GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers calls Bart Starr his “role model.” It appears the 30-year-old Green Bay Packers quarterback is doing a pretty good job of following in the footsteps of his 80-year-old predecessor and hero, both on the field and off.
Earlier this week, Rodgers was named the winner of the 2014 Bart Starr Award, which recognizes one NFL player for outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community.
Athletes in Action, which announced the award, will honor Rodgers during the 27th annual NFL-sanctioned Super Bowl Breakfast, on Friday, Jan. 31 at the Marriott Marquis hotel in New York City, as part of the Super Bowl XLVIII week festivities.
The winner of the Bart Starr Award is voted on by NFL players and is named for the Pro Football Hall of Famer, honoring the play who “best exemplifies Starr’s commitment to family, teammates and the community.” Past winners include Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, former Packers defensive end Reggie White and former Chicago Bears linebacker Mike Singletary.
Rodgers and Starr have become friends in recent years. Starr stood in for Rodgers during Super Bowl XLV week to collect Rodgers’ FedEx Air Player of the Year award at a ceremony Rodgers couldn’t attend because he was preparing for the game.
And last May, Starr was among the guests at Rodgers’ annual fundraiser for Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC Fund) in Milwaukee, “An Evening With Aaron Rodgers,” where the two shared the stage and stories.
“Here’s a guy Bart Starr, who has won more championships than anybody. And people talk about the kind of person he is,” Rodgers said that evening. “I think there’s no greater compliment than a guy who’s accomplished so much on the field and the first thing people talk about is the kind of person that he is.”
Other finalists for the award were Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen
Among Rodgers’ charity work are the MACC Fund; Raise Hope for Congo; itsaaron.com, which builds awareness for organizations and people who are making a difference in their communities; and the Make-A-Wish foundation, among many other projects.
For more information about the event, visit www.superbowlbreakfast.com.
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