Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Did Aaron Rodgers just lose a year's salary?

Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers was a strong defender of Brewers' left fielder Ryan Braun when he was accused of juicing last year. His defense included the following exchange with a fan on Twitter:
Now that Braun has essentially confessed to using PEDs, many are saying that Rodgers lost his bet, which amounts to $8.5 million or so.

To state the obvious, there's no enforceable contract here because there was no consideration. But a tougher question, perhaps, is whether there was even a bet. Notice that Rodgers's statement is couched conditionally: "I'd put my salary next year on it." So he said that he would put his salary on it, but left unstated were the terms and conditions of the bet. People don't normally make "bets" unless they stand to gain something if they're right. So this seems like a challenge to make a bet, a dare, rather than an actual bet. There was no real offer, and no real acceptance. Most importantly, they never shook on it.

There is one countervailing piece of evidence, though: the hashtag comment "#ponyup." What does that mean? My colloquial understanding of the term is that to "pony up" means to pay up, especially after you lose a bet (particularly in a card game such as poker). Does Rodgers's use of #ponyup imply that he is promising to pay up if he's proven incorrect? Or is it a reference to winning bets he previously made to others before Braun was ephemerally #exonerated?

There's enough ambiguity in there that I would say Rodgers is not beholden under the Gentleman's Code to #ponyup this year's salary to Mr. Sutton or anyone else. But a big fat charitable donation to a worthy cause might be in order.

One final thought. I'm on record as suspecting that PEDs are rampant in pro and college football. In that light, Rodgers's over-zealous defense of Braun seems suspiciously defensive. The QB doth protest too much, methinks.

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