Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood

Aaron Rodgers is having a 2007 Tom Brady-esk kind of season, a quarterback rating 30 points above the next in line. Rodgers is playing the hardest position in sports with the simplicity and ease of a man’s haircut. 

Greenbay might have lost their Gunslinger, but the Packers gained a Sheriff. 

The antithesis of Brett Favre is under center for the Cheeseheads now. Both men separated by a spectrum greater than political ideology. Favre was the wild Cowboy, running around the field like a chicken with his Wranglers cut off, a career concluded by tossing more interceptions than anyone else. 

A boyish charm all fans loved with a football immaturity that all fans loathed. 

Players would hold up their fingers that were permanently disfigured from Favre’s hot mustard zingers. Rodger’s teammates hold up nine fingers, not in pain, but for their 9-0 start. 

Rodgers at 27 years old, 3 ½  years as a starter already has as many superbowl rings as the Silver Fox whose playing days started when Seinfeld wasn’t reruns, Friends just were people who hung out together, and Will Smith was still the Prince. 

Rodgers is what Favre could never be. 

While patience, humility, and decision making are Rodgers biggest strengths, they were Favre’s Achilles heel. 

If it wasn’t for the millions of dollars, sexting on his wife, flip-flopping on retirement, attention whorishness, and arrogance, I would be feeling pretty bad for Favre right about now. The old barn in rural Wisconsin that once proudly displayed his famous #4 has undergone a face lift. It’s been upgraded. After Super Bowl XLV, it was changed to “#12 is 3x4 G”. Only if that math was accurate, because to this point, anyone who thinks Rodgers is only three times better than Favre needs to check the expiration date on their peanut butter. 

I’m sure the scene at Favre’s house is a lot like his famous Wrangler commercials; just subtract the fake high school athletes, camera crew, director, producer, photographer, makeup artist, and wardrobe specialist. It’s just Favre; sitting on that broken down old tractor, the rust a lot less kind than his NFL longevity. 

I can see him turning on the T.V. to Sportscenter. Brett’s watching the Aaron Rodgers highlights and then decides to put on his muddy cap that he’s worn to dozens of post-game pressers. He ventures into his backyard to count how many times he can throw the ol’ pigskin through that wobbly tire swing. He gives a double fist pump that would make Tiger Woods proud as he nails ten in a row. 

Then, he concludes the evening by sitting with his wife at their traditional oak dinner table for supper. Their meal’s only sounds consist of breathing, chewing, swallowing, and utensils clicking. 

His wife asks Favre to pass the salt. Without looking at the label, he tosses it across the table. 

His wife looks up, “Brett, you gave me pepper.”

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