Rodgers handles media blitz
And he didn't. Not when Jay Leno correspondent Ross Mathews asked him to throw a football with, um, Las Vegas showgirl tassels taped to it (trying to bring a little more Cher and burlesque to football), not when fielding his sixth Brett Favre question, not even when the fuzzy furry sound mic dumped a cup of water all over Rodgers' podium and hat.
Rodgers grabbed a towel, mopped up and rolled with all of it. He is in control at all times and in all situations.
All of those childhood years spent studying Joe Montana - not just the way he played, but his post-game interviews as well - really paid off at the famed Super Bowl Tuesday media day at Cowboys Stadium.
If ever there is a day where anything goes, it's this day.
Behind the podium, Rodgers was a little fidgety, shifting in a director's chair that frankly looked a little unstable. But soon after he settled in and covered a lot of ground, from the absurd to the obscure, for more than an hour.
NFL Network's Deion Sanders put him on the spot. Watch the show? Yes. What nickname did I give you? "Like that."
Access Hollywood grilled him, too.
Modern Family or Glee: "Glee."
King's Speech or Social Network: "Social Network."
Facebook or Twitter? "Facebook."
Drake or Cee Lo? "Drake."
Katy Perry or Taylor Swift. "Tough one. Taylor Swift."
Best butt: Nicki Manaj, J-Lo or Kim Kardashian. Rodgers pondered this but then was given the Beyonce option. "Beyonce."
Who is his celebrity crush? "I don't even know anymore. Taylor Swift..."
Her man is apparently Jake Gyllenhaal. "I heard we look alike."
Rodgers was informed that Super Bowl XLV was simulated on NFL's Madden '11, and that Pittsburgh won, which is interesting since they've done this before and have predicted the game correctly six out of seven times.
"What was the score?" said Rodgers.
About a five point game.
"How did I play? I did OK?" Rodgers paused. "I mean, that doesn't have a whole lot of bearing on Sunday."
A superhero dressed guy from Nickelodeon asked what size was Rodgers' championship belt. "Uh, a champion-sized belt."
The title belt thing all originated with the scout team of course, with a nod of course to wrestling. Rodgers said Hulk Hogan is an all time favorite.
"Just trying to have fun with it," said Rodgers. "A lot of times, you have guys who do not want to be any part of that, they're maybe not giving the same kind of effort, so you have to do something. If it means me being goofy and doing silly celebrations, so be it. That one kind of stuck, guys liked it, guys on my team kind of imitated it, guys around the league try to imitate it sometimes."
When the conversation turned to football (sometimes steered there by Rodgers himself), he had fun at times. Rodgers took a few good natured jabs at his coach, Mike McCarthy as well, for not appreciating Rodgers' athleticism at first.
"He has since apologized," said Rodgers. "I'll be honest with you, the one part of my game that I always felt that I could add to an offense and when I started hearing I wasn't athletic, I take that personally."
Rodgers said he has worked with trainers to make sure that he has the ability to make plays outside the pocket.
Otherwise, Rodgers took a moment to take in Cowboys Stadium and the massiveness of it, accompanied by a draft that left him and all the players pretty cold on media day.
"I hope it's great. We played pretty well in the domes. That's a pretty big screen up there, I'm sure Tim Masthay will try to hit that in practice," said Rodgers.
A student asked what he would do if he weren't playing pro ball, and Rodgers said something in the military or something with coaching. He's looking forward to his grandparents, who are in their 80s, coming to the game.
He's got a good relationship with his offensive line and hinted that they could expect a gift, or a trip, or both from him at the end of the season.
Rodgers also fielded several questions about his faith.
"I just knew that God had a plan for me," he said. "Sometimes he doesn't let you know what that plan is until later in life. I knew that he had been watching over myself and my family my entire life and he was saving me for something special. Green Bay has been an incredible place for me_it's a little cold for my liking_but I've met some great people there and I'm very blessed to be there."
The Packers generally stayed away from the contract situation; Rodgers passed on that question as did several of his teammates.
Rodgers is usually forthcoming with his opinions, however, if he thinks the time and place are appropriate. Asked if he's too honest sometimes, Rodgers said, "I'm just trying to be like Chad," motioning over to receiver Chad Ochocinco, who was among the questioners.
Rodgers said the low point of the year for him was missing the New England game after his second concussion.
"I had to go home and rest. You hate not being around the guys. It's tough to suffer two head injuries like that, wondering if this was going to have any long term affects," he said.
He said the stringent concussion testing is good for the players and the league.
Rodgers said two things make the Packers a unique franchise. No owner makes the fans feel closer to the team. And everywhere you go, you see green and gold.
"Things are on a first-name basis," said Rodgers. "There's a special connection that's always been there between players and fans."
But Rodgers feels comfortable being the face of the franchise, as some reporters put it.
"In Green Bay there's a responsibility to be a high-character citizen," said Rodgers. "It's privilege to play in this league but also play in Green Bay where our team is so revered. It's important to conduct ourselves in a way that reflects well not only of ourselves and our family but the organization."
Though Brett Favre is two seasons removed from the Packers, Rodgers was of course asked about him no fewer than eight times, maybe more.
Did he call Favre for advice on Super Bowl or vice versa? "No."
The last time they talked was the last Packers-Vikings game in Minneapolis.
Could he describe their relationship? "Hmm. We're competitors?"
Favre won his Super Bowl at age 27. Rodgers is 27. "Bart Starr was also 27. I have heard that story. I hope I can keep that tradition going."
Rodgers said the transition was tough, especially the day Favre was in Green Bay but Rodgers was on the field to start the 2008 season.
"It was tough standing up in front of the media every day not knowing what questions are going to come at me and not knowing how the fans were going to react that day in practice," said Rodgers. "The whole time the organization stood behind me and they told the truth and I told the truth and we moved on together."
Does he feel vindicated, making the Super Bowl?
"How come this is getting so personal," said Rodgers, with another chair shift. "I don't have any of those feelings. That's not my motivation."
Does this erase the memory of Brett Favre? "No. Anytime you win a championship in Green Bay, you're revered for the rest of your life."
Think the Favre questions for you will ever end? "No."
He has consulted the advice of Steve Young, along with many other NFL quarterbacks, but not just for advice on how to replace a legend, as Young did with Joe Montana.
"I never looked at it as maybe the tall task that a lot of you did," said Rodgers. "I looked at it as an opportunity."
Rodgers was asked a lot about his time waiting behind Favre. When the Packers finally took Rodgers with the 24th pick in the 2005 NFL draft, he was greeted with this statement from then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue:
"Good things come to those who wait."
Now with his first media day behind him, Rodgers only has to wait a few days more for Super Bowl XLV.
Last updated: 4:36 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012