Monday, January 17, 2011

Does Aaron Rodgers Shit in the Woods?

From the desk of @jon_g_gonzalez :

I made a cameo appearance on this blog a couple weeks ago. I came in with no self-introduction, had a glass of Archie’s scotch and a beer, and then disappeared for a couple weeks. For that I’m sorry. The three paragraphs that follow will hopefully allow the readers to get to know me a little better. If you don’t care, or if you just clicked the link to find out whether Aaron Rodgers shits in the woods, feel free to skip the rest of this column and read the last three paragraphs.

I grew up in Southern California and attended the University of California at Santa Barbara in the late 1990’s to early 2000’s. At UCSB we stared at the pacific ocean from class windows, partied on the beach day and night, and had hands down the United States’ hottest female college students. The one negative was no major college sports except a random Big West title/cameo NCAA appearance every 8 or 9 years. Nonetheless, UCSB made me who I am, and if you keep reading my columns you’re going to get to know a lot of my friends from college and hear a LOT of fraternity stories. Consider yourself forewarned.

After UCSB I went to Marquette for law school, which would be boring except for the fact that Wisconsin is, to put it mildly, awesome (column on this for my so-cal readers forthcoming.) I also met my wife there (who just so happened to grow up with the other two guys who write for this site.)

While living in Wisconsin I started speedballing a Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers addiction with my existing Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Lakers habits. As such, even though this is a Wisconsin-centric blog, you’ll probably hear my rants on my other teams as well.

As an aside, (and to mitigate any potential copyright damages I may incur), ESPN’s “the Sports Guy” Bill Simmons style has heavily influenced my writing style. Recently, an search revealed that Simmons is my evil older half brother (he doesn’t know this yet, and will likely put a temporary restraining order on me when he reads this.) I use a lot of analogies and popular culture references, and when possible will include visual links for the A.D.D. audience.

On to the actual topic of this article for Bear, Juicelaw, and the random drunk guy still reading this on his phone (and not knowing why) in a townie bar in River Falls, Wisconsin . . .

In my glory days at UCSB I spent a lot of time watching WWE wrestling on Monday nights. I was able to do this because Monday was the one night of the week where there wasn’t a scheduled drinking event. Hence, I was usually a little bored and would grab a case of beer and sit down and watch pro wrestling with my roommates (unless it was football season.)

WWE in those days was sort of like ballet for testosterone charged males, as 300 pound men were expressing themselves artistically in some sort of deranged, homoerotic way. Nevertheless, I always thought the cheesy monologues made the characters seem larger than life. My two favorite sports entertainers were “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.

By late 1997, Austin was the biggest thing Sports Entertainment had seen since Hulk Hogan. His beer-chugging redneck gimmick won the fans over and made him a star. In a lot of ways he was just like another star of the day, Brett Favre. Although Austin and Favre were wildly talented, they certainly had faults and limitations. For example, Austin wore a bulky knee brace that always caused him to be a step slow and make painful looking mistakes, and Favre was addicted to pain killers and made big mistakes while going for huge plays. However, Austin and Favre’s faults made each seem more human, and their legends grew.

Austin had a 3-year run as the unquestioned biggest star in the sport. Throughout that run, what people didn’t know about Austin was that his contemporaries thought of him as a real S.O.B. and glory-hog, which (along with debilitating injuries) contributed to his early exit from the sport. Sound familiar?

About a year after Austin burst on the scene, a young wrestler (and former University of Miami football player) going by the name “the Rock” started receiving a gradual push toward stardom. Initially, the Rock was hated by the fans, as his character was a brash, trash-talking “heel.” However, towards the end of Austin’s career, the Rock was the better performer and was not just touted as a “face,” but became THE face of the WWE.

We all know the story behind the Packers drafting and eventually turning the team over to Rodgers. However, this morning I thought about how much the Rock’s early career paralleled that of Rodgers’ 10 years later, as both were young, brash, talented, and performed with chips on their shoulders.

What is interesting about the Rock’s WWE career and Rodgers’ NFL career is that although the public knew both guys were very good at their respective trades, it took Stone Cold’s absence for The Rock to be accepted as WWE’s biggest star, and Favre’s season from hell in Minnesota for Wisconsin fans to collectively accept Aaron Rodgers as the next big thing.

By now you’ve heard that Favre filed his retirement papers on Monday morning. Although he’s done this before, this time I believe he’s gone. If I believed Favre were a good person, I’d argue that he “passed the torch” just two days after watching Rodgers surgical strike against Atlanta Saturday night. Alas, we all know Favre is all about Favre, so there was likely a deadline in getting this done so he could start receiving severance checks.

Nevertheless, I argue that Rodgers cemented his gradual “face turn” Saturday night, much like the Rock did in 2001. Rodgers is too good right now not to get recognized by the general public. In fact, he was getting so much positive press that Cutler nut-hugger Mike Florio had to attempt a character assassination on him. Think about that, a guy wrote a story without even bothering to check his facts because he was afraid Rodgers was getting too much positive press. He may as well have hit Rodgers in the head with a steel chair. Only the biggest superstars have media heels trying to sabotage their stardom. Rodgers time has arrived. Need evidence?

Take a moment to digest these numbers from the biggest game of Rodgers career to date:
31 for 36, 366 passing yards, 3 passing TD, no interceptions, 1 rushing touchdown, and the Packers dismantle Atlanta in the Georgia Dome 48-21.

Staggering, and this isn’t the first time he’s lit up the scoreboard with these sorts of statistics while leading the Packers to victory. In fact, he’s been doing it a lot. But if Saturday night wasn’t a guy saying to the world, “I’m the best quarterback in the NFL,” I don’t know what is. Truly remarkable.

I’ve been a Rodgers fan since his days at Cal. I was also a Rock fan from his early days. However, both guys struggled for acceptance in the beginning, and both had an ultra-popular superstar seemingly blocking their path to greatness and public acceptance. Only after Austin was gone could we truly appreciate how talented the Rock was. Similarly, only after the specter of Favre has lifted can we appreciate the greatness Packer fans get to watch on a weekly basis.

A conversation I had with my father-in-law Al Treml finally convinced me that Rodgers has silenced his harshest critics. Al is without a doubt the greatest and happiest guy I’ve ever met, but when it comes to the packers we’ve never seen eye-to-eye.
All sports fans have flaws in their fanhood, it’s the nature of something as inherently subjective as sports viewership. Al’s biggest flaw is that he was overly attached to Favre and was never willing to let it go. This flaw is present in a substantial portion of the Packers fan base still clamoring for Bart Starr to make his triumphant return under center at age 77.

When I called Al Sunday morning, as I usually do the day after a big Packer win, I was shocked by what he had to say. Al not only told me Rodgers had a great game, he told me that he’d never seen any Packer quarterback play a game like Saturday’s. It gave me chills to hear it . . .

Rodgers’ face turn was complete, as he was loved by the staunchest of Favre supporters. My perception of the Packer fan base’s view of Rodgers was verified by the lack of negative posts about Rodgers on ESPN message boards and the gushing tweets flowing from Packer fans across the country lauding Rodgers great performance. Best of all, I barely read Favre’s name at all. There is a new king.

If you’ve made it this far you’re probably wondering why I titled this article “Does Aaron Rodgers Shit in the Woods?” The answer to this question is the same one Florio should’ve written when he decided to write a blog post inferring that Rodgers was unsympathetic to an elderly Packer fan with cancer... “I don’t know.” I’m still fuming over the fact that a guy who holds himself out as a lawyer would whore himself out by spewing some garbage about Rodgers without taking the time to check any of the facts.

If I told you Aaron Rodgers shits in the woods I’d be doing the same thing Florio did. Maybe Rodgers takes dumps in public, if he does, that’s pretty disgusting, but since I don’t know, don’t care, and whether he does or doesn’t has no applicability to his ability to win games for the Packers, I’m not going to report on it.

I do have evidence that Bears shit in the woods. I also have evidence that Aaron Rodgers is a pretty amazing quarterback. That said, my prediction is that Rodgers dissects the Bears cover 2, Matthews has a field day with the Bears “shitty” offensive line, and the Packers pull out a tough win on the road. Let’s say 21-17. The win Sunday will further cement Rodgers status as Wisconsin’s fan-favorite, and will allow him to take the Packers where Favre most recently failed... the Super Bowl. Maybe he’ll even use “the People’s elbow” as his new celebration.



Juicelaw said...

Loved it. Also, this probably makes me the Stone Cold of this blog. If I gave a shit, I would probably be jealous of how coherent your thoughts are. Instead, I hope this becomes a habit. Perhaps we can become Degeneration X or something. That probably makes me X-Pac, but whatever.

I'd be interested to know if you think Blake Griffin's popularity in L.A. (and the nationwide momentum) versus Kobe's reign compares to the rise of The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan in the late 1980s.

Bear said...

It's more of a Hogan vs Macho Man feud, Miss Elizabeth is the girl in Denver

UCSB616 said...

Fuck, they won't stop talking about Griffin on national radio, but locally he's still on the clippers, which means he gets very little press. I feel bad for him. If I'm Griffin, I kick a bunch of ass for 3 years, don't sign and extension, and then bounce to the Lakers as soon as possible before I really get hurt.

He's pretty damn exciting though.

Juice, you can only be Xpac if you get divorced, marry China and make a sick porn video. Until then you can be totally be HHH to Bear's Shawn Michaels.

Juicelaw said...

Who does that make you then? Road Dog?

PS. I'm out of members of DX, although there were probably others. And Bear is probably 2011 Shawn Michaels at best.

Unkown Blogger said...

Bad Ass Billy Gunn was the other member of the New Age Outlaws! Also, good thing the two of you are married, and Bear and I have no chance of getting laid, because all of these WWE references would have ruined them. One last thing, as you're(only?) loyal reader, I would appreciate you only cover relevant sports so keep the Blake Griffin references to a minimum.