Aaron Rodgers – one of the good guys
By Patrick J. Wood
How well can you know someone – especially a celebrity?
Often we form impressions based on a passing story in the paper, a sound bite on the news, a story at the water cooler or, these days, on Zoom.
From these small scraps we form our views, which most of the time boil down to a judgment: Good guy, or bad guy.
So, what do we know about everyone’s favorite quarterback, Aaron Rodgers?
Let’s look at the record. I’m not talking about his record-breaking stats, which are plentiful and paint a picture of the man all by themselves.
No, let’s look at the record of his words and deeds off the field.
Two games into this season, Aaron told Rich Eisen of the Rich Eisen Show, “I’m completely at peace with where I’m at with my career. And that’s what’s freed me up to get to this comfort level is the peace that sometimes surpasses your own understanding.”
That’s an interesting choice of words, reflecting Philippians 4:7: “The peace of God, which passes all understanding.”
Around the same time, Aaron said on the Pat McAfee Show, “I have just a new and increased love of life and I have made decisions and changes and habits that put me in a lot better headspace. There’s just a lot of things that have come together in my life over the last few months that have really been enjoyable and reminded me, given me perspective in life and in football to view things through the most positive lens I possibly can. And that’s why I’m having so much fun and it starts with love. And you surround yourself with people that you really enjoy.”
“Perspective in life and in football;” “view things through the most positive lens;” “and it starts with love.”
I submit to you that this is a side to Aaron that doesn’t get a lot of attention.
But it should, because in his thoughts and words he is showing us an example of what it means to be a well-rounded human being – one who not only leads on the field, but off of it in the strength of his character.
Lest anyone think this is “a new leaf” for Rodgers, we should remember his words and actions back in 2013, when he and the Packers extended the olive branch to Brett Favre, helping mend fences with another Packers great after those final difficult years in Favre’s career.
Aaron led the way by appearing with Brett at the NFL Honors Show and advocating for retirement of Brett’s number before Brett was inducted in the Hall of Fame.
Given Aaron’s own difficult years on the bench before Brett was traded, these actions reflect greatness of spirit and a willingness to forgive.
Aaron Rodgers has been an example of talent paired with hard work all his life.
He is emblematic of the best aspects of the Packers, and really all of us in Wisconsin.
Aaron doesn’t depend on our approval, or anyone’s, since he is deeply comfortable, relaxed, and centered in his understanding of himself and what he has to contribute to the world.
But if anyone else asks, our response is: Aaron Rodgers, one of the good guys.