Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a pretty private person. He doesn’t talk much to the media about his personal life and he doesn’t over-share on social media. But in his cover story in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated, Greg Bishop finds out what Rodgers is really like.
1. He’s creeped out by how Packers fans deify him
Back when he was just Brett Favre’s backup, Rodgers could go to Red Robin in peace. Now? Rodgers can’t go out in public without people treating him like a god.
[Rodgers’s former college coach Craig] Rigsbee returned to Green Bay in 2009, Rodgers’s first Pro Bowl season, and the QB told him, “I can’t do anything. I can’t go anywhere.” They tried to eat out anyway. A woman in a Packers jersey approached Rodgers and bowed. “You’re making me uncomfortable,” Rigsbee says Rodgers told her.
2. He could read NFL defenses when he was 15
In high school, Rodgers used to talk football before school with his baseball coach, Ron Souza.
The topic of conversation—the 49ers, the closest thing to a home team—never changed. Rodgers knew the disguises their opponents used, the blitzes, the offense’s audibles, and he would diagram all of that from memory. He was 15. “Most of us are concrete learners,” says Souza. “Aaron’s not. He sees something one time, and he can recognize it.”
3. He got the “what are those" treatment before it became a meme
Long before the origin of the “what are those” meme, Rodgers got made fun of for his shoes.
His fellow rookies, [former Packers receiver Terrence] Murphy says, teased Rodgers about his shoes. Murphy can’t remember what kind they were, just that they were so . . . normal.
4. He’s smarter than an astronaut
Rodgers was a contestant on Celebrity Jeopardy! this summer, where he proved once and for all that he’s smarter than an astronaut. Not only did Rodgers beat astronaut Mark Kelly, it turns out he scored better on his SATs than Kelly. Kelly’s brother Scott did a little research from the International Space Station, Bishop writes, and had to break the news to Mark.
5. If he’s angry, he can punt better than Tim Masthay
Even the most competitive people in an industry as ruthless as pro football find that Rodgers—how desperately he wants to win, how seriously he hates to lose—can be a little much. Like the time he played basketball against [Clay] Matthews and his brothers at the Pro Bowl and, after losing, punted the ball so far that Matthews quips, “we couldn’t even find it. Lost in the Florida sun.”