The Aaron Rodgers Saga Has Me Thinking About Animal House

One of my all-time favorite movies is Animal House and I found myself thinking about a classic scene from that movie when thinking about the future of Aaron Rodgers, a couple weeks removed from the end of the Packers’ season.

Pinto is with the very drunk daughter of the mayor; they’re about to get down to business and she passes out and he’s faced with what a college freshman might consider a moral dilemma. Up sprouts an angel over one shoulder and a devil over the other—each persuading him which way to go.

That’s how I feel about the Rodgers situation right now. To me, there are two, and only two scenarios: either he comes back to the Pack and is signed to a new multi-year deal or he’s getting traded to the Broncos.

He’s not retiring. After the sudden playoff exit, he has unfinished business and there ain’t no way he’s going into Canton with Tom Brady. And he would only agree to play somewhere where they play a similar system, with a coach he likes/trusts and with a roster that’s built to win now. Only Denver checks all of those boxes—remember, the NFC is off limits.

So, it goes one of two ways. He’s back with the Pack, or he’s off to the Broncos. I’m Pinto and this is what I’m hearing in my head:

Trade him. Trade him now. It’s time. He had everything going his way this time around. Playing at home, the pinkie toe felt good. He’d even show you if you didn’t believe him. The team around him was as healthy as it had been in months. To get to a title game, he just had to beat Jimmy Garoppolo. Who had a bad thumb and shoulder. Who had never been anywhere near a game this cold. OK, special teams melted down, but c’mon, he had the ball with a seven point lead and six minutes to play. The MVP has to carry you home.

For shame. Listen to yourself talk. Do you remember what it’s like not to have a generational talent at quarterback? Of course you do. You’re old. You remember the 70s: Scott Hunter. Jerry Tagge. An ancient John Hadl. David Whitehurst. Ohhh, David Whitehurst. Sure, Lynn Dickey came around and things were fun for a while, but for the most part the 70s and 80s were like being the Carolina Panthers. Aaron is about to win his second straight MVP. He’s got three or four good years left. He wants to be a Packer for life. Why are we even having this conversation?

He’s a brilliant player. Maybe the finest thrower of the football anyone’s ever seen. If I want to watch beauty I’ll go watch a Scarlett Johannsen movie. I want to win. I want my quarterback to shine in the postseason when everything’s on the line. Is it too much to ask my Hall of Fame quarterback to play in more than one Super Bowl? I mean, 17 years in Green Bay and he has as many Super Bowl rings as Trent Dilfer.

How many Super Bowls did Peyton Manning win in Indy? Or Drew Brees in New Orleans? It’s not that easy. And we all know if that onside kick in Seattle is played correctly, Aaron probably has a ring for his other hand. Are you really ready to turn the page and hand the keys to Jordan Love? Did you watch the Chiefs game?

He’s led the Pack to more losses than wins in the playoffs since Super Bowl XLV and he’s lost as many playoff games as he’s won at Lambeau. Last year he gets Tom Brady at home for a trip to the Super Bowl. Brady gets picked off three times, yet Rodgers can’t put points on the board. This year, with fans in the stands finally, he just needs to beat two teams he’s already beaten this season. But he develops tunnel vision with Davante Adams and ignores open receivers. And he never finds the end zone after the opening drive. If it didn’t happen this year, with that roster, do you really think it’s ever going to happen?

He didn’t play his best against the 49ers; it’s true. But the offensive line was shifted around when Bakhtiari was a late scratch. Randall Cobb was playing his first game in weeks. AJ Dillon left the game early with a rib injury. There were obstacles. It’s only going to make him hungrier. He knows his clearest path back to the Super Bowl is in the NFC, where his division is going through a complete reboot, Brady just retired and even the 49ers will be turning to their young quarterback of the future. With him back in Green Bay, this team will be on a short list of NFC Super Bowl favorites. He’ll have a chance to write a much more storybook ending to his epic career.

I haven’t been convinced either way as of this moment. I think I’ll be comfortable with whatever way it goes. I’m just looking forward to resolution at this point, because for now I’m just sitting here, like Pinto, with two handfuls of toilet paper.

Comments

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He is coming back—3 year deal. Don’t want draft picks. He should only ever play for the Packers. BobFeb 4th, 2022 11:22 pm
He gone. And Matt Lafleur will be fired after the team sucks.CaneFeb 5th, 2022 7:22 am
No love for the Majik Man in your list of past QBs? Lynn Dickey? Mr. 1-7 and then 7-1 was fun?JoeFeb 5th, 2022 7:28 am
I have been a Packed fan. For over 60 yrs.hard to do if you live in Minnesota.I am on the fence about how I feel bout Rogers. All QBs have bad game sometimes but it seems to me he can't get up for the big games.I also wonder how he is in the locker room is he a distractionElkRiverPackFeb 5th, 2022 11:40 am
Aaron Rodgers has a swelled head that's become bigger than his sal-cap number. He's put a great big capital "I" in T.E.A.M. In a postseason that's seen some of the most spectacular quarterback play ever ARod ranks with Jimmy Garoppolo & Ryan Tannehill for the least impressive showing.Yeah, Rodgers gives the Packers the best chance of making the playoffs. But then what? We went through this for the last 10 years of Favre and now it's 11 with Rodgers. Plenty of playoffs; no Super Bowls. Over the years ARod has been sabotaged by the defense, coaching, special teams. The ST's this last time gave his ass distracting cover but more and more the evidence mounts that Rodgers missed or ignored open receivers, likely disobeyed and changed play calls, became one dimensional on Davante Adams and that more than the ST's cost the Packers a playoff game they should have won. He doesn't want to be part of a rebuild, so he says, but his sal-cap hit is going to put the Packers in exactly that position. Keep on doing what you've always done and keep getting what you always got. Enough! Time to get back to being the GREEN BAY Packers not the AARON RODGERS' Packers. It's tough for smokers to quit and alcoholics to give up the bottle. The Packers need to get free of their addiction and build a rounded football team and start the new Super Bowl quest from there. PackerliferFeb 5th, 2022 4:42 pm
There’s also the Brett Favre burn it to the ground option. He could ‘retire’ now, then come back in training camp after all the salary cap moves are made, at which point his salary would immediately need to fit under the cap. They would have no choice but to trade him or make $45 million in roster moves to fit him in. He has more options, and leverage, than people realize depending on how determined he is to choose his spot.ChrisFeb 6th, 2022 10:46 am
What about the story that he recently bought land outside Nashville? Is he secretly reconciling with his brother or is Tannehill out after his 3-pick game? Otherwise I agree, end the drama either way.BushyFeb 6th, 2022 11:06 am
He's a box score QB. Puts up great stats. Comes up short when it matters the most. He is not a winner like Tom Brady. Time to move on.Favre Feb 6th, 2022 12:49 pm
Packerlifer- DITTO. My thoughts completely. great post.larryFeb 8th, 2022 11:27 am
Have you listened to KFAN and heard them justify the firing of Zim? (A firing I agree with by the way)... The rationale was that Zim is a very good coach, but he's reached his ceiling here in MN. The same is true of Rodgers. The ceiling is 10-13 wins and a playoff loss. How many consecutive early playoff exits do we need to see before accepting that the Super Bowl is not in the cards for the Pack with Rodgers? Could Love do it? I don't know. You don't know. Nobody knows. Just like in 2008 when nobody knew if Rodgers could do it. And the Chiefs game is irrelevant. He had 2 practices with the 1st team, and LaFleur put in his worst coaching effort of his career. I wish Rodgers all the best, but I'm ready for the change. Truth TellerFeb 11th, 2022 2:27 pm
So Rogers gets another MVP. So what. Brett Favre 1 ring, Aaron Rod 1 ring, Trent Dilfer 1 ring, brad Johnson 1 ring, and on and on. He is not in same conversation of Big Ben, Manning Brothers, Montana, and if course the GOAT.ScooterFeb 11th, 2022 6:31 pm
I'm not sure THC will do a prediction on super bowl. So i will do mine now. Bengals remind me so much of the Packers in 2010. On a roll with nothing to lose. I see Stafford throwing 1 pick and Burrows won't. He will get sacked at least 5 times, but as long as he doesn't turn it over I think they can pull off the upset. 24 to 20 Bengals. Voice, Packerlifer, OSSG, LynnDickyfan, and especially Bud grant need to see your picks.larryFeb 12th, 2022 11:21 am
Larry I had the rams winning, I didn’t like the bengals play calling on the last drive,Rams had the better defensive line,your friend Bud.Bud Grant Feb 17th, 2022 3:10 pm
Why Pinto?Mark BMar 3rd, 2022 12:16 am
Well done Dave , and your knowledgeable commenters.... Feels like a true 50-50. You really want to win, do a Brady and make space for playmakers... shore up and roll. Worked for the RamsFlyman51Mar 5th, 2022 12:13 am
He's back. I knew he would decide on a slow day in media so they could all talk about him again. I wish he would have left and we would have got some picks instead. Now we will be in salary cap hell the next 3 years. IT could be worse. Paul Allen is NOT happy , looks like a fool and wrong again. He said last year 12 would never play in Packers uniform again last summer. They took our ex-d coordinator and ex. lb coach Smith, and pettine too. Here we go again. Don't be surprised if vikings go after guard Lucas Patrick and MVS also. Enjoy the draft coming up boys and girls. OSSG and everyone else let's see some picks. Go PackerslarryMar 8th, 2022 11:55 am

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