Thursday, March 06, 2008

Can Aaron Rodgers Develop Into Another Brett Favre?

This morning, Brett Favre gave a tearful goodbye to the football world, and for the first time, it felt as if #4 really was retiring for good. So now it falls upon Aaron Rodgers to give Green Bay fans a reason to stroke their bratwurst every Sunday. While it's unrealistic to expect Rodgers to immediately become an MVP candidate, it's possible that the four-year veteran could at least have success along the lines of Danny White replacing Roger Staubach. Because Rodgers has been around awhile, he isn't completely an unknown commodity. He has already shown some flashes that indicate that he can pick up where #4 left off. Here's an evaluation of where he rates in Favre-like skills that made us love Brett Favre just for being Brett Favre:

Ability to lose to the Cowboys: As detailed at The Hater Nation, many of Brett Favre's memorable moments came in collapses to the Dallas Cowboys dynasty of the early 90's. While it's too early to proclaim them any sort of dynasty (they might want to win a playoff game first), it looks like the Cowboys might at least be good enough that the Cowboys-Packers rivalry can be resuscitated. Instead of Favre vs Aikman, it will now be Rodgers vs Romo, and this past season, Rodgers was at the helm during a 27-37 loss to Dallas. To be fair, he played great that game (actually outplaying Favre before he was injured). If he truly wants people to think of him in the same way as Favre, he'll need to throw more picks in big moments.
(Grade: A-)

Tractor riding skills: Never one that was big on working out or spending time with his teammates in the offseason, Favre preferred working on his property once the season ended. Rodgers grew up in Chico, CA, an agricultural region north of Sacramento. The main crops there are almonds and rice, and my farming knowledge is not extensive enough to know what tractor involvement is involved there. I do imagine tho that Rodgers at least had a yard big enough to require a lawnmower.
(Grade: B-)

Trademark facial hair: Favre frequently showed up on gameday with a grizzled beard that indicated that he was either: too busy studying game film and/or picking vicodin out of his vomit to shave, or so manly that his five o'clock shadow was ready by noon. If Aaron Rodgers is able to pull out a few games early, he'll give cheeseheads the excuse they've needed for a Fu Manchu to be acceptable grooming for the workplace.
(Grade: A+)

Wide Receiver Shoulder Press: While Brett Favre was just being Brett Favre in 2007, he hoisted Donald Driver onto his shoulders and fireman carried him around the field. During Aaron Rodgers' pro day before the 2005 draft, Rodgers bench pressed 340 pounds, so he should be more than capable of lifting a split end. Just to be safe, the Packers might want to draft fellow Cal Bear and featherweight DeSean Jackson this April.
(Grade: A)

Snowball tossing: Favre's just being a kid out there, so of course he'll toss a few snowballs from time to time. Rodgers' inner-child status is unknown.
(Status: incomplete)

Gunslinging. Favre is the NFL's all-time interception leader. At Cal, Rodgers set the school record for lowest interception rate (1.43) in a season. Hopefully as Favre's understudy, Rodgers has learned that sometimes you've just gotta throw it up and see what happens, because that's what you do when all you care about is trying to win the game.
(Grade: F)

This offseason will likely be a period of mourning for Green Bay fans, but hopefully this breakdown will at least provide a glimmer of hope for the future. Why if you squint hard enough, perhaps this text could even blur into a Peter King virtual handjob. Throw in some undying love from Madden, and the transformation is complete.

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