In the history of the sports, only one person will remain undefeated. That one person is Father Time. Greats like Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning, and Derek Jeter all saw their play decline during the final years of career. While Tom Brady and Roger Federer are making a mockery of “Father Time,” the next few years will show that their play will decline as well.
So why so much talk about the end of a career? Earlier in the week, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made a comment that he is “on the back nine of his career.” Why would Rodgers make that comment? Rodgers arguably had the best stretch of his career the final nine games of last season, including the playoffs. After that remarkable stretch of games, one would think that Rodgers would still be at the peak of his physical abilities for years to come. Just look at how long Brady has stayed atop the football world with the Patriots.
However, Rodgers will turn 34 in December. The difference between Brady and himself is Rodgers uses his athleticism to create plays outside of the pocket. Brady, on the other hand, is strictly a pocket quarterback who uses quick, short throws against defenses. As Rodgers starts to lose his mobility, he will have to adapt his style of play to a more conventional style.
The big question for the Packers is with Rodgers’ comments, will this cause them to start looking for Rodgers’s potential replacement in the upcoming NFL drafts? The Patriots did so with Brady, as they have held onto Jimmy Garoppolo as the heir to Brady’s throne. The Packers could be faced with a similar situation to the end of Brett Favre’s tenure in Green Bay. That, of course, that ended with Favre being traded, and Rodgers taking over the team.
For Packers fans, their hope is that Rodgers maintains his high level of play like Tom Brady has. But as everyone knows, Father Time remains unbeaten. All that matters is how long Rodgers can keep playing on his back nine. If he can extend his career just a few more holes, that will make all of Green Bay a happy place.