday morning on FS1’s Undisputed, Bayless patted himself on the back for his take about Rodgers, with the sort of “told you so” attitude that mirrors the very arrogance causing many to criticize Rodgers in recent years.

“14 years ago I said this guy is a blame deflecting, finger pointing diva, low leadership intangibles who is a master media manipulator that comes up small when it really matters.”@RealSkipBayless on why he was right all along about Aaron Rodgers:

— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) March 16, 2023

“I first guessed this guy, 14 years ago,” Bayless declared. “Two years before he won his long ago, far away Super Bowl. Back on the old show, on the old network, I said, ‘This guy, is a blame-deflecting, finger-pointing diva, with low leadership intangibles, who is a master media manipulator and who I believe comes up small when it really, really matters.’

“And I had to fight with the guy on the old network and then the guy on the new network about what a transcendent thrower of the football he is. And he is…but in the end, my side prevails…he said so much wrong yesterday that we don’t have enough show for the two of us to break it down and tear it apart and skewer it all the way it should be skewered.”

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I assume “the guy on the old network” was a reference to Stephen A. Smith, who touts himself as an Aaron Rodgers superfan. Although 14 years ago, First Take was still Cold Pizza and Bayless was arguing with Woody Paige, not Stephen A. Smith.

Bayless and Smith likely had their fair share of quarrels about Rodgers during their time on First Take from 2012-2016. But 14, 10, even five years ago, Rodgers wasn’t nearly the talking point on debate shows that he is today.

Maybe Bayless did accidentally call Rodgers a “master media manipulator” 14 years ago, when the rest of the world viewed him as an immensely talented, but rather quiet and dull quarterback. But Bayless could not have predicted that Rodgers was going to use Pat McAfee to reintroduce himself as a full-blown conspiracy theorist, desperate to fight with the media. Albeit one that I’m now hoping to shamelessly root for with the New York Jets.

Finger-pointing, blame-deflecting, sure, but master media manipulator? Who in the media is Rodgers fooling at this point? Obviously not Bayless, but what media outlet is still giving Rodgers a pass on anything? The public perception of Rodgers has made a complete 180 in recent years. So it’s only fitting that Bayless feels inclined to claim he predicted it first.


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