Souhan: flawed and fantastic, Aaron Rodgers’ trip to Minnesota could be his last


One day, perhaps in the not-so-distant future, one of the greatest athletes of all time will settle into a comfortable chair in his mansion and face a TV crew.

Next to it will be a glass of amber liquid.

The cameras will roll and “The Last Chance” will begin, and Aaron Rodgers will end all other lines with the now famous line, “And I took this personally.”

Well, no, Rodgers is not Michael Jordan, and he might never star in a self-made documentary about winning numerous championships and revenge for daily grievances, but Rodgers remains the most important and fascinating figure. of Minnesota’s most important rivalry.

Rodgers could last play for the Packers at US Bank Stadium on Sunday. We may never see his species pass this way again.

He returns to Minnesota with his smart human image diminished and his skills rust at least momentarily. He’s also the leader of one of the best teams in the NFL, and he’s still the best quarterback I’ve ever seen in person.

It is a totally subjective point of view. If you had to justify naming someone as the best quarterback who ever lived, you would be forced by the facts to choose Tom Brady. If you had to pick the best running quarterback, it would be Michael Vick or Lamar Jackson.

The biggest passer in the regular season could be Peyton Manning; the biggest competitor might be John Elway; the most effective pitcher might be Drew Brees; the best performer in the playoffs might be Joe Montana.

Or you can go old school and claim that Otto Graham and Johnny Unitas thrived against defenses licensed to brutalize quarterbacks and cup receivers – a legitimate prospect that makes any statistical analysis irrelevant.

I’m old enough to have seen Unitas at the end of his career at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, and to have covered Troy Aikman as a rookie and Montana in his prime.

I believe Rodgers is more mobile than other passers-by who rivaled his accuracy, and more precise than anyone who is more mobile.

The eye test tells me Rodgers is the best, even though his and the Packers’ failures in recent NFC championship games threaten to diminish his position in the best conversations forever.

It’s not statistically bad either.

Only two players have a better career passer rating: Patrick Mahomes and DeShaun Watson. Mahomes is going through his first professional crisis and Watson is inactive in his prime due to accusations of sexual misconduct. Neither is guaranteed to stay ahead of Rodgers.

Rodgers also owns two of the top four QBR brands in a single season in history.

There is no sure way to rank quarterbacks as there are no perfect statistics to measure their performance or to take into account in the context of their performance. As the Minnesotans know from watching Kirk Cousins, completing passes isn’t the same as raising your team.

For better or worse, we’ve rarely seen a more dramatic quarterback than Rodgers, aside from, perhaps, his predecessor.

There must be something in the spotted cow. Brett Favre was a great quarterback who first embarrassed himself by allegedly sending unwanted photos to a secondary reporter and now spoiling a fraud case in Mississippi. Rodgers is a great quarterback who lied about being vaccinated, then mounted a stupid, provocative crusade against his critics… until the announcers started to flee. Then he suddenly became contrite.

On the pitch, the two have transformed the Packers franchise from an interactive museum dedicated to the memory of Vince Lombardi into one of the most successful and popular businesses in all of sports.

Believe it or not, BF (Avant Favre) the Packers have played many of their games at Milwaukee County Stadium, and they haven’t always been sold out. Their last game at County Stadium before Favre took over was on November 24, 1991. They drew 42,132, about 13,000 under capacity.

Rodgers replaced Favre and emulated Favre’s success, rising up the statistical rankings, winning a Super Bowl, and raising any number of otherwise indescribable teams.

Favre had the arrogance to orchestrate his way to rival the Packers in Minnesota. Rodgers had the arrogance, on his last appearance in Chicago, to yell at Bears fans, “I own you!”

Thanks to their deserved arrogance, the Packers can now sell team “shares” for $ 300, even if the buyer receives nothing of value.

Unless he wins a Super Bowl this season, Rodgers will likely be traded next spring.

The Packers’ management will be relieved of a major headache and the pressure of Super Bowl expectations that come with perhaps the job of the greatest quarterback of all time.

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