The Case For Starting Aaron Rodgers (If He’s Healthy)
Ticket Demand for Steelers-Packers Game
NFL Network had an interesting (read: idiotic) Twitter poll yesterday: Should the Packers shut down Aaron Rodgers for the rest of the season? #YES or #NO.
Um, how about #HELLNO?
That’s a ridiculous poll question. If the doctors say Rodgers is healthy, let him play. Because if you win your next two games, you’re in the post season, and you know what? Rodgers will win you your next two games. I’m probably supposed to hedge my bets and say something like, “Rodgers gives the Packers the best chance to make the post season,” but eff that. He’ll take you there – you know it, I know it, and his team knows it. And that’s a key part in this: his team.
If you shut Rodgers down for the season, you’re telling the rest of the Packers that you’re giving up on the season. You’re taking that shred of hope these guys are using for fuel – the fuel that motivates them to shed that first block and make the tackle – and you’re ripping it away. He might win a few games for them, but does anyone really expect Matt Flynn to carry the Packers to the Super Bowl? No. By shutting down Rodgers, you’re sending out a clear message to the rest of the team: better luck next year guys.
Thankfully, despite NFL Network’s poll yesterday, most reports out of Green Bay seem positive. Like, really positive. Rodgers hasn’t been cleared to play yet, but it’s looking more and more like he will. And ticket prices have responded accordingly.
First, there’s the reaction from last week’s win. The average resale price for Sunday’s game against the Steelers has risen 16% from $141 to $164
As opposed to the Falcons game a couple weekends ago, the Steelers game is completely sold out, and prices on the secondary market are well above face value. The better seats at Lambeau in the lower level along the sidelines have gone for $200 each on average since the win over the Cowboys, up 12% from $179 per ticket last week and more than twice face value ($97 per ticket). Looking at what’s available on the resale market right now, single tickets start at $109 apiece, but if you’re looking for two or more seats together, they’ll cost at least $152 per ticket.
Steelers-Packers is the fourth-most in-demand Week 16 game right now behind Falcons at 49ers (average resale price of $354 per ticket for what is likely the last Niners game at Candlestick Park), Cardinals at Seahawks ($238) and Saints at Panthers ($187). Last week, Steelers-Packers ranked seventh in average resale price among Week 16 games, also behind Patriots at Ravens, Broncos at Texans and Bears at Eagles.
Packers fans see the post season in the distance, and they hear reports that Rodgers’ collarbone might be back to 100%. If you’re a Packers fan waiting for ticket prices to drop, here’s some advice: don’t. They’re not going to. Hope is in the air at Lambeau, and it costs money to take a whiff.