As time wound down in the Chiefs’ 19-14 upset of the previously-undefeated Packers last weekend, we noticed something: Aaron Rodgers looked like he was smiling to himself about the whole thing. But…his team was now assured of not joining the elite, and exceedingly rare, ranks of NFL teams to go undefeated over an entire regular season. What did he have to look happy about?
Our Dan Fogarty theorized that he simply remembered he’s Aaron Rodgers, that he’s still got it about as good as anyone these days, and couldn’t help but grin at the thought. But on yesterday’s Pardon the Interruption, Tony Kornheiser actually got to talk to Rodgers himself. And in addition to confirming that people do indeed go up to Rodgers and yell “Discount double check!” all the time, Kornheiser asked about that smile:
It lends credence to the idea that Rodgers is “pure class” when he’s talking about feeling good for a guy because he’s had a long, solid career and you met him once a bunch of years ago. Ultimately, though, like he said, Rodgers has as much reason to feel good about the big picture as anyone. His team is the defending Super Bowl champion, and they’ve put themselves in about as good as possible a position to repeat. With a win this week, they clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Sure, this was a disappointing result, but in the end, Rodgers has bigger – and better – games to focus on. And he can’t wait.
In other words, he smiled because he remembered he’s Aaron Rodgers.