A little R & R for the Super Bowl!
There will be no Brady, Manning or Brees in Super Bowl XLV, much to the chagrin of the folks in Boston, Indianapolis and New Orleans. And of course to the rest of the nation that places such a high premium on star quality in big games.
But redemption is good for the soul. And for the Final Four quarterbacks that remain, their recent past suggests that the opportunity to deliver a Super Bowl victory for their respective organizations on the big stage far transcends a mere triumph in a football game.
Ben Roethlisberger- “Big Ben” not only missed Pittsburgh’s first four games while they garnered a 3-1 record without him, but he genuinely lost favor with Steeler Nation. His antics in Georgia were well documented and they cast him in a very unfavorable light. Roger Goodell’s leniency gave Ben a 2nd chance and he’s making the most of it.
Mark Sanchez- “The Sanchize,” as he has been dubbed by haters everywhere, is now 3-1 in playoff games. But, after an opening loss to the Ravens, a 9-0 loss at home to the Packers, and a 45-3 drubbing by the Pats in early December, pundits with an axe to grind took potshots at Sanchez early and often. It’s become sport with some people. But for the 2nd straight season, his Jets are in the AFC Championship game. Hating on Sanchez is silly. He’s not Namath, but he’s assumed the role. Give him a break.
Aaron Rodgers- Since Packer GM Ted Thompson hitched his wagon to Rodgers instead of Favre in 2008, Rodgers has taken a beating, figuratively and literally. But was it his fault last year when the defense gave up 50 to Arizona in the playoffs? He put up 45… Was it his fault when the team was decimated by injury? The torch is being passed before our eyes, and Rodgers has performed brilliantly when it’s mattered most.
Jay Cutler- After being unceremoniously dumped by Josh McDaniels and the Denver Broncos, Cutler arrived in Chicago and never meet a nightclub he didn’t like! Meanwhile, his reputation for being surly, petulant, and having slow feet with a poor pocket presence was on display in Week 3 as the NY Giants made him look like a frustrated golfer trying to kill a snake in a phone booth. It was not fun to watch. But, Cutler is still standing, and he could have the last laugh.
The envelope please?
I say Pittsburgh and Green Bay advance, and their QB’s Rodgers and Roethlisberger, the R & R men, will finally get some R & R. What do I mean by that?
Thirty other QB’s and their teams will be sitting home restless on Super Bowl Sunday, and any one of them would trade places with Aaron and Ben.
The R & R they’ll be getting? It will be rest and relaxation from the doubters and haters that dogged them for the past several months.
Redemption is good for the soul, and the Super Bowl.
(c) 2011 BernieFratto.com