They were lying in wait. The vulchers were circling after Ryan Braun’s admission and subsequent suspension in the Biogenesis scandal. But, the vulchers weren’t circling to hammer away at Braun. No, the focus of the media’s ire was Chico’s Aaron Rodgers.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback had taken to twitter after Braun’s initial denials two years ago to support his friend and defend him against charges of being a “drug cheat.” In uncharacteristic fashion, Rodgers was outspoken, opinionated and firm in his defense. Aaron told people on twitter that they need to be careful what they read and believe and that he was willing to bet “next year’s salary” on Braun’s innocence. These were bold statements by Rodgers.
And, even as evidence mounted against the Brewers outfielder, I have to admit, Rodgers adamant defense of his friend caused me to pause and think maybe there was something to this strong defense. Maybe there was something wrong in the testing mechanism. Seriously, when has Chico’s favorite son made repeated verbal gaffes. How about never !!!
So, when word leaked that Braun was busted and he would be suspended for 65 games, everyone, and I mean everyone wanted to see what Rodgers would say. On Friday he finally spoke at Packers training camp. Again, it was Rodgers “wowing” us by handling a difficult situation with aplomb, class and integrity.
“He (Braun) looked me in the eye on multiple occasions and repeatedly denied these allegations and said they were not true. I don’t regret backing a friend, Obviously, in hindsight, a more measured approach would be a better course of action. I definitely believe in forgiveness and moving forward. He has a tough task in front of him moving forward with his career. I am just shocked and disappointed. It doesn’t feel good being lied to.”
In one short paragraph Aaron Rodgers had put out a growing fire. Just as he had done with the Favre controversy in his first year as a starter. I believe Rodgers answers in the Braun fiasco were on point and quite simply……………………perfect.
He told the media how not only were the fans of Milwaukee and the Brewers deceived but so was he. He showed us what being a friend is all about when you are loyal to those close to you. Some friends run, some hide, and some stay and take the fire. Rodgers showed us he is not a fair-weather friend. He stuck by Braun when the coals were hot. His statement also showed us that he is not immune from mistakes, in citing his “measured approach” when put in a position to defend and support friends in the future. He also laid it out in plain language where we all knew where he was coming from. His “doesn’t feel good to be lied to” line was perfect. We have all stood up for friends and found out they had done us wrong. It happens to all of us. In his true humble and self-deprecating style it became another true Aaron moment. A relatable moment. Putting US in his shoes getting US to empathize.
He could have gone in several different directions during this drama. But, as we have come to expect with the Pleasant Valley High and Butte College product he made us proud again. Ardent in support, empathetic in disappointment, conciliatory when convinced, and human when let down by a friend……