- 1. He almost quit football to become a lawyer
- 2. He was almost traded to the Raiders
- 3. He is pretty damn smart
- 4. He tapes potato chips to the back of his heels
- 5. He already claimed his place in NFL history
- 6. He owes a fan $4.5 million for a bet he lost
- 7. He hates the NFL draft
- 8. He has a “not so secret” rivalry with Alex Smith
- 10. He might be following in his ex-girlfriend’s footsteps
- 11. He might be the most competitive player in the NFL
- 12. He started his own record label
Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers is arguably one of the best players ever to play the Gridiron. Since replacing Favre in 2008, Rodgers has been nothing short of spectacular. He already has one Super Bowl victory under his belt, he is a 2x NFL MVP, and is on pace to shatter every meaningful NFL record. But for all of his fame and fortune, most NFL fans know very little about the 34-year-old.
This piece features 12 surprising facts we’ve compiled about Aaron Rodgers. After reading this, you’ll know exactly why Rodgers tapes potato chips to the back of his feet (somehow not as weird as it sounds) — or why he hates the NFL draft. Here you go…
1. He almost quit football to become a lawyer
Looking back on it now, it’s hard to believe there was a time when football teams didn’t want Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback. Despite breaking every school record at Pleasant Valley High School, Rodgers didn’t receive a single scholarship offer from a Division I football program. In a 2011 interview with ESPN, Rodgers said (at that time) he seriously considered quitting football to study for law school. Instead of giving up, Rodgers used the rejection as motivation. He saved every rejection letter he received from schools and still has them to this day. Tacked to the wall of the walk-in closet in his Green Bay home are two rejection letters, one from Illinois, the other from Purdue.
2. He was almost traded to the Raiders
Can you imagine Aaron Rodgers in a Raiders uniform? Neither can I… But in 2007, it almost happened. When Brett Favre announced he would return for the 2007 season, the Packers seriously considered trading Rodgers. According to league sources, the Packers and Raiders were very close on a deal that would have sent Rodgers to Oakland, and Randy Moss to Green Bay. Instead, Moss was traded to the New England Patriots during the 2007 NFL Draft, and Rodgers stayed in Green Bay.
3. He is pretty damn smart
It’s well known that quarterbacks are intelligent (well the good ones at least — sorry JaMarcus). Aaron Rodgers is proof of why that stereotype exists. In 2015, Rodgers appeared on an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy! – along with astronaut Mark Kelly and entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary (from Shark Tank). Not only did he dominate the competition, Rodgers also brought some humor to a notoriously dull show. After mistakenly confusing Apple and IBM during an answer, Rodgers dropped an F-bomb on national television. Videos of his f-bomb went viral after the show aired.
4. He tapes potato chips to the back of his heels
According to his trainer, Angelo Poli, Aaron Rodgers is obsessed with new challenges. Poli is responsible for crafting custom exercises to make his training more difficult, because “typical NFL drills” are too easy for him… Because good footwork is essential for quarterbacks, Rodgers has Poli tape potato chips to the back of his heels, forcing him to remain on his toes during drills. No word as to which chip brand Rodgers prefers — Lay’s, Tostitos, Doritos — the world will never know!
5. He already claimed his place in NFL history
When evaluating a quarterback’s performance, one of the most useful statistics is to compare their number of touchdown passes to interceptions. Rodgers has the highest touchdown to interception ratio in NFL history, and it’s not even close… Entering the 2016 season, Rodgers has thrown 257 touchdown passes, compared to just 65 interceptions. Meaning, he throws 3.95 touchdowns for every one interception. That is insane! To put that into perspective, here is a list of some legendary QB’s and their TD: INT ratio — Tom Brady (2.85), Peyton Manning (2.15), Joe Montana (1.96), Dan Marino (1.67) and Brett Favre (1.51).
6. He owes a fan $4.5 million for a bet he lost
In 2012, NFL fan Todd Sutton called out Rodgers on Twitter for his “delusional” support of Milwaukee Brewers’ slugger Ryan Braun — as the MLB investigated whether or not Braun used PEDs. Rodgers responded to Sutton’s tweet, and bet him one year’s salary that Braun was innocent. But months later, Braun accepted a 65-game suspension for using steroids. According to Sutton, Rodgers still hasn’t paid up. At the time of the bet, Rodgers’ salary was $4.5 million, or $281,250 per game.
Before the steroid controversy, Rodgers and Braun were best friends. The two were spotted together all over Wisconsin, and even became business partners in a local restaurant named 8-Twelve MVP Bar & Grill (the “8” refers to Braun’s Milwaukee Brewers’ number, the “twelve” to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers). Unfortunately, the “bromance” between Rodgers and Braun is gone, as is the restaurant, which was renamed to “Hom Wood Fired Grill.”
7. He hates the NFL draft
In the 2005 NFL draft, 23 teams passed up the chance to draft Aaron Rodgers. To this day, Rodgers has not let that go. In an E:60 exclusive, Rodgers described his issues with the NFL draft process, “far too much weight is put into your height, 40-time, and bench-press… But the things you can’t measure — your character, toughness, leadership — not as much weight is put into that.” Considering how vital those attributes are to quarterbacks, it appears Rodgers has a point. This theory could also explain how a guy like Tom Brady fell all the way to the 199th-pick in the 2000 NFL draft. Just sayin’…
8. He has a “not so secret” rivalry with Alex Smith
Speaking of the NFL draft… In 2005, the San Francisco 49ers (his favorite team) decided to pass on Rodgers and used the 1st-overall pick to select QB Alex Smith. Rodgers uses that memory as motivation, and continually reminds Packers head coach Mike McCarthy (who worked with the 49ers at the time) that he drafted the wrong quarterback. While Smith is no slouch, he’s not Rodgers. See below for a comparison of their careers since entering the NFL in 2005…
Alex Smith: 24,344 Yards, 142 TD’s, 83 INT, 1x Pro Bowl (2013)
Aaron Rodgers: 32,399 Yards, 257 TD’s, 65 INT, 5x Pro Bowl, 2x MVP, Super Bowl Champion
9. One coached predicted his NFL success after watching only one throw.
Former Cal coach Jeff Tedford is known as somewhat of a quarterback guru. Including Rodgers, Tedford coached five QB’s who have been selected in the first round of the NFL draft. In 2002, while Rodgers attended Butte Community College, Tedford showed up on campus to recruit a talented young tight end. But after watching only one play of tape with the Butte’s head coach, Tedford stood up, turned off the projected and announced, “that’s the best quarterback I’ve ever seen. That kid will play in the NFL someday.” Tedford offered Rodgers a scholarship that day, and the rest is history…
10. He might be following in his ex-girlfriend’s footsteps
While he doesn’t see his NFL career ending anytime soon, Rodgers is already contemplating life after football. In an interview with former teammate A.J. Hawk, Rodgers revealed he is seriously considering a career in film after he decides to hang up his cleats. For now, his acting career is limited to State Farm’s “Discount Double Check” commercials, but that could change in the future.
11. He might be the most competitive player in the NFL
There are competitive athletes, and then there is Aaron Rodgers. According to teammates, Rodgers takes every competition to a completely different level, and the stories we’ve heard support that claim. Here are a few — Rodgers says he remembers every single touchdown and interception he has thrown since eighth grade! Rodgers and teammate John Kuhn will go days without speaking because of arguments during their poker games. And last but not least, Rodgers once kicked a basketball across the gym after losing to Clay Matthews in a game of one on one.
12. He started his own record label
Aaron Rodgers is a big music fan. As a matter of fact, Rodgers is notorious for showing up with his guitar to random open-mike nights in the Green Bay area. In 2011, he decided to take his love for music to the next level, by launching his own record label — Suspended Sunrise Recordings. Rodgers recognizes the importance of having a hobby outside of football and uses music as a way to clear his head. According to teammates, Rodgers spends a lot of time in the locker room watching “Jeopardy!” (answering 90 percent of the questions correctly) and playing his guitar during commercial breaks.