From the moment he slid in the 2005 NFL Draft, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has seemingly been searching for respect.
Now that he’s found it, he seems unsure what to do with it.
From the gigantic contract to the general consensus that he’s the best quarterback in the league, the world has caught up, to the extent that teammates view him as an icon as opposed to the guy who hands them the ball.
“My first impression was more of a fan’s reaction,” rookie running back Eddie Lacy told Jarrett Bell of USA Today. “I’m in the huddle with him, and I’m thinking, ‘This is Aaron Rodgers.’”
The man himself seems uncomfortable with that degree of adulation.
“That gives you a good perspective on how things can change,” Rodgers said. “Getting called ‘sir’ by some of these young guys is kind of silly, too. I’m not even 30 yet. Let’s relax on the ‘sir’ part, OK?
“But I appreciate the respect.”
From afar, that quest for the approval of others seems ingrained in Rodgers’ personality. But now that he’s won all the awards and earned all the money, he has to find new things to shoot for, even if he’s inventing them.
“I love it when people are not talking about us,” Rodgers said. “It’s good for us. We’re a small-market team with a blue-collar, community attitude. We enjoy it when people are talking about other teams and we can skate under the radar.”
While it’s hard to find the people who are underestimating Rodgers and the Packers, it seems to work for him, so perhaps it’s best to let him own it.
Just don’t call him sir.