Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on during pregame against the Dallas Cowboys
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The Fall of Aaron Rodgers: How the 4-Time MVP Became the Most Hated Person in the NFL

The Green Bay Packers' record-breaking quarterback Aaron Rodgers is having a challenging season, and that's putting it nicely. The Packers are sitting on a 4-6 record and struggling to turn it around. It's wild to watch the once great Rodgers flailing at this level, as a once beloved quarterback now finds himself both losing and widely hated. Fans love to hate Aaron Rodgers and in the past few years that hatred seems to be growing. When Rodgers decided to come back for his 18th season in Green Bay, he couldn't have imagined this. 

Most Hated Person Tied To the NFL 

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers smiles during a 2021 preseason game.

Quinn Harris via Getty Images

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Back in the Spring of 2022 BetOnline conducted a Twitter study to see who fans love to hate the most. In an offseason riddled with drama, you'd think it might be Deshaun Watson, who is currently facing over two dozen allegations of sexual assault, or maybe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who is the head of a morally grey league. Nope, after studying more than a million tweets, the answer was a resounding Aaron Rodgers. Fans love taking to Twitter to type 140 characters about how much they despise the four-time NFL Most Valuable Player. 

So how did we get here? How did the NFL veteran and 10-time Pro Bowler find himself cast in the villain role? Usually an all-time elite quarterback rides out the end of his career to the tune of celebratory gratitude and praise. It's beginning to look like Rodgers might be taking his final bow to silencing boos and applause born out of the relief of no longer having to hear about the Packers franchise quarterback week-to-week. 

Either way it doesn't seem like Aaron Rodgers minds playing the villain. The Packers Super Bowl winning quarterback touched on all the negative attention during an appearance on The Pat McAfee show. "It really comes down to, and pardon my French, giving less f——," Rodgers shared. "I think it's a majority that comes from aging, making mistakes, from failing, to being too sensitive at times. ...There's a lot of joy in being unapologetically yourself."

Sure, there were haters years ago, but haters of yesteryear were mostly rooted in pure football hatred. Football haters are usually grounded in their jealousy over repeated success or rivalries ie. The Brady Belichick years or newfound Chiefs hating. Aaron Rodgers appears to be hated these days for just, well, being Aaron Rodgers. 

The veteran quarterback finds himself in this position after lying about his vaccination status, crying about a "woke mob", bashing the very Packers organization he's called home for 18 years, openly blaming and criticizing his teammates and repeatedly putting his foot in his mouth. These are actions that haven't come as a surprise to those familiar with Aaron Rodgers' career or disposition. 

"Isn't this kind of on Aaron's brand?," sports media personality Colin Cowherd said. "Aaron does what he wants, says what he wants. Wasn't this the Green Bay Packers' criticism of Aaron? He's not really a team guy. He's an Aaron guy. Isn't it kind of on brand that Aaron's unvaccinated ... kind of manipulated the media in the summer saying he was immunized."

An Uncomfortable Losing Season

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers on the field against the Minnesota Vikings

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

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To add insult to injury, maybe fans wouldn't hate the quarterback if he was leading the Packers to a successful season, instead of a losing one. However, after a painful five game losing streak Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers broke their five-game fall by defeating the Cowboys Week 10 in overtime, 31-28. It's been an uphill battle for the Rodgers Packers this season and looking at their remaining gauntlet they're going to have some challenging battles ahead. 

Week 11 brings Mike Vrabel's Tennessee Titans to Lambeau Field for Thursday Night Football on Prime. The Titans will be down a few key players courtesy of the controversial shortened week. Even still, given the caliber of play in Green Bay and the ferocity of Tennessee, it is likely Rodgers will find himself sliding deeper into a losing season. 

The fall of Aaron Rodgers has been like a reality show you can't stop binge watching. It's wild to think back to 2011 when Green Bay fans were enthusiastically celebrating Rodgers' Super Bowl XLV win. Now the legendary quarterback finds himself potentially leaving the game he's given nearly two decades to, as a despised, former elite quarterback at the end of an abysmal losing season sans fanfare. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

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