GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers isn’t quite sure how the Kansas City Chiefs did it. Nor is he sure how Brady Quinn was so eloquent under such horrible circumstances.
Speaking during his weekly radio show Tuesday on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com, the Green Bay Packers quarterback said he was impressed with the way the Chiefs, head coach Romeo Crennel and Quinn handled themselves in the wake of linebacker Jovan Belcher killing his girlfriend, Kassandra Perkins, then killing himself Saturday at the Chiefs’ facility at Arrowhead Stadium.
Rodgers said he saw Quinn’s post-game press conference and thought the quarterback, who is also Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk’s brother-in-law, struck the perfect chord with his comments.
After the game, Quinn was asked about his emotions. His reply: “I think it was an eerie feeling after a win because you don’t think that you can win in this situation. The one thing people can hopefully try to take away, I guess, is the relationships they have with people. I know when it happened, I was sitting and, in my head, thinking what I could have done differently. When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really mean it? When you answer someone back how you are doing, are you really telling the truth? We live in a society of social networks, with Twitter pages and Facebook, and that’s fine, but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we are more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships that we have right in front of us. Hopefully people can learn from this and try to actually help if someone is battling something deeper on the inside than what they are revealing on a day-to-day basis.”
Said Rodgers Tuesday: “It’s a terrible tragedy. My initial thought and prayers went to Kassandra Perkins and her family. Hopefully that wasn’t lost in the whole thing – that she was the victim here.
“I thought that Brady handled himself really well. I’ve gotten to know Brady obviously because he’s Laura Quinn-Hawk’s brother – obviously I’m close to A.J. and Laura, and I’ve known Brady for a long time now. I don’t think I could have thought about for hours what I wanted to say, written it down, memorized it and said anywhere close to how good he put it. I think he just, in a moment of clarity, totally wrapped the whole thing up and gave everybody listening and who was able to hear it later or see the transcript a nugget to chew on.
“He’s exactly right, this is a different day and age. The way that social media has affected the way we live our lives has a big impact on our society, and I thought he was excellent and he kind of summed up that whole thing in a difficult situation.”
Rodgers said he met Crennel in 2005, when Rodgers was projected as a top draft pick and Crennel was head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
“Since then I’ve had a lot of respect for him. I appreciate the way he goes about his business,” Rodgers said. “I mentioned last year when we lost to him, I have a lot of respect for him and I think he carries himself with a lot of class. To be in the situation that he was in, … unspeakable to be able to be in that situation and to have to deal with that is a major tragedy, but I think one thing we do need to I think remind ourselves is that this is a tragedy that starts with the death of Kassandra Perkins.”
Rodgers also said he understood why the NFL and the Chiefs decided to play the game.
“I think in general, football can be an escape from the circumstances that you’re dealing with at the time. And it also needs to have a balance on the flip side, and you need to have an escape from football," Rodgers said. “I think that’s what some players don’t always grasp is that we’ve played this game for so long and we love this game and we put a lot into it. On one end it has to be the most important things for us on Sundays, but you have to be able to find that balance – to be able to turn it off at time.
“That Chiefs organization, the NFL, thought it was the right thing to play the game. I think being together was probably the most important thing for those guys and I think Romeo mentioned something to that (effect) – being together was very important for them. But it was difficult circumstances for them to come together. I don’t know how our team would have totally dealt with it. I think there has to be a major source of leadership to be able to keep things in perspective and to realize what happened and be totally respectful of the Perkins family and their grieving while missing Jovan as well, I mean, that’s a difficult situation. So they were able to come together; I think it was more than winning and losing, it was about being together in that point and being able to escape the circumstances they were dealing with.”
Return to: Jason Wilde Blog