Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers quarterback and archnemesis of Chicago Bears fans, apparently has a lot of love for the Windy City.
Ahead of Bears-Packers this weekend, Rodgers gushed at a press conference about his admiration for the city and his respect the sports fans. Including the Bears fans he's tormented all these years, and that loathe him in return.
"I mean, I don't think they're extremely happy with me, they're not very cordial most of the time, but I respect that," Rodgers said. "I respect it's a great sports town they got two baseball teams, a basketball team that I grew up cheering for.
That's right, Rodgers grew up a Bulls fan. He's since become a minority owner of the Milwaukee Bucks so his Bulls allegiances have probably faded.
But his love of Chicago and its sports teams developed the way it did for many people.
"When I was growing up, one of the few channels we had on TV was WGN. So you got to watch like Cubs baseball, you know, and some Bulls basketball games for whatever reason. So you actually became a fan," Rodgers said. I think because I was a big sports fan and that was the only thing I was on TV."
And despite being a rival, he always enjoyed the city.
"For years, you know, when we played down there, I would, the night before go on a long walk and often walk to to dinner," Rodgers said. "Mastro's was where I went to dinner for years and years and years in a row, and I'm one of those walks, you know, a random mom and son, even though I'm all bundled up, you know, wearing a sweatshirt it's freezing and, you know, a winter hat and stuff. They recognize me and we walked for, I don't know, four or five blocks together.
"So that was there was a nice, nice chance meeting, but I've always enjoyed, enjoy the city, enjoy the fans, even though they haven't really enjoyed me. That's fine. I get it."
But his tenure in Green Bay nearly came to an end this offseason, and this could be his final season with the Packers.
"Maybe there'll be a little little more love when my time comes to an end playing here," Rodgers said. "But I do have a lot of respect for the city and the sports, the sports fans they got there."
And just to clarify, he will never play for the Bears.
"No, no, no. It's just not going to happen," Rodgers said when asked.
It's okay, we have Justin Fields and don't need a quarterback now.