Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers Continues to Improve On and Off the Field

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch (USA TODAY Sports)

There will always be a discussion about who the greatest quarterback of all time is, and Aaron Rodgers is usually somewhere on the list. The debate about who is the smartest quarterback of all time is a much quicker one, and Rodgers should absolutely be on top of that list.

If you are a casual Rodgers fan, you know him as the Green Bay Packers quarterback. He’s in those State Farm commercials, and he should definitely have more than one Super Bowl win. For diehard Packers fans, negativity always creeps in. How much longer will he be around? Will he pull a Brett Favre and try to leave? Why isn’t he married yet? Does he hate his family?

These questions always come up, for no good reason.

Rodgers has done nothing but improve himself, on and off the field. Green Bay has watched him grow as a person and a player. It’s very clear he isn’t close to done yet. So why does he have so many doubters? The evidence makes him almost impossible not to like.

Listen to the Man Himself

If you’ve ever heard a lengthy interview or podcast with Rodgers, you probably respect him more. The man is one of the smartest and most thoughtful people I’ve ever seen. He is constantly reading. He keeps his mind sharp, knowing the job he has can lead to issues with brain trauma later on in life.

The Chico, Calif. native seems to always be evolving. He speaks openly about his spirituality and how he has improved the way he lives his life, his eating habits, and the way he thinks. For a man who definitely enjoys his privacy, he is open and honest when he wants to be. Over the past few years, he has appeared on numerous podcasts that reveal his true character. If you haven’t yet, listen to his appearances on “You Made it Weird,” “Pretty Intense,” and most recently “The Office Deep Dive with Brian Baumgartner.” You don’t see a lot of current NFL superstars going on the kinds of podcasts Rodgers does.

Jeopardy! Host and Charities

Rodgers just wrapped up a two-week stint as a guest host of Jeopardy!. He has been a lifelong fan of the show, and even won on Celebrity Jeopardy!. Aaron was a solid guest host who improved as the episodes went on. It’s not easy for one of the best athletes in the world to also somehow be able to host one of the most beloved game shows of all time.

Again, his humility was my biggest takeaway of the two weeks. He shared a picture of his host podium, which included notes to himself and reminders on how to perform. Rodgers didn’t have to share that, he chose to. As a host, he could have pretended he did great and just walked away. He didn’t. He showed us a piece of himself instead.

 

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At the end of the two weeks, the show also donated $236,725 to the North Valley Community Foundation. Part of that organization is the Butte Strong Fund or Aaron Rodgers Recovery Fund. Rodgers has donated over a million dollars of his own money to the organization. So far, 80 different small businesses in Northern California have received grants to help them weather the one-two punch of wildfires and the pandemic.

And this is the man that some people have a problem with?

No. 12 used his name and clout to help Barstool Sports support local businesses during the pandemic. He did Instragram live videos and talked to business owners in California and across the country.

Year after year, you hear stories about Rodgers taking care of his teammates and linemen, buying them gifts or helping them out. Yet people claim he’s selfish and not a good teammate.

Recent Public Life

When Rodgers won the MVP award last year, the 37-year-old shocked the world by thanking his fiancé. It was later confirmed he was engaged to actress Shailene Woodley. There had been rumors earlier in the year, but nothing was confirmed. The couple made it public shortly after his MVP speech and shared that they had been engaged for a while. Since then, Rodgers has appeared in several of Woodley’s social media videos and posts. They even did a video about Walt Disney World.

Y’all, it’s adorable. He looks happy, health, and in a good place. People have always claimed that Rodgers plays worse when in a relationship. Well, he was dating his future fiancé throughout 2020 and had one of his best seasons ever.

Personal Experience

I know what some of you are thinking: How could you possibly know? What if his brother is right and he’s not nice to his family? What if everything he’s doing is fake? I just don’t believe it. Because I spent a season with him.

I worked for the Green Bay Packers during the 2009-10 season. Yes, one year before they won the Super Bowl. I was there on a one-year internship. I wasn’t able to stay there because, unfortunately for me, I went through one of the worst years of my life. It was the worst possible timing for the job I had in the media department. It affected my work sometimes, and I have lots of bad memories to this day. This isn’t a pity party, this is backstory to what is next.

Aaron Rodgers was one of the major bright spots for me. Every Wednesday back then, Aaron would meet with the media at his locker. I would help upload the locker room videos to the website. Sports was just getting into Twitter, so the website was still super important for most of the content fans needed.

So, every Wednesday, because I worked for the Packers, I got to set up my camera by Rodgers’ locker first as he prepared for the media. What did he do? He talked to me every week. He didn’t have to. There is no chance he remembers me, but I remember him. He would always have a joke or question or say something to me while everyone else headed over. It made my day — or sometimes, my week. How many people can say they got to talk to Aaron Rodgers every week for a year?

It was just a minute or so, but it was enough for me like him the rest of my life. Not all players were like that. Dealing with the media can be tough when you’re an athlete. There are a million things you can choose to do and a million ways you can choose to be. Rodgers chose to be nice to a person for no reason, and that shows something.

Rodgers’ Future

So all of this talk about Rodgers being done with the Packers in a season or two — why? What would be the point of that? You want to get rid of a man who donated more than a million dollars to charity? Folks want to shove aside a player who wants nothing more to than to win another Super Bowl, and is in the best mental and physical shape of his life? It’s ridiculous.

Rodgers just keeps getting better. You do whatever you can to make sure he is a Green Bay Packer for life.

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