Autograph Video Makes Aaron Rodgers Look Like Villain, Clay Matthews Like Hero

We praised Aaron Rodgers for his magnificent performance against the Falcons on Saturday in the playoffs, as did his coaches and teammates. But it’s not all love for Rodgers the day after his big game. Pro Football Talk posted a video of Packers fans who showed up at the airport to see the team off Friday, hoping for autographs.

To summarize what happened, Aaron Rodgers ignored breast cancer patient Jan Cavanaugh who came straight from a radiation treatment hoping for an autograph. Linebacker Clay Matthews made up for the disappointment as much as possible, stopping to sign and chat with the woman. Here’s the video that was pulled from WBAY’s website but was transferred to YouTube:

The video was promptly pulled from WBAY’s website, presumably to protect the station’s relationship with the team (given the bad press Rodgers has already received). PFT’s Mike Florio ripped into Rodgers, pointing out that there is no excuse for ignoring the fans who are responsible for the players’ salaries and popularity. Generally I like to give athletes the benefit of the doubt when it comes to stories like this, but after seeing the way Matthews treated the lady, it’s impossible to make an excuse from Rodgers. Hopefully he’s learned his lesson and won’t do something like that again.

And in case the video gets pulled again, this should explain exactly what happened. Packers fan and cancer survivor Jan Cavanaugh said she rushed out of a radiation treatment to go to the airport. “I’m still hoping to get Aaron to sign this hat I’m wearing,” Cavanaugh told WBAY. “I had breast cancer and I still don’t have have much hair so I wear this hat a lot, and I’d like to have his signature on it.”

Rodgers straight up ignored Cavanaugh and walked right past her. Linebacker Clay Matthews went straight up to her when he saw her, even saying “I was talking to the stewardess about you. They mentioned you.” Hopefully his generosity made up for Rodgers’ lapse in Cavanaugh’s mind. Rodgers will not live this down for a while.

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  • Anonymous

    Pro athletes don’t sign for people every day. big deal it happens

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Lesson to be learned: just don’t do it in front of a TV camera

  • Anonymous

    Other lesson to be learned: In the NFL draft, you don’t pass on the son of a former stud NFL player. Clay was the 26th pick in the 09 draft. Any team who takes a defensive player and passes on Cameron Heyward is making a mistake.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B6C54XD524WDSYUJN3HTA7GOHQ Pejic

    I think it’s a huge deal… It would be different if there were a mob of screaming drunk young fans… there was one poor old woman.

    I believe there’s a time and a place to ignore fans, this is so clearly not it… but then again, I’ve never been in his shoes

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3N26EKPE7AREQXQKB3AHNF34HM Knox

    He’s a piece of garbage. I hope he has a career ending Theismann moment against the Bears.

  • http://canedirectfurniture.co.uk/our-products/indoor-cane-furniture/ cane furniture

    Very nice post i enjoy it. i am going to this party soon and some star might be there, me and my friend are huge fans of his music and have been for about a year now. Is it right if i ask for a autograph? at a party.Thanks.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OMJLH5U6ASD4WTZA7XZ6CTOFDM MatthewP


    Read above article.

    Jan Cavanaugh isn’t upset about it. After all, Rodgers has given her a number of autographs as recently as last weekend. She *is* upset at all of the tools out there (like yourself) making an issue out of this non-issue.

  • http://twitter.com/TheScoresReport The Scores Report

    Come on, Larry. If you only take into account Rodgers’ actions in the video, it looks bad. But as the above reader notes, Rodgers had signed her pink jersey just a week earlier and has also signed “a number of things” for her in the past as well.

    Did you know the full back story of the video, or are you like PFT and only basing your opinion on this one clip?

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    I considered the possibility that this was a greedy fan who had received autographs in the past before writing the post. It was not written blindly, as I recognize how pushy fans can be, especially the autograph-seeking types.

    I did not say Rodgers is an awful person, and in the title I say the video makes him look bad, not that he is bad. He still could have acknowledged her even if he wasn’t going to sign, and I think that’s a fair point, in which case what I said still stands — the video makes him look bad. The tone and content of my post is nowhere near as aggressive or confrontational as PFT’s. I feel very comfortable with the way this post was written and presented and considered the above referenced information was a possibility before my writing.

  • http://twitter.com/TheScoresReport The Scores Report
  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Looks like? We can see what happened in the video ourselves and it looks like he didn’t see her because he was trying to ignore everyone on purpose. That’s pretty obvious. The reason why Florio apologized is because he went completely overboard in his attack of Rodgers.

  • http://canedirectfurniture.co.uk/our-products/indoor-cane-furniture/ cane furniture

    I was trying to ignore everyone on purpose. That’s pretty obvious. The reason why Florio apologized is because he went completely overboard in his attack of Rodgers.