Sunday, January 24, 2016

Impassioned Packer Fans

I got into a little argument the other night with another Packer fan about last week's game and it really kind of bothered me--not because we agreed or disagreed but because it mattered enough to even argue about. But that's what sports do to us. We cheer. We follow. We invest a significant amount of time and effort to our teams and all we want back is success. Is that too much to ask for? And when our teams don't win, we are let down.

The funny thing is, is I was a Packer fan since birth even through the 70's and 80's when they really sucked and I didn't get too worked up about it. We didn't expect them to win and when they did, it was a bonus. Now, since a couple more Super Bowls and more often than not; having winning seasons, we expect them to win and when they don't, we get pissed. (At least I do.) I was asked though, if I had the choice of getting blown out or to lose like the Pack did last week in overtime after a crazy end to regulation, what would I rather see? One-hundred percent I said I'd rather lose in an epic game like that than to get blown out.

I was actually happy with how the Pack played last week. It was the rest of the season I thought was horrendous. Yes, they had injuries but so do other teams that are still in the hunt. Losing to the Bears, Lions and Vikings, all in Lambeau is just not acceptable. It hasn't happened since like the 60's and there doesn't seem like there's much of a sense of urgency to change that.

I heard somewhere that the only other team that has more room under the salary cap is Denver. If that's the case, then when they started losing players like Jordy Nelson, why didn't they go out and get someone? Or when they lost their offensive line? Other teams would have. From what I've seen, it's because Ted Thompson, the general manager, has too much ego and thinks he can just use his draft picks and doesn't need the "help" of players from other teams. It's almost like if he signs someone that someone else drafted, somehow that's admitting he missed on that player. Well, maybe you did. Go get 'em.

That's what started the argument the other night as my partner/adversary in the scuffle was defending Thompson and McCarthy. That led to comparing other coaches and management teams like, (and I hate to say it but it's true,) the New England Patriots. You want to talk about a team that has been decimated by injuries? But what they are able to do year after year is just stupid.

Anyway, that led to my boy saying that the Packers were close and that the game came down to a coin toss so we should give McCarthy some credit to which I just couldn't get on board with. First of all, the game didn't come down to a coin toss. It came down to a horrible play on defense where the Packers had been dominating because of a miss-communication with their defensive backs. It also came down to a dropped pick-six by Sam Shields. Oh yeah, then there's the punter, Masthay. He's got to be one of the worst punters in the NFL and he has been for the entire season but the Pack didn't address that issue. He gave Arizona the ball on their first possession inside Packer territory that led to a touchdown in a game that only saw a handful of touchdowns. And then the can't get into the red zone that many times without scoring touchdowns and expect to win.

Here's the deal with the coin toss. Less than half the teams that win the coin toss in overtime go on to win the game so the coin toss really isn't all that significant in determining the outcome. In fact, if you're able to stop the initial drive, the team that has the ball second in overtime usually wins. The Packers didn't do that and that's why they lost. And, they shouldn't have let it come down to overtime to begin with but like most of the season, they were hanging on a thread woven out of poor play-calling way too conservative to win in the NFL, an arrogant general manager unwilling to outsource when players go down, a lack of attention in the special teams department, and a couple desperation throws by a quarterback who is amazing but isn't God who pulls the R-E-L-A-X card too often when he should be jumping down receivers' throats for dropping balls and running bad routes. And check this out, Jeff Janis had an amazing game for the Packers last weekend after Cobb and Adams went down catching seven passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Where was he all season? I'll tell you where he was. He was pulling slivers out of his ass riding the pine behind Cobb and Adams who were both plagued with drops and the inability to get open. Who's decision was that?

Whoa...ok, I'll stop. It's not worth getting worked up about...again. To my guy from the other night, I apologize for wasting energy on something so insignificant and I appreciate the way it ended with a handshake and an understanding to agree to disagree. As for the next season, I'll still be rooting for the Pack but I'll still be very critical of the lack of winning leadership from McCarthy and good 'ole Ted. And for the rest of this season, I have to root for Arizona now. I like Larry. I also like Bruce Arains. He has balls.

Keep 'em where they live...

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