CHICAGO — Wayne Larrivee sees a lot of Michael Jordan in Aaron Rodgers.
Larrivee, the former Bulls and Bears broadcaster who's been with the Packers since 1999, said comparing Green Bay's superstar quarterback to the greatest basketball player in the history of Chicago — and possibly the NBA — is fair.
"He's Jordanesque in terms of what he's done with the Packers," Larrivee said of Rodgers' leading Green Bay to eight straight wins heading into Sunday's NFC Championship Game at Atlanta. "Aaron is doing a lot of the things Michael did, and he's carrying a football team. It's been remarkable to see this. There's a certain kind of magic about it.
"Let's say he gets them through Atlanta and wins the Super Bowl — this will be on the list of all-time great accomplishments."
Larrivee spent 14 years in Chicago broadcasting the Bulls and Bears, calling his time here "the greatest years of my life."
His first year with the Bears was 1985, which ended with a Super Bowl XX title. He has a cassette tape of the game, but has never listened to his broadcast.
Larrivee still keeps track of the Bears, and he stressed they're on the right track to turning around the franchise, which hasn't been in the playoffs since 2011. Since Larrivee left the Bears for the Packers in 1999, Green Bay has played in 23 playoff games; Chicago has been in seven.
"They're fixing what's going on there," Larrivee said. "They have a good, young defensive nucleus, and they've started to hit on their draft choices. They have to be patient and build around the quarterback position."
Larrivee said he thinks the Bears should stick with Jay Cutler this year. Cutler's contract with the Bears runs through 2020, but it's very possible Chicago will trade or release him before the 2017 campaign begins.
"I don't know if there are any better options" than Cutler, Larrivee said. "They tried to go with Matt Barkley, but obviously he's not the answer. I think they need to go with Cutler until they get the guy they want to be their future quarterback, and that may not be this offseason. I don't know if there's a franchise quarterback in this draft."
Larrivee, who grew up in Massachusetts as a Packers fan, doesn't regret leaving Chicago for Green Bay. He lives in Milwaukee, about the midway point between cities.
And he said both the Bears and Packers "have great fans."
"They're about the same, and I mean that as a compliment," he said. "They hold their teams to a high standard."
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