ARLINGTON, Texas — For the record, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers fielded 18 Brett Favre-related questions during his one-hour interview session at Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday at Cowboys Stadium.
That works out to about one Favre question every three minutes, which isn’t surprising considering how irresistible that story angle is for the national media.
Rodgers said he hasn’t spoken to Favre since mid-November following the Packers’ 31-3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. The biggest thing he learned from Favre was “consistency,” and when asked to describe his relationship with the former Packers quarterback, Rodgers replied: “We had a great relationship, a working relationship, and I enjoyed the time we got to spend together.”
The Favre saga largely has been put to rest in Wisconsin, but Rodgers had to know what he was in for when facing a swarm of media members from across the country. He was asked when he expected the Favre questions to cease and replied, “Never.”
Rodgers was polite and patient and maintained his sense of humor. Beyond Favre, football and faith, Rodgers adroitly fielded wildly random queries that ran the gamut.
His inquisitors included a Nick Tunes character in full costume, a reporter from the Weekly Reader, “Ross the Intern” from “The Tonight Show,” and a representative from Access Hollywood, who prodded Rodgers to reveal the following preferences: “Glee” over “Modern Family”; “The Social Network” over “The King’s Speech”; Facebook over Twitter; and Taylor Swift over Katy Perry.
In addition, Beyonce has the “best butt” out of a group of women that includes J-Lo, Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian.
He declined to answer who was hotter, Tom Brady or Gisele Bundchen, listed Swift as his “celebrity crush” and scoffed at someone trying to compare the Packers’ offense to the Los Angeles Lakers’ fast-break attack of the 1980s.
Beyond the silliness, there were serious moments during Rodgers’ media session.
He calls his grandparents on his mom’s side before every game. “(They) have been two of the most important people in my life,” he said. “Special people. … they’ve just always been a huge part of my life and great role models to me on what a healthy marriage looks like and a generous life. I just want them to know how much I appreciate and love them.”
He said he takes his responsibility as a role model seriously. “I think that’s part of my role as a professional athlete,” he said. “Whether some of us like to admit it or embrace it or not, we have a platform and we have an opportunity to make an impact.”
He has great respect for former Packers quarterback Bart Starr. “Bart has been incredible to me — in the last three years especially — with the e-mails and conversations that I’ve been able to share with him,” Rodgers said. “He’s an incredible man and a guy I’d love to model my career after.”
He declined to answer questions about Ben Roethlisberger’s off-the-field troubles or the NFL’s collective bargaining negotiations, and wouldn’t choose between himself or Roethlisberger as the better quarterback.
Rodgers’ goal during the media session was simple: “I’m just trying to get through this 60 minutes without saying anything stupid.”
On that count, it was a successful day for Rodgers. The same couldn’t be said for his questioners.
Mike Vandermause is sports editor of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.