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Thursday, September 2, 2010
Rewinding the Favre-Rodgers Great Debate

By Kevin Seifert

After reading this week's Great Debate about the future of the Green Bay Packers' history books, Bryan of Madison, Wis., made a desperate plea:
Could you please pump the brakes on getting Aaron Rodgers fitted for his yellow Hall of Fame jacket and at least wait until he wins a single playoff game? Yeesh.

Our friends over at Cheesehead TV were a little more nuanced in their reaction, although I think the words "shut up" appeared a few times.

Dave of Annandale, Va., wrote that my "ignorance of Bart Starr is appalling" and is "typical of you modern-day 'experts' who think the NFL started in 1990."

Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers is the first quarterback ever to produce consecutive 4,000-yard seasons at the start of his career.
Dan of San Diego wasn't thrilled with my explanation for Rodgers' fumble at the end of last season's playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals. "You need to stop being an enabler to those crybaby Packer fans," Dan wrote.

Thanks to everyone who read and reacted to a serious debate written with what I thought was an obviously light-hearted approach. Trust me, I am well aware that the statistical odds are stacked against Rodgers surpassing Favre in any way. Believe me, I am well versed in the nature of Starr's career. My approach to him in this debate was more flippant than ignorant, but I guess he is one of the untouchables. To be clear, I don't actually think Bart Starr was a mere caretaker of the Packers' championship teams in that era.

With the calendar showing almost two weeks until the start of the regular season, Tuesday was simply a good moment to have some fun with what is an emotional and at least somewhat relevant corner of the NFC North. Nothing more and nothing less. Even if it's mere speculation, I do think it's worth considering what limits -- if any -- Rodgers has on what could be a historic career.

Knowing that this post was coming, I asked Rodgers an open-ended question last month on the general subject. I wanted to know if he had spent any time thinking about where his career might take him. After all, many of the game's all-time greats didn't open their careers as strongly as Rodgers has.

After a pause, here is what Rodgers said:

"Not really, to be honest with you. I'm a pretty regimented guy. I'm blessed with one of the great teachers in the game in [quarterbacks coach] Tom Clements. And we're always working. His best quality is not letting me be content with where I am as a player, and to always point out things I can improve on. That's how I stay motivated in the offseason. One thing I do realize is that as our team's success goes, then all of our individual success goes. And keeping that I mind, I think we can all have a lot of success this year."

OK. let's adjourn until such time that we can nominate Charles Woodson as the best defensive back in Packers history. Too bad for Herb Adderley, Willie Wood and Mossy Cade.