Super Bowl 2011: Rodgers vs. Roethlisberger Matchup Straight Out of the '80s

Kevin H. MacLeanCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2011

Big Ben and Aaron Rodgers or James Spader and Andrew McCarthy?
Big Ben and Aaron Rodgers or James Spader and Andrew McCarthy?

I don’t know Ben Roethlisberger personally, but from everything I hear he's not the greatest guy in the world.  From the (alleged) rape and sexual assault incidents, to his reputation as an “elite” quarterback despite many Steelers wins coming in spite of him rather than because of him, all the way back to his ludicrously irresponsible motorcycle adventures.  I don’t know...something just rubs me the wrong way.

I don’t know Aaron Rodgers personally, but from everything I see he seems pretty awesome.  Crazy talented, unassuming, unwavering and one of the few human beings on this planet who seem to know when to speak, when to listen and when to say nothing at all. 

These two quarterbacks facing each other down in the Super Bowl was seemingly too perfect.  One of the most likable new faces in the NFL against arguably the biggest villain in the NFL today.  Something straight out of every '80s coming-of-age movie ever made.  John Hughes would have been proud.

I know I might have been the only person on earth to come up with this analogy, but it works…

Big Ben is the cocky football captain at the rival high school.  He’s brash, irresponsible, and so cruel to the guys in the AV club that it borders on being ridiculous.

Not as good as his reputation but always gets the “W” because of some shady tactics (Okay, this is a little bit of a stretch but the Steelers are known for their personal fouls).  He also sexually assaults a girl in his car.

Then there’s Aaron: likable, a little goofy, winning smile.  The newcomer quarterback trapped in his big brother’s shadow (Favre, duh).  Comes from the small town where high school sports are way more important than they should be.  Went from no one believing in him early on to winning over everyone in the school.

Aaron faced off against Ben early in his career.  Despite playing well he came up just short at the end of the game.  Ben got all the glory and Aaron got the bummer locker room scene where things get heated between the head coach and a cornerback.

But Aaron comes back and this time they’re facing each other down in the big game.  Things look good early for our hero, but just before halftime the team leader and one of Aaron’s best buddies, Charlie, goes down with an injury.

Ben’s pack of Cobra Kais battle back and, for a moment, it looks as though they may steal a win out from under Aaron’s team.  That is, until Clay Matthews busts out a “Do it for Johnny” moment and forces a key turnover.

After a tense final two minutes, the music builds aaand, Green Bay High takes down its much-maligned rival and Aaron is a champion.

The only thing missing was Molly Ringwald.

That’s it.  Ben was Biff Tannen, James Spader, a Soc, that obnoxious ski guy from Better off Dead.

Aaron was Jimmy Chitwood, Ralph Macchio, Ponyboy, the kid in Stand By Me.


Looking back, I don’t know how anyone thought it could have ended any other way.