Some of you might be aware that our friends over at ESPN 540 and ESPNMilwaukee.com will offer regular and exclusive interviews with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers moving forward, news that is good for all involved but especially those of us looking for interesting blog posts during the lockout.
In appearances on the D-List and with Homer this week, Rodgers offered some fun insight into the moments before Super Bowl XLV and his mindset as kickoff approached. In a span of about 10 minutes, Rodgers immediately noticed Christina Aguilera's botched line in the National Anthem and was later amused by a fight among photographers awaiting the coin toss.
Here's how Rodgers told the story about Aguilera, who at one point mistakenly sang this line: What so proudly we watched at the twilight's last reaming.
"I don't like standing in the front row, because I don't like that camera right in your face. I know you're on the bazillion-foot jumbotron. So I said, I'm going to stand by some people who are maybe not the most TV-recognizable names and see if I can blend in. So I went and kind of hid in the back...
"I don't remember who I was standing next to. But she starts singing it, and in most of the stadiums, they have the words on the board up above the singer so she can tell if she screwed up, or he. She screwed up and I knew it. Something was off.
"And I'm looking around like, did anyone else realize it? I don't think they had. I don't even know if the people were listening. But I knew something was off. So I tapped, I think it was Diyral Briggs next to me, I go, 'Did you hear that?' He's kind of like, 'What?' I said, 'She just totally screwed up.' So I look up at the board and see where she's at and I'm like, 'She just totally messed that up. People have got to know that she just screwed that up.'
"I feel kind of bad for her, but at the same time, come on now."
But, Rodgers said, "I have a better story than that.
"We walked out to the coin toss. The Super Bowl, there are these long TV timeouts. So we go out for the coin toss as one of the captains, there are five of us, and the Steelers guys are standing over there. And we're just standing there looking at each other for a good three minutes.
"Well, over to the left, about 10 cameramen have been trying to get in place to get the best shot, and two of them are fighting. They're yelling at each other in different languages, flipping each other off. The one guy is flipping him off, and the other guy below him is just taking all these pictures of it....
"So they're screaming at each other. The up guy is flipping him off and the down guy is taking all these pictures of him. So then the [low] guy stands up and he starts taking pictures of him. So they're both screaming at each other taking pictures of each other for a good minute and a half.
"And I'm tapping A.J. [Hawk], 'Look at that! Look at that! It's unbelievable!"
The anecdotes were fun, but I think they also revealed how calm Rodgers was in the moments before the biggest game of his life. I cover NFL games every week during the regular season and playoffs, and I can tell you that the pregame atmosphere at the Super Bowl are easily the most electric of the year.
But for Rodgers, he said, "It felt like a normal game. Is that bad? It felt like a normal game."
Nope, it's not bad at all. I think it helps explain why the Packers jumped out to a big lead in Super Bowl XLV and hung on for the eventual victory. Now we just need to work on Rodgers' late-70's movie knowledge. At the beginning of the Homer clip, he mistook the "Superman" theme for "Star Wars." Come on now.