Clay Matthews has managed to keep himself out of the spotlight so well off the field that we didn’t even know he had impregnated his girlfriend or who that girlfriend was until last December. There’s probably good reason for that, but that’s another story.
Again, these things had to be sleuthed out.
The point here is, Clay Matthews is a private person, but he gave Jason Wilde an interview where he opened up slightly about his private life. And by opening up, we mean he acknowledged that he had a wife and kid and then said the kind of cliche things about them that Clay Matthews says in all interviews.
“It was a pretty eventful year this year as far as [life-changing events]. I’m really happy. I am,” Matthews said. “I’m excited I got to marry my best friend, and obviously we have a son now, who is awesome. Being a father is such a great joy – and one you can’t appreciate until you are one. I’m very happy about where my life is outside of football now.”
What’s more interesting is that this profile paints Clay as being rather aloof, even unfriendly.
Here’s David Bakhtiari on what it’s like to be friends with Clay.
“It’s just tough. It’s not easy [being his friend]” replied Bakhtiari, who works out with Matthews during the offseason. “We give him [expletive] about it. When I first met him, my brother talked to me afterward. I was like, ‘That was really weird.’ And my brother said, ‘Well, the fact that he acknowledged you means that he likes you.’
“He’s just a very private person in general, so don’t feel like you’re the only person [who doesn’t know him very well]. He’s like that with everyone. But he’ll sometimes open up. We’ve been up and down. I love the guy. He’s awesome. But he is an acquired taste.”
Here’s Andy Mulumba.
“You have to take out the fact that it’s Clay Matthews. He expects that ‘Oh, he’s Clay Matthews’ from people. I think taking that approach will only make things harder because he doesn’t want to be that superstar figure outside of football. He wants to be a regular person,” Mulumba explained.
“Working out with him, we barely talked about football. We’d joke around, but he didn’t touch on his personal life that much. It’s only if he opens up to it. Then you can have a conversation about it. If you show him that you care about his life, he’ll chat a little bit about it.”
What do we take away from this?
It’s no wonder Matthews isn’t seen as one of the leaders in the locker room. It’s hard to be that when you’re unwilling or unable to connect with the people around you.
Remember, the Packers voted Morgan Burnett and Julius Peppers as their defensive captains last season. Even though he was the catalyst for the defense’s resurgence, other players just don’t see Matthews as a leader.
They maybe don’t even see him as approachable.