Chris Strauss, USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is apparently not happy about his profile on last Sunday's episode of "60 Minutes," complaining on his weekly radio show that the piece wasn't what he hoped it would be.
"When you open up your life for four months and allow them to have access to your family and your friends and events, it's always interesting to see what comes out," Rodgers said on his ESPN radio show. "I just felt like the editing of the piece could have been done in a way that was maybe a lot more respectful of myself. If I'm sensitive about anything through the whole process, it's that they come to the MACC Fund event [a charity event that raises money for childhood cancer and blood disorders] in May, which is very, very important to me and even more important considering the two boys that we lost this year to cancer. For them to not even show really any of the content from that night, any of the kids, not say anything about the MACC Fund (or) what they do with kids with cancer, I think that was the thing that was most disappointing about the piece."
The piece heavily touched upon Rodgers' perceived sensitivity, with teammates Greg Jennings and Clay Matthews joking about it during an interview. One of the elements of the piece that the profile touched on and heavily teased during the promos for it during Sunday's games was Rodgers' height, showing an event where local contest winners got to meet the quarterback. One winner, upon meeting Rodgers, tells him that he "looks a little bit smaller than I thought you'd be", and the camera shows the 6'2" Rodgers saying "I don't appreciate that."
The camera cut away from the rest of the conversation, but a commenter on the 60 Minutes website, identifying himself as the man in the clip, said that the meeting was slightly misconstrued.
"I also thought it was a great segment on Rodgers, well mostly. I was actually the guy that met him at the Milwaukee event. For the record I think 60 Minutes and Rogers made the event and our meeting sound like it was a negative one. I found Aaron very genuine and down to earth. I meant no disrespect by my comment on his height. It was all in good fun. I have to say I was disappointed by Aaron's response on the segment. You would think at his level of success he would be above such lack of clarity. And also for the record, I am just over 6'."
It's understandable that Rodgers would be unhappy about the show not using any footage of one of his favorite charitable projects, especially if the crew had been given a full day of access. It's also understandable if he feels that the show took part of that fan encounter out of context, although given the way he reacted to Scott Pelley's questioning about it, it appears that he was indeed annoyed by the guy's comment. But Rodgers has also been around long enough to understand that producers with an eleven-minute segment to fill are going to need to identify an angle, especially if it's a national news program that isn't specifically aimed at football fans.
Rodgers' defining story is that he has used his previous slights to fuel his motivation to achieve what he has. Anything that he has become "sensitive" about - his height, his D1 rejection, his draft slide, sitting behind Favre - has all been used to internally motivate him to work harder to prove his doubters wrong. That's the narrative "60 Minutes" chose to go with. He may feel that they were disrespectful in how they cut their footage to craft that story, but it was Rodgers himself who chose to go intoan unprompted story about a college home ec professor slighting him on the radio show just a few weeks earlier. It's an angle he certainly hasn't shied away from.
It seems like Rodgers is one of a number of elite athletes who continues to mine whatever motivation he can to keep pushing himself. Six rings and general acknowledgement as the best basketball player who ever lived didn't keep Michael Jordan from calling out anyone who ever doubted him in his Hall of Fame speech. If Rodgers happens to light up the Lions when the team returns from their bye week next Sunday, we may partially have "60 Minutes" to blame.