To put Sunday’s events in proper prospective, consider the novel suggestion that the NFL ought to embrace the concept of promotion and demotion featured in many of Europe’s soccer leagues, whereby the worst team gets demoted to a minor league, and the best team in the minors gets promoted. In the NFL, the worst team, the Cleveland Browns, would long since be relegated to the minors, until some other team overcomes the worst team in abject futility.
Or, consider this very simple rule: if you lose to the Cleveland Browns, you get kicked out of the league.
That very calamity is what almost happened Sunday in the Mistake by the Lake to the Green Bay Packers, both literally in one sense and figuratively in another. Repeat these words slowly, enunciating each and every syllable, out loud: The Green Bay Packers almost lost to the Cleveland Browns, a team that will go 0-16 and has now won one game in their last 31 games.
Yes, coach Mike McCarthy and company came back from a 14-point deficit at the beginning of the fourth quarter with Brett Hundley as quarterback. Yes, there was that — in hindsight — most savvy one-two decision not to challenge a “completed” catch then challenge the next far easier play to overturn, to force the punt. Yes, the Packers have a resurgent running game headed by Jamaal Williams to replace the wasted potential of Eddie Lacy.
But an equally necessary condition for the Packers to escape this embarrassment and disaster was the Cleveland Browns had to be the Browns to make this overtime victory possible. Aside from the dubious special teams and defensive play that allowed the Packers to score in the last 17 seconds, that floating, arm-punt of an interception by DeShone Kizer epitomized how, when you absolutely, positively have to lose a game that was won, only the Cleveland Browns have that uncanny ability to be the Browns, through and through. Accept no substitute. This remarkable, resilient dedication to lose no matter what was the secret spice that allowed the Packers to escape this abject humiliation by the very narrowest of margins. It is no less essential than the flux capacitor is to make time travel possible in Back to the Future.
Ideally, this would allow us the good fortune to have our cake and eat it, too: avoiding getting kicked out of the league (either metaphorically or jokingly) by losing to a winless Browns team, while still in effect facing such dire circumstances that oblige those making decisions to evaluate everything in this team from players to coaches to scouting to general management, top down, no exceptions.
Some of these considerations that need to be made are admittedly a little opaque. Does Dom Capers’ perennially sieve-like, Dr. Jekyl-Mr. Hyde defense make DeShone Kizer look so good (at one point he had a QB rating north of 150) because Capers has long since lost his way, or is it because Ted Thompson has lost his touch or is it a bit of both? Is it all Ted Thompson or is it unknown figures in the scouting department that are leading to a slew of bust defensive picks? Player evaluation, scouting and coaching all probably have something to do with it as well, as all of these factors explain why Casey Hayward underperformed in Green Bay before being let go to become one of the best defensive players in the league. Then again, too many starters are either injured or on injured reserve, providing another right answer before the very best, and thus correct answer: D: All of the Above.
This near calamity should oblige decision makers to consider all of this and finally make some drastic decisions to run a tighter ship around 1265 Lombardi Avenue, and get it back to the precipice of winning multiple Lombardi Trophies before Aaron Rodgers’ time has lapsed into the sunset; to get the Packers back to where we need to be. We Packers fans have been quite fortunate to have two once-in-a-lifetime, hall-of-fame quarterbacks back to back. Absent folks in charge hearing this latest wake-up call, it looks more and more likely we will be so unfortunate to let this good fortune yield only two Super Bowl championships: a most insufferable crime and travesty, indeed. Almost no team is going to be anywhere near as good without Rodgers at quarterback as they are with him, but this near disaster proved the Packers are not much better than the Cleveland Browns without him. And that is why serious and long-overdue changes need to be made day one of the coming offseason.
One last consideration, since I authored these most illustrious and insightful uniform power rankings, the Browns have gone to having one of the better uniforms in the league to the very worst: uniforms even uglier than their remarkable determination to lose no matter what the costs or circumstances. It just comes to show nothing should be immune from change, revision, or examination. Especially not Packers management, coaching, medical staff and players.
No matter how you spin it, the Packers won on the road, down by 14 in the NFL. Fat Mike is the man, baby
Agreed…If McCarthy doesn’t win coach of the year, i’ll probably stop watching the NFL.
He lives! I thought E Wolf died
I thought he was doing 10-20.
When I read the headline and saw the wall of text, I knew who wrote it without even seeing the name.
What series of events has to transpire to remove Thompson and McCarthy from the organization? Thompson will possibly go away on his own at contract end. (Pleeeeeaaaase let this happen…) McCarthy needs to go as well. I think his contract is through the end of 2018, Rodgers needs to refuse to sign any extension until McCarthy is fired. Start the petition and get the pitchforks ready!!!!! We’re storming the Castle!!!
This is basically the strongest option Rodgers has: “I’ll see how you take care of the team in these two years before signing any extensions with you”. If they are still unwilling or unable to get us beyond one-and-done type playoffs, Rodgers should take his skills someplace where they care about winning it all, not just making the playoffs.
Big Ted will be around for 1 more draft…
As far as uniforms go, Broncos are the ugliest. Followed closely by the Eagles
Teams that need to switch back to their throwbacks: 1.) Dolphins with their slick unis last night 2.) Chargers with the cool mustard colored facemasks 3.) Eagles with the lime green & bird with football in talons
Also, the glitter the Packers have on the gold in their helmets is conformative & a bit faggy IMO. At least all the pink shit in the month of October has gone away.
The “pink shit” is worn for an awareness for breast cancer, and i think it’s a cool thing, for a good cause. Most all of us know people and have family members that have been affected by this disease.
Hats off to the players.
I agree with that. My sister-in-law is a survivor.
SAVE THE TATA’s!
The breast cancer awareness campaign is the NFL’s best promo. No kneeling, no pandering to vets, just a really great cause.
Yes. But… c’mon. We ALL know cancer exists. How about just a nice pink ribbon on the backs of the helmets?
But, no. There are pink gloves, hats, mouth guards, chinstraps, cleats… pink everywhere. Then we dance around like fairys with pink on. The pink chinstraps were the gayest …
FACT is. More men die of prostate cancer than women do of breast cancer… so why not a brown ribbon? Hell, lets just put ball-sack stickers on all the helmets too while we’re at it
Breast cancer exists??? REALLY? You know that over 97% of those proceeds go to the merchandiser’s pockets & NOT to titty cancer research, right?
88.75% of the pink proceeds goes to the NFL & merchandisers. Only 11.25% went to breast research. & that’s a FACT
It was all a visual ploy to attract more female viewers through sympathy & sell more “shit”. money, money, money right?
As if I need to watch more football with women. Look, Sundays are our escape. I’m tired to of trying to explain to these Eastern European chicks how the game works…Anya, Svetlana & Nadia ask too many questions as it
Fact: On average, 202 men per 100,000 die from cancer compared to 147 per 100,000 women
But we love tits so goddam much that we ignore men I suppose. TyKo Steamboat is an ass man anyways. We can make fake tits these days, we can’t make fake balls.
The more you know…
You know they don’t actually take your balls, right? Unless you have testicular cancer, which is something altogether different…
This article is full of honesty. The referenced article on uniform rankings is a mockery, a joke, an abomination.
So…kind of like your comments.