Pat McAfee admits he had ‘sleepless nights’ after Aaron Rodgers ‘started a war’ with Jimmy Kimmel


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Pat McAfee has become one of the most infamous figures in sports media today.

He inked a five-year, $85 million deal with ESPN last year so the network could broadcast his daily show, parlayed into becoming a “College GameDay” analyst.

But it’s his show, McAfee admits, where he has gotten into “some s–t.”


Jimmy Kimmel and Aaron Rodgers’ feud went to the next level. (Getty Images)

Aaron Rodgers has long been a guest on the show, and it’s where the four-time MVP has turned plenty of heads.

The four-time MVP made plenty waves when picking fights with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Travis Kelce, and Keith Olbermann about COVID-19 vaccines, but the show gained notoriety when Rodgers took it a step further with his quip about Jimmy Kimmel and Jeffrey Epstein.

“People were thinking we’re gonna get kicked off ESPN this year already. People were already assuming that it’s not gonna work, it’s not gonna last, because Aaron started a war with Jimmy Kimmel on our show,” McAfee told the “All The Smoke” podcast with former NBA stars Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. “Jimmy Kimmel obviously ABC, all the COVID stuff, calling out Fauci on our show, there was a lot. The block got real hot for about three weeks.”

McAfee, of course, was referencing when Rodgers said Kimmel should be “hoping” that the Epstein client list wouldn’t come out – the consensus was that Rodgers had insinuated that Kimmel would be on the list, but Rodgers denied that was the case.

McAfee didn’t exactly do himself any favors when he said that a high-ranking ESPN executive was “sabotaging” his show and was “canceled by both parties.” But in any case, McAfee defended his friend: “The stuff Aaron’s talking about, he’s very passionate about. Aaron firmly believes that,” he said.

Pat McAfee in Las Vegas

Pat McAfee hosts his show, “The Pat McAfee Show,” on Radio Row at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center ahead of Super Bowl LVIII on February 8, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Candice Ward/Getty Images)


But Rodgers’ controversial opinions have not only made himself an enemy in the public eye, but McAfee as well. McAfee admitted he didn’t quite understand everything Rodgers was saying, which led him to doubt he even deserved a show.

“There was a lot of times where I’m like, ‘Do I deserve to have this platform if I don’t know everything about everything so this s–-t can’t happen and people don’t end up hating us?’ … Because there was nights I couldn’t sleep. Like I’m like, ‘Maybe I am f–king this up completely.’”

But McAfee had an epiphany.

“We’re having conversations with people. You can disagree with them completely, but at least you learned and know where Aaron’s at. This is a Mt. Rushmore quarterback in the history of the NFL – in real time, you’re leaning about him completely. I feel like that’s a form of journalism as well, even though people won’t really talk about it. . . . 

Pat McAfee runs his show

Pat McAfee talks at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center ahead of Super Bowl LVIII on February 8, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Candice Ward/Getty Images)


“I think we’re just a different style of programming. We’re a conversationalist. We have no idea where we’re headed. We don’t have scheduled questions. I don’t prep anybody when they’re coming on. I don’t have a list of questions. I’m just having a conversation with people. And boy, it has certainly got us into some s–-t. But it has also got us some magic.”

McAfee has said he is unsure of his future with “College GameDay,” because he knows he isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

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