If you obsessively follow professional football bloggers, tweeters, and related riff-raff, you probably saw the manufactured, “Aaron Rodgers hates women who have survived cancer” story. The manufacturer of the story later issued a hollow apology after cancer woman herself said she was cool that Rodgers, who had signed autographs for her before, spaced out and breezed by her as he was probably trying to get home and get some sleep after a Herculean effort against the Falcons.
The whole hoopla was based on this video:
I don’t know what anyone thinks she had to complain about anyway; she got Clay Matthews’ autograph. That’s much better.
But from what I hear, Rodgers is a pretty good guy, at least by NFL star quarterback standards. More often than not, I hear stories like this rather than “Rodgers hates cancer survivors.”
I even have a personal story.
As long time readers of this blog, if any, know, my son Theodore was born with spina bifida. He often needs to spend time in the hospital, and 2010 was an especially rough year, with seven surgeries and twenty or so nights in the hospital.
The last time he was in the hospital was the weekend of Halloween. Because Teddy is a member of the Green Bay Junior Power Pack, and has shown an interest in football this year, my wife thought she’d give the Packers front office a call to see if they could send something out for a sick fan. (Ironically, she was angling for a Clay Matthews autograph.) The front office lady said no. But, since people in Green Bay, unlike most NFL cities, generally aren’t uncaring dicks (unless they played varsity football for Green Bay East in 1991 or 1992), she asked about Teddy, and was a little dismayed about all the brain surgeries in 2010.
A few weeks later I found a package on the door step with the Packer logo all over it. It was addressed to Teddy. We opened it up and found a Packers teddy bear, a Packers Christmas ornament, a bunch of pictures of players, a team picture, Packer stickers, and other Packer swag. There was also this card:
Cynical prick that I am, I closely examined the signature. It was written by an ink pen, not printed on the card. Obviously the “Dear Theodore” and date were written by a woman, but the signature is that of Aaron Rodgers. It is possible it could have been auto-penned, but somehow I doubt it. I also expect that since it says “Aaron Rodgers and The Green Bay Packers” that Rodgers kicked in some of the cash to make things like Teddy’s box happen.
So what? Big deal he signed a card for my kid and, as a millionaire, maybe kicked in a few bucks to a sick kid fund. Well, yeah. Big deal. The five seconds it took him to grab and carefully sign the card is five seconds he could have signed a football for $100, gotten halfway into the pants of any woman in Green Bay, or just relaxed after a hard day at practice.
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