Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Aaron Rodgers Is Whooping It Up

...and waiting for the other shoe to fall. So in the 24 hours between now and Favre changing his mind, Aaron is living the good life, swaggering around to every suburban-Wisconsin restaurant and saying slyly to every pretty blonde thing, "You know I'm the Packers' starting quarterback, right?" and chartering private jets and drinking Cristal and hosting mad parties and yukking it up. This is a yearly routine for poor Aaron, because before the aforementioned time frame is through, Favre is going to say, "What, I'm letting the KID play? Arr! Gimme me my spikes back and get outta my way, whippersnapper!" and crush Rodgers' dreams all over again. He will be left to sleep off his hangover and think about long-haul truck driving in the offseason to pay off all the debts he has amassed. Unless, of course, he actually is the Packers' starting quarterback.

Yep, it's official. Cheesehead Nation is flying the flags at half mast. Brett Favre has retired.

This shifts the balance of power in the NFC North, even if it's not entirely certain to who. The Vikings need a new quarterback, the Bears re-signed Rex Grossman, and the Lions didn't fire Matt Millen, and now the Packers will be helmed by a rookie instead of the Cheesehead Messiah for the first time in 17 years. It'll be interesting to see who emerges from that scrum, and how long Packers fans give Rodgers to turn into Favre; he and Cutler will have a lot to talk about about succeeding a beloved, career-long franchise quarterback. Rodgers will, however, have to avoid playing the part of Jake Plummer/Brian Griese (inept and generally disliked) and jump straight to the Jay Cutler part (young and on the rise, could make them forget about Elway/Favre).

Favre says he can still play, but is "tired," and was upset by the Packers' failure to get Randy Moss, so he's deciding to hang it up on his terms, evidently. It's been confirmed, evidently that early post on Packers.com about his retirement ended up to be correct, but I'm still not buying it. Nor, I imagine, is Aaron Rodgers. Quick, Aaron, do your yearly max-out of your black AmEx and go talk to your Vikings friends about organizing a Love Boat... but only if you're sure Favre is in fact coming back. Otherwise, take it easy, son. You're suddenly going to get a lot more popular.

Perhaps I am not being charitable enough to a guy who spent his whole career with the team, who is one of the best QBs in the sport, who made himself beloved to a lot of people in subzero temperatures wearing replica dairy products on their heads. Maybe I should put an animated .gif of an American flag and candles, along with little dolls bowing and a tinkly background version of an Avril Lavigne song. I actually have nothing against Favre, believe it or not, aside from hating all his media fellatio -- he was pretty good for a quote (My favorite, to a referee while on the sidelines: "Here's some advice for you. Take two weeks off, then quit.") and he's genuinely a tough guy and did a lot, to say the least, over his career. I just can't bring myself to be that, you know, sad, since you know he'll probably be back anyway.

As a matter of fact, it already happened. Rodgers had a chance to cement his role, but sadly, he came in for his final training session still suffering the aftereffects of his party last night, which led to Favre un-retiring on the spot. I continue to imagine conversations between quarterbacks and their backups below. Stereotypes (first Quinn, now Favre) are fun.

Favre: And you're gonna throw it that far. Allll the hell way down thar. That's how you throw a touchdown pass, son, just rear back and air it out down there, one of them speedy lil' black fellers'll catch it.
Rodgers: [laughs incoherently]
Favre: 'Cuz that's what I done all this 17 long years. 17 years, boy! How old were you when I was startin' out? 2?
Rodgers: [laughs, distracted by shiny object]
Favre: You probably wasn't born yet!
Rodgers: [eats sweatshirt sleeve]
Favre: Goddamn, boy. You smell like WEED!
Rodgers: [giggles]
Favre: You want some damn Doritos?
Rodgers: [giggles]
Favre: Shuddup, you're screwin' with my concentration. I'm tryin' to bequeath you my legacy, boy!
Rodgers: [munches on Fritos from pocket]
Favre: I cannot f*ckin' believe I am handin' the keys to my empire to this here chickenshit.
Rodgers: Have any [laughs for ten minutes]... cookies?
Favre: What the sam hill is so damn funny?
Rodgers: I'm feelin' GOOD! I'm feelin' FLY! [laughs] [falls over]
Favre: Oh fer the love of cotton-pickin' baby Jesus... how the hell am I supposed to go if they give the Pack this ...
Peter King: That's the point, Bretty! [is muffled]
Favre: [nudges Rodgers with his toe]
Rodgers: [snores beatifically]
[Long pause]
Favre: Gimme the ball.
Packers Fans: Never leave us!!!
Favre: Gimme the damn ball or I'm leavin'.
[Long pause]
Favre: Wait.

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