Thursday, February 3, 2011

Aaron Rodgers' Legacy Blooms Before Our Very Eyes, Makes Us Forget Favre

For Aaron Rodgers, the 27-year-old blistering-hot quarterback who has reached a crescendo and now in his first ever Super Bowl appearance, this would be the recent installment to possibly the finest renovation in history for the Green Bay Packers. So candidly, for the first time, Rodgers has elevated his legacy on the national stage and shares the national spotlight with Pittsburgh Steeler's quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

If he's nervous, for the most alarming game of his lifetime, it is very understandable, particularly when he's playing in the shadows of the incomparable legend Brett Favre. So, with motivation, emotions and a strong heart to handle the pressure, he's now described as one of the elite stars in the NFL, equipped to quickly flourish as a legend. The smartest player on the Packers' roster is Rodgers, an iconic figure playing in the most decisive role, with the intangibles to extend his own agenda by his maturity and influential leadership.

The ripple effect, very truthfully, is his quick release, accuracy, footwork and beautiful throwing motions, all proper ingredients to put together an assertive strategy for a proficient scheme. Rodgers, genuinely, is pursuing to sharpen his personality and distinction in the wake of the post-Favre era, a grisly time period when Favre held Green Bay hostage nearly every summer. Though the memories of 16 seasons traditionally lives on, considering that he was labeled a traitor for his surreal transition once he signed with the archrival Minnesota Vikings, his legacy is remembered eternally.

It's almost unforeseen ever since he abruptly departed the Packers, to create a drama within a heartbroken relationship, an outlandish marriage that had unraveled because he selfishly initiated national disturbance with his peeving sagas over his retiring status. Faster than ever, this forced Packers GM Ted Thompson to trade Favre to the New York Jets, for which the starting job was promised to Rodgers. The Packers, favored to win Super Bowl XLV by many, weren't emotionally saddened or regretful after jettisoning Favre three summers ago.

This is where the Packers were suddenly the smarter franchise and took the business approach, considered now one of the elite franchises in professional football ever since Favre's departure. A change of scenery was necessary in the essence that Favre was on the decline and frequently had been waffling his availability, so it empowered Thompson to listen to trade offers, wisely choosing Rodgers over the baffled Favre during one of the craziest controversies in professional football history.

Either way, it clearly was the messy divorces, a horrendous dispute to steam a minor altercation between Thompson and Favre, two men of whom couldn't figure out their differences. There were plenty of lows, plenty of doubts and the relationship had been irreparable a long time ago. Which is why Thompson trusted in the first-round quarterback Rodgers, promised the starting job to him and fell in love with him. Doing so, he made a smart decision that benefited the Packers' future.

At first, patience was virtue for a man who masterfully revamped the framework of a dignified franchise when he used every flirtation and coaxed free-agents to join, and suddenly brought aboard gifted talent that blended in nicely. When he sent away Favre and mishandled the situation, few in Green Bay, furious because he rejected the all-time NFL leader in passing yards, criticized and derided Thompson for deciding to take another direction. He must have felt good vibes to name Rodgers the quarterback, worthy of surpassing Favre for glamorous plateaus in a few decades and shine historically with his accomplished feats.

From what it seems, he is comfortable at the helm satisfied in the sense that he's traditionally obligated to perform at his all-time high, given the immense expectations and strict demands. The storyline here, in retrospect, is how brilliantly Thompson handled the predicament, not hesitant or fearful in dealing Favre and replaces the diva with a young, humbled quarterback.

It was certainly nothing personal to Favre, but in the meantime, it was a brilliant upgrade to improve the future in the aftermath of the endless drama, including all the rumors and distractions that engendered preposterous hype. Thompson, perhaps more than anybody as far as within the Packers organization, felt he had reached a point of frailty in the late stages of his masterful, superlative career. And from then on, the Packers and Favre had broken bonds, but not broken memories, and if anything, the memories were indelible and incredible, after he amassed unique milestones.

It's a rarity, nowadays, for someone to match Favre's historic records and engrave a chapter in the history books. What's of great value is that he was simply the greatest star quarterback to ever play the game. It's not really worth the debate when the mind-blowing numbers are unbelievable and implausible in some ways, but in reality, he accomplished all-time NFL career numbers, such as a 71,838 in passing yards, 508 touchdowns and he even surmounted by Dan Marino in two categories.

But sadly, nobody misses Favre. Nobody misses the veteran, ever since the Packers cut ties with the waffling legend.

There's much too love about Rodgers, perhaps the fact that he blossomed this season on path to surpass the man he replaced with unforeseen milestones, particularly if he persists on being a lethal pocket-passer. At his rate, he could easily excel in the league as the best passer in the game. If he plays long enough in his remarkable career early on, he can easily star in more games than Favre, he can easily break his record of games played.

After 20 seasons, Favre started 298 games, an amazing achievement that seems like a rarity for someone to shatter. But already, in his young career, Rodgers started 47 games in three seasons, showing off his belt celebration whenever he makes a spectacular play or pushes into the end zone himself for a touchdown. Blinded by the Favre's legacy, many have ignored the immediate impact of a first-rounder nobody believed in mainly because he was unproven and a raw rookie from out of college.

But amazingly, he fooled us and survived a difficult task because of chemistry, mentoring from veterans, faith and humbleness. When he came from college, he was the most-derided rookie basically for not knowing the playbook and waiting in the wings. This time, he's the popular star and has surprisingly thrown for 2,000 more yards, 16 more touchdowns and 20 fewer interceptions than Favre in the early stage of his career.

If he can stay healthy and withstand longevity, he can shatter Favre's passer ratings and total in touchdowns. For the next few years, at least, he can rely on a compelling receiver core with the aid of Greg Jennings and veteran wideout Donald Driver. If so, it's easy to assume that he's on pace to accomplish sheer greatness, lead the Packers to postseason wins, Super Bowl trips and lastly be voted to multiple Pro Bowls.

Maybe years from now, we'll find out.

The lost of a veteran star, no doubt, changed the Packers culture but also expunged the wishy-washy Favre.

Not such a bad mistake, after all!