Anyone can throw a Hail Mary, but will anyone pay attention? 4


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Most QBs can’t even see as far as Rodgers is looking to complete a basic pass.

Last Sunday, I forced myself to find a buddy to watch the most interesting playoff game of the weekend, Giants at Lambeau.1)If you aren’t married raising a pack of rabid animals, aka children, then the term “forced myself” may not make a ton of sense. After my Craigslist ad looking for a friend went unanswered, I remembered I have a buddy up in Arlington, about 30 minutes away, he’s a Cheesehead to boot. I cashed in my kitchen pass and made the trek west.

 

When I arrived at my buddy’s, there was about 10 minutes until kickoff so he gave me a tour of his studio bachelor pad. He made an outstanding standing desk by piecing together some IKEA furniture. After the tour, the tour and a breakdown of his handy work, there was about 9 minutes until kickoff.2)Not a problem. As a self-proclaimed conversational wizard, I thrive in moments screaming for small talk. Thrive!

 

The NFL Playoffs is all about who’s hot going into the postseason and Green Bay is the only team that really fit that billing once Week 17 closed out. And if you’ve been paying attention, you’d know A-Rodg and the crew have been busy “running the table” to get in the playoffs.

 

Eli couldn’t find the magic this year.

The first 28 minutes was a snooze-fest, which was a theme last weekend. Playoff-Eli hadn’t woken up from his season-long slumber and Rodger’s motley crew seemed to be very aware they had a wide receiver at running back. It wasn’t until Al Michaels and Chris Colinsworth started debating the play call for the Packers with about 6 seconds left in the half when things got interesting.

 

The Pack were on the Giants 42. Field position and a windchill in the single digits removed a field goal from playbook.3)Pop quiz: How long of a field goal would that have been? These are the types of questions I’ve been handling with my 9-year-old of late. Colinsworth thought they might opt for a quick “Out” to pick up a few more yards, but my dude across the room has been watching QBs do stupid stuff in Wisconsin for far too long.

 

He predicts that Rodgers is gonna let one fly and puts down his Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale,4)fantastic, btw in anticipation. As a sports fan, one can only hope for a buzzer-beating, soul-crushing, and once in a lifetime play to end a half or game. So, the odds were not good, but Rodgers seems to be connecting on Hail Mary’s about as often as a Packers fan obnoxiously spells “relax.”

 

A lot of good Cobb’s TD does the fantasy owners he tormented all season.

Sure enough. Rodgers rolls out and steps into a pass that had an arc that can’t be thrown this Sunday because it would hit Jerry’s scoreboard. And then I lost control of my body. I didn’t mean to, but I launched out of my seat, while the ball was in the air, making incoherent noises of excitement…no way he could do it again, right?

 

If you haven’t seen the play, you haven’t read this far down in the post. Bottom line, A-Rodg did A-Rodg things and connected with an uncontested Randall Cobb in the back of the end zone. They give 6 points for touchdowns in The League, but this one might as well been worth 25, because it sucked the life out of a Giants team that had been in control the entire game.

 

Who else gets us out of our seat?

Like most incredible most moments, my buddy and I just say there in awe and then did what everyone else watching the game was doing, started quoting State Farm ads. As the discussion dies down, my buddy does what all millennials do on days like these. He politely asked what DiGiorno pizza I would prefer he throw in the oven5)We decided jalapeno bacon while I mulled over the events in my head.

 

See, I could care less who won the game, but somehow I got out of my seat in excitement. Why? These types of passes are like watching a point guard heave the ball across the court…that ball ain’t going in, but the answer is easy. A Hail Mary in the playoffs is likely the most exciting play in football and top five in all of sports. But if Eli had heaved the ball to close out the half, would I have had the same reaction? Doubtful. Why?

 

This one was little tougher. In fact, I started thinking about what other quarterback would get me out of my seat in a  game I could care less about. Depending on how big of a homer you are we could  debate the answer, but I think there is truly only one guy, other than Rodgers, Tom Brady.

 

Roethlisberger loves throwing to the other team and so does Drew Brees. Russell Wilson makes it happen with his legs and can be useless without protection. Andrew Luck plays for the Colts and Colin Kaepernick is only slightly better than Jared Goff.

 

Brady and Rodgers. That’s it.

 

What makes these guys special? What do they have in common? Killer instinct, track record, swagger, brothers’ that won The Bachelor…the list goes on and on. Man, I love watching guys who can just make magic happen, especially now that you can add TJ McConnell to the list in the basketball world. 

In short, despite such the unlikelihood of a reception in the back in the end zone, standing up with joyous excitement6)gut-wrenching anticipate if you’re a Giants fan was a completely reasonable and rational response. Rodgers ripped my heart out last year when it did it in Arizona and to no one’s surprise, he did it again.

 

If you want to read someone smarter than me at breaking down the aura of Aaron Rodgers and “Hail Mary magic”, give this article a go.

 

Somehow, they make us believe

Right here is where I was going to right a blurb on why Elon Musk and Mark Cuban are the business equivalents of Rodgers and Brady. Bill Simmons and Ira Glass were my examples for the podcasts world. When they do something, you get up out of your chair and pay attention, but here’s the problem. I am 1,100 words into this blog and I can’t go down that rabbit hole right now.  I got a date to see La La Land tonight.

 

I’m dangerously close to scrapping this post altogether, but I think it’s a decent topic. And trust me, I have some groundbreaking takes, at the ready, breaking down the magic of these guys and how I’d like to capture some of the creativity, drive, and more than anything, results.

 

I have 20 posts just like this…that I never published because I couldn’t put a bow on it. A discipline I have to learn.

 

Instead, visualize some creative dialogue on how interesting it is that there are so many disciplines where there are only a couple people that will get your attention. Millions of people trying a million different things and some how these people make us believe, no matter how much of a Hail Mary it may seem like, it might actually work.

 

While I head back to the blogging drawing board, here’s my picks for Divisional Round:

 

Seattle (+5) at Atlanta (-5) – I’m taking Atlanta and giving the points. I think the Falcons steamroll an inconsistent Seahawks team, early and often.

Houston (+16) at New England (-16) – I’m not an idiot. I’m taking the Pats. In fact, I think you’d have give the Texans 30 before I would even give them a look.

Green Bay (+5) at Dallas (-5) – I like Green Bay to cover, but Dallas to win. 28-31 the final with a field goal as time expires.

Pittsburgh (+1) at Kansas City (-1) – Taking the Steelers and long as Tyreke Hill doesn’t touch the ball. So, on second thought, give me the Chiefs.

Here’s to getting my act together for the next post!

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. If you aren’t married raising a pack of rabid animals, aka children, then the term “forced myself” may not make a ton of sense.
2. Not a problem. As a self-proclaimed conversational wizard, I thrive in moments screaming for small talk. Thrive!
3. Pop quiz: How long of a field goal would that have been? These are the types of questions I’ve been handling with my 9-year-old of late.
4. fantastic, btw
5. We decided jalapeno bacon
6. gut-wrenching anticipate if you’re a Giants fan

About Brent Nichols

My blogging is, no doubt, all over the map, but hope you'll find something just right for you. Currently living in the D.C.-metro area in Northern Virginia. You know what? I think I kinda like it out here.


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