Yes, it is true. The quarterback of our Green Bay Packers likes girls. And one girl in particular. By now, most of you know her name and if you don’t, you won’t find it here.
A couple of years ago photos circulated of our beloved QB and this girl on the beach. I remember them. The majority of guys cheered him on and the girls noted a tattoo or two, but mostly the story died down.
Recently there’s been internet speculation that Mr. Rodgers and this woman are now engaged. Apparently this is all the rage.
A fluff 60 minutes piece that I thought was a joke of journalism, “outed” the relationship. And after photos from a recent trip to see his younger brother play college ball surfaced of Rodgers and his gal pal, it’s the story that some fans cannot get enough of.
After speaking with some on twitter today and listening to talk radio, people have attempted to boil down the discussion to the point that fans, and in my opinion, Packer fans especially, care so much for the players and teams they follow that these fans want to feel as if they know the players. They know them for three hours on a Sunday (or Thursday or Monday or sometimes Saturdays). They know them on twitter. They know them via the many radio/tv shows. They know them through the 24 hour news that we all, myself very much so included, gobble up like it’s our last meal.
I’m skeptical. I don’t believe any fan has a right to know personal information about a player or person if that person does not want to share. And the idea that fans have that expectation somehow justifies it, doesn’t compute for me.
Its an argument though, that I have made in my past. Especially when referring to Brett Favre. He was, by many standards, an open book. We knew of his partying days, the bars he’d frequent. We knew of his addiction battles. We knew of his girl friend and child and when they moved to Green Bay. And I think we all cheered when they finally married. His battles, his failings, his victories and his family were all very public. They are all put out there for us to digest.
I read Deanna’s book, and when she spoke of their second daughter’s birth, I thought to myself, I remembered when Deanna was preggers and I remember when Breleigh was born. I remember when Favre’s father Irv died. I sobbed. I hated, honestly hated, the Eagles not just for 4th and 26 which happened in the playoffs after Irv’s passing, but because they said, their papers said, their fans said, the miracle ends here. How dare they not take the loss of my quarterback’s father as seriously as I did.
And when Brett finally left, I was at a loss for words to explain why it hurt so much. A part of my life was over. That’s what it felt like. But a part of my life wasn’t really over. It just felt that way. It felt that way because Favre cultivated that relationship with fans. He was with us and we were with him.
In so many ways, and most to his benifit, Rodgers is so different from Favre. He is guarded and private. To those who know him, his teammates, his friends, they get jokes and the details of his life. As fans we get photobombs and a charming and vocal brother.
I can’t imagine replacing Favre was easy or is easy even now, and I’ve had the discussion that it feels like Rodgers does almost all he can to distance himself from the Favre persona.
So when news broke years ago that Rodgers might in fact like a girl, Rodgers became the anti-Favre. To the outside, they weren’t dating. Us fans, we never saw her in a luxury box at Lambeau, we don’t see her on twitter publicly supporting her man. But, and I think it’s safe to say this now, they didn’t stop dating.
In the past year, I’ve been told by many different people in many different settings, that yes, they were dating, but everyone kept it private. It wasn’t talked about. I wasn’t surprised to learn this. I didn’t go back and pull up her picture and curl my face saying “this girl?!”. No. It made sense.
I don’t fault Rodgers for wanting his privacy, or for possibly wanting to be the anti-Favre. We don’t know of the Rodgers property and the large extended family and their 4 x 4 adventures there. And for a couple of years (I didn’t go back and check when the beach pictures hit the web, because I didn’t want to be one of the many searching this info, so I’m guessing its been like two years now), most fans didn’t know who he was dating.
I get wanting to have that connection with a player. At the “snow globe” Seattle play off game in 2008, I was newly single in Cincinnati and watched the game by myself at a local bar. I kept an open seat next to me. It was for Irv.
So I get it. I get seeing a player as so much more than just the position he plays on the field. I get thinking that their family is somehow part of you. And when a player, like Favre welcomes it, relish it, bask in it, we set a seat at the table for Irv, cause he looked like an eater. But when a player seems to go to great pains to keep certain things private and closely guarded. Why press?
If fans really wanted to imagine the player as part of their actual friend and daily life, then wouldn’t that also mean accepting that person’s limits? And this apparently is Rodgers limit. Is he engaged? I don’t know. He’ll tell us if he ever wants to. And until that moment happens, fans should accept it.
Rodgers failure to discuss it isn’t a distraction, fans clamouring for it are. But they are only a distraction to themselves and to twitter feeds.
Instead fans, if you want that connection, go with the many players who do want to share that info with you. Tonight, Tom Crabtree is attending a fundraiser for diabetes, a cause close to him since his wife suffers from type 1 diabetes. He wants to share that with you. Josh Sitton recently got engaged, and he shared those pictures with fans. He also likes to talk about his white truck.
Accept a players limits, and accept what they want to share. Just like with a family member or friend, if they say it’s none of your business, it’s none of your business.
Filed Under: Jayme Joers