NFL Star Aaron Rodgers on His Guitar Collection, Zenith Watches and His Meditation Routine
Green Bay Packer Aaron Rodgers is one of the finest quarterbacks in NFL history. He had the best touchdown-to-interception rating in the league through the 2010s, is second in the league’s all-time regular-season career-passer rating list and is a four-time NFL MVP. A five-time winner of the Best NFL Player ESPY Award, he’s almost certainly a future Hall of Famer, and despite nearing his 40th birthday, he continues to deliver the Packers to victory in a notoriously grueling sport.
But football is hardly Rodgers’s entire story. A deeply spiritual man, he’s a conscientious listener and devoted student, and—as it turns out—an excellent Jeopardy host (he had a 10-day guest stint in 2021). You might see him in a State Farm ad or an episode of your favorite TV series such as The Office or Game of Thrones and, these days, he’s also busy acting as an ambassador for Swiss watchmaker Zenith. But Rodgers also knows the importance of disconnecting, which may explain both the level of consciousness he brings to the game and his remarkable longevity in the sport. Here’s a look at his life off the field.
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What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Brush my teeth. [Laughs] I shower, and it depends on how much time I have. I like to meditate in the morning and then make this coffee drink and then head into work.
How do you find calm?
Reading, meditation—but I have kind of a routine. I like to come home, put my phone aside, put on a record or some instrumental music and then get into a meditation. Light incense. Kind of take an hour to decompress before getting back into life.
What type of instrumental music?
I don’t know what genre you’d call it, but a lot of spiritual, ceremonial music.
How would you describe your look?
I’m way more about comfort and just adding little accessories—a watch, a necklace. I’m wearing a couple of brands that are super-duper comfortable, like Spiritual Narcissist. And they look good as well, and that’s a bonus.
What have you done recently for the first time?
A watchmaking clinic with Zenith in Le Locle, Switzerland. I studied history in college—I’ve always enjoyed the history of all things, sports and non-sports—and I got a first-class, up-close look at this when I went to Le Locle. I met Julien [Tornare, Zenith’s president and CEO] and we really hit it off. I’m always drawn to passionate people, I could see his passion for watchmaking, class and excellence, and that’s kind of what I’m all about.
What do you collect?
Guitars. A lot of different brands. I’ve got a 1969 Gibson Hummingbird, but I’m a big Taylor fan as well—the first guitar I bought was a Taylor. I’ve gotten a few at some auctions over the years, a few Strats. But that Hummingbird is probably my favorite.
Have you played anything new on guitar recently?
I hadn’t picked up the guitar in like a month, and right before I came here, I had a dream that I’d forgotten the opening riff to “Tears in Heaven.” And the guitar was out because a friend of mine was in town—he’s a guitar player and he was playing this morning. And I said, “Let’s see if I remember this.” Because I had this nightmare that I’d forgotten that riff. And I picked it up and I was like, “Nope! I still got it!”
Do you have a favorite hotel, anywhere in the world?
Hôtel Palafittein Neuchâtel, Switzerland. I can’t pronounce it, but that was an awesome hotel.
What’s always in your hand luggage?
I have a sacred stone that I take with me all the time, a smoky amethyst.
What does success look like to you?
I don’t think it’s measured on the field in wins and losses. I think a lot of it has to do with personal happiness. Self-love is kind of the core to all of it. When you love yourself unconditionally, it’s a lot easier to be happy.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
I would love to, at some point, be a good board-sport athlete. I’m terrible on the water, and I’d love to be a good surfer, a good snowboarder and maybe, like, wake surfing. That looks really fun.
Last streaming binge?
House of the Dragon. There’s also a group called Untold that’s done these short documentaries. There was one about my friend Mardy Fish, and he talks a lot about mental health. There was also one about Tim Donaghy, the referee, who got indicted for cheating and Mob ties. There’s been, like, four or five really good ones.
What’s the most impressive dish that you like to cook?
I used to say that I make a really mean chili, and then I was told that that’s super rudimentary and that I shouldn’t brag about it. [Laughs] I can do a really good gluten-free corn bread. But I’m a breakfast guy. I can make, from scratch, really good pancakes and waffles.
What is the car you’re most attached to?
I’m not a car guy. I only own one: a Range Rover. I love it.
What do you do that’s still analog?
I have a button on my phone—that seems pretty analog! It’s, like, an iPhone 7.
When was the last time you completely unplugged?
Every day, for an hour when I get home from work. And then there are certain times when I’ll just turn my phone on silent and then go into a long meditation that often turns into some sort of extended
nap or even into sleep. But I like to start that a little earlier—that could be three, four, five hours of just unplugging and stepping away from the world.
Who is your guru?
I have an acupuncturist who is super meaningful to me; we have esoteric conversations about spirituality. I worked with an amazing monk on meditation. I have an incredible astrologist who’s like a pseudo-mom to me, who taught me astrology and is a mentor for me. And I’ve got an adopted, non-blood big brother who’s like a guru-mentor to me as well.
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