Super Bowl XLV
Sunday, February 6th, 2011.
Approximately 10:52 PM EST.
Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger meet at the middle of the field in Cowboy Stadium to shake hands in front of 80,000+ fans and 100+ million worldwide.
Who has the “One Ring to Rule Them All?”
Who is immortal?
What were the Black Eyed Peas singing about? Â That was singing right?
How much did those frickin’ seats cost???
Actually the first thing I should do is calm down all my friends hidden in their lairs of nerdery. Â Please don’t expect an in-depth perspective on Lord of the Rings. Â YOU MUST GO SEE IT! I have nothing against Mr. Tolkien but put your cloaks back into your closet, put down your 20 sided die, push your glasses up your face and keep reading this article if you want a girlfriend one day or at least move out of your moms basement.
Wow, thats harsh…but probably 90% truth. Â Well maybe 50/50. Â Regardless, this is about two men not in your collection named Frodo, Sam, Gandalf or any other names I get from Wikipedia or my Tolkien freak brother. Â This is about men from the cold bleakness of Green Bay, Wisconsin to the blue collar neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Â It comes to this weekend where millions will see each man push their teams to immortality on the gridiron of men. Â It’s really about two men and only two men.
Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger.
One Ring to Rule them All.
There my fellow nerds. Â Enjoy the reference again. Â Now there may be references to Lord of the Rings later on, so you have to keep reading. Â There will be math and maybe puzzles so I know you’re excited.
Back to Football. American Football. Â We constantly talk about how the QB is the field general and the most important position in the game and I think it’s even even more important in the Super Bowl (or my party is the Buper Sowl, see what I did there. Â I’m awesome). Â The quarterback make things happen or they don’t and its the most demanding position in football. Â Who else touches the ball on 95% of the downs? Â You have a franchise QB you do pretty well (Colt & Pats of the 2000’s). Â If your QB’s suck, well, you suck (Browns & Bills of the 2000’s).
Its on the shoulders of the QB’s. Â Out of the 44 Super Bowls 23 have had the QB as the MVP. Â That’s three times more than the next position awarded with the running back at only 7 times. Â Out of the 55 years of the NFL voting on the regular season MVP, 44 have been QB’s (or shared the title). Â How many Super Bowl champs had a bad QB at the helm? Â Maybe a handful.
But this is not about all those guys, its about Aaron and Ben and this Sunday one will be separated from the rest. Â Immortal. Â These two guys will be going after that one ring to rule them all. Â I’ll get to that later but first let me compare these QB’s. Â I’ll take Aaron first since i’ll be rooting for the Pack. Â I married a Wisconsin gal so it’s on the marriage certificate that I’m a Packer fan now.
Aaron Rodgers has begun to push himself into that next echelon of quarterbacks. Â He would have been there 3 years ago if Farve would have just hung’m up when he started wearing diapers but the past is the past and i’m not bitter you stupid greedy old man. Â Rodgers has shown this with his stats, leadership and a wicked awesome arm that most of his collegues call “the strongest arm in the league”. Â He can also put the ball on a quarter. Â I hate the word dime because a dime can’t get you anything. Â It’s useless. Â Just small and stupid. Â You can only get something with a dime if you put a dollar with it. Â Love you $1 menu! Anyway. Â He’s shown he can throw for yardage and TD’s while limiting his mistakes which = great QB. Â Here are his average stats for his first 3 full seasons (even though he’s been in the league since 2005, Thanks again Farve) :
4241 yards, 29 TD’s, a smidge over 10 INT’s.
Let’s compare that to other top QB’s averages in their first 3 full seasons.
Mr. P. Manning : 4095 yards, 28 TD’s and 19 INT’s.
Mr. Brady: 3409 yards, 23 TD’s, 13 INT’s.
Mr. Brees: 3340 yards, 17 TD’s, 15 INT’s.
Big Ben: 2840 yards, 17 TD’s, 14 INT’s.
Compared to these top guys (I know there’s more) he’s already put himself into that elite status statistically. Â I also picked these guys because they have one thing that Rodgers doesn’t have. Â At least one Super Bowl ring. Â But now Mr. Rodgers has also shown that he can now lead his neighborhood through a season full of injuries and deep into the post-season. Â A tough post-season at that. Â At Philly. At Atl. At Chi-town. Â Win. Win. Win.
I have one more tid bit of fun, but for now onto Big Ben.
First off we’re here to talk about Big Ben on the field, not off, so keep your mind on the prize. Â He’s not your stereotypical quarterback. Â The dude doesn’t throw for the yards. Â He averages about 3200 in 7 seasons. Â Not bad but nothing elite. Â He’s only thrown for over 30TD’s in one of his seven seasons. He’s not a pure pocket guy. Â What most people see is that he’s a monster. Â 6’5, 250. Â BUT. Â He’s probably one of the best instinctual QB’s that’s ever played. Â He makes plays from nothing. Â He extends plays like only a couple guys can in the league. Â Defensive players say he’s like trying to tackle a snowplow. Â Brady(6-4, 230) and Manning(6-5, 235) are just as big, but not a tough SOG like Ben. Â Most of all, he gets the job done. Â Since he’s been at the helm of the Steelers they are 60-26.
Compare that to the golden locks standard of Tom Brady who is 97-30 in 10 seasons. Â If Ben wins 12 games a year (which the Steelers can) for the next three years he’ll be 96-38. Â Very comparable eh?
But to me one of the greatest attributes of Ben is: he’s clutch. Â No matter what you say about how he throws or holds onto the ball too long, he doesn’t choke. Â Ben has 19 comeback wins and 25 game-winning drives through the first seven seasons of a player’s career.Â Â You know who else has done that? Â No one. Â He’s tops in those categories. Â He’s 9-2 in the post-season. 2 rings. Isn’t that what matters? Â Winning? Â Doesn’t matter how you play(sorry Marino), do you win? Big Ben? Yes.
Now the reason behind writing this piece is for one, I get bored a lot, and two, it’s about the one ring to rule them all (AARON! BEN! FRODO!)
It is about THIS ring. Â THIS year. Â Forget all the other years. Â This is the most important Super Bowl for 2 quarterbacks in the history of Super Bowls.
Again, THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SUPER BOWL FOR BOTH QUARTERBACKS. EVER.
On one hand you have Aaron Rodgers. Â Heir to one of the greatest franchises and one of the greatest (previously)beloved quarterbacks of all time. Â I mean the trophy is named after Lombardi for crying out loud. Â If he wins this Super Bowl he is no longer in the shadow of Farve. Â He’s created and started his own legacy. Â Think about it, he’ll have just as many rings as Farve. Â He’s brought the Pack back to the promise land. If that’s not huge, I don’t know what is.
On the other hand there is Big Ben. Â Also heir so one of the greatest franchises and a long lineage of winning. Â 6 Super Bowl wins. 8 AFC Championships. Â The Rooney’s. Â If he wins this Super Bowl he’s put himself into some of the most elite company in NFL history. Â Quarterbacking a team to at least 3 Super Bowl wins. Â Terry Bradshaw. Joe Montana. Â Troy Aikman. Â Tom Brady. All HOF’s and soon to be Justin Bieber. Â You know how many multiple Super Bowl winning quarterbacks are not in the HOF? 1 out of 10 (8 are retired). Â Jim Plunkett with 2 Super Bowl wins but had a very below average career. If that’s not huge, I don’t know what is.
It’s THIS ring that will separate one of these gentleman from the rest. Â Forever.
60 minutes to decide the fate of two men.
Two legacies.Â One Ring.
One awesome flippin’ ring.
Actually I’ll probably be able to buy it from the lazy Pawn Star bums in about 9 years.
Did I go a little overboard here?