Before we begin, dear readers, I feel I must warn you.
The game recap you’re about to read will have little to do with what transpired Sunday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. No, Gene (as always) covered that brilliantly earlier Monday. A 31-27 loss that should have been a win. Green Bay Packers 8-6. Losers of three of four (their second such streak this season).
No, this recap is going to be about me. About you. About us. This one might get a little ugly, but remember, we’re family. We’re all in this together. If we can’t vent to each other then, I mean, what’s the point of all this?
In other words: Get ready, ’cause I’m laying it all on the table.
First, me. In short, I’m beginning to lose my religion with regards to this current bunch of Packers. They’re burning me out. For five years, each and every loss this team has suffered has felt like a punch in the face. The type of losses that leave you on the floor in front of your television set, looking up and screaming for a reason why that week’s disaster unfolded.
How could they have blown it again? Hadn’t they spent the past (fill in the blank) minutes dominating their opponent? Is this ever going to change?
That’s not to say there haven’t been highlights because, of course, there have. My outlook is realist, not glass-is-all-empty. But, at a certain point, those highlights only make you want more. Because, if you’re like me, you feel this team has that in them. I wouldn’t ask for more if I didn’t think it was possible. Without fail, though, whenever this team is forced to hit another level in a huge game against a truly great opponent - and moral victories DO NOT COUNT – the Packers just seem to fall short.
Coulda. Woulda. Shoulda. Yeah, but as my mother always says, you didn’t.
It’s getting to the point where a 38-13 loss almost seems a welcomed change of pace. My God, at least that’d be new. As mediocre as the 2010 Packers have been – and make no mistake, they have been mediocre – the reason this year has been the worst I’ve experienced as a fan is because, well, they’re becoming boring. You know how the script is going to unfold most weeks. By my count, there have been exactly two pleasant surprises (beating the Jets in New York and Favre at Lambeau). The rest has either gone like I thought it would or, worse, been a crushing disappointment. Destination: Dallas, indeed.
And yeah, I know this team still has a shot at the postseason. But honestly, who amongst you thinks this team can do ANYTHING come January? If I were to bring that pesky mistress known as history into the mix, I’d say this team is destined for yet another soul-crushing, wrong-end-of-an-Instant-Classic loss, even if it makes it in (which I don’t think it will). I’d love to say things would be different this time. But, you know, I’ve been saying that for 10 years. Honestly, I’m not up to saying it anymore. And, really, a big part of me isn’t even up to witness it.
That’s because, again, everytime I expect greatness – true greatness – I get almost-greatness. Frankly, that’s not enough for me. I don’t root for the Arizona Cardinals or Detroit Lions – I root for the freakin’ 12-time world champion Green Bay Packers. I want excellence. And when I don’t get it, I’m pissed. That’s absolutely as it should be.
Sadly, a scan of Twitter and the comment sections of certain fan sites on Sunday night and Monday show me that a good portion of you guys don’t feel the same way.
You’re happy with moral victories. You praise the effort, say how proud it makes you. You love Mike McCarthy’s gameplan (you know, the one that didn’t have a two-minute drill involved in it). No one expected this result earlier in the day, so we should just be happy with what we got. Oh Chris, you’re being too unrealistic. This team is just too beat up with injuries. What did you expect them to do, go 16-0?
Funny, I had no idea the Packers were in the same conference as Green Bay Southwest and Ashwaubenon High. I thought they were an NFL team comprised of professionals who are paid exhorbitant amounts of money to get the damn job done. I didn’t know they were above being held accountable. I didn’t know I was supposed to be content with where this team is at because, after all, at least it’s better than the 1970s and 80s, right? What the hell – why even bother keeping score, right?
Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m tired of everyone making excuses and covering for the “good ol’ Packers.” The same people who blame the injuries in 2010 blamed the switch to a 3-4 or the offensive line last year. The same people who blamed Bob Sanders and Aaron Rodgers’ youth in 2008. The same people who blamed Favre in 2007. You can blame your whole life away if you so choose. I’m more interested in fixing the damn ship than I am in pointing out why it’s sinking or trying to decide who to cover for. I guess some of you don’t see it that way.
But you know what happens if you keep on making excuses? You settle. You settle for mediocrity. You settle for 10-6 and a first-round exit. You’re just happy to have the Packers, a cold six-pack of beer and a Sunday with some friends. Asking for anything more is just being greedy. And greedy is not a good old-fashioned Midwestern quality.
Well, this guy’s greedy. And so is this website. We will never settle for mediocrity. We will expect wins every time out. Do we expect the team to go 16-0 every year? Of course not. But do we want it? You bet your tail-end we do. If we didn’t, we’d go do something else with our time on Sundays.
And when we don’t get it – particularly in the fashion that we continue to not get it – we will hold people accountable. A friend of my brother’s once referred to our site as, “the voice of the silent minority.” That’s something we’re damn proud of. The three of us will never stray from that. If that’s too much for any of you to handle, well, plenty of other blog options on the table. Like Mike Mac, we are what we are.
And, sorry, but more of you guys need to be that way, too. This is OUR team. WE own it. They answer to US. Too many of you look at it the other way around.
So, consider this a call to action. Take off the green-and-gold glasses. Don’t be so Polydanna (copyright KFAN). Doing so can make the losses a lot tougher. But it makes the wins a hell of a lot sweeter.