By now, everyone should be familiar with the current quarterback controversy in San Francisco.
Alex Smith was the incumbent, performing near or at a Pro Bowl level thus far in 2012. He sustained a concussion against the Rams on November 11, and hasn't played since while recovering from this injury.
During his absence, Colin Kaepernick stepped in as the starter, and after two solid performances, has been named the starter for at least one more game, despite Smith's being cleared to play going forward.
In short, Alex Smith has been Wally Pipp-ed in favor of Kaepernick.
This morning, while listening to Green and Gold Today, the following came across my timeline on the Tweeter:
It was five years ago today that for all intents and purposes, the Brett Favre era ended in Green Bay when he was injured against the Cowboys, and third year quarterback Aaron Rodgers entered the game. Although the Packers lost the game 37-27, and Favre would regain his starting spot the following week and for the rest of the season, this game was a glimpse into the future direction of the Packers.
After reading the short recap about the game as well as the game recap on ESPN, I got to thinking-what would happened if the Packers followed a similar path the 49ers are following?
Think about it for a minute: Favre is the starter, gets injured, Rodgers takes over for him, and never relinquishes the starting spot. Would this have changed the outcome of the season? Would the Packers have made it to the Super Bowl this season with Rodgers leading the team the rest of the way? Remember, Mike McCarthy was reportedly close to benching Favre in the NFC Championship Game, making the comment "If that guy weren't Brett Favre, I'd bench his ass!"
Perhaps just as good a question is if this were to take place is what would the reaction of Favre have been? Would he have been a team player and accepted his new role while the team was continuing to win en route to a Super Bowl victory? Or would he have been the pompous, arrogant Favre that showed all too often in his final years in Green Bay, voicing his displeasure over the decision instead of thinking about the team first?
We will never know the answers to any of these questions, and in the end it does not matter, as both the Packers and Favre went ahead to follow their own paths to the future. But it is an interesting discussion point to wonder what could have happened, if this switch had been made mid season like the 49ers have chosen to do.