It’s probably safe to say no NFL player has an offseason calendar set up like Aaron Rodgers.
Step one for the Green Bay Packers quarterback was to compete in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which he won (amid some questions about a curiously high handicap). Step two, as he explained to “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday, is to spend four days and nights isolated in a completely dark room.
This shouldn’t surprise anyone considering what we’ve learned about Rodgers’ past use of a potent psychedelic in Peru, which he also explained on “The Pat McAfee show.” Rodgers, in fact, confirmed on the same show Tuesday that he won’t be using ayahuasca this offseason, but will instead do what he called a “darkness retreat” as he contemplates his NFL future:
“That’s why I think it’s going to be important to get through this week and to take my isolation retreat and just be able to contemplate all things my future and then make a decision I feel like is best for me moving forward in the highest interest of my happiness and then move forward.”
Rodgers’ future in Green Bay is expected to be one of the biggest stories of the offseason. He remains under contract with the Packers through 2026 after signing an extension last year, but a rough 8-9 season has many speculating whether he will be traded. Rodgers mentioned a number of Las Vegas Raiders fans vocally lobbied him to join their team at Pebble Beach.
Rodgers also said he was still considering retiring and called rumors he didn’t want to be in a Hall of Fame class with Tom Brady and J.J. Watt ‘bulls***.” Instead, he said he is “I’m still in the art of contemplation about my future” and will “be a lot closer to a final, final decision” after his darkness retreat.
What is Aaron Rodgers’ darkness retreat?
As Rodgers explained it, he will not be locked in the dark room and has been looking forward to the experience for months:
“You’re not locked in, no, you can leave if you can’t do it. You can just walk out the door. It’s a darkness retreat. I’ve had a number of friends who’ve done it and had some profound experiences. It’s something that’s been on my radar for a few years now and I feel like it would be awesome to do regardless of where I was leaning after this season. It’s been on the calendar for months and months and months. It’s coming up in a couple weeks.”
It was at that point when Rodgers was absolutely peppered with questions about the experience. Here is a selection of his answers:
“It’s a room, it’s a little house.”
“There’s a two-way slot they’ll drop in some food for you, but it’s isolation and darkness. No music, no nothing.”
“Just myself, isolation.”
“You can wear adult diapers if you want, but there’s actually a bathroom.”
“Yeah.” [On if he really paid for this]
“You’re in there for four nights and then you come out on the last day after the fourth night.”
“You’re in all day. All day, all day night.”
“There’s no float tank, that would be pretty cool though.”
“It’s not like you bring a journal or music or anything. There’s no sounds. It’s just sitting in isolation, meditation, being with your thoughts. It stimulates DMT, so there can be some hallucinations in there, but it’s just kinda sitting in silence, which most of us rarely do. We rarely even turn our phone off or put the blinds down to sleep in darkness.”
“I’m not scared, I’ve been looking forward to this as much as anything I’ve done.”
Incredibly, this and the ayahuasca isn’t even the wildest thing Rodgers had done during the offseason. That award likely belongs to the Panchakarma cleanse he did last year, which reportedly consists of eating nothing but ghee (clarified butter) for three days until he starts evacuating himself uncontrollably at both ends.
We don’t know if or where Rodgers will be playing next season, but we definitely know the man will do what he wants when he’s off the field.