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Storm Clouds, 60 Minutes, and a Quarterback

Storm Clouds, 60 Minutes, and a Quarterback

There’s a storm brewing in Green Bay, and most people probably don’t even realize it.

Since becoming the starter in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers has made everyone (well almost everyone) forget about his predecessor. Playing at an All Pro level since the moment he took the field, he has won a Super Bowl, an MVP award, and played the position just as well if not better than the guy who did before him.

It is very difficult to find fault with how Rodgers plays the game. Other than times when he holds onto the ball too long, taking unnecessary sacks, his play is at a completely different level than most other QBs in the league. If nothing else, he is the complete opposite of Brett Favre, taking care of the football instead of taking unnecessary chances in an effort to make a great play.

However, in one way, Aaron Rodgers is becoming more like Brett Favre every day. Most people just don’t want to admit it-yet.

During a recent episode of 60 Minutes, the show aired a segment on Rodgers. After the initial, and all too familiar,  storyline of how Rodgers rose from not being offered a single Division 1 scholarship out of high school player to become a Super Bowl champion and MVP, the show focused on the man off the field. Most notable was the absence of mentioning the charity work he does for the MACC Fund, or any of the other charity work he does. Instead, the show chose to air footage of Rodgers being upset with a fan who mentioned he thought he was taller when he met Rodgers.

Sensitivity was the word that has been most attached to this brief glimpse at the quarterback. Instead of focusing on the man, or even how the man plays on the football field, 60 Minutes chose to focus on the emotions of the man. Right or wrong, it was an interesting look at someone who is put on a pedestal by many, incapable of flaws.

When I watched this episode, I will admit I was taken aback by the focus of his perceived sensitivity. In particular, the inclusion of the video of Rodgers responding to the fan was very strange.  The entire segment didn’t seem very Rodgers-esque, at least what is portrayed in public.

Rodgers could have let the issue end there. He could have seen the segment and been displeased with the result. He could have done a lot of things. The one thing he could have done and didn’t was remain silent.

Taking to the airwaves  for his weekly radio show on ESPN Milwaukee, Rodgers responded to the 60 Minutes piece with few words of criticism about the show:

"When you open up your life for four months and allow them to have access to your family and your friends and events, it's always interesting to see what comes out. I just felt like the editing of the piece could have been done in a way that was maybe a lot more respectful of myself. If I'm sensitive about anything through the whole process, it's that they come to the MACC Fund event in May, which is very, very important to me and even more important considering the two boys that we lost this year to cancer. For them to not even show really any of the content from that night, any of the kids, not say anything about the MACC Fund or what they do with kids with cancer, I think that was the thing that was most disappointing about the piece."

If sensitivity is the issue, why did Rodgers choose to add fuel to the fire by responding to the show? Why did he just not let it lie? Privately he could have been upset and agree to never do 60 Minutes again. Privately, he could have thought that the show was wrong for not focusing on all of the good that he does in the community. But publicly voicing his displeasure in many ways proves that he indeed is sensitive.

That sounds very much like a diva athlete, doesn't it?

For years, Brett Favre has been portrayed as a diva. From the retire/unretire nonsense to the look at me attitude he displayed for years, Favre was the epitome of a diva, concerned about himself first. Yet almost everyone looked past his behavior off the field, because of what he did on the field. It wasn't until the retire/unretire drama started to unfold that many began to see him for what he was-a very good football player who was actually quite the jerk off the field, and that's putting it mildly.

I have a strange feeling that we are starting to see the beginning of this with regards to Aaron Rodgers as well.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be portrayed publicly as a flawless individual. It helps your public image. It helps sell stuff with your name on it. But there is also a point where you have to have to let things go. When you are an athlete not everything you read, see, or hear is going to be positive. Not everything needs to be a motivational tactic to play better. And there is no need to respond to these criticisms when your play speaks for itself.

Ultimately do I care one bit about what Rodgers thinks or feels off the field? Not one bit. I am primarily concerned about what he does on the field, with his actions in the public on the periphery. As long as he plays well and the team continues to win I will be a happy fan. But I would not be shocked at all if after a few more years down the road we see Rodgers for what he truly is: a full fledged diva athlete.

The storm clouds are forming. Let's hope they break up quickly.


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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (21) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Adam Czech's picture

This is a great post, and I disagree w/ most of it.

Maybe Aaron Rodgers is an over-sensitive jerk. I don't know. I guess I can see how he might come across that way.

Rodgers chooses to put himself out there. He has his radio show, his weekly news conference, his post-game news conference, and the ocassional feature story on TV and in print. When asked questions, Rodgers gives answers, not cliched garbage or non-answers that treat the fans like third graders. I love that about him and I hope he never changes. But yes, sometimes when you're honest, you can come across like a jerk.

There is some calculation in how Rodgers handles his public image, but for the most part, he's open, warts and all. He just might not realize what those warts are sometimes, but I'd rather he continues doing what he does instead of retreating into a shell of silence and canned answers.

djbonney138's picture

Sorry John, I disagree as well. Weren't the MACC fund events around Christmas time not allowed to have cameras and held without publicity at all? They were just for the kids and not the act of a media attention whore which I think a diva is. Aaron holds grudges when he feels like he is mistreated or disrespected but I don't see that as being a diva.

Samsheapdx's picture

I have to agree that this post is a little bit ahead of itself and sort of meaningless. All athletes have egos. Clearly the ego gets bigger with sustained success. that said Rodgers is still one of the quietest superstars in the NFL. We are talking about him not liking a segment on 60 minutes which he has every right to say. Let me know when he is banging cart girls and drunk driving ala favre, making it rain and being involved in shootings, or complaining publicly about his recievers not doing their job. To qualify the 60 minutes issue as him being a Diva? lil to much!

RyanBrown812's picture

Connect the dots here: High profile athlete does interview - interview leaves out important issue said athlete is involved with that could put issue in national spotlight - high profile athlete voices displeasure of interview leaving out issue - issue gets national spotlight. Intentional or not, this is a brilliant PR move to bring some light on his MACC Fund work

JohnRehor's picture

This is a great perspective I hadn't even thought of. Regardless of whether you think Rodgers is diva-ish or not, hopefully the 60 Minutes piece will bring more attention to the MACC Fund and all the good it does.

Denver's picture

I'll admit to cringing a little bit with #12 not just letting go of the whole 60 Minutes thing. But, diva???? Um, no.
My guess is he learns from this and continues to be the anti-#4.

Great point by RyanBrown812, though. Hadn't thought of it that way.

Tarynfor12's picture

I haven't been back to your site Mr Rehor since the ridiculous article of where you stated,you're not a real Packer fan unless you wear something Packer everyday no matter the occasion and I said."you're out there".

This article intrigued me to visit again and will say,I already felt Rodgers to be right in his displeasure of 60 Minute and knew the path you would take here and I was correct....all I can say many hours a day are you spending,attempting to create a vision of Rodgers and Favre as one in the same....YIKES!!!

some guy's picture

I'm sorry, but what is this post? really? The guy didn't like that he opened himself up to this show. They made the whole thing about how sensitive he is and didn't do anything with the charity work that means something to him and now he is on the Diva path. WTF?

I'm sure there is a side to Aaron that isn't perfect. We idolize athletes too much, no doubt. Just have no idea where you were going with this.

Colleen's picture

I see where you're going with this, John. I think that Rodgers has shown that he is, indeed, sensitive - for years now. If he starts believing his own press, which could happen, then you're set up for diva-ish tendencies. And the only issue I take with that is if it impacts his on-field performance. As, I think, is the case with you.

PackerPete's picture

Don't know whether #12 is a diva or not. Favre certainly was (and still is). TO was and is, Ochocinco was and is, and there are many more I could list here. I think the jury is still out, and one reaction to a segment on 60 minutes won't sway my opinion on Rodgers either way. I did find it interesting that the angle the show had on #12 was his sensitivity - I would expect that someone picks up the most important thing or aspect about an athlete they want to highlight - sensitivity seems to be the thing they zoned in on. Okay, maybe the editors saw it this way. The one thing that I'd like to ask the "deciders" on 60 minutes is why they haven't shown anything about the MACC event or anything relating Rodgers to charity of any sort - did they think he wasn't sincere about it, or is it not important to them? After all, what they apparently believed highlighting as the most important aspect about him in the segment was the sensitivity. So he is sensitive - just as many other athletes or public figures, including the President of the United States. Doesn't automatically make him a diva. I withhold judgement for a few more years, seeing how it will play out throughout his playing career and after. So far, I'd side on sensitive but not a diva, but that could change.

Packerken's picture

Great post John. I don't think he's headed towards diva, but I think there are definitely 2 sides to him off the field. The perfect guy he wants the public to see and the real person who is just a guy trying to live his life. I like to think the real Rodgers is a good person though.

Fran's picture

Like Colleen, I don't care about the players except how they play. I don't want to know what they eat, who they date, what their shoe size is. I don't follow them on Twitter or want to be their friend. Play the game as best they can is all I ask, all we should ask. It's all about the team.

Jer's picture

I tend to agree with those defending Rodgers. At the same time I spent a lot of years defending Favre on internet message boards back in the days when he would say or do something boarderline controversial about twice a year. Taken individually none were so bad, but after a while I had to acknowledge the "haters" were right about him and that I was looking through green and gold glasses.

So I'm sensitive the possibility that I could be doing that again.

I don't feel like I can lable him a "diva" just yet, but perhaps the warning signs are there. He does seem to perceive more disrespect than is really there, much like Tom Brady does. That's probably not a bad thing as we've seen what happens when he plays with the chip on his shoulder. But you can be that way without being a diva or a jerk.

For some reason it matters to me that he's a decent guy. Not a faultless guy, but a decent guy. I know it shouldn't matter..that only winning should matter..but it does. It's no fun cheering for a jerk. If he is one, I hope he keeps it well hidden.

bkshimada's picture

I'm reserving judgment for now. Yes, his comments bashing 60 Minutes are petty and does indeed show what 60 minutes said - that Rodgers is overly sensitive. However, does that automatically mean diva? No, but it could. So I'm with Colleen here. I don't care about his personal life (if he is engaged or not) or who he is off the field. He could be a giant douche or a genuinely great guy. Unless it affects his on-field performance, I don't care.

Spiderpack's picture

I don't think it makes him seem or sound like a Diva at all.

I think you John are doing the same thing 60 Minutes did in their segment. Whats worse is you don't even realize it.

JohnRehor's picture

Who says I don't realize it? Shouldn't make that assumption.

William's picture

Dumbest article ever written. Get a clue.

Devil Doc's picture

As long as he produces on the field, I don't care if he's the butt of a Snickers commercial, or he's a hobbit.

So far, he seems very FAR from being a diva. When I think diva on the Packers, Finley is the first one that comes to mind.

Arrogant? Maybe. A jerk? Possibly. A great QB. Absolutely.

Didn't someone just do an article about not knowing who a player is or thier lives? Just sayin' maybe we need to revist that article.

This article is a diva move, trying to draw attention to yourself through crap allogations about Rodgers.

Just kidding...maybe.

Uncleraraw's picture

Anyone who can make national commercials where he is the butt of the humor - repeatedly and in various ways - is the antithesis of a diva. He isn't flashing his ass - or other parts around - selling jeans. He seems sincere and I agree with all the insightful and honest comments in this line. The only public persona that irks me is his ads with "one call, that's all" ambulance-chaser Gruber, even if, yes, everyone deserves representation, if they need it, and, yes, Gruber and Rodgers donate generously of their own time and money to MACC. As one who has had to deal professionally with the likes of the Gruber Law Firm, those commercials and associations make me cringe. But they know the market better than I do.

TKstinator's picture

Aaron Rodgers is neither a jerk nor a diva.

Next "issue", please.

ttim king's picture

your not really that big of a jackass you just talk stupid to get other people talkin

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