Monday, February 7, 2011

Football Wrap: Pack Attack and is this the End?

Well America, we better enjoy this sight. Aaron Rodgers with the belt on stage holding the Lombardi. Green Bay's defense picking off Big Ben 3 times and stopping him on 4th down to prevent me hearing about him being redeemed. Greg Jennings's MVP-like performance with 2 TD catches and the big catch on Green Bay's last possession to extend it. Cause unless something changes this spring and summer, we may not see it again in August.

But more on that later...let's reflect on a great Super Bowl shall we?

I'm happy for Rodgers because I've been a fan since he beat USC in 2003 at Cal and nearly went perfect in almost beating them in 2004. He was passed over in the 2005 Draft over Alex Smith which worked out oh so well for Smith and San Francisco. He had to sit behind Old Man Brett Favre and his wishy-washy retirement ideas and learn how to be a pro. He never got enough respect until lately and now he's got the ring after a 300+ yard game.

But Greg Jennings deserved the MVP only because 1) Rodgers suffered from his WR's dropping easy passes yet 2) Jennings caught nearly every critical pass. I know 62 yards does not an MVP make but being the only WR with sure hands after Donald Driver went out matters.

Troy Polamalu deserved the Defensive Player of the Year but Clay Matthews made the biggest play of the game. That forced fumble on Rashard Mendenhall in the 4th shifted momentum and showed why Green Bay's D >>> Pittsburgh's as far as making plays.

Speaking of Big Ben, his 3rd Super Bowl saw him deliver his a so-so performance. Despite Green Bay's secondary leaving their shoulders and health on that turf, he couldn't deliver enough big plays. My favorite podcast The Morning Jones made a comparison that Ben keeps on rolling lucky No. 7's in his career/life. Well guess he finally crapped out.

Take that, take that (c) Diddy

Nice to see Shane Suisham make a return to Dallas. And nice to remind me that you were a crappy kicker in Big D. That 52-yard field goal attempt was cute.

I was probably the only person rooting for Green Bay at my church party as despite them being our 60's rivals, I was happy to stick it to everyone. I had to eat crow when the Pats beat the Rams in 02 and when I picked Indy last year to win, not to mention when Dallas/San Diego lost in the playoffs on the same day Yesterday, I got to have my moment of happiness.

People unfortunately will bring up Old Man Favre to compare him to Aaron Rodgers since both now have a ring. How about this? The only comparison is that they both have one ring. Other than that, Brett's a HOF and Rodgers is one of the top QB's in the league right now. That #4 shadow is long gone and Rodgers is his own man carving his own legacy now.

(Also happy for Charles Woodson - ironic that he won a title in Green Bay just like his fellow Wolverine Heisman winner Desmond Howard. Always been a fan since Day One in the NFL.)

Of course, where his legacy and the Packers/Steelers' future goes hangs in the balance of the labor talks between the owners and players. Word is both sides are so far apart that the owners are pretty much playing for a lockout. If things are as cold as Dallas was all weekend, chances are the discussions will drag into the fall which means there's a very good chance we may not have a 16-game NFL season if any in 2011.

The owners don't want to pay the players for ridiculously large contracts anymore and the players are arguing that their money is appropriate given the very short shelf life of the average NFL player and how much the league is making off them. That's the nuts and bolts of it but for more complex analysis, head elsewhere.

I'm always on the side of the players in a labor argument because they are the reason we watch the game and they should be treated as more than just replaceable raw material. But both sides need to work it out because America's present passion just gave us a great Super Bowl and a great season.

Here's Part 2 discussing the SB ads, halftime and other non-game notes.

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