Aaron Rodgers and The Most Bizarre Long-Term Dramas In Sports History

Darren - March 20, 2023

Aaron Rodgers and The Most Bizarre Long-Term Dramas In Sports History

Darren - March 20, 2023

The sports world fascinates everybody because we see the peak of human physicality. Sometimes it feels like they’re nearly superheroes, but it’s important to remember that they’re just people too. Everybody faces problems and they’re no exceptions. Because of that fact, many of these sports stars have been involved in long-term dramas.

Today we’ll look at some of the strangest long-term dramas in modern sporting history. These include long-running trade sagas, franchise scandals, and darker tales from this fascinating world. Some of these stories continue to rumble on, but one thing is certain – they’re all entertaining. Check them out here.


Deshaun Watson

Watson became one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the league early in his career with Houston. Unfortunately, the Texans are a dead-end franchise and the frustrated star demanded a trade. But then one of the NFL’s nastiest long-term dramas emerged. Dozens of female masseuses stepped out of the shadows and accused Watson of sexual assault.


An NFL committee decided that Watson brought the league into disrepute and suspended him for 11 games with a fine. Meanwhile, Watson settled with over 20 women in a civil court as he tried to make the charges go away. But this didn’t stop the Cleveland Browns from throwing a blank checkbook at the alleged sexual abuser with a fully guaranteed contract (via New York Post). Watson ultimately returned to play for the Browns, but things on the field didn’t quite go as well as they planned. Shocking.


James Harden

Harden is one of the most polarizing NBA players today. There’s no denying the 10-time All-Star’s skills because he is an outstanding player. But some people question the former MVP’s motivation and commitment. The Houston Rockets resented him because he forced his way out from the team. But the most interesting of his long-term dramas involved Kevin Durant.

New York Post

The pair became teammates when the Nets tried to assemble a super team. Allegedly, Harden didn’t like Brooklyn’s playing style and resented Kyrie Irving. He stopped giving maximum effort and this infuriated Durant. In the end, Durant signed off on Harden’s move to Philadelphia because he didn’t think it was working (via Essentially Sports).

Sports Illustrated

The Steroid Era

This was one of the most polarizing long-term dramas ever because everybody knew what was happening. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa all went head-to-head as they tried to break home run records. Yes, they achieved this but they, along with many other players of the era, had more juice inside them than a Snapple factory. It was entertaining but it was also very wrong.

New York Post

In the end, MLB clamped down on rampant PED abuse but it continued to be an issue. Later, the BALCO scandal implicated dozens of athletes including Alex Rodriguez. Baseball gained a reputation for being a dirty sport because of decades of cheating. It’s fair to say that it has never fully recovered (via The Ringer).


Neymar Jr.

Neymar is one of the most confusing soccer players in the world. First, he has brilliant skills and broke many records for Brazil. He was on course to become one of the planet’s biggest stars during his time in Barcelona. But a long-term drama began because he didn’t want to be in Lionel Messi’s shadow (via Daily Express).


The Brazilian thought that this would never happen if they played for the same team. He shocked the world when he joined France’s PSG in a world-record transfer. The French league is inferior to the Spanish or English top divisions so it was a step down in competition. Meanwhile, Neymar spends a lot of time partying and annoying his neighbors.

Sporting News

IBF Scandal

Everybody knows that boxing has too many belts and champions. That’s because there are four major sanctioning bodies as well as an infinite number of smaller ones. The IBF is one of the respected but it had a major scandal at the turn of the millennium. This long-term scandal saw IBF President Robert Lee receive a jail sentence and a massive fine.

The Tennessean

In sum, boxing promoters including the legendary Bob Arum admitted that they paid bribes to the IBF. It almost destroyed the organization but somehow they survived. The famous red belt with the golden eagle remains a prestigious title today. But it was one of the most notorious sporting incidents of the ’90s (via ABC News).


Tom Brady’s Retirement

Brady is the most successful NFL player in history and had a brilliant career with the Patriots. He quit the franchise after 20 years amid a low-key fallout with Bill Belichick. Then he joined the Buccaneers where he had an Indian summer and won a seventh Super Bowl ring. But somehow, he managed to retire twice during this period (via NPR).


Then there was more drama because fans doubted that he was finished. Speculation mounted and continued to link him to multiple franchises. There was talk of him joining the Raiders after Derek Carr departed. Some people also believed that he would be a great short-term option for his hometown Niners. It was one of the weirdest long-term dramas of this era.


Russell Wilson

Wilson spent 10 seasons with the Seahawks where he became one of the most consistent NFL quarterbacks. The perennial MVP contender won a Super Bowl but he became frustrated as results declined. Seattle reached a breaking point where they had a choice between keeping Pete Carroll or their QB (via ESPN).


They traded Wilson to Denver where he hoped to lead the Broncos into contention. But he had a nightmare season with garbage on-field performances and bad teammate relationships. Meanwhile, Carroll’s Seahawks reached the playoffs with a revived Geno Smith under center. It was one of the most surprising long-term dramas of the past few seasons.


Pete Rose

Rose was one of the top baseball players of his era before he embarked on a managing career. Things were going well in that respect too before a gambling scandal emerged. MLB has a zero-tolerance policy toward gambling abuse because of historic issues that tainted the sport. They banned Rose from baseball and blocked his entry into the Hall of Fame.


However, Rose maintains his innocence throughout the investigation. In the end, he accepted a deal to plead guilty but he resents baseball’s top brass. Furthermore, one of the sport’s long-term dramas continues to rumble on. Many people think MLB should give him a second chance and that he deserves a spot in Cooperstown (via History).

New York Times

Ja Morant

Everybody was talking about Zion Williamson in 2019 but Morant stole the show. The Memphis star emerged as one of the most exciting young stars in the sport. He carried the hopes of the emerging Grizzlies on his back but this may have been too much for him. In 2023, a bizarre scandal began that began when Morant pulled a gun in a nightclub.


He flashed the weapon on Instagram Live in front of the whole world. However, this wasn’t the first time that Morant brandished a firearm in public. The young man flaunted a pistol when he had a verbal altercation in the city. He checked into rehab as he tried to deal with his stresses, but this one rumbles on (via Fox News).

Fox Sports

Urban Meyer

It’s amazing how badly the Jaguars got it wrong when they appointed Meyer as head coach in 2021. He survived for 13 measly games before the franchise admitted that they made a horrible error and fired him. Meyer had an excellent college record at Florida and Ohio State but also brought unwanted drama.

Florida Times-Union

However, his time in Jacksonville was an unmitigated disaster. There was something new every day from hiring a racist coach to dancing with a young woman at a bar after he denied flying home with his own team after a loss. Meanwhile, pro players resented him because he treated them like college kids. In the end, he departed with his tail between his legs (via Sports Illustrated).


Newcastle United

In 2021, a Saudi Arabian consortium paid $350 million to buy the Premier League team, Newcastle. This was music to the ears of their fanbase after Mike Ashley’s miserable 14-year reign in charge of the club. However, it was also the culmination of one of soccer’s long-term dramas. Initially, the Premier League blocked the sale because of the Saudi state’s connection to the bid.


The rules prevent foreign state entities from purchasing teams so the league intervened. This outraged the Newcastle fanbase because they had visions of Messi joining the Toon Army. In the end, it was a question of semantics and the investment fund found a way around it. But it reignited a debate about foreign states using British teams for sport-swashing (via Sky Sports).

CBS Sports

Baylor Basketball Scandal

Everybody thought that Baylor Basketball was going to receive the dreaded death penalty. The murder of Patrick Dennehy opened a can of worms that nobody expected. It emerged that the team’s head coach, Dave Bliss, faked scholarships for Dennehy and another player. But Bliss illegally paid the fees from his pocket.


Then it emerged that another Baylor athlete, Carlton Dotson, murdered Dennehy. But Bliss lied to investigators and claimed that the victim was a drug dealer. It was a ludicrous series of events and one of the messiest long-term dramas ever. In the end, Dotson received a 35-year jail sentence and Bliss resigned in disgrace (via Sportscasting).


Dan Snyder

It’s tough to decide where to start with Snyder because he creates so much drama. He’s brought Washington, the NFL, and football overall into disrepute on many occasions with his horrible decision-making. One of his long-term dramas saw him finally change the team’s nickname. This came after years of pressure from Native American activists. But he didn’t do anything until his high-paying sponsors threatened to withdraw.

Sky Sports

Meanwhile, Washington has experienced multiple workplace scandals. Dozens of former female workers alleged that they experienced abuse during their time with the franchise. Reports also indicate that Snyder’s staff sent topless pictures of cheerleaders to each other. Snyder won’t be winning any boss of the year awards (via Sporting News). The Commanders are currently rumored to be sold, and fans hope they will finally be free of Snyder’s horrible tenure soon.


Gareth Bale

Bale became one of the most exciting soccer players on the planet during his time with the Tottenham Hotspurs. Teams across Europe sat up and took notice of the dynamic Welsh wizard. Ultimately, Real Madrid splashed out and made him a big-time signing. Bale won four Champions League medals and scored important goals for the team. But he never won the fans’ love.

Sports Illustrated

Furthermore, a narrative grew that the owners wanted him to depart. Zinedine Zidane refused to start him but Bale didn’t care because he worked on his golf handicap. This led to the infamous Welsh fan banner that read: “Wales, Golf, Madrid… In That Order.” Finally, he departed but he left on his terms with a fat bank balance (via The Guardian).


Jon Jones

Jones is arguably the greatest UFC fighter ever, but he brings more drama than a Broadway show. He infamously had a hit and run where he crashed into a 25-year-old pregnant woman’s vehicle and fled the scene. Meanwhile, there were multiple drug test failures as well as sordid domestic abuse allegations (via New York Post).

CBS Sports

One of the most noteworthy long-term dramas saw him announce his move to heavyweight. The Albuquerque-based athlete didn’t fight for three years as fans doubted his return. Finally, he agreed to make his comeback and he fought Cyril Gane for the vacant title. Jones won the heavyweight strap as he opened a new chapter in his wild story.

CBS News

Seattle SuperSonics

It’s a travesty that Seattle doesn’t have an NBA team because they love basketball on the West Coast. The Sonics were one of the best teams of the nineties with elite stars like Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton. But then an evil coffee overlord swooped in and moved the franchise to Oklahoma before rebranding them.

The Sports Rush

One of the NBA’s long-term dramas concerns the future of basketball in Seattle. The NBA will likely announce an expansion shortly. Seattle loves sports with popular NFL, MLB, and soccer franchises. They also added the NHL expansion franchise, the Kraken, in 2021 to great acclaim (via The Urbanist).


Bo Jackson

Jackson isn’t the only college player that refused to play for the team that drafted them. Eli Manning and John Elway also famously turned down bad teams who selected them at the draft. But Jackson’s situation is interesting because it was one of football’s long-term dramas. Tampa Bay infamously sabotaged his final season of college baseball so he said he would never play for them.


But the Buccaneers thought that he was bluffing and made him the first overall pick in 1986. Jackson laughed at them and joined the Kansas City Royals where he became an All-Star. Nonetheless, he achieved the rare feat of transitioning to the NFL when he joined the Raiders. Then he earned a Pro Bowl selection as he showed his incredible athletic prowess (via CBS Sports).


Kobe and Shaq

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal shared the court with great success. The Lakers duo struck fear into the hearts of teams across the NBA. They won championships and made All-Star appearances but that’s not the full story. The pair had a tense relationship that provided the basis for one of the NBA’s long-term dramas (via People).


It’s fair to say that they disliked each other intensely during their heyday. Bryant’s rise threatened ‘Shaq’s’ status in the team and he responded in kind. O’Neal dominated until his inevitable decline and he joined the Magic. Then Bryant became the league’s top player. However, the pair’s relationship mellowed and Shaq had an emotional reaction to his former teammate’s death.


Francis Ngannou

Ngannou is one of the most frightening MMA fighters on the planet. But the Cameroonian knockout artist is involved in one of the strangest long-term dramas on this list. He won the UFC Championship and requested a title fight against Jon Jones. It made sense because Jones is a massive star and wanted to move up for a super fight.


But the UFC refused to pay Ngannou what he wanted and finally, negotiations broke down. In the end, Ngannou quit the promotion at the end of his contract and vacated the title. It was bizarre because there wasn’t an obvious fight for him outside of the organization. But Ngannou believed he could make more money from boxing (via Bloody Elbow).

via Sky Sports

David De Gea

Spain’s De Gea emerged as one of the world’s top goalkeepers with Manchester United. He arrived from Atletico Madrid in 2011 after Sir. Alex Ferguson handpicked him to be the team’s starter. De Gea grew into his body to become a great shot-stopper and became a first-choice stopper for Spain.


Real Madrid watched De Gea’s progress with interest and had annual links to the keeper. Finally, they moved for him in 2015 but the deal fell apart. Somebody made a horrible administrative error as they failed to register him before the transfer deadline at 10 pm. It devastated De Gea and he never got that dream move to one of Spain’s top teams (via Daily Star).


Ring Magazine Scandal

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that Don King was the ringleader of the Ring Magazine scandal. The magazine held a lot of prestige in 1976 but subscriptions were falling. Remember, it also offered the coveted Ring Magazine belt as an alternative to boxing’s endless stream of sanctioning bodies.


King entered the picture and collaborated with Ring Magazine to host a tournament featuring many of his fighters. But he falsified their records and also rigged fights so it was a joke. This tarnished Ring Magazine’s reputation but it was one of the most notorious long-term dramas of the decade (via Bleacher Report).


Ben Simmons

Simmons and the Sixers had one of the most dramatic long-term dramas on this list. Philly infuriated the Australian NBA star when they considered trading him for James Harden. This made Simmons feel unloved and disposable. It affected his performance and finally, he went on strike.


The Ozzie star failed to report to training camp and began a long holdout. After a year of tension between the two parties, the Sixers traded him to Brooklyn. Ironically, they did get James Harden as part of the deal. This was a bitter fallout that didn’t help either Simmons or the 76ers (via CBS Sports).

Sky News

Steven Gerrard

Gerrard is arguably Liverpool’s greatest-ever player but he almost left the club. The Champions League-winning captain inspired his team to some of their most iconic moments. However, he recognized that there would be limited opportunities to win the league if he stayed with his boyhood side.

Sky Sports

Chelsea and Jose Mourinho desperately wanted the midfield star. They almost struck a deal to sign him after months of links. Liverpool fans burned shirts with Gerrard’s name and threatened his family. But he stayed loyal to his local team and finished his Premier League career at Anfield (via Bleacher Report).


Tyson Fury

Fury is another sporting personality who polarizes the masses. The English boxer is the most talented heavyweight of his generation. But he also failed drug tests, made hateful comments, and ducked fights. Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk are two of the biggest names that he avoided fighting.

Boxing News

It’s bizarre because Fury had the chance to cement his legacy by becoming the unified, undisputed champion. Usyk even offered to accept drastically reduced terms if Fury signed the dotted line. These negotiations rumbled on and on for months but Fury continued to create unnecessary drama (via Daily Mirror).


Darrelle Revis

Revis was one of the Jets’ greatest-ever players but he made life difficult for the team. He demanded that they pay him what he wanted, however, they refused. In 2010, this resulted in one of the most dramatic contract holdouts the NFL ever witnessed. It lasted for over a month and saw Revis skip an entire training camp.


Finally, the Gang Green realized that they needed Revis more than he needed them. They offered him a new deal with improved terms and he signed an extension. It was one of those long-term dramas that no franchise needs but they could have avoided it. Revis was an elite player and they didn’t want to lose him (via Reuters).

Bleacher Report

Brett Favre

The Green Bay Packers know all about long-term dramas involving star quarterbacks. Favre was their starter before they drafted Aaron Rodgers. He also helped them to a Super Bowl win and led their plays for a generation. Eventually, he flirted with retirement and the franchise opted to move on.


But it annoyed Favre when the Packers told him that they didn’t want him anymore. He expected to unretire and rejoin immediately as their starter. They said that they were all-in on Rodgers and traded Favre to the Jets. The disgruntled Favre finished his career with the Vikings and never forgave Green Bay (via Sportskeeda).


Lionel Messi

Messi is the greatest player of his generation and arguably the best of all time. He achieved a massive amount of success in the early days in Barcelona as he became a club icon. But then the team became increasingly less competitive in European competitions. It enraged Messi that they collapsed every season (via Football Espana).


Meanwhile, the dysfunctional boardroom took him for granted. They mismanaged the team’s financial affairs and Messi refused to take a pay cut. In the end, he walked away as a free agent after spending his entire career in Catalonia. Then he joined PSG after a bitter parting with his former club. It was one of those long-term dramas that didn’t make anyone happy.

Planet Sport

Nate Diaz

Diaz became a massive cult hero during his UFC career. His swagger and willingness to throw down made him a fan favorite. However, he had one of the sport’s biggest long-term dramas. Diaz wanted a trilogy match against Conor McGregor as well as a pay rise. He also had an interest in pursuing boxing where he could make more money.

Sky Sports

But the UFC denied him these options. They also continued to offer fights he didn’t want and automatically extend his contract. Eventually, they booked a clash with Khamzat Chimaev as they looked to kill Diaz’s star. But Chimaev fell out of the fight after missing weight and Tony Ferguson replaced him. Diaz won the match and walked away with his head held high (via Bloody Elbow).

Fox News

Kyrie Irving

The Irving-Nets saga is one of the most confusing long-term dramas in NBA history. He quit the Celtics after two seasons and joined Brooklyn as tried to assemble a ‘super team.’ However, it didn’t go well for either party. First, Irving suffered a shoulder injury that ruined his first season. Then the global health crisis started and Irving drove the franchise crazy.


That’s because he refused to accept New York’s mandatory vaccination rules. It forced the franchise into a very awkward position and meant that he missed a lot of games. Then there was an anti-semitism scandal that further stained his brand. Finally, they traded him to Dallas because Mark Cuban doesn’t care about these things (via Fox News).

AZ Central

Chris Paul

These days we know Paul as one of the greatest point guards in history. He doesn’t have a ring but he enjoyed brilliant personal success with the Clippers and the Suns. However, Paul expected to play on the other side of Los Angeles. But the NBA intervened and blocked a trade to the Lakers.


Then they tried to make a deal with the Clippers but it fell apart. This rumbled on for ages before the Hornets finally sent him out West. It was one of the most notable long-term dramas of the era. The Clippers didn’t achieve the success that they expected but they had some exciting moments (via Bleacher Report).


Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo is one of Manchester United’s greatest-ever players. However, the Portuguese superstar burnt bridges after he returned to the team in 2021. This came after over a decade away when he played for Real Madrid and Juventus. It became apparent that Ronaldo wasn’t a good fit for the new United because he lacked pace.


Head Coach Erik Ten Hag made the brave decision to drop the star. Ronaldo behaved like a child after this amid a club crisis that rolled on for months. Finally, the team released him and Ronaldo joined the Saudi Arabian team Al-Nassr. They agreed to pay him a ludicrous $210 million a year so it’s not a shock (via The Mirror).

Sports Illustrated

Vince Carter

It’s crucial to not keep an athlete who doesn’t want to play for a franchise. This is a nightmare that no head coach wants to deal with because it creates a negative atmosphere in the locker room. The Raptors discovered this after Carter lost patience with the organization. He became an icon in Toronto but demanded a move South.

NBC Sports

However, the Raptors resisted and tried to persuade him that they were going in a positive direction. Carter’s performances declined and this dragged on for months. Finally, Toronto realized that they didn’t have a choice and sent him to New Jersey in a lopsided trade. Toronto booed their former hero every time he came North again (via Fansided).


Aaron Rodgers

It’s amazing how an athlete’s reputation can change in a flash. Rodgers was one of the most popular and respected NFL players for a decade. Then he instigated one of the most tedious long-term dramas in league history. He held the franchise at ransom as he flirted with the Denver Broncos in 2022.


However, he stayed for another season without success. Then he repeated the same trick with the New York Jets. Meanwhile, there were fears that he would retire and spend his days using Ayuhuasca. The Rodgers saga annoyed everybody but they couldn’t take their eyes off it either (via New York Post).