Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers loves that life in the NFL has mostly returned to normal after two seasons that were significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During his Sept. 2 appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” he described the joy of seeing his teammates hang out together in the locker room again.
“There’s freestyle rapping in one corner, and guys playing spades. ... The random specialists are in the other corner talking about Joseph Smith,” Rodgers said.
He added that he didn’t bring up Smith as a slight to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He said he’s been thinking about Latter-day Saints lately as he’s gotten to know his team’s new punter, Pat O’Donnell.
“I did make a joke with our new punter Pat O’Donnell. He showed up to plane, and I said, ‘Are you on your mission?’ Because he looked like a ... door-to-door Mormon guy,” he said.
Rodgers noted that the conversation led O’Donnell, who previously played for the Chicago Bears, to put a copy of the Book of Mormon in his locker. But first, O’Donnell marked it up with highlights and notations to pique the quarterback’s curiosity.
“He had taken the time and gone through it because he knew how detailed oriented I am and that I would probably look through it,” Rodgers said.
The move helped bring the two men closer, he added.
Rodgers, who grew up attending a nondenominational Christian church but now identifies as more of a spiritual seeker, said the marked-up Book of Mormon showed that O’Donnell really got his sense of humor and “intellect,” and gave the quarterback a glimpse of his punter’s goofy side.
“Pat’s got a great sense of humor,” Rodgers said.