Of Jedi Miracles… and Men

Technically speaking, both Aaron Rodgers and Brock Osweiler play the same position. “Quarterback.” It’s true. I looked it up. And also true, is the fact that both men are professional quarterbacks, trained and paid millions of dollars to do so.

Thus endeth the comparison.

It’s not just unfair to Texan fans watching the difference unfold in front of their eyes, it’s downright cruel. The brilliance of Rodgers is enough to turn a pedestrian supporting defense into a streaking Super Bowl contender. The stumbling mediocrity of Osweiler is enough to turn a savagely elite defense, into an easily dismissed playoff schedule-filler.

So why can’t Osweiler just do more of what Rodgers does? Surely, he can be coached. Surely he works out. Surely… he’s TRYING. Right?

To say that “NFL quarterback” is the most demanding position in sports is almost cliche. To be great, you need the athleticism of LeBron James, the mental focus of Tiger Woods, the physical courage of a downhill skiier, the leadership skills of a CEO, the reaction time of a fighter pilot, and the information retention of Ray Babbitt.

It’s such an impossible position to play in the modern game, that for a league which requires only 32 of them to operate, only about half of those positions are staffed to the satisfaction of their teams.

Quarterbacks of 40 years ago, were asked to have grit, spit, and a strong arm. They threw it half as much per game, and into far simpler defensive schemes. And even as passing increased through the 70’s and 80’s, QB’s were often excused for low completion percentages and multiple interceptions.

Terry Bradshaw didn’t throw more than 20 touchdowns (28) in a season until his 9th year in the league. And he did it against 20 interceptions with a mere 56% completion rate.

He’s in the Hall of Fame. So are two of his wide receivers.

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While history will remember the dashing sideline throw on 3rd and 20 to Jared Cook, what Rodgers did two plays earlier was even more amazing. Hit on a full-blindside sack by blitzing safety Jeff Heath, Rodgers somehow held firmly onto the ball (Fact: His grip is rated “Industrial Claw” strength!) and instantly popped up and remembered to call timeout.

Mortals fumble that ball – 99 out of 100 times. And even if the Pack recovered such a fumble, it would have taken another 3 seconds off the clock. The very three seconds needed for Mason Crosby’s game winner.

To witness the brilliance of Aaron Rodgers is both joy, and agony. You realize it won’t last forever. As great as this run has been, a loss Sunday in Atlanta means another precious year of Rodgers’ career will have been thrown down the rathole.

Wouldn’t it be nice, just once, for Rodgers to ride roughshod on the back of a complete team all the way to another Lombardi trophy? To not have to go on a gambler’s-hot-streak type of run, winning multiple road playoff games just to reach the Super Bowl?

Rodgers’ greatness is already stamped and certified by his Super Bowl MVP performance in a against the Steelers. He doesn’t need another one, to really prove anything. Still, if that never happens, it just won’t feel right.

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About the Author

Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. He also appears on “Bob and Brian” in Milwaukee. “Czabe” also writes and edits his own commentaries for www.czabe.com and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at czabe@yahoo.com.

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18 Comments

    1. Tune In radio app .. search Bob and Brian.. He is on at 8:15am central time.. I’ve been listening to him for 15 years.. He is great!!

  1. Great read Czabe. Hard to believe there are media ass hats writing that Dak outplayed A-Rod. Dak had all his weapons and faced a defensive backfield decimated by injuries. A-Rod had a converted wideout as his running back (who played well) and was missing his #1 receiver. Reverse the situation and the Packers hang up 50.

  2. Well said. I have nothing to add except that I want every knee jerk idiot writer who clutched at the low hanging fruit of sports “journalism” and covered the Jordan Rodgers “story” to all line up and bend over so Aaron can throw a fastball right up their corn chutes, one at a time. Remember how Aaron was a bristle narcissist who had peaked? A loner when didn’t have the respect of his teammates? They found on mouthpiece in Greg Jennings, a disgruntled has been who was more than willing to give the idiots a sound bites or two. So the media took that one narrative and ran with it. Yeah. To think that just weeks ago, Aaron Rodgers was a soon to be washed up locker room cancer, according to some. Unfortunately, these morons get paid even when they’re dead wrong. But I’d sure like to see them eat a metric ton of crow

  3. As a Chiefs fan I take this to heart. We have a serviceable QB. Despite the abuse he will receive today he’s not the reason the Chiefs lost. It was the injury to Johnson that allowed Bell to go off. Despite the score Pittsburgh could have easily hung 35 on the Chiefs last night.

    Alex Smith did not throw across his body, a 35 yard dart 3 inches from the sideline. Smith is not Rodgers. (Not exactly breaking news) But Alex Smith gave the Chiefs a chance to win. One where they needed others to make the big plays. (About 1-2 more plays) Before dumping Smith – asks how many plays were the Texans from winning.

  4. Well ESPN announcers who all said Rodgers was insane to think he could turn it around and run the table after stumbling to a 4-6 record while looking not only lost, but possibly finished. So sad that we need these odd sports characters who are no better than their signature rants or silly phrases like Donald Trump’s “you’re fired.” ESPN could use a make over of talent that can be both entertaining and educational of the depth of their knowledge and insight.

  5. In regards to Rodgers you should add the toughness of Shun Fujimoto from china the guy who dismounted from the Rings with a broken knee cap. Knowing he had to go on to win but knowing it would hurt and possibly get worse.

  6. Rodgers is good, but your love affair with him is disturbing. Lay off the cheese. The Packers got lucky as heck and you know it.

    1. The Rodgers to Cook catch was not luck, the two Crosby field goals were not luck. The Packers won because Rodgers is on the cheese and his teammates are eating it too, special magic wizard cheese. On to the Super Bowl Bobby!

    2. Lucky? They outplayed the number one seed in their joint for the majority of the game. What exactly was lucky? The pass? (uhh, no). The kicks? I believe that’s 23 in a row for Crosby in the playoffs.

      Was it the refs? Hahaha…lol. You must be a Skip Bayless worshiper. My condolences.

    3. I guess hitting a pin-point 30-yd sideline pattern and kicking three 50+yd field goals is “lucky”. Going to Dallas and beating a team as good as the Cowboys had this year has nothing to do with luck.

  7. As a guy that was alive and watching football in the 70’s I wholeheartedly agree. I did listen to your “discussion” with Andy on the radio and agree with you. The best of yesteryear were great in their day, but could not hold a candle to the best of the day. Look at the teams left standing this year and check the QB, that is enough to know how much that position has evolved. You will not win championships without an elite breed in that position. Yeah, yeah, rules have changed, they are protected, blah, blah. The split second decision making, tight windows, speed on defense etc…, only displays how teams without one will be meh come playoffs. Great post and hope you get a new national show soon, as a Cowboys fan it is a tough listen to get through your local show.

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