On the word of some, Aaron Rodgers is a force to be reckoned with, in professional football. Finishing 2016, with 610 endeavors (each career-highs), 401 completions, 40 touchdown passes, Rodgers, ended the year with a bang. He is clearly, the best athlete and quarterback the Green Bay Packers has had in decades. It is safe to say, Rodgers is more than something special, he is a beast in the NFL.
Born to Be Wild
Born armed with the strength of a lithos, with mobility and accuracy, Rodgers appears to have all the tools. However, his greatest strength is his capability to read the field and make a line of scrimmage regulations based on what he perceives.
Before Rodgers was the All-American football quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, he was a basketball player. When Rodgers was 10-years old, he was showcased on the front page of a Mendocino County, Calif. paper, the Ukiah Daily Journal. Recognized for his top accomplishment at a regional basketball free throw competition, Rodgers had already become a threat. It did not help that he got his feet wet playing baseball in Oregon. Rodgers played in the Raleigh Hills Little League at shortstop, pitcher, and center field. However, a star was born in high-school where he started setting records.
A Star is Born
In high-school, for two years, Rodgers started as a quarterback, garnering over 4,421 passing yards. He did not stop there. Rodgers also set single-game records for six touchdowns, plus, 440 all-purpose yards. Then, in 2001 with 2,466 total yards, he went on to set a single-season school record that was unmatched.
It became apparent that Rodger’s head was his biggest strength. This says quite a bit since his arm is one of the best in the NFL. Rodgers proved that in 2003 when he played college football. As a California State University quarterback, he tied the school season record for 300-yard games. Later, with the shortest percentage of passes, he set a new school record. The passes were intercepted at 1.43 percent, astonishing numerous NFL scouts. Prior to his career with the Green Bay Packers, he had tied a NCAA record when he carried out 23 successive passes against the ultimate national winner USC.
The Draft of a Lifetime
When Rodgers watched NFL on television, it was not the Green Bay Packers he was rooting for but the San Francisco 49ers. His dream was to be a 49er, but his draft was to the Packers. Things started off rocky. Rodger’s amateur season was spent with the Green Bay Packers as the team’s fill-in quarterback behind Brett Favre.
Nevertheless, things started looking up after Favre’s unfortunate injury. Rodgers stepped into his place and brought the Green Bay Packers back from a 17-point shortage to a 3-point shortage. Still, the Cowboys went on to victory 37–27. The Green Bay Packers have a remarkably faithful fan base. Since 1960 every game played in Green Bay has been sold out no matter how well the team performed.
However, not everyone is a fan of Rodgers. Some critics believe that Rodgers stole Favre’s thunder. Donald Driver explained, “when he first got drafted, he came in with a chip on his shoulder during draft season.” Driver continued. “I told him, don’t you ever forget where you come from because the people are the ones who placed you on that platform.”
Fan or no, this did not stop Rodgers from leading the Green Bay Packers into the 2016 -17 season. After guiding the team to the quarterfinals, he was named a team playoff captain on Wednesday, January 6, 2017, for the eighth sequential year.
It is that leadership ability that his teammates celebrate. They congratulate Rodgers’ reliability, and how he takes care of the stresses of being a two-time MVP quarterback both on and off the football field.
When Rodgers convened with the media on Wednesday, there was not any “See, I told you so” instances. As an alternative, his emphasis was already on Sunday’s game against the New York Giants and Green Bay’s ambitions to carry on its winning streak.
Opinion News by Jomo Merritt
Edited by Cathy Milne
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Image by Mike Morbeck Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License