SUPER BOWL COVERAGE! SUPER BOWL COVERAGE! SUPER BOWL COVERAGE!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!
Has anyone overdosed yet? I, for one, have been trying to limit my intake. I’ve really been taking some time to reflect on the significance that any of this has on my own life. I’ve been asking myself: “DO I NEED to know whether or not Hines Ward was really at the Strip Club on Monday night??” “IS IT REALLY important that I see the footage of the Packers having their team photo taken??” WILL IT ruin my Super Bowl experience if I DON’T know how Marshall Faulk thinks the game will play out??? So…after some real soul searching, I decided to limit myself to two healthy doses of Super Bowl coverage per day. One hour in the morning, one at night. (And I read a few articles in between.)
In all this coverage, there is one thing that commentators have been saying that has really baffled me. For weeks, Colin Cowherd of ESPN Radio has been going on and on about whether or not Aaron Rodgers is “one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.” I’m sorry…WHAT? Why would anyone even ask that question right now? Aaron Rodgers is a third year starter; he’s 27 years old. He has a lot of time left to define what his mark on this league will be. And, in my opinion, there are far more interesting things to say about him.
Aaron Rodgers is a unique story. My cousin, Ron O’Dell, actually coached Aaron at Pleasant Valley High School in Chico, CA. Ron said, “no one was really recruiting him (in high school).” Aaron only received one Division I offer and that was to walk-on at Illinois. But something must have told him that offer wasn’t right, because he turned it down. Ron says:
“Aaron would always say he was going to be an NFL QB. I would tell him ‘if you’re going to be in the NFL, you gotta be better than me’ and we would compete everyday in practice. If I hit his right shoulder, he’d have to hit my right shoulder. We’d see who could throw it harder at each other and still catch it. We did everything. You never know if someone will actually make it to the NFL. But, with Aaron, part of me knew that he could make it because he was such a competitor and was so mature about it all.”
Ron knew he was coaching a talented guy and Aaron knew he could learn a lot from Ron, a former quarterback himself coming from a family where the football waters run deep. So when Rodgers was disappointed with the lack of college offers, he and his father sat down with Ron. “I told him to be patient. I said, ‘go to a Junior College and someone will recruit you,” says Ron. So that’s what he did. Aaron attended Butte Community College in Oroville, CA. He put up some impressive numbers and after only one year he was recruited to go to Cal. And you probably know the rest of the story to bring us up to today. Although, one interesting tidbit you may not know…growing up, Aaron Rodgers was a die-hard 49er fan. Ron says, “he was always wearing Niner stuff at school. His dream was to play for the Niners.” So, when the 49ers decided to pick Alex Smith over Aaron with the first pick of the 2005 Draft, Aaron was understandably disappointed. And I can only presume that those first few years, having to be a back up in Green Bay, wasn’t his ideal situation. But, just like his high school to college issues seemed to work out, it seems as if his college to pro issues have worked out as well. I guess everything happens for a reason.
I’m not sure why the media feels the need to project into the future of someone’s career and predetermine what the outcome will be. Maybe it’s just something to talk about, to fill the airwaves. But, I think we’re getting too far ahead of ourselves. Let’s just let the guy play THIS game. And then let’s let him play next season. And, if he’s going to be an “all time great QB” that can be determined toward the end of his career.
Besides, I think the much more pressing and important question here is: Will Aaron Rodgers continue to use the Championship Belt celebration throughout his career?? And, if so, will it be well received? Or, will fans get bored with it? I’d like to open up the discussion on that. I’ll start by saying, I believe any opportunity to reference professional wrestling at the workplace is a good one. And, I will love that silly little belt every time I see it.
“Everyone is a self made person, but only the successful admit it.” – unknown