With the final week of the 2021 regular season upon us, one of the more natural talking points around the league has been the current MVP race. While there'll always be some heated discussions around this topic of who was most valuable to his team that given year, this go-around has added another contentious layer to it, which revolves around last year's MVP in Aaron Rodgers and Hub Arkush, who is a Chicago sportscaster, analyst and executive editor of Pro Football Weekly.
Arkush recently noted that he would not give his MVP vote to Rodgers and went on to call the Packers quarterback "the biggest jerk in the league." The bulk of Arkush's reasoning seems to be based on off-field issues surrounding Rodgers this season, including the situation where the quarterback was less than forthcoming about his vaccination status. Not basing his MVP vote merely on the play on the field drew criticism across the league, and Arkush himself even admitted that he "made a big mistake" in revealing his voting plans.
On Wednesday, Rodgers didn't hold much back when asked for his thoughts on Arkush and his comments.
"I think he's a bum. I think he's an absolute bum," Rodgers said, as transcribed by Pro Football Talk. "He doesn't know me. I don't know who he is. No one knew who he was, probably, until yesterday's comments. And I listened to the comments. But to say he had his mind made up in the summertime, in the offseason that I had zero chance of winning MVP — in my opinion, that should exclude [him from] future votes.
"His problem isn't with me being a 'bad guy' or 'the biggest jerk in the league' -- because he doesn't know me. He doesn't know anything about me. I've never met him. I've never had lunch with him. I've never had an interview with him. His problem is I'm not vaccinated. So if he wants to go on a crusade and collude and come up with an extra letter to put on the award just for this season and make it the 'Most Valuable Vaccinated Player,' then he should do that.
"But he's a bum. And I'm not going to waste any time worrying about that stuff. He has no idea who I am. He's never talked to me in his life. But it's unfortunate that those sentiments -- it's surprising that he would even say that, to be honest. But I knew this was possible. I talked about it on McAfee ("The Pat McAfee Show") weeks ago. But…crazy."
Despite Arkush's comments, Rodgers is currently the betting favorite at Caesars Sportsbook to win league MVP. If he does win, he'd be the first player since Peyton Manning (2008, 2009) to be named NFL MVP in back-to-back seasons.