Does Aaron Rodgers think he’s too good to eat what the fine people of Wisconsin eat? One can only draw that conclusion from a recent story that the Packers quarterback has eliminated dairy and a lot of meat from his diet.
I know Rodgers is a California native where that kind of thing is celebrated, but is that even legal in Wisconsin?
Per ESPN.com’s story on Rodgers, who says he has shed 12 pounds and is down to 218: “Through your eating, you can reduce inflammation because if you do research, you learn the different foods you eat can actually increase the inflammation in your body and especially in certain parts of your body. And with a knee condition I’ve had a long time, it really started after the surgery, thinking about exactly what I’m going to eat the first couple of weeks after surgery to kind of limit the amount of inflammation in my knee and carried that around the rest of the offseason.”
OK, let’s back up a minute for a quick break from the at least half-satirical tone. Rodgers said he is cutting out dairy and eating a mostly vegan diet in an effort to lose weight and cut inflammation. As someone who has also cut way down on his dairy consumption for anti-inflammatory purposes, I can’t seriously criticize Rodgers. If it works for him — and it sounds like it does — then it’s all good.
Now, back to the semi-legitimate question of just how this news will play out in a state that boasts “Dairyland Delight” fridge magnets. I’ve reached out to a member of the Wisconsin Dairy Council for comment (seriously), but I’m still waiting to hear back.
The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board released a statement to Action 2 News saying in part that it was “disappointed” by Rodgers’ decision and adding in part that Rodgers may “need to be careful to consume the important protein and calcium he needs for strong muscles and bones.”
In the mean time, on ESPN.com’s story, we can already spot comments such as “trade him” and a classic well, actually comment that reads: “Studies show that dairy fat is actually better for your health than a diet without dairy fat. Stick to using your arm instead of trying to use your brain, Aaron.”
Some Packers fans will probably ignore the story or even applaud Rodgers for making a lifestyle change he believes will benefit his performance. But for others, I imagine this will become another negative bead on the scale of Rodgers vs. Brett Favre.
As strange as it sounds given that Rodgers is a statistically superior QB to Favre and has won a Super Bowl just like his predecessor, there is a decent-sized segment of Green Bay fandom that clings to the gunslinger as the epitome of quarterbacking. For the Wisconsin fan base, Favre is the far more relatable character and player.
Favre took chances, had fun and worked through his painkiller addiction. Rodgers plays it safer and takes proactive instead of redemptive steps at cleaning up his life. I’m not here to say which is the better way to live — only to point out which one I think resonates more with the Packers fan base.
As long as Rodgers doesn’t say anything about beer, he at least still has a chance. Butif Rodgers is going to cut out dairy in the land of cheeseheads while also limiting his meat consumption in the land of bratwurst, it is strangely going to increase that divide in the eyes of some fans.
It might be odd to pick sides in a QB battle based on whose house you’d rather visit for a cookout, but our neighbors to the east are proud of how seriously they take these things.