In case you are not aware, today December 12, 2012 (or 12-12-12) has been declared Aaron Rodgers Day by the State of Wisconsin.
It’s a day to pay tribute to the starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers and what he means to our great state (I am a lifelong Wisconsin resident, for the record).
I first heard of Rodgers towards the tail end of the 2004 season. All I knew about him was that he played quarterback at Cal and was very possibly going to be the first pick of the 2005 NFL Draft. I didn’t pay much thought to him because he wasn’t going to end up on the Packers and because Brett Favre was still the king of everything Packers, we didn’t need to think about any other quarterback.
After the end of the 2004 season, Favre began to flirt with retirement but it was soon enough that he was going to be back in Green Bay for 2005. No one really made a big deal out of it. As for the team, Mike Sherman had given way to Ted Thompson as general manager, but the Packers still finished 10-6 and won another NFC North division title. All seemed to be well in Packer Land.
Then came NFL Draft day, 2005. The 49ers were on the clock and selected Alex Smith, not Rodgers, with the first pick. I remember sitting at the house I lived at on campus (I was in the middle of my junior year of college) and watching the draft with my roommates. Once it got to around the 15th pick, I noticed Rodgers still had not been selected.
“Sucks to be him,” was my only thought, as I anticipated who the Packers would select at 24th overall. Rodgers was not on my list of potential Packer selections that year.
Soon the Packers were on the clock and Rodgers STILL was available. We all know what happened next. Rodgers was selected by the Packers and my immediate first thought was, “Oh s**t, Favre’s retiring!”
That day finally came in March of 2008 when Favre announced his retirement. After the initial shock wore off, I became eager to see what Rodgers could do.
Then came the “Summer of Favre.”