Posted by Holly Phelps on September 14, 2010
Like so many people, I play fantasy football. My family league is going into its 8th year, and my team (the Blitzing Bureaucrats) are the defending champs. My 2nd league is comprised of Packers- and NFL- bloggers and fantasy aficionados, many of whom (amazingly) pay more attention to football than I do. I’m determined to make a strong showing. (I’m the only girl in the blogger league…also, I hate losing.)
Philip Rivers throws a tantrum better than many quarterbacks throw a spiral.
Now, my quarterback in each league is San Diego’s Philip Rivers. I’m watching the Chiefs-Chargers game last night, down 26 points in the blogger league with Rivers, Ryan Mathews, and Malcolm Floyd to play, and I keep waiting for the points to start stacking up. The game’s being played in driving rain, but Rivers is one of the best in the game — usually. He opened the game slow, missing receivers and incurring multiple delay-of-game penalties. His offense converted only 4 of 15 third downs. His passes hit the turf and sailed out of bounds. He got sacked and hit and thrown to the ground. He looked…a little off.
And then, in mid-season fashion, he lashed out — at his linemen, at his receivers, at his coach, at the officials. After the third delay-of-game penalty, he even took it out on the football, kicking it angrily down the field as he tried (in vain) to call the time out. I mean…you really have to see this.
Quarterback hissy fits are certainly nothing new. Quarterbacks ask for flags from officials all the time. Chicago’s Jay Cutler was famous for his temper tantrums before he even arrived in town, and whined so much to officials during the 2009 season that he was fined $20,000 by the league for “abusive conduct” during the Bears loss to Arizona.
This preseason, Peyton Manning took quarterback tantrums to a new level of annoying during the third preseason game against the Packers. After being flagged twice for an illegal snap as a result of the new position of the umpire behind the offense, Manning had his coach plead with the league to change the rule (which protects the safety of umpires, who were hit 100 times last year). And then, after the NFL was like, “Uh, no thanks, we like the new rule,” Peyton took the issue into his own hands, writing to the league with a long list of questions about how, EXACTLY, the NFL expects him to run his hurry-up offense when the new rule requires that he waste precious seconds while the official runs back to his spot.
And, naturally, a week later, the NFL caved, adapting the rules to account for the Colts’ complaints. Talk about the power of a 4-time MVP, eh?
Point is, a lot of quarterbacks vent their frustrations on-camera, but stomping around yelling at everyone else when you’re having a bad game has to be one of the most immature and childish ways to show “leadership” on a football field. Besides, making a huge display just fires up the other team. Last night, I was floored at how energized the Chiefs fans were – every time Rivers blew a gasket, the crowd got louder and more raucous. Meanwhile, Matt Cassel, Kansas City’s quarterback, was far less impressive (10-22 for 68 yds and 1 TD), but he looked like a professional compared to Rivers. (Not a high bar, I grant you…)
Jay Cutler pouts.
At the end of the day, I’m reminded that we Packer fans are beyond blessed with a quarterback who has in his arsenal, along with a rocket arm, nifty moves, and pin-point accuracy, an unflappable public temperament. When I read Lori Nickel’s astonishing story about how horribly Green Bay fans treated (and still treat!) Rodgers, I was appalled and ashamed. I know that unfailing adulation isn’t what most quarterbacks expect from their fanbase, but Rodgers deserved better from us in 2008 and last year.
After watching Manning get all worked up over a new officiating rule, and after watching Philip Rivers throw a tantrum because his team hasn’t figured out a silent snap count… I realize that we would never have heard Aaron Rodgers’ complaints about awful fans if it weren’t for Lori’s prying (and Aaron’s decision to no longer let everything go). And it made me really grateful.
Rodgers acknowledged that there “might have been” uncalled face-mask penalties during the Arizona playoff game, but he quickly accepted blame for the fumble and the missed pass to Jennings in overtime. Even though the Packers won on Sunday against the Eagles, he immediately came out and said he played as poorly as he ever has — not blaming the line for giving up sacks, not blaming any receivers for running poor routes. He took it on himself without hesitation.
Rodgers is an anti-tantrum quarterback, and that might be one of the best things about him. With all the drama that other QBs bring (including the QB that Rodgers sat behind for 3 years), I’m even more grateful now than yesterday that Rodgers is a cool customer. I expect him to be in the running for the MVP award this year, and there’s nothing valuable about blaming other people for poor performance.
What do you think when a quarterback starts yelling at his teammates? The officials? Shoot me an email at email@example.com. You can also find me on Twitter at @htphelps and at CheeseheadTV’s The Other 31.
Posted by Danny Goldin on April 30, 2010
If you missed Part 1 of this column, check it out right here.
I already concluded that Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady are the consensus top-3 quarterbacks in the league, but who is No. 4? Again, I’ll be basing my decision on who I’d like under center for my team in 2010.
Cutler does have one thing over Rodgers; he's really good at throwing interceptions and then either sulking or blaming his teammates afterward.
I’ll throw a few names out of contention right off the bat. Jay Cutler might have the necessary skill set but is just too inconsistent, sorry Bears fans. Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco both have bright futures, but simply aren’t there yet. Carson Palmer was excellent in 2005 and 2006 but hasn’t been nearly the same quarterback since. While all of those guys have fine potential, you’re honestly taking crazy pills if you think that any of them are No. 4.
Matt Schaub was excellent last year, but he did have more than twice as many interceptions as Rodgers. It also took him until 28 years of age to get through his first season at full health, needless to say that durability remains a concern.
Donovan McNabb has had a fine career but is undeniably past his prime. He’s never once passed for 4,000 yards and isn’t very mobile anymore (Rodgers is certainly a better runner at this point). If you look at the numbers, he’s actually only had one season (2004) that was better than either of Rodgers’ past two seasons, and you could even argue that 09 Rodgers was better than 04 McNabb, or at least just as good.
Not only is Brenda Warner really frickin' annoying, but her hair is also very short and gray.
Kurt Warner would be in the argument if he was back, but alas, he’ll be spending all his time at Home Depot with his annoying wife Brenda.
I’m going to bunch Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger together. Yes, I’m aware they’ve each won a Super Bowl (and in Big Ben’s case, two of them) but the fact of the matter is that they just aren’t that good. They’re good, just not that good. Manning really never had an above average statistical season until this past year, and even then, he wasn’t anything special after the first five weeks of the season. His team went 3-8, largely because he threw over one interception per game.
Onto Ben. First off, I’d like to kill the notion that he should be considered better than every other quarterback outside the top-3 due to the fact that he’s won multiple Super Bowls. Why am I going to kill that notion? Ben went 9-of-21 for 123 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions in his first Super Bowl win. Needless to say, they didn’t win that game because of him. If they didn’t win because of him, I’m not going to increase his rank because of it. Other than that, everything about his numbers shows a good, but simply not great, quarterback. Oh yeah, and I also hear that he’s kind of shady.
Rodgers has been pulling in the honeys lately. There's no denying that he's a very sexy man.
With all those names out the door, there are really just four candidates in my mind: Tony Romo, Philip Rivers, our boy Aaron Rodgers, and — funny how his name always finds a way to come up — Brent Favre. First, let’s look Romo. Sure, the man always tends to put up gaudy regular season stats, but would you trust him to hold your kick — let alone quarterback your team — in the playoffs? I know he won his first playoff game this past season, but I still think he’s pretty darn soft. There’s that, and then there’s the fact that he’s not even with Jessica Simpson anymore. Based on TMZ’s latest findings, Rodgers probably has Romo beat in the lady department, as well as the playing field. Rivers is legit, but his playoff resume has also seen mixed results. He’s now had four full seasons as a starter, most of them surrounded by excellent talent, and you kind of get the feeling that he’s topped out. Don’t get me wrong, most teams would happily take the level of play he’s displayed the last few years, but I just don’t see reason to believe he’ll ever be any better. Also, he’s kind of a d-bag.
That brings us down to two. Let’s be real here, and much as we love to hate, hate, hate on Brent… the man can toss a pigskin. Doing what he did at 40 years of age last year was pretty remarkable, but the reason why I’m extremely hesitant to announce him as the fourth best quarterback in the NFL is just that: he really is too old. According to a recent report, the reason Brent remains undecided on whether or not he’ll be back next season has to do with the fact that his ankle is still bothering him from the beating he took in the NFC Championship game. That’s what old people do, they die… and take really long to heal from injuries. We all know the real reason Brent remains undecided is because he doesn’t want to go through training camp, but his age is a major concern why I wouldn’t rank him over…
Instead of a picture of Rodgers here, I decided to put another photo of Cutler sucking at the game of football. He's so good at not being good!
Aaron Rodgers! That’s right, I’ll say it with confidence. Rodgers is the fourth best quarterback in the league. His numbers have been as good, if not better, than anyone else’s the past two seasons, which just so happen to be his only two as a starter (take it for what it’s worth, but he actually had the most fantasy points, using a standard scoring system, of any player in the entire NFL this past season). He’s excelled under immense pressure, and while he may be 0-1 in the playoffs, don’t blame that on him. Seriously, don’t do it; he threw for four touchdowns and over 400 yards with a rushing touchdown to boot, in case you forgot. At 26, Rodgers is the youngest of all the legitimate candidates, which gives us plenty of reason to believe we haven’t yet since his peak. As long as the Packers’ line plays better next season and allows Rodgers to not be running for his life half the time, I see even bigger things for him in 2010. A possible jump into the top-3? We’ll have to wait and see. But for now, fourth best quarterback in the universe isn’t half bad.
You can e-mail Danny at firstname.lastname@example.org