Sports rivalries can get vicious, but with the right people and in the right circumstances, these feuds can be laid to rest. Or can they? NASCAR driver Danica Patrick is testing that theory by dating Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and she’s getting some interesting results.
You see, the Patrick family are lifelong Chicago Bears fans, but the Packers and the Bears have the longest-running rivalry in the NFL, which means that when the time came for Rodgers to meet the family, interesting things began happening. Patrick’s father, TJ, told Autoweek, “I’m still a Bears fan. I’m always going to be a Bears fan. I can’t be a Packers fan. Danica is still a Bears fan, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be an Aaron Rodgers fan.”
Goooooo bears! pic.twitter.com/vvW8fmc6VP
— Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) September 7, 2014
He also said that when Patrick first brought Rogers home to meet the family, TJ planned to wear a Bears jersey but then couldn’t find it. Rodgers had a good sense of humor about it. TJ said of Rodgers: “He walked in and asked, ‘Where is your jersey?’ I told him I couldn’t find it. He said, ‘I would respect you a lot more if you had it on.’” He added, “He’s good about it. He knows. He is very intelligent and still has a sense a humor.”
Rumors began swirling in late 2017 that Patrick and Rodgers were dating. Patrick confirmed their relationship to the Associated Press in January. She said the two met back in 2012 at the ESPYs and remained friendly.
She added that despite her Bears fan origins, she has always rooted for Rodgers as an individual. And despite her dad’s hesitation to declare her a converted Packers fan, Patrick said, “Now I’m going to cheer for the whole team.”
The Packers and the Bears will go head to head in the NFL season opener on Sept. 9, so we’ll have to wait to see who Patrick roots for. In the meantime, Rodgers has been totally supportive of Patrick’s racing career. He’s attended her last two races and is set to attend the 102nd Indianapolis 500 on May 27, which Autoweek reports will be Patrick’s last race of her career.
These two seem very happy together despite whatever rivalries may exist between Rodgers’ team and Patrick’s family’s team. Patrick shared a photo with Rodgers and a group of friends at her 36th birthday party and said she has a “full heart space.” Whatever’s next, we’re rooting for them both!