There’s a passage in Mina Kimes’s profile of Aaron Rodgers from earlier this season where he quizzes the writer about the decorations in the writer’s living room and what books she’s read. He comes across as thoughtful, quizzical and interested in the mundane aspects of strangers’ lives. Two lucky Bears fans learned firsthand that he’s like that even if you’re not writing an article about him.
Chicago-area resident Julia Nicoll and her 11-year-old son Peter took a train to the city the day before the Packers-Bears game earlier this month, she told USA Today. Peter spotted Aaron Rodgers, the two approached and said hello. They intended for it to be a brief interaction, but Rodgers had other ideas.
When a group of passers-by recognized Rodgers, Julia and Peter excused themselves and crossed the street. They had stopped to text a photo of Rodgers with Peter to Julia’s husband when No. 12 caught back up with them.
“He just started talking to us again like we were all neighbors and friends. We walked with him again for the next 15 minutes, 20 minutes to Michigan Avenue,” Julia said. “The thing for me that really stood out as so awesome was he asked us questions. I would say he asked us more questions than I asked him, because I didn’t want to be nosy and because I didn’t want to invade his privacy.”
He asked about the Nicoll family’s Thanksgiving plans and their daughter who will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire next year.
“He was asking me questions that most people would think, ‘Why would Aaron Rodgers care?’ It was so amazing. It was really something, I have to say. It still is,” Julia said. “I told so many people. We just couldn’t believe it, my son and I.”
It’s always heartening to hear that your favorite player is a nice guy, but what about the best player on your most heated rival? The Nicoll family might have some torn allegiances when Rodgers’s shoulder heals.
The whole story is absolutely worth a read, because it includes Nicoll subsequently running into Ty Montgomery’s mom and then telling just about every person she’s interacted with since about her encounter with Rodgers.