There’s no “I” in “team,” but there’s an “M” and apparently there should be a “V” and a “P”.
Earlier this week, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers admitted that he wants to once again win the ultimate individual award in the ultimate team sport.
“It’s not why you play the game,” Rodgers said Wednesday, via the Associated Press. “You play the game to dominate, to compete and to win rings. But anyone who says those things aren’t on their mind or not important to them is not the type of competitor that I am. That stuff is important to me, and I do relish the opportunity to be in the mix. It means I’m playing well and our team is in good position, as well.”
It’s good that Rodgers, the overwhelming betting favorite for MVP, opted for candor. But it’s possible if not likely those who say that awards like MVP aren’t on their mind or aren’t important to them are driven not by a lesser competitive fire but by a desire to not be perceived as thinking an individual award is meaningful in a team sport.
For Rodgers, an MVP would be No. 3 for him. Only Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady have won it three times.
“So not many guys have done it,” Rodgers said. “Being a part of history is pretty special. It’s the other, personal part of it, where just proving to myself again the level that I can play at, a couple years where although I felt like I played well, the results didn’t always line up with how I felt like I was playing. So it’s nice to have everything line up the way it has this year and be very efficient throwing the football, to take care of the ball the way I take care of it.”
He’s right. But the overriding goal should have nothing to do with anything that happens in the regular season and everything that happens in the postseason. Not since 1999 has the regular-season MVP won the Super Bowl. If Rodgers doesn’t follow his third MVP season with his second Super Bowl win, his career will continue to be perceived as being less successful than it could or should have been.
Simms and I discussed the subject on Thursday’s PFT Live, and we had plenty more to say than the stuff I said with typed words above.