In a way, it’s the ultimate consolation prize.
It’s a little like taking your sister to the Prom.
Making it to the NFL All-Star showcase, better known as the Pro Bowl, is fraught with mixed emotions.
True, you played football at a level that garnered the notice of the fans, your peers and the coaches around the league.
But, you are NOT playing in the ‘Big Game.’
That is the goal of everyone who laces up spikes in the Big Boys League.
It ranks up there (or more to the point, down there) with ending up with the ceramic dog on the old Wheel of Fortune show.
It’s nice, but along with the 30 other teams, you’re able to watch Madonna during halftime and pay attention to the Go Daddy commercials.
At this level, those are not good things.
This is especially true for Green Bay Packer QB Aaron Rodgers.
This was the season of promise, derailed by the eventual NFC Champion New York Football Giants.
A 15-1 regular season mark, the North Division title, home field advantage throughout the playoffs — all frittered away.
The table was set for this team to climb into the Pantheon of greatness and it eluded A-Rod’s grasp like a wind-driven snowflake.
Worse yet was the feeling that the Pack did not succumb to a superior opponent…no one in that locker room feels that way.
When you beat yourselves with uncharacteristic turnovers, dropped passes and an all-around malaise from the jump, a sick feeling lingers and will not go away anytime soon.
But Rodgers, his teammates BJ Raji, Greg Jennings et al, Mike McCarthy and the coaching staff are all basking in the sun and tropical breezes of our 50th state.
They are left to ponder what happened, still trying to remember the license plate of the truck that ran over them a fortnight ago.
This is also a time to turn the page and focus on the 2012 season.
Rodgers is talking up the Packers, Green Bay and the franchise to prospective free agents who are playing in the game.
There maybe outside linebacker help and a warm body or two to help with the nonexistent quarterback pressure that ultimately doomed this squad.
While General Manager Ted Thompson normally builds through the draft, a top-tier free agent or two could provide the missing pieces of the puzzle for the run next season.
It’s not as if the Packers all of a sudden are no longer in the discussion.
The Las Vegas oddsmakers have ’em at 5-1 currently and that was right after the debacle.
So, schmooze away, A-Rod!
Enjoy the Sun.
Have some fun.
We’ll see you at the OTAs.
Follow me at www.Twitter.com/cpchrispeppas, www.Facebook.com/cpeppas1 or read all a-blog it at http://peptalkbycp.blogspot.com.