Guest post brought to you by @bmagicj. Thanks for the contribution:
This was a difficult weekend for Packer Nation. In fact, I’d feel confident labeling this past weekend as the “Horse Pill” of weekends in recent Packer memory. Is it because the Packers provided a pooper of a performance on the national stage? Yes… but there’s more. Let me share the reasons as the “Horse Pill” travels through your system:
YOTTO? No, YOTWO. We can always count on the Packers black sheep to provide some entertaining yet arrogant commentary—such as last years’ “year of the take over”. However, after a near-perfect regular season, and quite possibly the most uninspired offensive performance I’ve witnessed since Anthony Dilweg was running point, I’d like to claim this year to be: “Year of the Wasted Opportunity”. Ted Thompson built this team as a precision scoring machine—a team that was prepared to give away yardage, allow remedial pointage, but cream the competition through bone-crunching takeaways and Wilt-esque “scoring” at will. There’s just one problem—what happens when Wilt’s target has an STD? The precision fades away—routes are lazily run; passes are over-thought or over-thrown; the secondary lacks trust and focus. The Packers were supposed to be the closer—the Kobe Bryant-like mamba in the night. Instead, the team that showed up was Charles Barkley—high expectations—but demonstrated more high-fructose corn syrup and fell short. YOTWO.
Just a game? No. Truth in economics. Take a look at the stands at Lambeau before you delete the game from your DVR. Those people in that picture are passionate fans. Passionate fans that spent top-dollar to be at that game. Passionate fans that instead of putting money in savings for their child’s education, placed it in the “memory bank” of Lambeau. In the investment world, it’s as if they were hoping to buy the Apple of memories—but instead, got Enron. In addition, think of all the employees and entrepreneurs out there who banked on Packer success. Vendors are now short on hours, entrepreneurs are sitting on thousands in Packers merchandise that will go un-purchased, accumulating interest fees as it sits in inventory. As the once passionate fan-base walked away from Lambeau field that night, they put all concession and merchandise plans on hold. The Packers didn’t just let the fans down with their lack of focus—they let the local economy down.
Right decision? In the 2005 NFL draft, the Packers selected Aaron Rodgers to eventually de-throne the great #4. At the time, Packer Nation was shocked—“how could you ever move on from #4”? One Super Bowl victory notch on the belt and Packer Nation has seemed to forget about old #4. However, at this moment, I’m left to wonder: Is it better to build a dynasty on offense or defense? Did Ted make the right choice? Ironically, the laughing-stock of the 2005 NFL Draft, Alex Smith, is still standing in the NFC. Why is this? San Francisco piled their chips on defense—making up for the shortcomings of the disappointing Smith. The jury is out—but I’m hoping for an OJ.
Lack of Focus. As I sat on my couch, rooting on my green and gold—my cheers became frustration during the 4th quarter. My frustration wasn’t evident in the 1st quarter—even as Rodgers and Jennings failed to connect on a seemingly elementary pass. It wasn’t evident as Hakeem Nicks hauled in a Hail Mary pass as time expired. It wasn’t evident as Finley gave up on a pass route and Rodgers threw it like the ball was on fire. It didn’t even start after Ryan Grant’s fumble as we were threatening to complete a successful drive. It started in the final moments, as Eli Manning took his final knee. I thought about the game—and realized that New York did very little to put the nail in our coffin. The Green and Gold hammered that baby in by themselves. They didn’t out run us. They’re front four barely touched us. We missed opportunities, made mistakes, and were simply out-hustled. I felt cheated. Hoodwinked. It was as if I bought a date with Suzy Kolber and got a date with Suze Orman. When a team is paid top dollar to bring their A game, and they show up with their B game, you can easily move on. When you pay them to bring their A game and they bring an F minus—it’s tough to forgive.
I will be a Packer fan for life, like many of you out there in Packer Nation—but it feels a little bit like the day your dad brings home another woman after claiming to be happy with your mom for 10 years—you’ll love him forever, but you still need time to heal. I sure hope this horse pill remedies the pain. At least we still have the Bucks…