Adored as he is by many, Aaron Rodgers has been criticized plenty.
Media blowhards like Skip Bayless and Colin Cowherd have long offered contrarian takes denigrating his leadership. Every year, some NFL player calls him arrogant (most recently Bears linebacker Lamarr Houston). Ex-teammates such as Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley – after leaving Green Bay – have grumbled about a holier-than-thou attitude and the perception that the Packers quarterback can do no wrong.
It seems Rodgers – specifically his confident personality – has rubbed some people the wrong way, including a few that were formerly quite close to him, amid his rise to superstardom.
Count his little brother among those who apparently feel snubbed by the two-time MVP.
Jordan Rodgers, 27, who’s currently on ABC’s "The Bachelorette" and is one of the four remaining contestants competing for JoJo Fletcher’s heart, opened up in Monday’s episode about his (non)relationship with his older brother – and, in the process, opened up a whole big can of family-drama worms going into next week’s edition, which is a visit to each suitor’s hometown.
"My middle brother won’t be there," Jordan told JoJo. "Like I said, I have a great relationship with my (oldest) brother Luke. Me and Aaron really don’t have much of a relationship."
The former Vanderbilt quarterback, who had a short-lived NFL career, previously had described things as "complicated" between him and Aaron, 32. On Monday, he went into some more detail.
"It's just kind of the way he’s chosen to do life, and I chose to stay close with my family and my parents and my brother," Jordan Rodgers said. "It's not ideal. I love him, and I can't imagine what it's like to be in his shoes and have the pressure he has and the demands from people that he has.
"Don't have hard feelings against him; it's just how things go right now."
The youngest bro continued, describing a sense of inferiority growing up and saying he felt "disappointed" in himself as compared to Aaron’s abilities and accomplishments.
"No matter what I did, it was never good enough for a coach or for a teammate, because I was being compared to someone who did it the best," he said. "I could've kept playing, but football didn't define me. Not having a great relationship with my brother Aaron, or what people think that relationship should be, didn't define me. I'm defined by the character I have."
It’s an interesting sentiment – and actually sort of insightful, given Aaron Rodgers’ reluctance to reveal private details of his personal life – even if it does sound a little weepy and self-pitying.
Surely, it must be difficult to grow up with and live in the shadow of one of the most famous athletes in the world – the epitome of little brother syndrome – but Jordan’s comments run counter to the words of former coaches and players who were close to Rodgers in his high school and college years, when he was far – very far – from the ultra-talented prodigy his little brother seems to describe.
JoJo and Jordan will visit the Rodgers clan – minus Aaron, evidently – next week in Northern California. Packers training camp kicks off on July 26, when, if Jordan is still on the show, Aaron will no doubt be thrilled to answer prying questions about the not-great relationship with his spurned little brother.
Until then, and because it’s important to focus on the things that really matter, here is the latest picture of the adorable dogs belonging to Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn. No word on whether or not the dogs resent Rodgers, too.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.