Aaron Rodgers, to say it modestly, is qualified to be an NFL quarterback. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, when he was in college, he actually had a professor laugh at him when he said that he wanted to play in the NFL.
The Super Bowl winning quarterback recently revealed that he’s still motivated by an incident that occurred during his playing days at The University of California.
Rodgers said on Tuesdays With Aaron, a weekly radio show with ESPN Wisconsin’s Jason Wilde, that he had received an F in a food appreciation class at Cal. When he went to talk to the professor about his paper, the teacher informed him that he better buckle down on his studies because it was laughable to think that a career in the NFL was possible.
Here’s a snippet from Rodgers story:
“I’m in this food appreciation class, and there’s about 10 football players in the class of 200 … Long story short, we wrote this paper. For whatever reason, they didn’t like the way we cited stuff and everybody in my breakout class got an F on the paper. So, we all got to re-write it, or so I thought. But, when I went to re-write it and turn it back in, I still had an F …
“We started [football practice] at 2pm at Cal. The office hours for one of the teachers [also] started at 2. So I told my coach I was gonna be late, that I was gonna go down and talk to this teacher at Cal at her office hours. I went in there and she was ready for me.
“She basically ripped me apart and said that athletes always want stuff given to them, that I wasn’t gonna be able to re-write my paper, and on and on and on. She went into this tirade about athletes and entitlements and whatnot…
“To get to the best part of the story, she’s looking at me, condescending, talking down to me. And she says, “What do you want to do with yourself?” I said, “I want to play in the NFL.” She laughed. She LAUGHED at me. It was a condescending laugh and she said, “You’ll never make it. You’ll get hurt. You’ll need your education, and you’re not gonna make it through school here.”
“I said, “OK. I don’t agree with any of that.” I just want to tell this to you today. “Thank you for adding to that chip on my shoulder and I hope that you’re a fan.”
Bleacher Reports notes that Rodgers, in addition to being a stud quarterback at Cal, was also a Second-Team Academic All Pac-10 athlete. According to his story, Rodgers was also willing to miss practice in order to talk about his studies with his teacher.
Rodgers may have been unfairly singled out for his academic performance, but it was probably a good thing. Rodgers says that he is still motivated by the incident and still works hard to prove that he’s good enough to play in the NFL.
As of today, he’s thrown more than 150 touchdowns and close to 20,000 yards. He’s won a Super Bowl and is the only player in NFL history to throw more than 4,000 yards during his first two seasons as a starting quarterback.
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