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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast

Did Rodgers Know About Braun?

CREATED Dec 12, 2011
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I wonder if there’s more to this extraordinary “NO COMMENT.”

Aaron Rodgers on Ryan Braun: “I’m not going to really comment on that.”

Friends will occasionally ask my advice about speaking with the media, and for starters I usually tell them “no comment” is rarely an acceptable strategy.

Of course, I urge them to take that advice with a grain of salt since I am the media. Still, I know how it plays, and that’s why they asked me.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was asked in his postgame news conference Sunday, “What was your reaction last night to the Ryan Braun news?”

He offered the quote above, a big, fat “not touchin’ it.”

Hmmm….

First let’s address whether it was a legitimate question. There was criticism on twitter of the reporter who posed it. Look, there are idiots all over the media. There are a lot of bad questions. There are a lot of inappropriate moments for asking those questions. I certainly would not defend many of them. This, however, was not one of those moments. Perfectly appropriate question.

Rodgers and Braun alike have spoken publicly and frequently about their blossoming man-love. (Photo is courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) As a Packer and Brewer fan I am all for it! Two of my favorite pro athletes palling around… saying great stuff about Wisconsin, about our fans, and about our teams. You bet!

But if you’re going to be public about that stuff, then you have to answer tough questions in this situation. If the couple hadn’t been open about their friendship, it’s unlikely to me the question would have come up.

Okay, maybe he just got caught off guard. Not acceptable. If Aaron wasn’t ready for that question at the news conference, then somebody at the Packers didn’t do their job. I knew when the news broke Saturday night it would be one of the first questions asked of Aaron on Sunday. They should have known that too.

If “no comment” was the best answer they could prepare, that’s almost as bad as not being prepared at all.

You can say something, without really saying anything. For example…

“Ryan’s my friend, and I sure hope it turns out this isn’t true.”

He could even add, “I believe in playing the game the right way and that means playing by the rules. Ryan’s always said that’s what he’s about. MLB has a process for trying to figure out what happened, so I’m going to let that play out before saying anything else, but I sure hope it turns out to be a big mistake. ”

You didn’t throw your pal under the bus, but you didn’t mock the serious nature of the allegations. You just acknowledged the question, and the friendship, and the fact that you’re not for juicing.

Heretofore, Rodgers has shown to be very media savvy and pretty darn smart. So I wonder if there’s more. I wonder if Braunny told him? That’s my follow up question… “Did Ryan tell you about the positive test?”

Now… if the answer to that question is “yes” then things get a little more complicated at the podium.

Maybe then I do advise him to go with the “no comment.” Maybe that’s exactly what happened.

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