AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP | Reigning Superbowl MVP excited for return trip to Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP | Reigning Superbowl MVP excited for return trip to Tahoe

Douglas Etten
detten@tahoedailytribune.com

Photo courtesy of Ray Rivard

STATELINE, Nev. – Aaron Rodgers was like every other coastal kid from California who’s family loved visiting Lake Tahoe.

Growing up in nearby Chico, it wasn’t uncommon for the Rodgers’ family to pile into the car and head east to where many northern California vacationers spend the majority of their free time on the shores of the world’s largest alpine lake.

“I did visit (Lake Tahoe.) I did a little bit of skiing when I was younger. I love the weather out there,” Rodgers said Thursday. “The lake is incredible. It’s a lot of fun. I’ve never had the opportunity to be up there for a Fourth of July celebration, but a lot of my friends go up there every single year and have a great time.”

Fresh off Rodgers’ Superbowl winning tour with the Green Bay Packers, the former University of California, Berkley star took time to talk with media Thursday about his excitement that surrounds coming back to Lake Tahoe for the 2011 American Century Championship to be hosted next month by NBC television, American Century and Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

He spoke to reporters about that and a number of other topics including the ACC, football and everything else Tahoe-related.

“It’s always fun to come out to Tahoe and get a chance to spend some time with the fans,” Rodgers said. “(The ACC) is one of the more personal events. Obviously a chance to play some golf with your colleagues in other sports is very attractive. That and the way Harrahs, NBC and Edgewood treat us is incredible. It’s an incredible week. It’s a great time to get to interact with the fans in the practice round and in the round on Thursday.”

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A northern California boy at heart, the trip makes sense for a guy like Rodgers. He takes the week in Tahoe as an opportunity to see old friends and interact with a loyal fan base. One that he says is as turning more and more Green and Gold.

“I’m just very blessed to have the type of support that I’ve been fortunate to gain from not only the Packers’ fans nation-wide, but remembering where I came from and growing up in a small town in northern California,” he said. “Being able to go to high school there along with junior college and play ball at Cal-Berkley … I just know how fortunate I am to have grown up in northern California where they care so much about their sports and they really rally behind me.”

During this offseason and the ongoing NFL lockout, Rodgers has been able to spend the offseason in western California where the receptions from town to town have been humbling.

“It’s been great to travel up and down the coast over there and see the kind of support that our team has and that I have from the great people of northern California,” Rodgers aid.

Rodgers will be one of many current and former NFL signal callers who are looking to be either in the middle of the pack or favored to win the 2011 championship purse posted at $600,000.

Rodgers admits, though playing quarterback and shooting low golf rounds sometimes are a given, he’s probably not someone a betting man would wager on just yet.

“I think that it’s kind of an expectation that if you’re a quarterback you need to be a good golfer,” Rodgers said candidly. “There’s different tiers in Tahoe. There’s the tier that Billy Jo (Tolliver), Tony (Romo) and those guys are in and then there is kind of that second tier where a lot of the bragging rights come from. I enjoy playing with those guys and usually there are some friendly wagers that come those guys and get brought up during the season.”

Rodgers has had a busy schedule this offseason. Playing into February already shortened the season a fair amount, but then with winning the Lombardi Trophy and Superbowl MVP, there has been a lot of added media attention to both himself and the team which as kept him away from the links and his preparation for the ACC.

“I haven’t been able to get out as much as I’ve wanted to the last month. It’s been a very busy month with charity events and working out and different things I’ve been going to, but I’m going to hone it in the next two weeks and make sure I’m prepared,” Rodgers said.

The 2010 all-pro QB says he hopes to be able to finish in the top 25 competitors overall next month. If not, he’s got a few holes which won’t let him down even if his game falls apart.

“Usually when I play bad, I slice the ball,” Rodgers said. “If I hit it hard enough, there are a couple of holes that play right into my hand.”