Will Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers Ever Escape Brett Favre?
The clock had barely counted down to zero before the usual talking heads were pontificating about… Brett Favre. Now, I’m a fan of Brett Favre. However, I tend to take a practical approach about what is sports-important at any given moment. I don’t believe it is unreasonable, in the aftermath of an excellent Super Bowl XLV, to want to hear a synopsis of the game, how it was played, the positives and negatives experienced by both teams, and accolades showered upon those deserving of them. Super Bowl MVP, Aaron Rodgers, tops that list. Yet, in the 48-hours since the end of the Super Bowl, I’m left with the impression that it’s more important for the alleged experts to talk about Brett Favre.
I’m left wondering if it will ever be possible for Aaron Rodgers, Super Bowl XLV MVP, to ever escape the gargantuan shadow of Brett Favre. Interestingly, the shadow is not cast by Brett Favre himself, instead it is cast by the sportscasters and reporters who seem unable or unwilling to focus on the hear-and-now. They choose to sully an amazing post-season run by the Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay Packers by continuing to focus on someone who had an abysmal season and wasn’t even part of the NFL playoffs.
Listening to the post-game show and the commentary by the likes of Cris Carter and Keyshawn Johnson spend more time talking about Brett Favre and his legacy in Green Bay… some 4-years removed from his actual time in Green Bay… I could only shake my head that Aaron Rodgers again became second-fiddle to a long-gone Brett Favre. I appreciate Favre’s career as much as the next guy who follows the NFL religiously. Spending so much time talking about him as if he is the greatest quarterback to have ever played the game after the Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV is insulting to the entire Packers organization and most especially – Aaron Rodgers.
Some might argue that there is an inescapable comparison. I say that sportscasters and the NFL have driven the Brett Favre gravy train into the dirt. There is a time and a place for everything. In the hour following the end of a thrilling Super Bowl XLV, it is my expectation that the only quarterback comparisons I should be able to witness are between those who played the game. Snubbing Aaron Rodgers by spotlighting Brett Favre, to me, is an affront to Aaron Rodgers. We’ve had four years to listen to the pundits compare and contrast and wonder whether or not Aaron Rodgers will ever be able to escape the shadow of Brett Favre ad nauseum, despite his track record of successful, even artistic quarterback play. His lifelong efforts culminate in a Super Bowl win and I still hear the words “Brett Favre” ringing in my ears.
Even this morning while listening to ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the morning” – I was astounded at the notion offered by Mike Greenberg, who felt that somehow Brett Favre owed Aaron Rodgers some sort of contact acknowledging Aaron Rodgers’ accomplishment. A tweet. An email. A text. A phone call. That notion is beyond ridiculous regardless of the relationship the two quarterbacks may or may not have had during their time together as teammates. Farve doesn’t owe Rodgers anything and I believe Rodgers would say the same thing if pressed on the issue. Brett Favre is neither an ambassador for the NFL nor a representative of the Packers organization. He no more owes Aaron Rodgers some public/private congratulatory acknowledgment as any other player inside or outside of the NFL. Despite Mike Golic’s position, which matches mine on this subject, Greenberg held fast to his ridiculous notion.
The Green Bay Packers are Aaron Rodgers’ team. They’re not Brett Favre’s team and they haven’t been since the moment the Packers and Favre parted ways. It’s unfortunate that far too many in the media refuse to recognize this reality. It’s 2011, folks and the Green Bay Packers just won the Super Bbowl, led by Aaron Rodgers. It’s not 2007.
Show Aaron Rodgers some frigging respect and save the comparisons with Brett Favre for the future, when it’s far more appropriate to compare and contrast their overall careers. After all, it’s Aaron Rodgers who is going to Disneyworld, not Brett Favre.
Congratulations to Aaron Rodgers and the entire Green Bay Packers organization. You worked hard. You played amazingly well. You earned the ultimate prize in the National Football League. And you all deserve more respect and attention from the media for what you accomplished this year without the ghost of Brett Favre being foisted upon you during your moment in the spotlight atop the entire NFL.