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Rick Reilly’s Ode to St. Aaron Rodgers

February 8, 2011

Orate frates.

I’m getting out of my mourning period, so we’ll address some more of Reilly’s awful post-Super Bowl stuff. (And maybe later some truly inane TMQ Super Bowl “analysis”!) On Reilly’s (not)blog, Aaron Rodgers flies with his angel wings up to the mid-field podium to accept his Super Bowl MVP award.

Aaron Rodgers is the MVP of this teeth-grinding, palm-sweating Super Bowl, and it has nothing do with how he throws or how he runs. It has to do with how he lives.

Well, it except that his throwing and running are at least half of the direct cause of the Packers winning the Super Bowl. Would they have still given him the MVP if the Packers had lost? You know, because he lives like a Super Bowl MVP? No, no they wouldn’t have.

In 50 years, when they write Rodgers’ life story, they won’t praise so much his freakish arm.

No one’s writing Rodgers’ life story. So this is all moot.

They won’t write about his Houdini feet.

He once locked his feet up in a straight jacket, and STILL threw a touchdown pass!

They won’t go on about his grace under pressure, his rifle-scope accuracy or his courage while the land around him burned.

I’m not sure what this courage while land burned around him nonsense is…other than nonsense. Reilly’s persistent attempts to add like 4 million pounds of gravitas to everything he writes is so damn annoying.

No, they’ll write about his unlimited capacity to forgive.

Oh right. That makes sense.

Through all the hell Brett Favre put him through, through all the yo-yoing Favre did with Rodgers’ career all those years, Rodgers never lost his patience. He never lashed out. Instead, he forgave and got to work.

Favre! Of course. It’s always about Favre, isn’t it?

And…forgiveness my ass. What was Rodgers supposed to do? He was the backup freaking quarterback to Brett Favre. If he complained and threw hissy fits they would have just gotten rid of him, or, at best, they would have told him to shut up. This is dumb.

Fast-forward to the biggest moment of his life — Super Bowl XLV — and teammates started turning on him again.

They started dropping the ball. Literally.

Five different perfect passes went begging. One to Brett Swain and one to James Jones that would’ve been a touchdown.

Get it. They literally dropped the ball. Like, Rodgers’ receivers couldn’t catch his passes.

The main perpetrator, though, was Jordy Nelson, a third-year kid who dropped not one … not two … but three wide-open, room-service, pretty-as-you-please passes.

In fairness to Nelson, Rodgers really rocketed those balls on quick crossing routes. They were very difficult catches to make. Granted the guy’s a professional, but this weren’t little lob passes.

But did Rodgers lose patience with him? Did he lash out? No, he did something more amazing.

He handed the ball the Nelson, picked him up, put him on his back, and CARRIED him to the end zone.

With the game in the balance and Pittsburgh trying to pull off the greatest come-from-behind Super Bowl win, Nelson dropped a spiral that could’ve iced the game.

Anybody else might’ve bit a hole in his helmet.

What did Rodgers do? He threw the very next pass to him. He ignored his safety-valve receiver and waited for Nelson to cross.

Good lord, Reilly. Just stop. Every QBs WRs drop passes. And pretty much every QB goes back to them. Rodgers isn’t some sort of saint for this.

This time, Nelson’s hands were true. He caught it for a colossal first down. Two plays later, Green Bay scored the winning touchdown.

To err is human. To forgive is divine.

Aaron Rodgers is GOD.

To forgive in the Super Bowl, even better.

I hate this. Why can’t Rodgers just be an awesome quarterback who played awesome in the Super Bowl? Sure, we can even say that it showed guts to throw it to Nelson again (though, probably not). Stop trying canonize people here, Rick. And please don’t ever mention Brett Favre again. Ever. He has nothing to do with this.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Jacques Strappe permalink
    February 9, 2011 5:47 pm

    Nelson dropped a couple(although the first one that was considered “dropped” was actually overthrown, but Aikman and Reilly don’t see it that way because Rodgers is perfect or something…anyways, Nelson incredibly forgave Rodgers for overthrowing him and continued to catch passes from him! Remarkable!), but he also caught a whole bunch before that last big one, including a touchdown. His final stat line was something like 9 catches for 140 yards. With Donald Driver hurt and the Steelers focused on containing Jennings, Rodgers had to go to either Jones or Nelson on most plays. It wasn’t about forgiveness, it was about football.

    Roethlisberger threw a couple passes to Antwaan Randle El, who came in because of an injury to another receiver, even though the guy hadn’t caught a postseason pass for them since he left the team after the 2005 season. I can’t believe Big Ben would forgive him after that and trust him in that situation! Roethlisberger should have been named co-MVP for this!

    I agree about mentioning Favre, it’s obnoxious and self-contradicting. If they feel the need to say, over and over, “Rodgers is finally out of Favre’s shadow!” that proves they’re not willing to let him leave the shadow just yet. When they stop bringing it up as a way to define Rodgers’s career, that’ll be the sign that they’re finally letting go.

  2. Pierre permalink
    February 10, 2011 10:29 am

    You need a sliding scale on which you rate Rick’s columns. A suck-o-meter or something. With categories to make it more objective. Like:
    -lame jokes/similes
    -dated, stale topic
    -stupid, contrived “hook”
    -dated, incredibly un-hip pop culture references
    -self aggrandizing side commnets
    -bonus points for completely losing the train of thought somewhere in the middle and never circling back to resolve the column’s premise

    This column is actually only moderately bad when you break it down. Whereas the Clay Matthews column was a veritable perfect storm of suck.

    • February 10, 2011 9:53 pm

      That’s a great idea. If I can dig up some extra time, I’ll get to work on that.

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