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Aaron Rodgers — bad actor, great QB — named AP athlete of year

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Aaron Rodgers — you know, the guy in that really annoying State Farm commercial — has been named 2011 male athlete of the year by the Associated Press.

OK, so Rodgers did a little more during the past 12 months than just shove that touchdown dance of his down our throats in those ubiquitous ads — like lead the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl championship in February and a 13-0 start to this season.

He was also the Super Bowl MVP and is a leading candidate for the league MVP this season.

Rogers received 112 votes out of the 212 ballots submitted from U.S. news organizations, finishing well ahead of runner-up Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers (50 votes). They were followed by world No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic, BCS champion and Carolina Panthers rookie sensation Cam Newton and NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.

It is the third time in the past five years that a quarterback has received the honor. New Orleans' Drew Brees won last year and New England's Tom Brady got the nod in 2007.

On Tuesday, U.S. soccer star Abby Wambach was named the AP's female athlete of the year.

For Rodgers, it's a great way to wrap up an amazing calendar year — and perhaps a way to help him forget the Packers' first loss of the season, which came just three days before the announcement of the award.

Now if only it could help us forget about that commercial as well.

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NFL Week 16: It's New York-New York, and they want to be a part of it

— Chuck Schilken

Photo: Aaron Rodgers celebrates with his Green Bay Packers teammates after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25, in Super Bowl XLV. Credit: Kathy Willens / Associated Press

Green Bay Packers stock is a big hit

Green Bay Packers stock certificate

The Green Bay Packers are undefeated on the field and in stock sales.

The team put up 250,000 shares of the franchise Tuesday at $250 each. In the first 10 minutes, it got 1,600 orders. The Packers are the only community-owned major sports team in the U.S. Founded in 1919, the franchise went public in 1923, and this sale marks only the fifth stock sale in team history.

They made the stock offering to raise funds for renovations at Lambeau Field.

However, if you are looking to make a lot of money buying and reselling it like a normal stock, look again. The stock is worthless and has no resale value.

"I encourage you to buy shares of stock in the Packers," team president and Chief Executive Mark H. Murphy said when announcing the offering. "We need your help. As an owner, you will be invited to shareholder meetings and have voting privileges. Ownership will also provide you with significant bragging rights. You will become an owner of the defending world champions, a team that has won more world championships than any other team in the NFL.

"A purchaser of stock in the offering will not receive any special benefits, such as access to tickets to Packers games, preferential seating for Packers games or discounts on Packers merchandise. In light of the transfer restrictions and redemption rights, it is virtually impossible for anyone to realize a profit on a purchase of GB stock or even to recoup the amount initially paid to acquire such common stock."

That didn't stop fans such as Sarah Johnson from buying multiple shares.

"I could have just as well thrown my money out the window for what I get for it, other than a feel-good," she said. "I just feel like the Packer organization has sort of a nostalgia and an excitement around it other franchises don't have. Just to say you're part of that on some level is neat to me."

Hey, this gives me an idea. Time to look into selling shares of the Fabulous Forum.

RELATED:

Aaron Rodgers keeps Packers undefeated

Is Denver's Tim Tebow the MVP of the NFL? [Poll]

Young quarterbacks aren't out of their depth in NFL

— Houston Mitchell

Photo: You can buy this worthless piece of paper for $250. Credit: Associated Press.

 

 

Holiday shopping made easy: Buy a piece of the Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers stock sold 1,600 shares in the first 11 minutes on sale Tuesday morning
The Green Bay Packers are the defending Super Bowl champions, they're the class of the NFL again this year at 12-0, and they have an MVP-caliber quarterback in Aaron Rodgers putting up mind-boggling numbers.

And they make great stocking stuffers too!

For the fifth time in the publicly owned team's history, Packers stock went up for sale Tuesday morning ... just in time to make every Green Bay fan's Christmas wishes come true. According to team president Mark Murphy, a hefty 1,600 shares were sold in the first 11 minutes of the sale.

"This is an exciting day for the Packers," Murphy said. "It's an historic moment, we believe, for the organization."

With shares going at $250 each, the team is trying to raise money for a $143-million expansion of Lambeau Field that is being funded without any taxpayer dollars. The Packers are hoping to match the sum of $20 million they raised in 1997, the last time team stock was sold.

That goal seems quite feasible, as online sales are making it easy for fans to become a part of a team that is on an amazing roll right now.

"I think our fans across the country are very excited to support that success, be a part of that, and this is a great way for our fans to support the team and to ensure we continue to have great success and have strong, competitive teams into the future," Murphy said.

Stockholders are able to vote on team business and attend annual meetings, but the shares themselves have no financial value and can't be resold. As the website reminds: "Common stock does not constitute an investment in 'stock' in the common sense of the term. Purchasers should not purchase common stock with the purpose of making a profit."

RELATED:

Aaron Rodgers keeps Packers undefeated

Is Denver's Tim Tebow the MVP of the NFL? [Poll]

Young quarterbacks aren't out of their depth in NFL

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: An image from packersowner.com

Which will happen first: Packers lose or Colts win? [Poll]

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are 9-0. Will they lose a game before the 0-10 Indianapolis Colts win one?
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details

After watching Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers destroy the Minnesota Vikings, 45-7, on Monday night, it's hard to imagine these guys ever losing again. They're 9-0 this year and 15-0 since their last loss, to the New England Patriots on Dec. 19 last year.

But the Packers are still seven wins away from joining the 2007 Patriots as the only teams in NFL history with 16-0 seasons -- and many of their opponents should put up a bit more of a fight than the hapless Vikings, including five teams with winning records and six that will likely be fighting for playoff spots.

After hosting the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) next week, Green Bay visits the Detroit Lions (6-3) for a Thanksgiving meeting between NFC North rivals. Then on Dec. 4 comes a road game against the New York Giants (6-3) -- the team that gave those 2007 Patriots everything they could handle in the final game of the regular season and then prevented them from going 19-0 by winning Super Bowl XLII.

That is followed by games against a pair of AFC West contenders -- home versus the Oakland Raiders (5-4) on Dec. 11 and visiting the Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) on Dec. 18. The Packers finish off the season with home games against division rivals, the Chicago Bears (6-3) on Dec. 25 and the Lions on Jan. 1.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts (0-10) are trying to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only 0-16 teams in league history. Two of their best chances for a victory come the next time they take the field -- Nov. 27 hosting the Carolina Panthers (2-7) -- and in the last game of the season -- Jan. 1 at the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6).

In between, the Colts have dates at the Patriots (6-3) on Dec. 4, at the Baltimore Ravens (6-3, including losses to the Jaguars and the 3-6 Seattle Seahawks) on Dec. 11, home against the Tennessee Titans (5-4) on Dec. 18 and home against the Houston Texans (7-3, but may be without starting quarterback Matt Schaub) on Dec. 22.

Writers from around Tribune Co. will discuss which will happen first, the Packers lose or the Colts win. Check back throughout the day for more responses, and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment.

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Aaron Rodgers doesn't stoop to Brett Favre's level

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Aaron Rodgers' formula for success has been simple: throw touchdown passes, avoid interceptions, spread credit among his teammates, ignore Brett Favre.

Rodgers wouldn't bite when asked about the arguably adolescent comments Favre made on an Atlanta radio station, in which the former quarterback intimated that Rodgers, the league's leading passer this season, was fortunate to have been Favre's understudy and that Rodgers "fell into a good situation" with the talent around him in winning last season's Super Bowl.

Favre's petty comments had the tone of a player who wasn't exactly enjoying retirement, particularly when the person who replaced him with the Packers took the team to a Super Bowl championship. Rodgers now has as many rings as Favre.

Favre did say that Rodgers was a "very good" quarterback, much in the way a high school teacher might say a middling sophomore who had just gotten a "B" on a midterm was a very good student.

Prodded by reporters to respond to the comments Wednesday, Rodgers simply deflected questions as if they were inconsequential pass rushers. "I'm really proud of our guys," he said. "I'm proud of the fact we achieved the ultimate goal as a team."

Rodgers, it should be noted, has guided the Packers this year to a 4-0 record, one of only two undefeated teams in the NFL, and has thrown for 12 touchdowns with only two interceptions. His quarterback rating leads the league at 124.6. Favre's top rating in his 16 seasons with the Packers was 99.5.

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Is the Silver and Black back?

NFL coaches shy away from trick plays

Rose Bowl keeps on improving while other stadiums decline

-- Mike James

Photo: Aaron Rodgers. Credit: Rick Addicks / Associated Press

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