NFL Network's "The Top 100: Players of 2012" list exists on a certain level for fans and the media, but it's quickly become an entity that carries heft for players in the league.
Players watch the countdown and take pride where they fall. Poor Chris Johnson still hasn't recovered from his calamitous drop to No. 100.
Aaron Rodgers, coming off one of the greatest seasons a quarterback ever had, was revealed as the players' choice for No. 1 on Wednesday. The Green Bay Packers star called into the "Top 100" aftershow to discuss his top spot.
"It's very humbling, I think it's a great honor anytime you're recognized with professional respect from your peers, that really means a lot to me," Rodgers said. "So I gotta thank them for the votes."
"I'm fortunate and blessed to have this recognition, but Tom to me is still that high-water mark that I've been trying to get to," Rodgers said. "And the way that Drew (Brees, No. 2 on the list) has played the last couple of years, especially breaking the record last year, I mean, he was playing incredible. Those are the guy whose careers I'd like to model my own after."
"I don't know if I know exactly what those things mean," Rodgers replied, drawing laughter, "but I'm going to guess it's at a level that is going to be hard to reach."
Coming off an 18-month stretch that's included a Super Bowl title, league MVP award and now this surprisingly relevant honor, he might be right.