Aaron Rodgers reps 'The Office' and TV actor Brian Baumgartner with T-shirt upon return to Packers training camp
GREEN BAY - If this offseason has taught us anything about Aaron Rodgers, it’s that he doesn’t do or say anything by accident.
So “The Office” T-shirt he wore Tuesday morning, when he ended the uncertainty swirling around his future with the Green Bay Packers and reported to training camp, probably was not just a random closet grab.
The "NBA Jam"-style shirt has been getting all kinds of buzz on social media since the Packers shared a photo on Twitter of Rodgers' arrival at Lambeau Field after months of drama about whether he would return.
Rodgers is a noted fan of “The Office” and even did a cameo in 2013. The shirt features the “Kevin’s Famous Chili” scene from Episode 98, in which accountant Kevin Malone arrives early with a huge pot of homemade chili for his co-workers at Dunder Mifflin, only to drop it on the floor and have to try to scoop it back in using binders.
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Rodgers, who also frequently shows his love of "Star Wars" with his T-shirt choices, could have just been making a fan fashion statement with this one. Some, however, saw parallels between messes: the one on "The Office" and the one involving Rodgers' apparent unhappiness with the Packers' front office.
Malone is played by actor Brian Baumgartner, who is good friends with Rodgers. He was quick to tweet his approval of the wardrobe choice.
Baumgartner first met Rodgers at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in 2008 in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada, when he was sitting at a blackjack table and the guy next to him told him he was a big fan.
“It turned out he was Aaron Rodgers. I had no idea who he was. No clue. This is the summer before he became a starter," Baumgartner told People Now last year. "I was like, ‘Oh, you’re the Cal guy who's never going to play because of Brett Favre, right?’ And we became very, very good friends since that time.”
During an appearance on "The Rich Eisen Show" in May, Baumgartner shared his take on the rift between Rodgers and the Packers, talking about the team's decision to draft quarterback Jordan Love in 2020.
"And you don’t communicate with your MVP that this is something you’re going to do and explain why," Baumgartner said. "It's like if they brought in a big balding guy to sit at the desk across from me at 'The Office.' And I was like, ‘Uh, guys, what are we doing here? Am I under contract still? I told everybody I wanted to finish my career here at Dunder Mifflin.’”
Apparel company Homage spotted the T-shirt, too, and jumped quickly on the exposure. Listed as "The Office Jam Kevin And Chili" shirt on its website, it normally retails for $32 but is listed at $27 for a limited time.
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Contact Kendra Meinert at 920-431-8347 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @KendraMeinert.