Save me a Spot

This is written by a sports anchor from Fox 6 in Milwaukee . It doesn't get any
better than this.

"Save Me a Spot"

This job affords me some incredible opportunities. Being a member of the
FOX 6 Sports team means I've been able to witness and report on events
and people that many can only admire from a distance. I never take these
situations for granted and sincerely appreciate being involved in
whatever capacity each permits.

Monday marked just the most recent case as I had the unparalleled
privilege to be a part of Aaron Rodgers charity event to benefit the
MACC Fund, a charity towards eradicating childhood cancer and blood disorders.

Scattered throughout the crowd of rabid Packers aficionados, were the
people who I consider the event's real MVPs. They are the families
who've been forced to deal with one of life's toughest sentences - the
loss of a child.

Those who sprung for the tickets were not disappointed. In a world where
many athletes regurgitate canned and rehearsed responses, the Packers
quarterback was refreshingly candid. Aaron addressed a number of topics
with in-depth, honest reaction - even some that if reprinted and mass
distributed might raise some eyebrows.

Aaron stressed the importance of availability and accountability. In his
opinion, it is a player's responsibility to attend all of the team
activities as they are all intended to better the team as a whole. And
then, similarly, he addressed the importance of taking the
heat/criticism when one falls short of expectations and duties.

He is never nervous to take the field. Aaron is supremely confident in
the preparation he's put in during the week leading up to Sunday's match
up. The way the 2009 season ended was disappointing but his
self-confidence was not affected by the outcome. One of the toughest
realizations was that that combination of players would never take the
field together again. He likened the team to a family and admitted that
conflict can and does occasionally exist but they try to handle such
situations with maturity and civility.

He talked music and his love for tunes at a young age revealing that his
mom used to sing and play lullabies and country music when he was a
child. Aaron's record label Suspended Sunrise is a product of this
passion but also a contingency plan for life after football. His
favorite song is Ben Harper's 'Forever' and he's envious of John Mayer's
guitar skills though not his tabloid reputation. He appreciated my
affinity for Keith Urban but gave the audience a thumbs-down when I
mentioned fellow country crooner Kenny Chesney.

His favorite book is The Bible and he tries to read it every day not
just when life's challenges and struggles surface.

His favorite movie is The Princess Bride which he admits he's caught flack for
but says he and his childhood friends can recite every line from the
film and it is
simply a great story.

Rodgers' answers to questions on this night were certainly admirable. And I
honestly didn't think I could respect Aaron more. But I was wrong.

My friend, the father of that young girl who passed, was there that
night. He was one of several attendees brought up on stage where he caught
a football thrown by the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.

He asked Aaron to sign the football he'd caught. He wondered if
he'd make it out to his daughter. It isn't shocking that Rodgers
obliged. What caught me off guard was the dedication he made. It wasn't
until after Aaron left that I first saw the autograph... and the simple
yet sweet message that brought tears to this father's eyes:

"To Cheri the angel. Save me a spot. - Aaron Rodgers"

I hope that Packers fans realize how lucky they are to have such an
upstanding young man leading their team on the field every weekend. I
hope they appreciate the challenges that were thrust upon him and
acknowledge the maturity with which he handled them. I hope they stand
behind the kid and respect him not only for his incredible talent but
for his intelligence and honesty, poise and compassion.

My job has afforded me the chance to watch Aaron Rodgers play football
for the last few seasons. But I am truly thankful for the opportunity to
see the other side of this impressive young man. And pass on some of
what I witnessed to you.

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