Hello Darkness (Retreat), My Old Friend: Aaron Rodgers’ political career dies before starting

Robert F. Kennedy announced that Nicole Shanahan would be his running mate in the 2024 presidential election. Once again, a Shanahan has ended Aaron Rodgers' run.

Buffalo Bills v New York Jets
Buffalo Bills v New York Jets / Michael Owens/GettyImages

Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy reportedly favored Aaron Rodgers as a running mate for the 2024 presidential election. Rodgers "welcomed the overtures," according to the New York Times.

Rodgers neither confirmed nor denied the reports, but did he really need to? Running for Vice President of the United States would surely have created some scheduling issues for the New York Jets quarterback.

It was apparent that the entire purpose of the purported candidacy was to drum up intrigue for a long-shot White House candidate, but the effectiveness of the strategy is up for debate — does selecting Rodgers as your vice president help or hurt your presidential bid? Either way, the goal of generating free press was evidently accomplished.

Aaron Rodgers' vice presidency aspirations come to an end

Once again, a Shanahan has ended Rodgers' run.

Rodgers' political aspirations came to an end when Nicole Shanahan, a Silicon Valley lawyer and investor, was announced as Kennedy's running mate. Shanahan emerged as a favorite after helping Kennedy pay for his Super Bowl ad.

With Rodgers' pseudo-candidacy ending early, he'll be able to make his return to the Meadowlands to help guide the Jets out of the abyss in 2024. The Jets entered their own darkness retreat following their lone Super Bowl win in 1969, and they've been stuck in it ever since.

The 40-year-old quarterback vowed to return for at least one more season after a torn Achilles tendon abruptly ended his 2023 campaign. Earlier this month, Rodgers suggested that he may have hopes of playing for "two or three or four more years."

If Rodgers manages to play another four years, that would mean he'd play through the 2027 NFL season. He would be 44 years old by the end of that season — and, coincidentally, it would be just in time to join the presidential race next time around.

Until then, he'll have to turn his attention to the Jets, who were hoping that he would be the savior they've needed for the past 55 years.

In January, Rodgers publicly criticized the team for unnecessary distractions. He's probably right about cultural issues that need to be fixed — after all, there's a reason why the Jets haven't seen the postseason in 13 years, the longest active playoff drought of any team in the four major North American sports leagues.

"Anything in this building that we're doing that has nothing to do with winning needs to be assessed," Rodgers said. "Everything that we do has to have a purpose ... the (expletive) that has nothing to do with winning has to get out of the building."

Perhaps Rodgers would argue that the presidential race isn't a distraction because it's all about winning. In that case, he'd be right. He couldn't make that argument for his blood-feud with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, which was causing a stir at the time he made those comments about the team.

With the vice presidency and Jimmy Kimmel fiasco behind him, the Jets can enter the 2024 season with a clean slate — unless Woody Johnson and Robert Saleh can't find a way to get along.

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