The NFL: It’s just like “The Bachelor.”
The NFC and AFC Championships are upon us, with each team just as desperate, hopeful and hungry as the final four vixens vying for the heart of an emotionally distant/socially awkward “primo bachelor.”
Since this is a quarterback-driven league, I will choose which stud should get the rose, explain why, then boot the jilted out to the driveway to cry.
The AFC Championship will be host to a variety of subplots featuring Rex Ryan and his flavor of the week, as well as the brutish Steelers defense versus the slick Jets defense. But above every subplot is the main storyline: the battle between Aaron Rodgers and Marky Mark Sanchez.
Their season statistics couldn’t be more different, with Rodgers at the top of the QB class in almost every category and Sanchez with 11 fewer touchdowns, 700 fewer yards and a 25-point lower rating. The USC-bred, heavily recruited golden boy from Mission Viejo versus Chico-native Rodgers, who is the equivalent of Ryan on the “The O.C.” — a hard-luck kid who, with the help of some people, found justice, peace and success. Seemingly an easy pick, intangibles will weigh in heavily here.
The NFC is pretty similar to the other quarterback matchup, with one quite a bit more talented, not to mention more experienced, than the other. In one corner, weighing in at a hulking 242 pounds, is Big Ben Roethlisberger, a behemoth man who can shake tackles like he is swatting away a gnat. His season statistics rank atop the QB heap, throwing for 3,200 yards while giving up only five interceptions. In the other corner: “Mr. Friendly,” Jay Cutler, who alternates between gun-slinging genius and interception-prone hack. Roethlisberger’s the better QB so there may be a clear-cut favorite, but football is a game of luck and chance. Come Jan. 23, it’s anybody’s game.
A lot more than simply stats and rankings goes into the decision of who gets the final rose. A quarterback needs a certain presence; a command over his teammates that goes unquestioned. The rose-winning factors are the ways in which the QB in question inspires his team, not his statistics.
I pick Big Ben over JC in the NFC and Rodgers over Marky Mark in the AFC. Cutler is a whiner who does not seem to have the control over his team that Rodgers does. You get the idea that his teammates listen to Jay in spite of who he is. With Aaron, they respect him for everything that Jay isn’t.
In the AFC matchup, Sanchez is not the leader of his team, Rex is. Sorry, but Rex isn’t in the huddle. The Jets are going to need a calm presence, and Sanchez won’t be able to deliver. Ben has been there before and has the poise to steer his team to a win.
For the final rose? The Super Bowl rose? I’m going with Rodgers. Simply put, his genes look better than Big Ben’s.