What is Aaron Rodger’s “darkness retreat”? Will he retire after it?
The Packers QB has stated he will be entering into isolation to consider his next move, but what exactly is a “darkness retreat” and what does he hope to gain from it?
As is the case in Paul Simon’s classic song, “The Sound of Silence,” the darkness is an old friend with whom we can speak and find perspective. Of course, whether you believe that or not, you can’t deny that taking a time out to reflect, before making a life changing decision is never a bad idea. It appears that’s something that Aaron Rodgers appreciates.
Aaron Rodgers is going dark
In the wake of Tom Brady’s recent retirement, attention has naturally turned to the future of the other veteran quarterback in the league. Indeed, the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers is easily one of the best quarterbacks of his generation and he’s got the accolades to prove it. A back-to-back league MVP in 2020 and 2021, Rodgers has enjoyed an 18-year career during which he’s won a Super Bowl and been named MVP on four occasions. Yet, the 39-year-old now stands at a crossroads in his life. Clearly still capable, he’d be a blessing to any team, but at almost 40-years-old the salary he understandably commands could be prohibitive. That’s of course before we even mention the roster demands he will likely have as well. With all this in mind, Rodgers has decided that the best thing to do before moving forward with a decision, is to enter a four-day “darkness retreat.”
What did Aaron Rodgers say about the “darkness retreat?”
Speaking during an appearance on the Pat McAfee on Tuesday, Rodgers opened up about the reasoning behind his decision to enter the retreat. “I’ve got a pretty cool opportunity to do a little self-reflection in some isolation, and then after that I feel like I’ll be a lot closer to a final, final decision,” Interestingly, he disclosed that he will remain in darkness for four days and nights, however, he can in fact leave at any time if he desires to do so, before explaining that the experience can lead to hallucinations, which are similar to those experienced when one ingests the psychedelic drug, dimethyltryptamine (DMT).
“It’s four nights of complete darkness. ...You’re not locked in. You can leave if you can’t do it. You can just walk out the door. It’s a darkness retreat,” he said, while stating that it’s something that he’s wanted to experience for years. “I’ve had a number of friends who’ve done it and had some profound experiences. It’s just sitting in isolation, meditation, dealing with your thoughts,” he said. “It stimulates DMT, so there can be some hallucinations in there, but it’s just kind of sitting in silence, which most of us never do. We rarely even turn our phone off or put the blinds down to sleep in darkness. I’m really looking forward to it.” It’s worth mentioning that Rodgers has a documented interest in alternate methods, having previously discussed using ayahuasca – a psychedelic drink made of Amazonian plants – during an offseason retreat. In case you’re wondering the NFL did in fact confirm that he had not violated their drug protocols.
What can we expect from Aaron Rodgers post retreat?
In truth, this is a very tricky moment for Rodgers. On the one side he signed a bumper contract extension with the Packers last year. On the other, reports have indicated that the team would actually like to move on without him, having missed the playoffs for the first time since 2018. Then, there’s his former teammate Davante Adams who’s been publicly trying to convince Rodgers to join him in Las Vegas. This is all to say, it’s quite likely that if the QB decides to continue playing in the NFL, it’s highly likely he will be doing so for another team when the next season kicks off.
Ultimately, what we can say is that the man himself has not ruled out the possibility of calling it quits. Indeed, when asked about the prospect of retirement, Rodgers was clear. “It’s a real thing, 100 percent.” He then went even further saying, “That’s why I think it’s going to be important to get through this week and to take my isolation retreat and just to be able to contemplate all things my future and then make a decision that I feel like is best for me moving forward, and in the highest interest of my happiness and then move forward.”