Aug. 12, 2011
During a ceremony at the White House Friday recognizing the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl championship, former Golden Bear quarterback Aaron Rodgers presented President Obama with a No. 1 jersey and the words "Commander in Chief" on the back.
Obama noted how difficult the situation was for him, as he is a longtime Chicago Bears fan.
"I'm just gonna come out and say it," Obama said. "This hurts a little bit. This is a hard thing for a Bears fan to do. It doesn't hurt as much as the NFC championship game hurt, but it still hurts."
Green Bay defeated Chicago, 21-14, in the NFC Championship game to advance to the Super Bowl.
After defensive back Charles Woodson gave Obama a framed certificate of a share in the publicly-owned team, Rodgers stepped up to the microphone.
"On behalf of the team, we also want to give you the right colors to wear on those two dates you mentioned," Rodgers said, referring to the Packers two games with the Bears this season. "We got you this jersey. You can change into that right now."
Rodgers, who played quarterback for Cal during the 2003 and '04 seasons, was named Super Bowl MVP after guiding Green Bay to a 35-31 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He completed 24-of-39 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns. Linebacker Desmond Bishop, another former Golden Bear, registered eight tackles, including three for loss, and recovered a fumble in the win.
With his share of the team in hand, Obama became a part owner of the franchise and jokingly suggested that Green Bay should trade Rodgers to Chicago. White House spokesman Adam Abrams later released a statement to alleviate any hard feelings current Chicago QB Jay Cutler might suffer, noting that the president was looking for Rodgers to play as a backup.
"The president understands the value of having a reliable backup QB - and would make it more likely that he could greet the Bears at a similar ceremony at the White House next year," Abrams said.