Aaron Rogers: From junior college to Super Bowl MVP
Jaime C. Harris | 4/12/2011, 4:47 p.m.
Aaron Rogers did what Ben Roethlisberger did not. That was the difference in the Green Bay Packers winning Super Bowl XLV on Sunday and the Pittsburgh Steelers falling short.
Rogers, the Packers' 27-year-old quarterback, was deadly accurate in making all of the throws he had to, many under duress from the Steelers defense, to lift his team to a gripping 31-25 victory. Most importantly, Rogers and the Packers offense did not have a single turnover.
Conversely, Roethlisberger, the Steelers' 28-year-old QB, lacked the precision to consistently connect with the Steelers receivers and his erratic arm was costly. He threw two interceptions which the Packers converted into 14 points and unfavorably positioned the Steelers to play uphill all evening.
Roethlisberger isn't solely accountable for the Steelers' defeat, but juxtaposed with the performance of Rogers, he has to shoulder the brunt of the blame.
"I feel like I let the city of Pittsburgh down, the fans, my coaches and my teammates and it's not a good feeling," said Roethlisberger after the loss.
Meanwhile, Rogers, the Super Bowl MVP, enjoyed a large measure well earned gratification in carrying the NFC's sixth seed entering the playoffs to pro football's Promise Land. His Cinderella story is unlikely and offers hope and motivation for countless overlooked young athletes who have the talent, drive and motivation to succeed.
Rogers, from Chico, California, did not have a single Division I college willing to provide him a scholarship coming out of high school. He subsequently attended Butte College, a junior college in Chico, before becoming a star at the University of California, Berkeley.
Projected as a high first round pick in the 2005 draft, Rogers fell to No. 24 because at 6'2", he did not fit the prototypical profile of an NFL quarterback. Now he is arguably the best in the sport.
As far as where I compare with other quarterbacks, that's for you guys to determine and talk about," said Rogers at a Monday post Super Bowl presser.
"That's kind of been my career," he reflected. "A journey of waiting for an opportunity and making the most of it." No longer playing in the shadow of former Packer QB Brett Favre, today, the opportunities for Rogers seem limitless.