An earlier version of this column incorrectly said that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers grew up in California's Bay Area. Rodgers is from Chico, Calif., about 160 miles northeast of San Francisco. This version has been corrected.
Packers Aaron Rodgers wins Super Bowl MVP in battle with Steelers Ben Roethlisberger
Monday, February 7, 2011; 1:29 AM
After their stark differences were embellished the past two weeks - loutish bad boy vs. humble choir boy, immovable beer truck vs. sleek scrambler - Ben Roethlisberger actually possessed a quality Aaron Rodgers needed Sunday night at Cowboys Stadium.
The ability to gather his team and himself in February after a hurtful defense kept pounding away - at the lead, the body, the psyche, and finally the season.
Big Ben always pounded back and won, and he was coming hard again. Now it was Brett Favre's replacement's turn for the first time on the NFL's grandest stage.
In the final six minutes of Super Bowl XLV, in the middle of the madness of another Steelers comeback - in the crucible of the 27-year-old Green Bay quarterback's career - Rodgers eyed a third down and 10 from his own 25-yard line.
"On the last possession, I told Aaron in the huddle this is where legacies are formed. You must be great," Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings said. Rodgers replied, "Yeah, let's go get it."
He dropped back, set and fired, delivering the most picturesque pass of the night - a dart with barely a yard of space in the seam, inches beyond Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor's hand and steps in front of free safety Troy Polamalu's grille.
The ball caught the fingertips of Jennings, who tucked it in for 31 yards, keeping the Green Bay drive alive.
Within minutes, the Cowboys Stadium's monstrous video scoreboard dropped mounds of shimmering confetti onto the field, and many of the 100,000-plus began to chant, "Go Pack Go! Go Pack Go!" following a 31-25 victory.
"It is a dream come true," said Rodgers, the game's MVP, who grew up in Chico, Calif., believing Lombardi Trophies were the rites of winter for his San Francisco 49ers. "It's what I dreamt about as a little kid watching Joe Montana and Steve Young, and we just won the Super Bowl."
Three years ago, Rodgers was the neglected kid caught in the middle of an unseemly breakup between Favre and his former employers. On Sunday night, he brought home the exact number of titles No. 4 brought home to Wisconsin.
Ding-dong, the legend was wrong; the kid was the right quarterback for Green Bay - then and now.