A Glimpse behind the facemask; The Real Aaron Rodgers

I received an email recently about a story of Aaron Rodgers doing an event up in Wisconsin for families who have had the tragic event of losing a child. Upon reading the excerpt of the story, I did a quick Internet search and found the story from a Milwaukee TV station. You can read the full story here if you so choose. What struck me as odd, is the Story is from back in May of 2010, and just recently Rodgers got blasted on Twitter and on the Internet for not signing a fans items,who didn’t bother him mind you, after the NFC Championship game. So, upon reading this, I decided it was worthy of sharing my thoughts. Before I do that, I have to preface this by saying, I am not a packers fan, in fact I despise them. But I am still human and can enjoy a feel good story.

Not to get really into the meat of the story I read, it is basically a reporter who attended a charity event that Aaron Rodgers was speaking at and taking questions from a throng of rabid Packer fans and some special parents who have tragically lost children. The reporter goes on tell that Rodgers was really honest with some of his answers and some answers were surprising from someone you could consider a “macho” football player. It is not surprising to hear an athlete attend charity events, and usually they are full of the usual political responses that everyone has come to expect from athletes and celebrities.

But not Aaron Rodgers, he was very honest and candid in his answers that night. Even admitting that he likes John Meyer’s music. But he also threw passes to some of the attendees at this event and had one father ask him to sign the ball to his daughter that had passed away. It was noted in the story that it wasn’t a surprise to have Rodgers oblige the request, but what is surprising is his message written. He wrote “To Cheri the angel. Save me a spot. – Aaron Rodgers” That is enough to really show his true character and show that while he is young in his NFL career, he is someone we should all hope to strive to become.

The Packers as an orginazation have been blessed with great quarterbacks through out the years. But this one is really special, in the fact that he is very grounded and a true role model. Even though he plays on a team I dislike, I have more respect for him now than I have before. That being said I hope he will continue to have a good career and put up great numbers(except agianst the Cowboys). We should all be so lucky to become that type of person, or even know somone like that.

Jay Cutler; is he a quitter or injured?

Yesterday, as the NFC Championship game started the 2nd half, it came to light that Bears starting quarterback was injured at some point during the first half. While nobody watching the game could pin point an exact moment when he was injured, it was said that he was out with a knee injury and wouldn’t return.  This normally wouldn’t be a big issue, except for the fact that he was seen pacing the sidelines and riding a bike.

The television coverage didn’t help the situation by showing what seemed to be a despondent Cutler in numerous shots throughout the game. While all this was playing out on TV, the flow of critics on twitter just were rattling off every insult you can think of, he was called everything from a quitter to a certain 5 letter word that starts with a p. It was not until this morning that it was released that he had a tear in his MCL. Which was later reported by head coach Lovie Smith as a sprain. So, this has led me to wonder if all of this criticism is warranted or if it is just another abuse of many of the social networking sites that we now have access too.

Personally I can’t say anything bad about the guy, because I would not be able to play with anything sprained or torn. But numerous former and current NFL players were berating Cutler endlessly. Even future hall of famer Deion Sanders called Cutler’s heart into question. Which I find it comical since Deion wouldn’t tackle anybody head on, he would just dive and wave at them if he couldn’t intercept or strip the ball.

In the end, I don’t think it was Cutler’s decision to be put on the bench. Being told you can’t play anymore in a game that means everything would make anyone sulky. Hopefully everyone will back off this guy, because not everyone has the same pain tolerance. If he had gone back out and played, it could have made the injury far worse, or taken the Bears out of the game all together.  I take all the people on twitter calling him a quitter as millionaire’s who are jealous they are sitting at home on the couch and not playing for a conference championship.

NFC Championship Preview: Old foes meet again

It’s the same old song and dance, the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears will play for the third time this season and for the 182nd time overall. But this time, it is for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. This is the first time since 1941 in this storied rivalry that these two teams will play with everything on the line.  This game has a lot of story lines, but one story line that won’t matter will be the weather. Both of these teams play outdoors in some of the coldest and harshest conditions.

The Bears have been all about their defense, and they are known to be tough and make the big stop when it is needed. Meanwhile the Packers haven’t been known for their defense, but they have as strong of a defensive unit as anyone else left in the playoffs. So, don’t plan on this game being a high scoring affair, this will be the present day version of “black and blue” football. Which for old school fans, they will be licking their chops from the first kickoff. Don’t be surprised if the deciding factor is which defense gets the crucial stop at the most important time.

While both teams have strong defenses, this offensive side of the ball is a little different. Green Bay has been hitting on all cylinders with their offense and Aaron Rodgers is probably coming off his best game in the playoffs last week at Atlanta. Chicago has a reputation to win inspite of it’s quarterback Jay Cutler. Most of that is based on his previous reputation, he has been strong when needed to be. Agianst Seattle, Cutler showed poise and good descisions helped put points on the board to put away Seattle early. While most of the experts will say the offensive advantage is going to the Packers, Chicago doesn’t have a shabby offense that can score points.

One of the blaring advantages in this game goes to Chicago on special teams with Devin Hester. If the Packers can keep him from changing the momentum on one play, then this will be a close battle to the finish. But at any time he has a chance to touch the ball, Hester can change the game with a long return or a special teams touchdown. This is the one point of the game that I say Chicago can make or break it’s chances.

Taking everything into account, and looking at all sides of the ball. I have to think that home field advantage is just too much of a factor here. Not to mention that Green Bay has lost 3 of it’s last 4 trips to Soldier Field. I expect this game to be tight from the start and probably will be decided on the last possession. That is why I am going to say that the Bears will win this game as time expires with a field goal. Chicago 17 – Green Bay 14