Sometimes it pays to confess your love for your favorite athlete, especially immediately following a surgical procedure.
Diehard Green Bay Packers fan Callie Kessler was still under anesthesia when she was overcome with emotion while talking about how much she loves Aaron Rodgers. To her credit, Kessler had no shame and posted the video on her Twitter account. Beware that it contains some inappropriate language.
— callie kessler (@Calliekessler) February 5, 2020
As you can see, Kessler tagged Rodgers in the post. That caught the attention of Rodgers’ longtime girlfriend Danica Patrick, and the NASCAR driver responded by telling Kessler that Patrick and Rodgers would love to buy her 400 popsicles.
— Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) February 8, 2020
This isn’t the first time we have seen a sports fan deliver a message to his or her favorite player while drugged out after surgery, but things don’t always work out. We’re glad Callie’s message made it into the right hands.
Aaron Rodgers’ family reportedly was bothered by the quarterback’s recent comments about religion.
Rodgers sat down with his girlfriend Danica Patrick for an interview on her “Pretty Intense” podcast. A video clip of Rodgers talking about his views on religion was posted to Patrick’s YouTube account on December 27.
In the interview, Rodgers talks about how religion was a big part of his life when he was younger and the structure within his community. However, he says he did not find connection with his Christian upbringing, and that began to become clear when he was high school.
“Rules and regulations and binary systems don’t really resonate with me,” Rodgers said.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback says he didn’t find church very welcoming. He says you could only bring certain people to church and had to dress a certain way. He also said he views religion as a crutch for some.
“Religion can be a crutch. Religion can be something people have to have to make themselves feel better. Because it’s binary, it’s us and them; it’s saved and unsaved; it’s heaven and hell; it’s enlightened and heathen; it’s holy and righteous and sinner; and that makes a lot of people feel better about themselves — ‘I’ve got Jesus and I’m saved,'” Rodgers told Patrick.
Rodgers questioned the existence of God.
“I don’t know how you can believe in a God who wants to condemn most of the planet…to a fiery hell. What type of loving, sensitive, omnipresent, omnipotent being wants to condemn most of his beautiful creation to a fiery hell at the end of all this?”
Rodgers’ thoughts apparently did not sit well with his family.
“They were dismayed,” an insider reportedly told People. “The family is very dedicated to their Christian faith.”
“To them, his comments are basically a slap in the face to the fundamentals of who they are. It’s basically him turning his back on everything they have taught him.”
Rodgers has had a strained relationship with his family over the past six or so years. Going back to 2016, we heard about him having issues with his family. Rodgers’ brother even confirmed the issues two years ago. It would not be a leap to figure that Rodgers’ differing beliefs from his family — including those on religion — have contributed to the strained relationships.
- Aaron Rodgers
The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will meet at Super Bowl LIV in two weeks, an intriguing clash between an elite offense and a phenomenal defense. That outcome means the Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers are both going home one game shy of their ultimate destination, which will leave some of their players with serious regrets.
Here are some of the weekend’s biggest disappointments as the Super Bowl matchup was decided.
Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
The Chiefs beat the Titans essentially because they kept Derrick Henry in check. Yes, the running back still had a decent day, running for 69 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. That, however, is a down week for Henry, and his modest 3.6 yards per carry meant that Ryan Tannehill had to throw the ball 31 times. That suited Kansas City just fine, and it meant that their high-powered offense could score while limiting the Tennessee offense’s time on the field. The Titans needed much more from Henry to win this game. Not getting the stellar performance they needed sealed their fate.
Packers’ run defense
Running backs shouldn’t be able to run for 36-yard touchdowns untouched. That was how Raheem Mostert got the scoring started, and it never really stopped after that. Green Bay’s defense was pushed around by the San Francisco offensive line, giving Mostert giant holes to run through all day on the way to a 220-yard performance. The Packer defense didn’t even really give the offense a chance to get going, and the game was functionally over by halftime. The Packers felt they had improved their defense this year, but it failed them at the worst possible time.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
On the surface, Rodgers’ stats look fine — 31-of-39 for 326 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Much of that, however, came when he was desperately throwing long with the Packers trying to come back from 27 points down. In the first half, he was held to 65 yards while throwing an interception and losing a fumble as the Packers were shut out. Yes, he was up against the league’s best defenses, but elite quarterbacks are expected to overcome those defenses, or at least take better care of the ball. By the time Rodgers started racking up yards, it was far too late.
The pass interference rule
Once again, pass interference raised its ugly head at the worst time. The Titans were hit with a controversial defensive pass interference call that cost them 41 yards at a key point in the game, while the Packers also took a late third down pass interference call in the fourth. Neither call likely cost either team the game, but pass interference being a spot foul is still needlessly harsh, and the decisions did little to clarify what pass interference is or whether either should have been flagged. Plus, the fact that neither was challenged suggests the review system is still broken going into 2020.
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There are some who will be pulling extra hard for the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers on Sunday, and at least a few of them are probably associated with State Farm.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers have become closely associated with the insurance giant due to their appearances in the company’s commercials. Fans who watch sports regularly will certainly be familiar with the ads, including recent ones that feature Mahomes and Rodgers appearing together.
Rodgers is very closely identified with State Farm and has been for years. In fact, the “Discount Double Check” dance he once debuted in a State Farm commercial has become so closely associated with the Packers quarterback that rivals have used it to taunt him.
Companies like this are looking to sign athletes who are well-known and will make deep playoff runs. Rodgers has been a reliable partner for that, and Mahomes looks extremely promising as well. The dream scenario would be the two facing off in a Super Bowl. That game would generate two weeks of chatter about the quarterback matchup, and there would be a decent chance that the State Farm connection comes up a few times in the media before a Chiefs-Packers Super Bowl.
From State Farm’s standpoint, the attention would be invaluable, and they probably couldn’t be rooting any harder for it to happen.
Marshawn Lynch abruptly bolted out of the Seattle Seahawks’ locker room following the team’s 28-23 playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, but he had a good reason for doing so.
Lynch headed into the Packers’ locker room at Lambeau Field to do a jersey swap with Aaron Rodgers, his former Cal teammate.
Marshawn Lynch just walked into the #Packers locker room with his jersey. He gave fellow Cal alum Aaron Rodgers a big hug. Rodgers took his jersey from his locker and they just went down a hallway to presumably exchange and share some words.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) January 13, 2020
In unique Marshawn Lynch fashion, the running back just entered the Packers’ locker room for a jersey exchange with Aaron Rodgers. They’re signing one another’s game uniforms.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) January 13, 2020
Lynch and Rodgers teamed up at Cal in 2004 when the Golden Bears went 10-2. Rodgers was a junior and Lynch a true freshman on that team, which was ranked in the top 10 for most of the season and finished ranked No. 9 after losing their bowl game. Rodgers left for the NFL after that season and was drafted by the Packers. Lynch stayed two more seasons and then went to the NFL, where he was drafted by the Bills.
Even after a tough defeat, Lynch still found time for his former teammate.
There were numerous rumors that Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy did not get along during the coach’s final days in Green Bay, but if they were ever true, the bad feelings seem to have faded now.
Rodgers said Wednesday he had texted a congratulatory message to his former coach after McCarthy landed the Dallas Cowboys job, and McCarthy sent him a reply. Rodgers even went as far as suggesting that he would be interested in seeing the Packers and Cowboys hold joint practices during training camp.
Aaron Rodgers sent a congratulatory text to Mike McCarthy on getting the Cowboys job and McCarthy responded. Rodgers said there might be some campaigning to get out to California for joint practices during the preseason soon, but he’s happy for his longtime former coach.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) January 8, 2020
It’s a far cry from what we were hearing in 2018 as McCarthy was on the way out in Green Bay. After all, this is a quarterback who was reportedly undermining his coach at every turn, though both have denied that it was anywhere near as bad as those reports indicated. Time heals all wounds, though, and Rodgers is pleased for his ex-boss. After all, they did win a Super Bowl together, and now that both sides have moved on, the worst memories have likely faded a bit.
The standards are raised for the NFL playoffs, as the opposition gets better and the spotlight gets brighter. Some players struggle at this time of year, while others embrace the added pressure. Those are traits that can be the difference between a Super Bowl winner and a possible early exit.
This is the time of year when underperforming players need to shake that off, and unheralded players need to play their best. Here are five players who need to step it up in the playoffs for a better chance of team success.
5. Kendall Fuller, DB, Chiefs
The Chiefs lost Juan Thornhill to a torn ACL in the season’s final game, which is a brutal blow for a defense that always seems to have issues even when the team is winning. That brings up the question of how the Chiefs will replace him. Versatile defensive back Kendall Fuller is likely to get some run in Thornhill’s place. Fuller has been a bit of a disappointment since Kansas City traded for him, but this is a chance to step into a larger role and help the Chiefs when they need it the most.
4. Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles
The Eagles still aren’t entirely sure who they’ll have available on offense when they host the Seattle Seahawks in their playoff opener. As they have the past few weeks, they’ll have to dig deep, especially if tight end Zach Ertz isn’t healthy enough to play yet. That would mean a bigger role for Goedert, whose 91 yards and one touchdown against Dallas two weeks ago were instrumental in the Eagles’ biggest win of the season. The Seahawks have had issues defending tight ends this year, meaning Goedert could be a huge part of the offense in this game and — if the Eagles win — beyond.
3. Emmanuel Moseley, CB, 49ers
With starting cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon looking bereft of confidence in Week 17, the Niners turned to Emmanuel Moseley late in the second half against Seattle. He rewarded them with a vital pass breakup. Richard Sherman has been locking down one side of the field, but the 49ers need a second corner who can defend capably and contain opposing No. 2 receivers. That could be Moseley, who looked solid against Seattle and may see an expanded role in the playoffs. If he can take advantage of the opportunity, the 49ers will be that much tougher defensively.
2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
We know enough about Rodgers to know that he could snap out of a slump and go off at any given time. There are worries, though. His Week 17 performance broke a string of seven straight games with 250 yards passing or less, and that performance saw him miss a lot of throws and turn a potential blowout into a close game. Rodgers has been so hit and miss this year that it’s no guarantee he turns into the best version of himself in the playoffs. If he can, the Packers will be very tough to stop. Should he play like he has at his worst moments of 2019, however, Green Bay could be primed for a quick exit.
1. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
This is the time of year where Brady usually flips a switch and turns into a championship quarterback. That switch had better still work, because he did not look like one during the regular season. Lacking weapons on offense, Brady’s game has suffered, and his 24 touchdowns are his lowest tally in over a decade. Against AFC rivals Houston, Baltimore, and Kansas City, New England’s offense struggled mightily. It’s far too soon to count Brady out, but he needs to elevate his game for the playoffs. He’s done it before, and the Patriots’ success could hinge on him doing it again.
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