Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers may have trounced the Atlanta Falcons 48-21 on Saturday, but it’s his pregame behavior that is earning him A**hole of the Week awards from many sites around these here interwebs. In a news report aired by WBAY-TV in Green Bay, Rodgers was shown ignoring the autograph request of Jan Cavanaugh, a cancer patient wearing pink Packers gear, at the airport as the team was preparing to leave for Atlanta. Even worse, Cavanaugh had just driven directly from a radiation treatment for the sole purpose of grabbing some autographs. Yeesh.
When I first
broke got wind of this story, it was told to me by my friend in a bar, as he glossed over Mike Florio’s soapbox rant at Pro Football Talk. And I said to myself, “Probably just another case of this guy stirring the pot and throwing gasoline.” Then I pulled up the video and thought, “Hoo boy, Aaron. That ain’t good, dude.”
Video and thoughts after the jump…
That very well could be perceived as an act of dickery, and it doesn’t help his cause that Clay Matthews immediately greeted Cavanaugh next and signed her pink jersey…
Now here’s the thing about all this evidence – we don’t have the first clue what was going on. It’s a :16 clip that has already been pulled from the TV station’s website. Some people speculated that the team knew Cavanaugh would be there, which doesn’t seem correct, because then every player would have stopped to greet her. And it’s not like Rodgers is the devil incarnate. In fact, he’s pretty much the exact opposite.
This is an excerpt from an op-ed piece that a sports anchor in Milwaukee wrote about Rodgers last summer:
My friend, the father of that young girl who passed, 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. 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”
What a dickhead, right? I’m so glad that my Miami Dolphins didn’t draft him. The event that he’s referring to was held for the MACC Fund, which is a charitable organization that fights cancer and blood disorders in children, so that kind of flies in the face of a possible “Aaron Rodgers hates cancer patients” conspiracy theory. So unless he’s done a complete 180 in character, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Here’s a bold prediction – Rodgers will track Cavanaugh down this week, he’ll spend time with her, probably sign everything she owns, and then she’ll sit in a nice, comfy team box for the NFC Championship and, very likely, the Super Bowl. No offense, Bears fans.