By most metrics, Aaron Rodgers is a better quarterback and person than Brett Favre. He throws considerably less (Stannis Baratheon: fewer) interceptions, completes a higher percentage of passes, has a better win percentage, hasn’t been a creep, and didn’t bilk a charity out of money for an appearance he didn’t make. Now, he has more MVP awards, too. He won his fourth MVP overall and second in a row Thursday. Congrats to him on his consolation prize for failing to beat the 49ers in the playoffs yet again!
It was his first time winning the award in consecutive seasons. You know who holds the record for consecutive MVP seasons? That’s right, Favre. He won the award three straight years from 1995 to 1997. Perhaps Rodgers has one more MVP season in him next year and can tie not only Favre’s record but also Peyton Manning’s record for most MVPs (five) overall. (He’s all by himself in second with four.)
He’ll have to play a few more years if he wants to surpass Favre’s career marks for wins and touchdown passes, but if he wants to pass him in the category that matters most — Super Bowls — he’ll need at least one more year. (To be fair, Rodgers needs another Super Bowl appearance to tie Favre in that category, as well.)
This is where the differences end, and the similarities begin. Both quarterbacks won their lone title in their sixth year in the league. Both quarterbacks are/were beloved by the media until both quarterbacks had fallouts with the media. (If we’re comparing infractions, Rodgers being too stupid for his own good is preferable to Favre being a deplorable ’ol country pervert/con man.) Both quarterbacks should have more titles based on their resumes and status as great quarterbacks. Both are in commercials rife with unintentional comedy. Both played for the same storied NFL franchise. Both have/had weird relationships with their successors. One quarterback ended his postseason career gagging in the playoffs, and if Rodgers retires, he’ll have done the same thing.
Part of me writes this specifically because I think it’ll piss off Rodgers. Him and Favre have made up, but — and I’m gaslighting here — Rodgers probably only agreed to squash the beef once he was ordained the superior quarterback by Packers’ fans. I don’t know if the student still hates the teacher, but the Cal undergrad does come off like he thinks he’s smarter than the slack jaw professor from Mississippi.
(Side note: Did you know Rodgers never graduated from college? It explains so much. However, he does have an honorary doctorate of humanities degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin for helping kids with cancer, which, in all sincerity, is cool. And according to NESN, he was a good student.)
Judging by this Packers Reddit thread about who between Favre and Rodgers is their favorite son, Rodgers wins by a substantial margin. That’s not surprising, though, because when you start to Google, “Is Aaron Rodgers better than …” the auto fill is “Tom Brady” and not Favre. I hate Brady, and even I know there is no comparison between the two. New England fans think Rodgers is overrated simply because people try to insert his name in the Brady conversation. (I guess we can add, “Both have been called overrated” to the list of likenesses.)
It does speak to the cult of Rodgers, this belief that he’s never at fault for the team failing. Green Bay fans have their minds made up that the defense is trash, or the front office is incompetent, or the offensive line sucks, or the special teams gave up the touchdown, or the skill players aren’t good enough. If he had Bill Belichick, blah, blah, blah. It’s comical how much people fall all over themselves making excuses for Rodgers.
No one fell all over themselves making excuses for Favre because he was a “Gunslinger”; they just fell all over themselves because he was the Gunslinger. After an egregious interception, announcers would laugh and say, “That’s just Favre being Favre, and we love that about him, but that’s what happens.” His aggressiveness overtly cost them games.
Even though their styles of play are diametrically opposed to one another, a similar observation could be said for Rodgers in that his conservative approach covertly lost them games. He refused to force anything in this year’s San Francisco loss, and I know it wasn’t his decision to kick the field goal against Tampa Bay two seasons ago, but he had room to scramble near the goal line during that drive and opted for an incompletion instead.
It may not be the smart play, but sometimes a play needs to be made.
Both habits confuse announcers for different reasons. They can’t figure out why Favre won’t holster his guns, and they’re bewildered why Rodgers keeps his guns holstered when the playoff clock hits high noon.
The Luxardo cherry in the Old Fashioned would be if Rodgers became disenchanted with the franchise once more and followed in No. 4’s footsteps to Minnesota. They’re loaded at the skill positions like the Adrian Peterson-led Vikings roster that almost went to a Super Bowl, and playing for an NFC North rival was an oft-cited reason for Packers fans choosing Rodgers over Favre. Oh, you thought Rodgers loved you? Think again, Cheese Heads.
I would like to know what the league thought when it became obvious Rodgers was the only choice for MVP this season. (My guess is someone had to remind Roger Goodell that he was the same guy who intentionally misled the NFL and the media about his vaccination status. To which the commissioner probably replied, “Oh shit, that’s right… What the hell, give it to him anyway.”)
It is funny, ironic, an amusing coincidence that for whatever reason — be it uncertainty over retirement, a desire to leave the team, a mutual love of choking, a fallout with the media — casual sports fans grew so annoyed with both QBs that their stance devolved into, “I don’t care if he stays or goes. Just tell me if he’s playing when the fantasy draft starts because I’m over it.”
So, congrats again on the MVP and also on being a marginally better QB and person than Favre.