The annoying thing about eras – particularly those of the most glittering variety – is that they have to come to an end.
Those who avidly follow the Green Bay Packers are disheartened – they’ve been left with no choice but to start casting a collective gaze toward what the next few days, weeks, months, and years may bring without star players like Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers’ Retirement Prompts Concern
Aaron Rodgers leaves Lambeau Field for the last time as Packers QB.— NFL (@NFL) April 24, 2023
A new chapter begins. pic.twitter.com/vfUfPBGt5C
It’s an inevitability that Aaron Rodgers will one day put on his famous No.12 jersey for the last time. However, few allow themselves to think about this too intently or to consider what his retirement could mean for the bigger picture.
Unfortunately, the Packers will soon be living that nightmare. Rodgers hasn’t formally announced his retirement but the awkward radio silence from the man himself, while the rumor mill continues to churn, is far from promising.
Of course, hope will forever spring eternal at Lambeau Field, but there’s no escaping the fact that the best football bets today already have Matt LaFleur’s side priced at a measly +6500 to savor a fifth Super Bowl triumph in 2024. This is behind the likes of 23 other franchises, with the Kansas City Chiefs (+600) and Philadelphia Eagles (+650) right at the top.
As the winningest franchise in NFL history, success is expected in Wisconsin rather than longed for. A loyal and passionate fan base has grown accustomed to chasing the dream and reveling in the warm glow of success.
The question right now is: how much celebrating will be taken in when Rodgers is no longer available?
Previous Attempts at Greatness
Similar posers have presented themselves in the past, but it’s difficult to imagine that a suitable heir would be found to the great Brett Lorenzo Favre. As it happens, one dynasty merely rolled over into the next.
There’s no indication that history is about to repeat itself. It would take wishful thinking of the very highest order to believe that three all-time greats could follow one another in some kind of sporting train that boasts a final destination of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Somebody, though, needs to step up from somewhere in order to paper over the cracks and provide the bridge from one golden era to the next. History is there to be made by someone who can prove they’re capable of filling the most decorated and silver-lined of boots.
You have to turn the clock back 30 years to find the first season in which the enigmatic talents of Brett Favre led the Packers into the playoffs. He would achieve that feat on 11 occasions over the course of 14 years – claiming a Super Bowl ring along the way.
Rodgers picked up that baton in 2009 and ran with it, securing a ring of his own through 11 ventures into the business end of any given campaign. With AR12 at the helm, all has felt right with the world.
The unknown is now being entered head-on. Not since 1982 has somebody other than Favre or Rodgers led the Packers into the postseason. The man in question was Lynn Dickey – a franchise legend in his own right – but the fact that over 40 years have passed since then goes to highlight the size of the challenge facing the next candidate to line up under center.