Give Steve Young an assist for how Aaron Rodgers handles the “F” word.
But I’m not sure he needs much help. You haven’t heard all that much about the relationship between Steve Young and Aaron Rodgers, and both men probably like it that way. They are not everyday texting or calling friends, and I believe Rodgers would have handled the last six years of his landmine-turned-golden life pretty well without Young’s occasional advice, because Rodgers was raised by parents with excellent perspective.
But Rodgers and Young do have one very important thing in common: They took over for all-time great quarterbacks, and the succession in both cases was not smooth. But Young learned enough in the awkward years aside Joe Montana, and then replacing him, to be a good sounding board for Rodgers, particularly in the rough times when a) it seemed like he’d never have a chance to play and b) mayhem swirled around the 2008 Brett Favre retirement/unretirement and distracted Rodgers and the Packers daily.
And when Rodgers would seek Young out, the advice would be the kind of sound stuff that hit a home run with Rodgers. Paraphrasing, this was the kind of counsel Young gave Rodgers over the years: Never, even to your mother, say something that makes you a victim. Human nature being what it is, you’ll want people to know your side of the story, and you’ll want them to know how hard it all is for you. But if you complain publicly even one time, you’ll be a crybaby. That’s how people will see you. And they’ll remember.
Instead, if you just hold it in, and you just focus on football, it may take a few years, but respect will come back to you a hundred-fold. And when you begin to have success, people will look at you with tremendous respect because you didn’t fall into the trap of complaining about your circumstances.
Is that exactly what happened or what? I mean, what tremendous advice.
But back to Young. I gained a lot of respect for him after the Super Bowl 17 seasons ago, when he threw six touchdown passes to crush the Chargers. In his suite a couple of hours after the game, one of his relatives or friends in the back of the room, with some giddiness, called out, “Joe Who?” And Young, who could have said something to stick a dagger into Montana, instead said, “No, don’t do that. Don’t worry about that. That’s the past. Let’s talk about the future.”
Sounds like something his protégé would say.
You’re all heart, Steve Young.