Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a smart and relatively outspoken guy, so it’s probably not a surprise that he has strong feelings on a topic such as players being mic’d up on the field or, God forbid, the NFL putting cameras inside helmets to give fans a first-person point of view.
Rodgers did a long interview with former Packers teammate A.J. Hawk on Hawk’s podcast and first explained why he thinks it’s a bad idea for players to be mic’d up:
“I think it’s too much information. In 2008 there used to be no headset on defense, so the defense had to signal in every play and that was part of the whole Spygate issue and filming signals and what not. But now you have mics on both guards most of the time and you pick up everything that the quarterback says when we’re at home, and sometimes on the road as well, and I think that’s a competitive edge for the defense and it makes you have to work that much harder with your dummy words and your live and dead words.
“I mean, that’s part of the game there, but I think that the access is a little bit much. When I’m mic’d up, it takes away from the authenticity of the game for me. I don’t feel comfortable mic’d up.”
More seriously, Packers receiver Randall Cobb said in February that he believes the punctured lung he suffered in the playoffs last year could have been due to the fact he was mic’d up for that game and thus had landed on the battery pack when he hit the turf after trying to make a catch.
Rodgers reiterated that point to further his case that being mic’d up is a terrible idea:
“Randall Cobb had a serious injury last year in a playoff game and I believe, as I think he would as well and the team, that that was caused from him being mic’d up. Because he fell on his mic pack and he had an injury to his insides … The puncture spot, or the injury spot, was directly adjacent to his mic pack.”
Hawk then needled Rodgers by asking him what he was going to do when the NFL started putting cameras inside quarterbacks’ helmets (which you know is not far off once virtual reality technology is fully integrated into sports).
That led to this funny exchange:
Rodgers: “Won’t be my helmet, I’ll tell you that much.”
Hawk: “How are you going to stop them?”
Rodgers: “I don’t get mic’d up. I’m not going to wear that.”
Hawk: “What if they put them on every guy?”
Rodgers: “Might have to call it a career.”