12

June

A.J. Hawk, Dave Robinson honored at Lee Remmel banquet

Former Packers LB Dave Robinson

Former Packers LB Dave Robinson

At the 14th Lee Remmel Sports Awards Banquet on June 11–what would have been Vince Lombardi’s 100th birthday–Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk and Lombardi-era star Dave Robinson each received an award for their achievements on and off the field.

Hawk was the recipient of the Professional Achievement Award. Since being selected No. 5 overall by the Packers in 2006, Hawk has proven to be a reliable piece of the defense, playing in 110 of a possible 112 regular season games in seven seasons.

“From the very first step off the plane, we realized that there’s something special here,” Hawk said. “Something is different, and it’s so unique.”

Off the field, Hawk has remained active in the community, serving as the spokesman for the Wisconsin Special Olympics. Hawk has also supported the Donald Driver Foundation, the Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer, the Greg Jennings Foundation, the Al Harris Outreach Program, and the 2nd & 7 Foundation, which is fellow Ohio State alum Mike Vrabel’s charity.

“I love being able to play football here, and I hope to do it for as long as possible,” Hawk said. “I hope to bring many more Super Bowls back to Green Bay. I got one, but sitting next to a guy like Dave, that’s nothing. He laughs at that.”

Hawk was a starter on the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV championship team, whereas Robinson started for the Packers in Super Bowls I and II, which capped off an historic run of three consecutive World Championships.

While accepting the Distinguished Service Award, Robinson reminisced about the 1966 NFL Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys. With a berth in Super Bowl I on the line and facing a fourth-and-goal late in the fourth quarter, Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith was in Robinson’s grasp before his desperation pass was intercepted by Tom Brown. The Packers ran the clock out and won 34-27, punching their ticket to the first ever Super Bowl.

“Without that game, the Lombardi Trophy may very well be called the Landry Trophy,” Robinson said. “And that just makes me sick.”

In Robinson’s ten years in Green Bay, the Packers never lost to the Cowboys, with the exception of one exhibition game in Dallas. Robinson, a member of the 1960s All-Decade team, still questions the Cowboys’ “America’s Team” label.

16

June

Aaron Rodgers’ Road To Canton: Off To A “Super” Start

It seems that like no matter what Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers does in his career, someone has a question about him.

First, there was the question of whether he was athletic enough to succeed as a starter in the NFL. That was answered in 2008.

Then there were the doubts of whether or not he could lead the Packers to the postseason. He checked that one off in 2009.

Next it became whether or not Rodgers could win a playoff game and truly replace Brett Favre in the hearts and minds of Packers fans. He finally sealed the deal on that one with a Super Bowl title in 2010 (although the hearts and minds of many were already won by the start of 2010).

Now there is another question involving Rodgers, but I don’t think he would mind this one being asked around too much especially this early in his career:

“Is Aaron Rodgers on the path to enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?”

Before we can even begin to answer that question, there should be one huge disclaimer attached: Rodgers has played six NFL seasons and has seen enough meaningful action in three of them.  Hall of Fame enshrinement is judged upon a player’s entire career so to prognosticate Rodgers’ chances after three seasons as a starter is a little preposterous.

All that said, we can look at some trends from these past three seasons and try to play the role of Nostradamus in gauging how Rodgers will finish his career.

If you count just 2008-2010, Rodgers is averaging 4,131 yards per season with 29 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions plus four rushing touchdowns.  If Rodgers is somehow able to maintain that average for 11 more years when he turns 38, he would finish his career with 58,164 yards, 406 TD passes, 142 interceptions, and 57 rushing touchdowns.

Those numbers would definitely be Hall of Fame worthy, but it’s likely that pace will drop off a bit.  For one, every quarterback experiences an “off year.” Even Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have down years.  While they’re not horrible, they are lower than what they average each season.   The law of averages is sometimes simply too much to overcome.