Aaron Rodgers went from the man who replaced a legend in Brett Favre, to simply The Man. He now has the golden opportunity to become the legend that replaced the legend if he pulls off a Super Bowl win on February 6 against the Steelers.
As a sports fan, I, like millions others, am chomping at the bit in anticipation for the biggest sporting event of the year. This year we have two solid teams in the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers going head to head for title of the best football team in the world. But as far as side stories go, there’s few better than the stories of the two starting QB’s for each team.
The off-season for Ben Roethlisberger was eventful to say the least. Big Ben saw his name dragged through the mud when yet another charge of sexual assault, this time against a Georgia college student, surfaced in the media. For his questionable conduct, Roethlisberger was suspended 6 games by Roger Goodell, and later had the suspension reduced to four games. Roethlisberger underwent counselling to try and curb his penchant for less than savory behaviour towards females. I’m putting it lightly, the truth is, by all accounts, off the field, Big Ben is what women call a dirt-bag, at least he was.
His reputation was tarnished by his off-field antics and his jersey sales dropped out of the top ten in the NFL. But Ben’s return to the field has been his redeeming grace. He’s lead the Steelers back to the Super Bowl and he’s now poised to win his third Super Bowl ring. Does winning erase the sins of the past? If Michael Vick’s story is any indication, the answer is “mostly”. There will be those who will never forget the mistakes Roethlisberger has made off the field, but if he wins on February 6th, you can bet there will be more who remember him as leader and champion than a sexual predator.
The story of Aaron Rodgers rise to the top might just be the best individual story in NFL second to Vick. We all know how it went, it was played out in the media right before our eyes. Rodgers was the guy who replaced Brett Favre. Rodgers was the guy who pretty much everyone, except for the Packers brass, didn’t believe in. Two years later, Brett Favre has one of the worst seasons of his career and is mired in allegations of indecency, meanwhile, all Aaron Rodgers has done is become one of the best QB’s in the NFL. Rodgers has also done what Favre was unable to do just a short year ago, and that is get his team to the Super Bowl.
It’s a beautiful story of inner confidence and perseverance by a man who lived in the shadow of one of the game’s greats.
When considering who will be the MVP of the Super Bowl, bettors will definitely have to consider both Rodgers and Roethlisberger as candidates for the honor.
Here’s a look at the odds for MVP courtesy of Bodog Sportsbook:
Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB 7/4
James Starks (GB) RB 14/1
Brandon Jackson (GB) RB 50/1
Greg Jennings (GB) WR 12/1
Donald Driver (GB) WR 25/1
James Jones (GB) WR 30/1
Jordy Nelson (GB) WR 30/1
A.J. Hawk (GB) LB 30/1
Clay Matthews (GB) LB 18/1
B.J. Raji (GB) DT 30/1
Cullen Jenkins (GB) DE 50/1
Tramon Williams (GB) CB 25/1
Charles Woodson (GB) CB 20/1
Sam Shields (GB) CB 35/1
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) QB 7/2
Rashard Mendenhall (PIT) RB 15/2
Mike Wallace (PIT) WR 16/1
Hines Ward (PIT) WR 25/1
Emmanuel Sanders (PIT) WR 35/1
Heath Miller (PIT) TE 25/1
Troy Polamalu (PIT) S 15/1
James Harrison (PIT) LB 22/1
James Farrior (PIT) LB 28/1
Lawrence Timmons (PIT) LB 28/1
One thing is for sure, Aaron Rodgers has his own legacy to build now, and has finally stepped out of the shadow of this man…