We live in a world where intelligence is highly valued – too much so. The smartest people tend to be revered, get the best jobs, make the money, buy the biggest houses.
Not always, but quite often. If you’re smart, you’ve got a better chance of being successful in this world than if you aren’t. At least materialistically and in wielding power and influence.
But here’s the thing about intelligence. If you are, in fact, smart, meaning you scored high on the SAT in high school and soar on IQ tests and excel at, say, “Jeopardy,” you better not flaunt it.
Nobody likes a person who postures like they’re smarter than everybody else and acts like others around them – all of them – are just too stupid and therefore are unworthy of respect.
And nobody these days, as best as I can tell, is liking the way Aaron Rodgers is behaving.
It began long ago and blew up last year when his coach, Mike McCarthy, got fired. Soon thereafter Rodgers said his coach had a “low football IQ.”
Here was a player who had been playing for this man for 13 years humiliating a grown man at one of his lowest moments, losing his job.
During a game earlier in his career, Rodgers reportedly had said during a game to McCarthy that it was a “stupid f—— call.”
The backstory on this is that McCarthy had been the guy with the San Francisco 49ers who had chosen to draft Alex Smith instead of Rodgers years earlier. So Rodgers felt slighted and hurt by that.
But there’s no excuse for publicly saying a man has a low IQ as he did about McCarthy. That’s the kind of statement that can stain a man’s reputation for life and hurt his chances of advancing in his career.
Rodgers crossed way over the line with this insensitive insult. It was mean.
Now we learn this week that he’s called his current general manager, Brian Gutekunst, Jerry Krause. Krause was the GM of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls who was made fun of and disrespected by Jordan. Rodgers is saying his current GM is a buffoon – meaning not smart.
In all these situations, the vibe that Rodgers is giving off is that he believes he’s smarter than these other people. After all, he got a high SAT score in high school and graduated from one of the most prestigious academic institutions in America, Cal Berkeley. And he brags about how well he is at playing Jeopardy, a TV game he now hosts that’s all about raw intellectual horsepower.
He carries himself as if he believes he’s smarter than everybody else. And that makes it fine in his mind to tell other people they aren’t as smart as him because he doesn’t respect people who aren’t as smart and brainy as he is. He doesn’t value them even though they’re human beings.
But how’s this prickly posture working out for him?
He’s showing the world who he really is: an arrogant guy who doesn’t care if he offends other people in the most psychologically damaging way by belittling their natural intelligence – something they were born with.
And that’s not winning him any popularity contests. If you really want to offend people, tell them they’re not smart and not on your level intellectually. Chances are they’ll either never speak with you again or scheme to do you harm in some serious way.
The irony of all this is that while Rodgers is doing exactly this, he’s actually showing how stupid he is for not realizing how offensive his attitude and behavior are.
Or if he understands what he’s doing is hurtful and doing it anyway just to be vindictive, he’s an even worse person than he already has shown himself to be.
If he wants to hold on to his pro football career, he needs to stop calling out people for being intellectually inferior to him.
Or the backlash against him will rachet up even higher.
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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