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Cal Professor Added to Chip on Aaron Rodgers’ Shoulder

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a column asking what was wrong with the Packers. The team was 2-3 and had all sorts of issues. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t himself. I proposed a solution:

The BEST thing that could happen for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers? Heaps of “AARON RODGERS IS OVERRATED” and “WAS THE PACKERS 2010 SUPER BOWL RUN A FLUKE?” columns. ARodg is at his best when he’s proving the haters wrong. He’s great at responding to adversity.

It happened all over the place. (Shannon Sharpe’s hate was the most egregious.) Rodgers obviously responded quite well. During the last two weeks, he’s thrown for nine touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and approximately 5,000 yards.

A message for those haters? Shhhhhhhh.

A lot of the reasons for the famous chip on Rodgers’ shoulder have been exhaustively documented. Not recruited out of high school. Slipped to 24th in the draft as the entire universe saw his world collapse in the green room. Sat behind Brett Favre. Couldn’t Didn’t win a playoff game until his third season as a starter. Etc.

Today, Rodgers made his weekly appearance on ESPN Milwaukee with Jason Wilde. Around the 42-minute mark, he revealed a new story about where his motivation comes from. It. Was. Awesome. (Bold emphasis mine.)

Wilde: Misty wonders, “What was your major in college? What attracted you to that area of study, and how did your college education help develop your character and help you become who you are today?”

Rodgers: This will be a great story. I’m just going to parlay this into a super story that I’ve been waiting to tell for years. Settle in for the next 90 seconds, here.

I went to Junior College for two semesters and I transferred to Cal and wanted to do a communications major because I thought if I wasn’t able to do football professionally, I’d like to do broadcasting. When I got to Cal, the communications major was more of an analysis of the media, and how it worked more than how to get your foot into the door to do broadcasting.

Wilde: That doesn’t sound very interesting.

Rodgers: No, so I switched studies to an American Studies major which was a major where you could pick classes that fall into a certain emphasis. I like to say, ‘History,’ because the classes that I took were about History of Cultures — American History, World History, Civil War History — stuff that I love to study.

So, I’m in this food appreciation class, and there’s about 10 football players in the class of 200. Two teachers teaching it — they kind of alternated — anyway, there were breakout classes as well of about 30 that you were in where you went over your papers and got your homework assignments and stuff.

Long story short, we wrote this paper. For whatever reason, they didn’t like the way we cited stuff and everybody in my breakout class got an F on the paper. So, we all got to re-write it, or so I thought. But, when I went to re-write it and turn it back in, I still had an F.

Wilde: First F of your academic career?

Rodgers: Well actually, I got an F on a science project in 4th grade. I was planting these plants and watering the seeds and none of them grew in different soils, trying to test what soil was better for what plant. I got an F on it. Got a C in the class–my first C from 1st grade to 10th grade. My only non-A.

Back to this food appreciation class. So I got an F on this project, I didn’t cite correctly, I asked to re-write it, and wasn’t able to re-write it. They wouldn’t accept my paper. So I asked my breakout group [instructor], “How come I wasn’t able to re-write it?” She couldn’t give me an answer.

We started [football practice] at 2pm at Cal. The office hours for one of the teachers [also] started at 2. So I told my coach I was gonna be late, that I was gonna go down and talk to this teacher at Cal at her office hours.

I went in there and she was ready for me.

She basically ripped me apart and said that athletes always want stuff given to them, that I wasn’t gonna be able to re-write my paper, and on and on and on. She went into this tirade about athletes and entitlements and whatnot. She basically picked on the wrong person in the class because I was probably the best student out of the 11 football players in there. I was second-team all-academic at Cal, if you do your research there.

To get to the best part of the story, she’s looking at me, condescending, talking down to me. And she says, “What do you want to do with yourself?”

I said, “I want to play in the NFL.”

She laughed. She LAUGHED at me. It was a condescending laugh and she said, “You’ll never make it. You’ll get hurt. You’ll need your education, and you’re not gonna make it through school here.”

I said, “OK. I don’t agree with any of that.”

I just want to tell this to you today. “Thank you for adding to that chip on my shoulder and I hope that you’re a fan.”

Now at 4-3, the Packers are in third place in the NFC North. They are riddled with injuries. That being said, anybody want to play this team right now?

On behalf of my fellow fans, I have but one request: Can these weird ARodg haters PLEASE keep hating?


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