Packers Nation: Florio Apologizes

Senior writer jclombardi reports Florio apologizes.

Florio apology: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers appeared today on The Dan Patrick Show. During the interview, Rodgers addressed the video that appeared over the weekend on WBAY-TV in Green Bay, with Rodgers walking past Packers fan and cancer survivor Jan Cavanaugh as she sought an autograph. “I’ve met Jan on previous occasions,” Rodgers said. “As the video shows, I didn’t see her. I didn’t sign for her. It turned into something I didn’t really expect.” The images from the now-yanked story shows a terminal at Austin Straubel Airport containing a group of Packers fans, seeing the Packers off to Atlanta on Friday of last week. In the video, Cavanaugh explains that she has a pink hat that she hopes Rodgers will sign it. And the very next image shows Rodgers strolling by with buds in his ears and the “force field” demeanor. When I saw the video for the first time, I cringed. But then I did what we bloggers all too often do. I fired off a rebuke of Rodgers without considering anything else about the other things he has done

Doyel of CBS has provided an excellent look at Rodgers’ good deeds, including his work for Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer. In many respects, he has shown his appreciation of and concern for the citizens of Green Bay and Wisconsin. I apologize to Rodgers for painting him with an unjustifiably broad brush based on a very brief slice of his life. It was wrong to jump to conclusions about whether he treats fans properly, and whether he understands the connection between the fans who support him and the money he makes. Though some have argued that true character is revealed in those fleeting moments, the whole truth about a man falls somewhere between his best days and his worst days. For Rodgers, there’s no reason to believe that the truth isn’t a lot closer to the best than the worst. I apologize to Packers fans for distracting you from the afterglow of a game that has ushered in a new golden age of Green Bay football. With a stirring win over the top-seeded Falcons and a historic postseason contest against the Bears on the horizon, you shouldn’t have had to worry about an opinion that I delivered too quickly, too strongly, and too stubbornly.

I allowed emotions based on my own experiences to overcome reason, and I hope in the future to be able to take a step back before sharing the full thrust of my initial reaction on these pages. I also apologize to Jan Cavanaugh. I should have realized that this would bring attention she doesn’t want or need, and I would have if I hadn’t shared the full thrust of my initial reaction without thinking it through or looking into the good things Rodgers has done. I’ve had two nights to sleep on it and plenty of other time to think about it. And I realized that I’d only feel better if I apologized. Hopefully, we’ve all learned something from this experience. I know I have. And rather than listing, as I ordinarily would, all the other lessons that I think everyone else involved in this situation should learn, I’ll shut up and move on and let folks come to their own conclusions about what they may do differently when confronted with similar circumstances in the future.

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