Aaron Rodgers has brought more than just wins to Packers Nation. Thanks, Aaron.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph
We all know it’s winding down on Aaron Rodgers Day. There have been fundraisers, people have made videos, rap songs have been written to honor the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback, employers and employees dressed to the hilt in Green and Gold on a Wednesday.
So, to conclude our day here at Lombardiave.com, a few of us have put together some thoughts about Aaron Rodgers. This is a small tribute to a man who has brought us so many wins and so much joy in Packers Land. For that we can only say thanks.
So, without too much fanfare, here’s what we think. We hope you enjoy it.
Rodgers eyes the field for an open receiver against the Lions in 2010.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph
My favorite things about Aaron Rodgers are not his physical abilities, although I appreciate them. His arm is strong and accurate. He quick and mobile enough to move around and stretch plays with his feet. He’s big enough and tough enough to stand up to hits. He’s tall enough that his height is not a constant point of contention. He has all the physical tools to play the game at the highest level.
I think Aaron’s mentality and intelligence are the things that set him apart. First and foremost, Rodgers always carries with him the challenges set before him and overcome on his path to the NFL and stardom in the league. It’s been said he has a chip on his shoulder resulting from those challenges. Rejection by Division I schools and their lack of belief in his abilities. The fall in the draft before the Packers selected him. The initial harsh treatment he received at the hands of Packers fans when he took over from Favre in 2008. All of these things motivate him. It’s my belief that Rodgers is the best player in the NFL because he refuses to be content with anything less than the best effort he can produce.
I grew up watching Bart Starr and the Lombardi Packers. Starr and Lombardi are both legends. I lived in Wisconsin during the 70s. I watched the team make a lot of questionable decisions and field a lot of bad teams during the 70s and 80s. I watched Wolf and Holmgren bring the team back to prominence in the 90s. I watched Brett Favre. Favre is legendary but he was also a diva.
And now I watch Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers will undoubtedly go down as a legend, and in my mind he’s already the best Packers QB since Starr. We’re all being treated to front row seats to watch him build his legacy and we should appreciate the opportunity to watch it happen. Players like Aaron Rodgers don’t come along every day.
An excellent interview with Rodgers and his family can be viewed here. When Rodgers’ mother talks about Aaron wanting to be the best man to play quarterback in the NFL as opposed to being the best quarterback in the NFL it speaks volumes about who Aaron Rodgers is and who he wants to be.
Happy Aaron Rodgers Day Packers fans! Go Pack GO!
12.12.12 – the day that marks “Aaron Rodgers Day.” If I am fair and honest I will admit that I think this is kind of funny. But good for him and good for the people of Wisconsin and Packers Nation!
Aaron Rodgers has been a model citizen and an incredible quarterback for the Green and Gold for the past eight years. Man … has it really been eight years already? And to think he has only actually really played in five of those years.
As much as anything, I think Aaron Rodgers Day is a tribute to not just Aaron Rodgers the quarterback, but the people of Wisconsin and Packers Nation. We love our Green Bay Packers, hands down, we live and breathe the Green and Gold. When a player, especially a quarterback, does right by us we put them on a pedestal and we honor and cherish them.
Let’s hope that Aaron, and I am quite sure he does, appreciates this. Not every NFL market is as special as Packers Nation.
Go Pack Go and Go Aaron Go!
Aaron Rodgers, December 2010
Raymond T. Rivard photograph
I’ve been a Packers fan as long as I can remember … and I’ve been remembering for a long time! As a young boy of 5, I sat on my dad’s lap and watched the very early 1960s Lombardi Packers on our black and white television.I grew up to the incredible moments we all suffered through during the final seconds of the Ice Bowl, those first two Super Bowl wins, the downward slide through the 70s and 80, the re-emergence of the franchise in the 90s and the continued dominance up and through the first decade of the 2000s.
What Aaron Rodgers has brought to this franchise is stability, not just because he wins, but because he is simply a good guy. With Bart Starr-like humility and a Brett Favre like gun for an arm, he brings athleticism and intelligence to the game. Putting it simply, he is the model of what a quarterback should be – even more so than Brady or either Manning. He is the epitome of what the Green Bay Packers franchise stands for – hard work and hometown goodness.
There have been many moment that have defined Aaron Rodgers: His patience in toiling behind Brett Favre; his emergence as the starter when the Packers parted ways with Favre; his first season difficulties; his leadership that put the Packers back into the Playoffs and the team’s incredible comeback and tumultuous loss to the Cardinals in that 2009 Playoff; and his incredible performances in leading the Packers to a Super Bowl Championship in 2010.
But to me, the ah-ha moment for me came in that 2007 game in Dallas when Favre went down and Rodgers saw his first opportunity and nearly brought the Packers back from the depths of a humiliating performance .
Favre started that game and was terrible, completing 5 of 14 passes for 54 yards and 2 interceptions before getting hurt. Rodgers came in and moved the team, was sharp in his passing and though the Packers ended up losing 37-27, it wasn’t through the fault of Rodgers. In a game when he was sacked three times because of a poor showing by the offensive line, he still completed 18 of 26 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown. He had no interceptions.
To me, this was Aaron Rodgers’ coming out party. It was the night when he showed his skills and leadership and gave us a peek at the future. I will never forget it.
Thanks, Aaron for all you have given us over the years. It all started for me on that night when you showed all of America the real Aaron Rodgers.
Keep it going … and happy Aaron Rodgers Day!
Aaron Rodgers gets ready for a game at Lambeau.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph
The 2005 NFL Draft came down to a battle to be the number one pick of the San Francisco 49ers between Utah QB Alex Smith and California QB Aaron Rodgers. The offensive coordinator for the 49ers at the time was Mike McCarthy as he would be influential in deciding who would be the next 49ers quarterback.
On draft day, the 49ers made their decision and it was Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers. The 49ers would regret that decision with the success Rodgers has had, but Mike McCarthy would be bailed out by the chance to go be the head coach that has led the Packers to another Super Bowl victory. Aaron Rodgers would begin one of the most headlined slides down the draft ever as other players that surprisingly down the board would always be compared to Rodgers.
The Browns seemed like a fit at number three but they took Braylon Edwards while the Vikings took WR Troy Williamson at number 7 over Rodgers. The Redskins had the ninth and they were looking for a quarterback yet they took CB Carlos Rogers over Rodgers. Detroit seemed like the perfect destination for Rodgers at pick 10 but WR Mike Williams came off the board here. The Vikings had another chance to take Rodgers at pick 18 but they chose DE Erasmus James over Aaron Rodgers. The Ravens had the chance at pick 22 to replace Kyle Boller with Rodgers but they decided to pick WR Mark Clayton instead.
After Oakland took CB Fabian Washington, the Packers came on with the 24th pick and the franchise would get the boost they needed. With an aging Brett Favre, the Packers knew they needed a quarterback for the future and were probably ready to take Jason Campbell until Rodgers became available. The Packers ended the slide of Rodgers by taking to quarterback from California with the 24th overall pick.
The Redskins would have taken Rodgers next if the Packers wouldn’t have and they took Jason Campbell instead. However, this draft is all about Rodgers and how he slid to the Packers 24th overall pick and how GM Ted Thompson looked to the future and saw the coming crisis and solved it. Mike McCarthy probably wishes he would have taken Rodgers when he was in San Francisco but it worked out for him in Green Bay with Rodgers.