Once ignored, Rodgers now a champion
Ignored out of high school by every major-college football program in the country.
Only got a chance to play big-time college ball because the coach was on a recruiting trip looking for someone else.
Almost dropped completely out of the first round of the 2005 draft, whose only taker was the team whose quarterback was the most indestructible in NFL history.
You want a quarterback who has had to earn it every single, solitary step of the way? Aaron Rodgers, say hello to the top of the world, young man. You deserve everything you get.
The quarterback from Chico, Calif., once snubbed by his beloved 49ers and their offensive coordinator named Mike McCarthy, endured life behind Brett Favre, then stepped out of that gigantic shadow to lead the Packers to the team’s fourth Super Bowl championship Sunday night.
Rodgers proved himself to McCarthy, who became his head coach in Green Bay the year after the 49ers chose Alex Smith, then proved himself to the rest of the football world with a brilliant run to this moment.
Super Bowl more of a clunker than a classic
A Super Bowl plagued all week by Texas-sized problems had fans on the edge of their seats — if they had seats, that is.
It wasn’t great football that created the drama in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday. It was the suspense over which of the two teams could self-destruct more thoroughly. In the end, the Steelers won that battle and lost the chance to win a league-best seventh Super Bowl. The Green Bay Packers turned all three Steelers turnovers into touchdowns to claim their fourth Lombardi Trophy.
Green Bay’s 31-25 victory will not be remembered as a classic Super Bowl. Outside of Wisconsin and North Texas, which endured a miserable week frozen in the national spotlight, it will not be remembered at all.
Cheeseheads can thank defense for title
On the play Sunday that initially put Wisconsin in a state of anticipation during Super Bowl XLV, Packers defensive lineman Howard Green burst through the line of scrimmage and laid a hand on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s shoulder.
Roethlisberger was looking deep for Mike Wallace but Green’s pressure up the middle altered his release. So Big Ben delivered the biggest of gifts, throwing a floater that safety Nick Collins returned 37 yards for the Packers’ second touchdown in 24 seconds.
A Packer named Green causing the first game-changing play in the Super Bowl?
Just like that, Cheeseheads got the sense late in the first quarter that maybe this was their night. Thanks mostly to that Steel-proof defense responsible for creating three turnovers, they were right.
Nelson goes from small town to big time
Every single one of the 900 folks from Jordy Nelson’s hometown in the middle of Kansas could bring 100 friends and they still wouldn’t fill this enormous stadium. Just the other day, he walked into Cowboys Stadium and talked of how you could fit every cow and bale and piece of machinery from Riley, Kan.
People laughed. Nelson smiled. Ever since he started making it big in football, this is the stereotype he’s always fit: the farm boy in the bright lights. Maybe there’s a bit of truth in there.
Good pro football careers aren’t supposed to start at tiny high schools in the middle of nowhere, especially not when his best scholarship offer came from Emporia State.
But that is part of Nelson’s story, the one the world got a glimpse of when he caught nine passes for 140 yards during the Packers’ win Sunday.
Kansas City Star
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.