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.


Packers QB Aaron Rodgers.

SN: If you're good, you'll be a rock star and you'll have no choice in the matter. If you're bad, no one will want to talk to you anymore, right?

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 with him.

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.


I'm excited about doing things the way I want them. We're going to be a team that's united and connected.
SN: That wasn't the case with Favre?

RODGERS: It's just different. Things are going a little differently. That's about the best way I can put it.

SN: Is Brett Favre as real as he seemed to be -- just a regular guy playing a game, smiling through that facemask?

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 have emotions.

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.


From the 'big brother,' Trent Dilfer: You know how my career has gone: starter, backup, Super Bowl champion, cheered and booed. Would you trade careers with me right now?
No, I think I'm in a good spot. The only things I want that you have are a Super Bowl ring and the longevity of your career.
SN: So why haven't Jeff Tedford's quarterbacks been more successful in the NFL? (Tedford, Rodgers' head coach at Cal, has coached first-round draft picks Dilfer, Boller, Akili Smith and Joey Harrington.)

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 succeeded?

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.


From the 'phenomenal' college coach, Jeff Tedford: You are blessed with intelligence, a quick release, competitiveness and athleticism. What will you rely on the most as you take over the reins in Green Bay?
I think competitiveness, because not everything is always going to go your way. I actually think confidence is the most important thing, but that is part of competitiveness. You have to stay confident if you want to play at the highest level.
SN: Better quarterbacks coach: Tedford or Mike McCarthy?

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 wash.

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.