Many athletes use past shortcomings and perceived slights as fuel.
Headed into his 18th NFL season, Aaron Rodgers isn’t motivated by revenge or silencing critics. Instead, he told reporters Wednesday (h/t Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio) that he’s most driven by love.
The emotion, not backup quarterback Jordan Love.
“Just tapping into the love of this game, love of my teammates,” Rodgers said. “That’s what gets me up in the morning, coming in here and loving what I do. And having that gratitude for this opportunity, because at some point, the ride’s gonna be over.”
That doesn’t mean the 38-year-old will enter the season without any aspirations. He’s just grown a greater appreciation for a career he won’t be able to continue forever.
“Obviously, you know, we want to win a Super Bowl. And individual accolades are great,” Rodgers added. “But being present in the moment, I think, is really important, especially for an older player, because each moment is just a little bit more special.”
Some may think Love has fueled Rodgers more than love in recent years. Rodgers posted the lowest QBR (52.5) of his career in 2019 before Green Bay traded up to trade his apparent successor in the first round.
Rodgers has responded with back-to-back MVP seasons.
Although he signed a three-year extension this offseason, Rodgers later admitted to thinking about retirement “all the time.” Even if he’s still playing at an elite level, the superstar quarterback could hang up his cleats in the near future.
That possible finality seemingly has Rodgers viewing his career from a different perspective. Of course, he and Packers fans would also love to hoist another Lombardi Trophy.