Set to begin his 13th NFL season, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still on a quest to lead the franchise to another Super Bowl title. Rodgers and the Packers won Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers in February 2011, but the team hasn’t been back since then.
Given the Packers’ many playoff disappointments since then, Rodgers was asked by ESPN’s Mina Kimes if he was concerned about where he would be rated amongst the best quarterbacks in NFL history if he were to finish his career with just one Super Bowl title. Rodgers said no before expanding on his response.
“I mean, it’d be disappointing,” Rodgers told Kimes. “But no. I’d love to go back at least a few more times. But at some point, my career’s going to be over, and I’m going to move on and do other things and be excited about that chapter in my life.”
While some may be quick to see Rodgers’ response as a negative commentary on his competitiveness, that isn’t the case at all. Within the feature there was also an anecdote used to illustrate Rodgers’ competitiveness, with former teammate A.J. Hawk thinking back to the quarterback scolding him during a party game for his lack of effort.
“He was trying to scold me and tell me I wasn’t engaged,” Hawk says, laughing. “I was like, ‘You’re right — this game sucks.'”
Rodgers doesn’t dispute any of this.
“I’ve always wanted to be the best and hated losing, I think, more than I enjoyed winning,” he says. He does object, however, to the stories that paint him not just as competitive but also as incapable of letting slights fall to the wayside. “I’m not the grudge holder I’m accused of being,” he says. “I don’t have this stack of chips that I, you know, need to have on my shoulder all the time.”
Just how much football Rodgers has left to play remains to be seen, with the quarterback saying earlier this summer that he’d like to be a Packer when he’s 40 years old. The motivation is unlikely to change, with Rodgers looking to lead the Packers to more championships.
But should he fall short in that goal, it doesn’t appear as if he’s going to let those missed opportunities define him either.