What a great guy!
You'll have to indulge me......especially faithful reader Robbie who will be understandably cheering for the Lions this Sunday. New Year's day will conclude NFL's regular season. The Packers will play the Lions for the 2nd time this year. Reflection is typical for the season.......though like all Packer fans, we hope our team will have a repeat Super Bowl win, but if not....really it's okay. This remarkable team has provide us all with such a fabulous, exciting season, always exemplifing good sportsmanship and for that we are grateful.
Paulette, another faithful reader of this blog shared the following missive....it was written by Jen Lada, a sports anchor at Fox 6 in Milwaukee, WI. Truly, this says it all.....
"Save Me a Spot"
This job affords me some incredible opportunities. Being a member of the FOX 6 Sports team means I've been able to witness and report on events and
people that many can only admire from a distance. I never take these
situations for granted and sincerely appreciate being involved in whatever
capacity each permits.
Monday marked just the most recent case as I had the unparalleled privilege
to be a part of Aaron Rodgers charity event to benefit the MACC Fund, a charity towards eradicating childhood cancer and blood disorders.
Scattered throughout the crowd of rabid Packers aficionados, were the
people who I consider the event's real MVPs. They are the families who've
been forced to deal with one of life's toughest sentences - the loss of a
Those who sprung for the tickets were not disappointed. In a world where
many athletes regurgitate canned and rehearsed responses, the Packers
quarterback was refreshingly candid. Aaron addressed a number of topics
with in-depth, honest reaction - even some that if reprinted and mass
distributed might raise some eyebrows.
Aaron stressed the importance of availability and accountability. In his
opinion, it is a player's responsibility to attend all of the team
activities as they are all intended to better the team as a whole. And
then, similarly, he addressed the importance of taking the heat/criticism
when one falls short of expectations and duties.
He is never nervous to take the field. Aaron is supremely confident in the
preparation he's put in during the week leading up to Sunday's match
up. The way the 2009 season ended was disappointing but his self-confidence
was not affected by the outcome. One of the toughest realizations was that
that combination of players would never take the field together again. He
likened the team to a family and admitted that conflict can and does
occasionally exist but they try to handle such situations with maturity and
He talked music and his love for tunes at a young age revealing that his
mom used to sing and play lullabies and country music when he was a child.
Aaron's record label Suspended Sunrise is a product of this passion but
also a contingency plan for life after football. His favorite song is Ben
Harper's 'Forever' and he's envious of John Mayer's guitar skills though
not his tabloid reputation. He appreciated my affinity for Keith Urban but
gave the audience a thumbs-down when I mentioned fellow country crooner
His favorite book is The Bible and he tries to read it every day not just
when life's challenges and struggles surface.
His favorite movie is The Princess Bride which he admits he's caught flack
for but says he and his childhood friends can recite every line from the
film and it is simply a great story.
Rodgers' answers to questions on this night were certainly admirable. And I
honestly didn't think I could respect Aaron more. But I was wrong.
My friend, the father of that young girl who passed away named Cheri, was
there that night. He was one of several attendees brought up on stage where
he caught a football thrown by the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.
He asked Aaron to sign the football he'd caught. He wondered if he'd make
it out to his daughter Cheri. It isn't shocking that Rodgers obliged. What
caught me off guard was the dedication he made. It wasn't until after Aaron
left that I first saw the autograph... and the simple yet sweet message
that brought tears to this father's eyes:
"To Cheri the angel. Save me a spot. - Aaron Rodgers"
I hope that Packers fans realize how lucky they are to have such an
upstanding young man leading their team on the field every weekend. I hope
they appreciate the challenges that were thrust upon him and acknowledge
the maturity with which he handled them. I hope they stand behind the kid
and respect him not only for his incredible talent but for his intelligence
and honesty, poise and compassion.
My job has afforded me the chance to watch Aaron Rodgers play football for
the last few seasons. But I am truly thankful for the opportunity to see
the other side of this impressive young man. And pass on some of what I
witnessed to you.