I wavered a lot on my final choice for the “2022 Detroit Lions Soundtrack of the Season” playlist. There’s a lot of pressure in choosing the closing track of a mixtape. You want to end on a powerful note, and that should especially be the case after the Lions’ statement win over the Green Bay Packers.
But what route do I go? Do I close with what became the iconic song of the season in Metallica’s “No Leaf Clover”? Do I end on something a little more hopeful, bright and energetic to match the optimism flowing in Detroit? Should I just go with Bankroll Fresh’s “Take Over Your Trap,” which became the Lions players’ favorite song to blast in the locker room after locking up a road victory. Certainly stripping the Packers of a playoff appearance in Lambeau qualifies as taking over your trap.
All great ideas. Instead, I feel like being petty as hell.
Lions vs. Packers Week 18 Song of the Game: “Superman’s Dead” by Our Lady Peace
Do you worry that you’re not liked?
How long ‘til you break
You’re happy ‘cause you smile
But how much can you fake?
Aaron Rodgers is one of the most smug people in the world, and he loves to play this pathetic game in the media. He says things with derision in his tone and talks down to the media. And then when people understandably react unpopularly, he plays the innocent child. What did I say? I didn’t mean nothing by it. Fake news. Fake news. Fake news.
He smiles through it all because he knows the people loyal to him—whether it be the cheeseheads or his frat boy marionette Pat McAfee—will eat it up and won’t question a thing. He plays the media as a game and puts on a plastic, smug smile throughout it all.
But those games don’t work in a locker room. While, sure, players are looking for any reason to find doubters and add extra motivation—side note: a hefty LOL to Georgia’s Nolan Smith, who said people thought the Bulldogs would be 7-5—DeShon Elliott doesn’t play those games. The NFL has an honor code to respect the game and the players who play it, and Rodgers continually breaks it. Elliott is just one of the few who not only see through Rodgers’ bullshit, but speaks on it:
“The way he carries himself, I don’t like none of that shit. So, we got to go out there and show what we can do, and show who the big dog (is), back up all the talking we do. We’re going to go out there and do that.”
Some were worried that Elliott’s comments would shift the bulletin board material. “Uh oh,” they’d say. “You don’t want an angry Aaron Rodgers. Remember what happens to all the people who do the belt thing. Angry Rodgers is the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL.”
Well, I’m here to tell you that that era is gone. You don’t need to fear this man whether he’s motivated or not. Because on Sunday night, Aaron Rodgers had all the motivation he needed: playoff spot on the line, potential last game in Lambeau, and a four-game winning streak. And what did he do with that opportunity? He threw it away to his new daddy Kerby Joseph.
There is no reason to fear this man anymore. He may only be a year removed from back-to-back MVPs, but the Packers have been slowly shifting their offensive focus away from him because his play has been erratic and unpredictable.
Old Rodgers had the lowest interception rate in NFL history. New Rodgers threw the seventh-most interceptions of anyone in the NFL. Old Rodgers led the NFL in QBR in both 2021 and 2022. New Rodgers had the seventh-worst QBR in the league, only ahead of these superstars: Baker Mayfield, Carson Wentz, Davis Mills, Mac Jones, Zach Wilson, and Russell Wilson.
An ordinary boy, an ordinary name
But ordinary’s just not good enough today
The NFL wanted so badly for pretty boy Rodgers to make one last run. They drooled at the thought of the nationally-branded Packers to sell more TV ads for them in the playoffs. NBC and just about every national pundit were ready to declare this Packers team a “team of destiny” because of their CRAZY four-game winning streak that featured victories over powerhouses like the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears.
They wanted the Packers on primetime television because they thought a Lions team with no playoffs on the line would lay the red carpet for Rodgers and the Packers to strut into the playoffs and sell newspapers.
Well, I’ve got a different front-page headline for y’all:
You can find the final 2022 playlist here (or below):