Aaron Rodgers continued his hot stretch in the playoffs with a fantastic performance in the Super Bowl. The third-year starter went 24/39 (including several drops) for 309 yards and three touchdowns, easily earning Super Bowl MVP honors. In addition to a Chevy Camaro which let’s be real, a starting NFL quarterback needs less than a linebacker chasing him, the Super Bowl MVP gets a trip to Disneyland. Rodgers made the announcement — a paid sponsorship from Disney — in some of the easiest money he’s made. Here’s the Aaron Rodgers Disneyland commercial video that I will never get sick of seeing:
We called the Super Bowl a matchup of good vs. evil when we compared Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers. Good prevailed, as Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers went 24/39 for 304 yards and three touchdown passes, winning MVP honors. He even received a championship belt to prove it:
For the whole background on Rodgers’ championship belt, read this. I think it’s safe to say 12 is now the real “People’s Champ.”
As we prepare for Super Bowl 45, we’ve compared Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. We’ve contrasted their styles of preparation; partying for Big Ben, studying for Rodgers. Given each of their public images, in many ways this is a game of good vs. evil.
But there is one thing that both quarterbacks have in common.
As LBS contributor Blackjack pointed out, neither quarterback had much interest from colleges coming out of high school. To the best of our knowledge, they each only had one scholarship offer to play quarterback throughout their careers — Cal for Rodgers coming out of junior college, and Miami (Ohio) for Roethlisberger.
In case you never knew it, Roethlisberger wasn’t even a quarterback in high school until his senior season. Big Ben’s high school coach at Findlay High School in Ohio actually picked his own son to quarterback the team, leaving Roethlisberger at receiver. Coach Cliff Hite had his son, Ryan Hite, quarterback the team in their option offense saying his son was a better runner than Big Ben, and that the Hite-to-Roethlisberger combination was more effective for the team than the other way around. His junior season, Big Ben caught 57 passes for 751 yards and seven touchdowns. Luckily Ben became the team’s quarterback in his senior season and threw for 54 touchdowns. Perhaps this accounts for Big Ben’s problems with his home town.
The contrast between the characters is evident, and in many ways it has turned Sunday’s Super Bowl is a battle of good vs. evil, and moral vs. immoral.
While stories about Big Ben’s fame turning him into a high-profile jerk are abundant, we hear from Aaron Rodgers’ college teammate (and Seahawks RB) Justin Forsett that becoming successful in the NFL hasn’t changed the Packers QB at all. Check out this video Alana G did for Yardbarker at the Super Bowl:
Needless to say we’ll be rooting for the good guys on Sunday. For more Super Bowl videos, keep your eye on the Yardbarker at the Big Game blog.
Relax. I’m not about to join the masses and write about how the Packers are destined to beat the Steelers on Sunday because Aaron Rodgers is taking it more seriously than Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben is a veteran to this type of situation. He is looking to win three Super Bowls before even turning 30. This is a familiar situation for Roethlisberger and his teammates, so I don’t doubt they’ll do what it takes to be prepared. As for Ben’s public image: I still think he could be more careful.
Stories have been floating around about Hines Ward hitting up strip clubs and Roethlisberger out singing at piano bars in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. The players are human, afterall, and every one of them is an adult capable of making their own decisions. However, fans and media naturally take more kindly to a player who is using his downtime in Dallas to relax and study, which is what Rodgers says he has been doing.
Can Big Ben not help it, or does he just not care? Does he absolutely have to go out and party and be spotted all over town having a good time instead of keeping a low profile? This is a guy who is less than a year removed from a six-game suspension for rape accusations that his teammates allegedly refused to support him with. At least wait before throwing yourself into the party scene for the media to feast on — that’s all I’m saying.
If Roethlisberger simply stayed out of the spotlight and took a couple weeks off from partying, people would have very little to say. Since Big Ben has decided to be Big Ben, he puts himself in position for the “no wonder he lost” and “he hasn’t learned his lesson” critics to come out of the woodwork if things don’t go Pittsburgh’s way on Sunday. Time will tell.
Photo Credit: Busted Coverage
Aaron Rodgers’ celebration where he mimics wrapping a “championship belt” around his waist has received a lot of attention recently. ESPN recently did an entire segment about how the celebration started and progressed. Rodgers says in the piece that it actually started when he was behind Brett Favre on the Packers’ depth chart as a way of making practice a little more interesting. Nowhere in the piece does anyone mention that former Eagles receiver Freddie Mitchell did the same celebration while Rodgers was still at Cal.
Remember this from Mitchell?
The play of course is the famous — or infamous depending which side you’re on — 4th and 26 conversion which led to a game-tying field goal and ultimately, an Eagles victory after a (surprise) Favre interception. The irony here is that Rodgers adopted the move from the guy responsible for one of the most heart-breaking plays in Packers history. Rodgers’ career surpassed that of Mitchell even before this run to the Super Bowl, but Mitchell at least deserves a little love for pioneering the move that Rodgers has made famous.
Thanks to eagles4ever17 for the video.
While the past week was relatively quiet for the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, there was one small controversy. Packers linebacker Nick Barnett and tight end Jermichael Finley, who are both in injured reserve, complained that the injured players would not be included in the team’s team photo. The players complained to coach Mike McCarthy, and plans were rearranged so everyone could be included.
But that’s not the end of the story.
When asked about the injured players not being able to play in the Super Bowl, Rodgers expressed little sympathy. Instead, he decided to comment on how many of the injured players didn’t stick around to support the team after getting hurt during the season. Here were his words: