Ted Thompson was smiling and chatty. That alone was breaking news. He was downright animated -- well, at least by Ted Thompson standards.
"You did the right thing, Ted!" a middle-aged fan in a Packers jacket yelled.
Thompson slapped hands with the man and kept going. He didn't need to say a thing. Aaron Rodgers said everything for him. For five years, they stuck together, their futures wound tightly. The Packers' general manager was one of the most vilified men in Green Bay for cutting ties with Brett Favre; Rodgers was the young quarterback getting defeated by Favre last season.
It all seemed so long ago Sunday night, when Rodgers made the rounds from one end of the locker room to the other after the Packers' 31-25 Super Bowl XLV victory, grabbing every player, assistant coach and equipment worker in a tight clench, telling them all he loved them.
Favre's name wasn't even uttered, mainly because so much has happened since then. There were the 15 guys who wound up on injured reserve this season, and the village it took to replace them. There were the losses of veterans Donald Driver and Charles Woodson on Sunday, and the main constant through it all was the Packers' quarterback, who never changed a thing.
"He's the focal point of our team," Thompson said.
"I think people are going to write stories about him 10 years from now that he's pretty special. Even though he's done so much, he's sort of just getting started."
After the jump it's all Aaron Rodgers all the time! In addition to Rodgers/Bishop Super Bowl coverage, Ted Miller examines Pac-12 attendance, Wilner tries to make sense of the coaching changes, and Faraudo compares Crabbe to the nation's top freshmen.
Super Bowl XLV
- After a 1-for-4 start, Aaron Rodgers picked up where he left off in the playoffs--delivering exceptionally well thrown and accurate passes.
- As valuable as Rodgers was, Desmond Bishop also played a crucial role in setting up a critical fourth quarter touchdown.
- Rodgers' former coaches and fans in Chico could not be happier with his Super Bowl victory.
- Rodgers earns a Sports Illustrated cover.
- A Cal fan through and through, Aaron Rodgers won a red Camaro but he's going to try to get a blue or black one instead.
- Colin Cowherd has been downplaying Aaron Rodgers' abilities all year. 2011 Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers joined his radio show yesterday morning and had the last laugh.
- Aaron Rodgers visits David Letterman.
- An avid wrestling fan, Aaron Rodgers has been invited to participate in WWE Smackdown in Green Bay on Tuesday.
- In just under six years Aaron Rodgers went from being disappointed on draft day to benchwarmer to Super Bowl MVP.
- Some believe winning a Super Bowl separates the elite QBs from the great ones. Aaron Rodgers now stands tall among the NFL's greatest.
- Rodgers has not had much difficulty stepping out of Favre's shadow.
- Green Bay ran its offense primarily through Rodgers and he performed brilliantly.
- Aaron Rodgers remained calm and collected despite the frustrating drops during Sunday's game.
- Ted Miller ranks the Pac-12 teams on average attendance (Cal placed 5th) and average capacity filled (Cal placed 8th).
- Wilner sorts out the offensive coaching roles and compares Cal's new staff model to Stanford's staff model under Harbaugh.
- Faraudo compares Allen Crabbe to several of the nation's top freshmen. Crabbe compares favorably to them.
- While he's at it, Faraudo compares WSU and Cal. Some project WSU might earn a tournament bid. With the same conference record, is there a chance Cal could earn a bid?
- Arizona coach Sean Miller has tremendous respect for Harper Kamp and calls him one of the top seven players in the conference.