Sports Celebrities in North County
From the nctimes.com:
Two weeks ago, as Aaron Rodgers stood on a Texas football field covered in red, white and blue confetti and cradled the Lombardi Trophy in his arms, the Green Bay Packers quarterback and Super Bowl MVP was the most celebrated athlete in sports.
Now, however, after making the traditional trek to Disney World and completing the talk show circuit, Rodgers has retreated to relative anonymity in his adopted hometown. He has returned to his new digs in Del Mar and resumed his regular golf outings with friends who can relate —- at least somewhat —- to his newfound celebrity.
“It’s my home away from Green Bay,” Rodgers said last year of North County, where he bought a house in April.
Courtesy of that Super Bowl ring, Rodgers has become the most prominent member of a group that’s unofficially known as the Del Mar quarterback club. Amazingly, he’s one of seven current or former NFL signal-callers who spend at least part of the year in the seaside town —- fellow household names Drew Brees and Carson Palmer among them —- and that doesn’t include Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who lives in Santaluz.
In a broader sense, Rodgers is one of the more recent additions to an ever-expanding roster of sports figures who make North County their home.
Palmer, the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner from USC, lives next door to Chargers coach Norv Turner (photo), who’s one of three current or former NFL head coaches in Del Mar. Australian tennis legend Rod Laver occasionally plays golf with fellow Carlsbad resident Fred Lynn, a star outfielder for the Boston Red Sox and California Angels who finished his career with the Padres.
Poway is the residence not only of Chargers stars past (LaDainian Tomlinson) and present (Shaun Phillips), of Mr. Padre (Tony Gwynn) and the manager of the reigning World Series champions (Bruce Bochy), but also of two NBA point guards named Williams —- All-Star Deron of the Utah Jazz and Mo of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Then there’s posh Rancho Santa Fe, where freshly retired Padres great Trevor Hoffman heads a group of nine ex-major league baseball players living in one of America’s wealthiest ZIP codes.
And the list goes far beyond the three major pro sports to include some of the most famous names in golf (Rancho Santa Fe’s Phil Mickelson), tennis (Laver), running (Carlsbad’s Steve Scott), surfing (Cardiff’s Rob Machado), skateboarding (Carlsbad’s Tony Hawk), snowboarding (RSF’s Shaun White) and even broadcasting (RSF’s Dick Enberg).
Female athletes, too, are represented in tennis star Jelena Jankovic (RSF), golf standout In-Kyung Kim (RSF) and Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler (Carlsbad).
“North County has become quite the mecca for pro athletes,” said Solana Beach’s Jud Buechler, a former NBA player.