This interview with Aaron Rodgers by David Flemming for ESPN The Magazine is simply fantastic.
The entire thing is a “Money Quote” but I loved this in particular:
So the idea that football is a game of inches is more than just a cliche?
Look at our biggest play from our last drive of the Super Bowl. We’re only up by three, and on third and 10, we run Greg Jennings down the middle of the field and connect for a 31-yard gain. If you look at that play on the game film from the end zone, Steelers corner Ike Taylor gets his pinky on the ball and changes the trajectory but not enough to make Greg drop it. If Taylor gets one more knuckle on the ball, everything changes. An inch one way or the other and it might be a totally different outcome in the Super Bowl. Afterward, everybody was like, “How did that happen?” But that’s a play we’ve worked on for years. Years. That’s where all this comes from — to be able to step into that throw, with seven minutes left in the Super Bowl, up by less than a touchdown, knowing it’s third down and you have to make a play. I’ve thrown that ball to Greg, that same exact ball, 100 times in practice. Same exact route. So when I break the huddle, that’s what’s flashing in my mind. I’ve completed this throw in my mind 1,000 times before the ball even leaves my hand.
Be sure to read the whole thing. It is absolutely wonderful.