I read this story in The Sporting News a few days ago, and a few things caught my attention. I'll put those in bold type.
No mention of a girlfriend, has 30 guys over once a week for "dude time", and he's got a roommate whom he seems to share a "special" relationship with. Of course, if he is gay, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, he is, after all, a "Packer"- it's just that I found it unusual that he would say anything like that in an interview. Aren't professional athletes supposed to be macho and guarding their masculinity? Anyway, here'se the article:
His teammates call him A-Rod. The Packers
called him their new starting quarterback --
until rumors of yet another Brett Favre
comeback zipped lips throughout the
organization. Who is Aaron Rodgers? He's the
24-year-old successor to a legend. And if he has
it his way, he'll be No. 1 in Green Bay this fall.
SN: So, who the heck are you and what are you doing here?
gone around and
around about just about every issue and all that's
happened. I don't relish the spotlight. I'm not
somebody who thrives
off it. I think some
things get built up too
big that aren't the story,
and when that happens
I don't appreciate the
attention and I try to cut
it back a little bit.
RODGERS: As long as
it's for the right reasons,
I don't mind it at all. But
obviously, I realize if I
play well, then I'm going
to get a lot of it. And I
expect to play well.
Hopefully, there will be a lot of exposure and it'll
be for the right reasons.
SN: Have you been able to focus completely on
taking over as the Packers' starting quarterback, or
did the Brett Favre rumors take away from that?
RODGERS: I've been away from most of it for
the most part (in July). I've been down in San
Diego and up in Chico (Calif.) with my family,
working out with a trainer in Chico and down in
Southern California with a few of my receivers. So
I've been pretty focused on what I've got to do to
get ready for training camp.
SN: Do you feel as though the Packers organization
has had your back?
RODGERS: Yes, I do. Ted Thompson was in
charge in 2005 when the team selected me, and he
has told me repeatedly that he believes in me and
my abilities. I've had a great relationship with
Coach (Mike) McCarthy since he came in 2006.
I'm excited for the opportunity to continue working
SN: Must be a big change for your teammates,
going from the grizzled graybeard to a guy who's
younger than most of them are. How will you keep
things in line the way you want them and not the
way Brett had it?
RODGERS: I'm excited about doing things the
way I want them. We're going to be a team that's
united and connected. We've spent a lot of time
together doing team functions, a lot of times at my
house this offseason, and I think we've definitely
gotten closer as a team. I don't think we had that as
much last year. I don't ever want guys to feel like
they can't talk to me or approach me. We're doing
this together. I'm always open to suggestions. I
think my teammates would all say I'm very
approachable and pretty personable as well.
RODGERS: It's just different. Things are going a
little differently. That's about the best way I can put
SN: Is Brett Favre as real as he seemed to be --
just a regular guy playing a game, smiling through
RODGERS: One, the passion he played with was
obvious, and that smile obviously goes along with
that. But he played the game hard and for so long
and so consistently, you couldn't help but respect
him even if you didn't like him. I'm talking about
other fans in our division. The other thing is the
way he handled the tragedy that happened in his
family. There were a few. And I think the way he
handled them -- his wife's cancer, his father's death,
his stepfather-in-law passing, his brother-in-law
-- and wasn't afraid to show emotions at times
really endeared him to the fans. Really, in times
like those, the fans get the realization that it is just
a game. People put us up on pedestals, but we are
human, and tragedies do happen to us, and we do
SN: How about you? You've been a backup, but
you're a first-round quarterback. Are you the same
guy you used to be?
RODGERS: People change, but I think one thing
that I say about people who come into money or
success is that those things do not change a person.
They highlight a person's characteristics that maybe
were there but not seen as much when they didn't
have the money or the fame or the success. I'd like
to think I haven't changed that much. I'd like to
think that I surround myself with enough good
people, have enough checks and balances, still
staying true to the man that I want to be and hope
to be. It's a struggle because when you're in the
position that I'm in, having been given real financial
resources, you really have to guard against letting
that go to your head.
SN: Does that mean you roll up your sleeves and
cook for your teammates when you have them
over to your house?
RODGERS: I haven't cooked, but we've brought
food in. We've just spent time hanging out together,
playing video games, having a lot of fun. I've had
about 30 guys there once a week when I've been in
Green Bay this offseason. The wives are invited, but
it's mostly a lot of dude time.
SN: Do you live with anybody?
RODGERS: I've got a roommate, a guy I met in
town. He works for the Packers now as an athletic
trainer, but he was interning when I met him and
we just hit it off. He's been great for me as far as
great conversations outside of football. Our friendship goes a lot deeper than
what we do.
SN: Who are your best
friends in football?
RODGERS: Dan Orlovsky
from the Detroit Lions is a
good buddy. Trent Dilfer is
like a big brother and a mentor;
he's as genuine as they
come. Kyle Boller (of the
Ravens). Mostly it's guys on
my team -- A.J. Hawk, Ruvell
Martin, Noah Herron. Aaron
Kampman and I room together
in camp; he's a great guy.
RODGERS: Well, I think there are a few reasons,
potentially, but some of them have just gone to
teams that didn't have good supporting casts for
them. I don't like making excuses for guys, but
that's a factor. Also, maybe the situations they
were in weren't great for them. When Trent was in
Tampa, he'd be the first one to tell you he was part
of (what went wrong), but I
don't know that his supporting
cast was good enough to
really get him going. For a
quarterback, the worst thing
you can lose is your confidence;
you start losing games
and being in a system where
you're not producing, you
can't help but start losing a
little bit of confidence. I'm
guessing, anyway. I haven't
been in those situations. But
I think some of those guys
lost some confidence and
never got it back.
SN: If you'd have been
thrown out there a few years ago -- the first time
Favre openly mulled retirement -- would you have
RODGERS: Obviously, I'd like to think that it
would have gone well. It's an interesting perspective
being in my fourth year now and looking
back on my rookie year and how much better
I've gotten since then. I know I definitely
wouldn't have played as well my first year as I
expect to play this year. But I think it would have
been a good learning process.
RODGERS: I think they both are very good at
what they do. I mean no disrespect at all to Mike
because I think the world of him and his coaching
style, but I think Coach -- it's funny, I call Coach
Tedford "Coach" and Coach McCarthy "Mike" --
does a hell of a job of preparing guys to be good
quarterbacks in the NFL. I know a lot of his guys
haven't had a lot of success, but I take big-time
umbrage with anyone who tries to reflect that back
on Coach Tedford because he's a phenomenal
teacher and preparer.
SN: Better quarterback: Brett Favre or Joe Montana?
RODGERS: Well, Joe was definitely my quarterback
growing up. Joe had more success as far as
Super Bowl victories, but Brett is the all-time leader
in just about every passing category. That one's a
SN: Better quarterback: Aaron Rodgers or
(Packers rookie) Brian Brohm?
RODGERS: Brian's done a real nice job. I think
he's pretty polished. But I'm in my fourth year now,
and he's in his first year. I'm the better quarterback,
and that's why I'm going to be starting.