Every week during the NFL season, Aaron Rodgers stands in front of his locker and answers questions from the media about his most recent performance, or the upcoming opponent's defensive scheme, or the Packers' invariably mounting injuries. When he is asked something more probing, non-football-related, he doesn't necessarily shy away or offer a "no comment;" but he generally offers less true candor or consideration than the assembled reporters know is available to the notably cerebral Green Bay quarterback.
That background of Rodgers' typical restraint, the withholding shrewdness of one of sports' most talented and interesting figures, is what makes Mina Kimes' recent profile of him in ESPN – the story will appear in the Sept. 18 issue of ESPN The Magazine but was published Wednesday online – so fascinatingly fantastic.
Rodgers' insight, honesty, openness and depth is almost startling. Kimes – who notes that he records their conversation, as well, in order to not be taken "out of context" – comprehensively captures his complexity and contradictions: famous but private; fiercely competitive but not some shoulder-chip-hoarding grudge-holder; increasingly spiritual but decreasingly religious; a football savant who is dedicated to the game but is not obsessed with it, who's excited about his life's next chapter, but doesn't know what it will be and is searching for something more.
That's probably sufficient second-rate reconstitution of Kimes' great work. Packers fans should definitely read the entire terrific piece. But we've excerpted some of Rodgers' comments from the article, with added context, that are particularly relevant and compelling.
The complete story here > Rodgers opens up on religion, privacy, protest and more