Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Bart Starr, and PR

aaron rodgers brett favre nfl honors

The spring and summer of 2013 should be renamed the Seasons of Favre.

Over the past six months, the seemingly tumultuous relationship between the former quarterback and his former employer has gone from a Defcon 1 state of war to a Defcon 3. Not the huggy kissy relationship some would like the two sides to have, but progress from the declaration of war that was signed when Favre signed with the Vikings in 2009.

This thawing of the ice all began one evening this past February.

The moment Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre stepped on stage together to present an award at the NFL Honors ceremony was the moment many had been waiting for. A meeting of the past and the present, a ceremonial burying of the hatchet between the two players, and a signal that it was time to let the healing begin between Packers fans and Favre.

Rodgers reiterated this sentiment in May when he appeared on the Jim Rome Show, saying the time has come to accept the quarterback from the past back into the present:

“I’m excited about it. I really am. It’s been too long. I think our country and the state of Wisconsin, these people are people of second, third and fourth chances, and I think it’s time to let the healing process begin for those who are still upset about what went down.”

“I was totally OK with being out front of that and I’m very secure of the things I’ve been able to accomplish with the team and individually here in Green Bay, and excited about the chance to see him again and get his number retired here before he goes into Canton.”

For someone who was a central figure of the Summer of Favre back in 2008, Aaron Rodgers has taken on the role of helping lead the charge to bring Favre back into the mix.

The question that has to be raised though is why? Why is Aaron Rodgers helping champion the cause to bring Favre back into the Packers family?

The most logical answer is that it is the right thing to do.

Having the all time everything in the Packers record book on the outside of the organization looking in is not the best thing for all parties involved. Favre created much of the distance with the retire/unretire drama of 2008 and subsequent signing with the Vikings. But no one at 1265 Lombardi Avenue has appeared to make much effort to make amends with Favre either. So Rodgers deserves all the credit in the world for being the person most affected in 2008 and making public statements enforcing the point that if he is OK, then everyone else should be as well.

But one has to wonder if there is another reason for Rodgers stepping out to the forefront of this campaign.

Shortly after Rodgers, Favre, Mark Murphy, and even Mike McCarthy all began singing Kumbaya about bringing Favre back to Green Bay, someone on Twitter pointed out that Rodgers’ motives behind this may not all be for the good of all parties involved. And he may very well be right.

Phil Grambsch AKA @JaggdLittlePhil on Twitter sent an email in which he points out that Aaron Rodgers may be doing all of this just to improve his public image:

I believe Rodgers is positioning himself in the public relations chess
match.  I think Aaron realizes that the organization and Favre are
going to have to patch things up before Brett goes into the Hall of
Fame and, as the current face of the franchise and the guy caught in
the middle of the circus in 2008, Rodgers is going to be a central
piece in the story of Favre’s return whether he wants to be or not.

I think Aaron realizes this, sees the writing on the wall and, smartly
in my opinion, figures he might as well come off as the “good guy” and
get the ball rolling in the matter.  I also think he’s strategically
making these comments now, at an official team gathering (OTAs), with
all the media from around the state present as well, while still doing
so at a time when there’s nothing too serious (training camp/regular
season) getting in the way.

I think what Rodgers is doing is 100% calculated and very little to zero percent chance as a result of genuinely wanting to mend the fences with Favre.  I come to this conclusion because Rodgers is someone who notoriously can hold onto even the slightest grudge for an extended period of time, and  I just don’t see a way in which Brett’s OK in his book.

Sounds like crazy talk, doesn’t it?

Maybe not.

Rodgers has discussed on more than one occasion the chip on his shoulder for numerous events in his life. Not getting a single division one scholarship, free falling in the draft, and sitting behind Favre for three years and later having to play against Favre are just a few of the motivating factors for Rodgers in his non stop desire to be the very best. It has been discussed so much that even Rodgers is tired of talking about it:

Q:  So the world-famous chip on Aaron Rodgers’ shoulder hasn’t gone anywhere? You haven’t made it?
Rodgers:  I’m very self-motivated. We’ve talked enough about the chip.

So now he suddenly has no beef with Favre? Seems a little odd, doesn’t it?

Is it possible that Rodgers chose to appear with Favre and later say it was time to move on from the ill will towards him simply to improve his public image?

Rodgers has stated that his role model is Bart Starr. And for good reason. Starr has been a pillar in the community since his arrival in Green Bay. Active in charity throughout Wisconsin, one could say the only negative against Starr is that he was not a very good coach. He is the epitome of Packer People, and something Rodgers should emulate.

Rodgers attempting to portray the same type of public image as Starr-squeaky clean-would be the exact opposite of the image Favre portrayed.

Remember that Favre was arrested early in his career, addicted to pain killers,cheated on his wife, and came across like a diva during the Summer of 2008.

A far cry from the straight and narrow image that Rodgers has carefully crafted during this career.

Helping bring Favre back to Green Bay would be another attempt by Rodgers in his effort of being the “perfect” Packer People.

Some will read this as yet another attempt to tear down Rodgers. That I do not like Rodgers. That is absolutely not the intent of this article. There is no other quarterback I would want to lead the Packers. He is the best player in the NFL, regardless of what any worthless list says. His charity work is to be commended, and there is undoubtedly more acts of kindness Rodgers participates in that never gets reported. Unlike his predecessor, Rodgers does not seek the attention for charity. He does it because it is the right thing to do.

The goal of this was to make people stop and think about the relationship Rodgers currently has with Favre. Has Rodgers made amends with Favre because he wanted to, or because it will make him look like the better person?

Like most of the Summer of ’08, we will probably never know the full truth.

 

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John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.

He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.

You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at johnrehor@yahoo.com.

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