Changing of the Guard

My, how things have changed.  In a year when Brett Favre has been known more for going full-frontal for Jen Sterger, his replacement, Aaron Rodgers brought a Super Bowl championship back to Green Bay and has put himself into NFL immortality by also taking home the MVP of the championship game. 

Long before the 2010 NFL season, Favre had worn his welcome with most NFL fans, including the diehard Green Bay fans that often sported the #4 jersey along with the foam cheesehead.  After the 2007 season, the Packers organization finally had enough of the former quarterback turning his string of brief retirements and decided they finally had to move on.

While his predecessor was making headlines on deadspin, Rodgers guided Green Bay to another Super Bowl Championship (google images)

Despite his poor handling of his initial retirements, which ultimately forced ownership to look to a future without him, many fans in Green Bay still supported Favre, and they found it difficult to accept that after 16 seasons, the star quarterback would have a name that actually sounded like it is spelled.

While most of the fans were exhausted with his repeated retirements and his selfish behavior that surrounded the last 3-4 years, even Favre has to realized that he played one year too many in 2010.  Not only did his statistics reflect a quarterback who was over the hill (he barely threw for 2,500 yards and had 11 TDs, compared to 19 interceptions), but his character (or lack thereof) was brought to the public eye in October, when deadspin.com released the sexually explicit texts, voicemails and pictures that Favre sent to Jenn Sterger, who was a sideline reporter for the Jets during Favre’s one-year stint in New York.

Rodgers, on the other hand, had an unbelievable season, with a passer rating over 100, and he completed  just under 66% of his passes for 28 TDs with only 11 picks.  But the third-year starter really shined when it counted most.  In the playoffs, Rodgers led the Packers to three road wins (Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago).  Despite struggling a bit in the NFC Championship Game at Chicago, Rodgers still did enough to guide his team to victory and even rushed for a critical touchdown. 

Even with the sub par performance at Chicago, Rodgers’ playoff stats going into the Super Bowl were an astounding 66 completions on 93 attempts with 790 yards and six TDs to two picks.  His MVP performance in the Super Bowl exemplified his 2010 season, as he threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns and posted a QB Rating of 111.5.

There has clearly been a changing of the guard in Green Bay, and Packer fans couldn’t be happier–and the interns and sideline reporters have to feel much safer with Rodgers at the helm.  The best news for the Green Bay faithful is that this season could only be the beginning.  Rodgers is still young at 27 years old, and the latest odds for next year’s Super Bowl have Green Bay as the early favorite.  And odds are that Rodgers isn’t contemplating retirement(s) or the drama that his predecessor brought to the table.

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