Aaron Rodgers is head chef at a restaurant that refuses to pay for premium ingredients, yet is still expected to earn Michelin stars. The Green Bay Packers organization seems more interested in pointing a gun to his back than getting him proper weaponry. Failure to address a glaring wide receiver problem will more than likely result in another title-less year in Title Town.
Rodgers, who will turn 37 in December, seems destined for an acrimonious ending, just like the previous great he supplanted. It's not too early to play the blame game and the ball was tipped on Wednesday's Speak For Yourself.
After Marcellus Wiley made some salient points about the challenges Rodgers has dealt with and largely overcome, Bucky Brooks came flying through with an un-ironic RINGZ argument capable of damaging otherwise peaceful minds. Seeing one of these in the wild has become increasingly rare so they stand out a bit more. Even in the quarantine era, where up is down and down is up, they are still unserious and absurd.
Look, it will definitely be a disappointment if Rodgers ends his Green Bay tenure with one Super Bowl, just like it was with Brett Favre. Perhaps it's fair, then, to observe that the franchise has underachieved and squandered two Hall of Fame quarterbacks over the past three decades.
But to broadly dismiss all quarterbacks who haven't won multiple rings, as Brooks did, is plainly silly. Surely there's more complex considerations than simply scrolling through Wikipedia to see the champion from that year and assessing their leader as "good" and all others as "bad."
The NFL is a zero-sum game. Only one quarterback can win the sport's ultimate prize in a year. There are really not enough rings to go around! And if someone does achieve greatness and create a dynasty, that further reduces another's chance to replicate the success.
Rodgers has been the Packers starter for 12 years. During this stretch, Tom Brady has captured three Super Bowls, Eli Manning two, and Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, Russell Wilson, Peyton Manning, Nick Foles and Rodgers are members of the one-time club.
Brady is Brady. He has no peer when it comes to winning it all. The younger Manning brother, though, is the perfect data point to highlight how specious and unreliable the Rings argument is. No one with a pulse and an internet connection would tell you Eli is either a better player or more responsible for his team's success than Rodgers.
If your hypothesis results in a data set indicating that Eli Manning belongs on the all-time great discussion but Rodgers and Brees do not, perhaps it's time to get back in the lab and see where this dubious science fell apart.