While Cris Collinsworth will never see it given the way his brain drips out through his throbbing erection every time he covers an Aaron Rodgers game, there was always a stark difference between Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre. Rodgers had never knifed a Packers’ season himself to death.
It was a winter tradition, one of my favorites from my childhood and into my fledgling adulthood. Favre would huff the fumes from all the headlines and descriptions of him as “that ol’ gunslinger,” probably actually believing he was Doc Holliday and practicing his wild west walk in the mirror the night before the game. And then in a playoff game he’d go out and throw an unconscionable interception that would bring the curtain down on the Packers’ season. He even did it for the Vikings once just to share the wealth.
It would get glossed over in all the drooling tributes the next season, because as you heard 793 times, “he’s just having fun out there.” Yeah, he was motherfucker, right up until the point his fun killed everyone else’s. Favre continually thought he was the rescuer of some town under the thumb of the bad guys and he could just blast them all out. All he ever did was shoot himself in the dick when it mattered most. Ask Giants or Eagles, or Saints fans about it sometime, just to name a few.
Rodgers certainly hasn’t had the rings to match his status as (admittedly) maybe be the best QB of all-time — certainly one of them. The Packers always found a way around him to fall apart in January, whether it was Mike McCarthy’s brain having engine failure or some other malfunction. It’s not that Rodgers has been consistently great in the playoffs, but he would be far down the list of reasons the Packers, much like their fans, ended up covered in their own vomit when all was said and done.
Maybe it’s even worth asking what would we say about him if Jay Cutler didn’t get hurt in the 2010 NFC Championship game? Let’s leave that for another time, as that’s deluded Bears fan thinking (but it’s where I live).
But now Favre and Rodgers walk in lockstep. Both spent over a decade inhaling their own farts and those of a worshiping green and gold faithful (and imagine the sheer amount and pungency there) to the point where they lost any sense of reality around them. Favre did it with his naked clawing for attention disguised as him wrestling with whether to retire or not for what seemed like 10 straight seasons. He just wanted everyone to tell him how great he was again and how important he was, until he wasn’t. Rodgers did it with his mainlining any Wikipedia page he can find and dressing it up as his own while Pat McAfee tries to eat a cow heart without chewing.
And now Rodgers has his season-killing INT too. He did his best to make sure, Rodgers is nothing if not thorough, but his constant companion in black and white stripes bailed him out of the first one. So he threw another one, A throw that would have been described as a ducksnort if it came off a bat at home plate in the face of a blitz, the only hope that Kerby Joseph would fall over laughing before the ball fall gently into his arms as if it was coming home after months on the road. Which it was.
And there went the Packers. The go-for-it Packers. The on the hook for $237 million next year already Packers. Somewhere Favre is wiping away a tear with a giant check he allegedly helped divert from children on welfare in Mississippi.
Oh, and there’s no chance we’re done. Rodgers will do the same dance now. You think after he held the Packers hostage every offseason to get that Easter Island statue of a contract he’s just going to walk away from $60 million next year? Pfffft. He’s made his name now on keeping his name in the conversation. He can’t get enough, and going cold turkey in retirement might kill him. He’ll portray himself as above it, that money doesn’t matter, that he’d be happy on his own, but we all know he can’t breathe without the oxygen of attention and headlines. He’ll hang the Packers out, he’ll hint at retirement only to engineer a trade to some team that will get the pleasure of richly compensating him for the more rapid part of his decline while there are shots of bewildered fans in his new hometown mouthing, “Is this it?” after yet another loss in November. Maybe it’ll even be the Jets again. Fate is not without a sense of irony, after all.
And outside of Wisconsin, he’ll find a media contingent that doesn’t bend to his every whim, that doesn’t make him feel like they’re just happy to be in the same room with him. Only someone as sheltered as Rodgers could come up with the noxious horseshit he’s been Etna-spewing into the atmosphere the past two seasons. That’s going to go away and it’ll turn out that the emperor only has stupid clothes.
Keep showing us those side-by-sides of Rodgers and Favre. Collinsworth. They go deeper than you know.
Across the pond, Napoli extended their lead atop the Serie A and continued to be the biggest party in European soccer right now. We’ll get into why at a later date, but for a decent taste just watch Victor Osimhen absolutely gargle Sampdoria’s Bram Nuytinck’s soul.