Aaron Rodgers is a real human being, not an idealized version of an NFL quarterback in a novel who makes the impossible look routine. But it’s hard not to have the border between the real and surreal blur a bit during those frantic, last-minute heroic acts that have become a staple of Green Bay Packers victories.
Call it Rodgers Reality. A place where he turns into a Matt Christopher character. A place where Hail Marys aren’t flung on a wing and a prayer, but are high-percentage passing plays. A place where no obstacle is too great and no odds too long.
It’s a place he feels comfortable. Where he doesn’t blink an eye as the rest of the world goes berserk. A place where, in a tied road playoff game, facing 3rd and 20 from his own 31-yard line and 12 seconds remaining, he has the confidence to simply make something up.
Yes, Rodgers reached down in the schoolyard dirt and drew something up. And no one should be surprised that it worked to perfection. No one should be surprised a 36-yard drag route by a tight end worked. No one should be surprised Rodgers threw a perfect ball across his body to a sliding Jared Cook to set up Mason Crosby’s game-winning field goal.
Rodgers is becoming some sort of mythical figure right before our very eyes by capitalizing on every opportunity presented to do something dramatic, something legacy-defining.
He has led to the Packers to the NFC Championship Game with a converted wide receiver playing running back. Today he did it without Jordy Nelson. If an obstacle presents itself, he will overcome it.
At this point, he’s Adam West-era Batman. Tie him up in an abandoned warehouse rigged to explode all you want, but he’s getting away and will emerge victorious.
It may not always be pretty. And he may have to diagram an escape plan on a napkin with the pen in his teeth. But escape he will. That’s the very real truth.
After the game, we had Rodgers’ longtime teammate AJ Hawk on a podcast, discussing this game and his own broadcasting aspirations: