Like most Green Bay Packers fans, I check in with packers.com almost daily to see what’s happening with my team. I’ve been noticing some strange goings-on with the website.
Since the new year, about 130 news postings have graced the site. From five to 10 articles, opinion pieces, photo galleries, podcasts, or videos pop up daily.
We get news of every player signing, and we hear all about every front office change and promotion. What we haven’t gotten is the one thing fans want to know about at the moment.
Ever since announcing the release of Dom Capers, Scott McCurley, and Mike Trgovac back on January 3, there’s been a gag order placed on packers.com concerning coaching changes. I have to assume this is Coach Mike McCarthy’s doing.
Finally the team website posted a news release titled “Packers finalize coaching staff” – which includes mini-resumes of twelve of the coaches. They top that off with video clips of nine coaches, most lasting under three minutes.
I like the look and sound of several of these guys, but have some problems with some of their backgrounds, but that’s not the point I want to make here.
This was our first real look at the new Mike McCarthy – the one who three weeks ago was given more power, more independence, and more control over this team than he’s ever previously had.
What I’ve seen in the past three weeks, and culminating in this choreographed release of news, was Big Mike using his new superpowers to increasingly control the message and the media.
Why would he suddenly put a gag order on coaching change news being posted on the team’s website? It caused a whole lot of confusion, and certainly did a disservice to the fans who were excited to see what changes were going to be made after the disaster of 2017.
In one of those Insiders question and answer postings, Packers’ senior writer Mike Spofford was asked why there was no news about the ongoing coaching changes. His evasive answer: “McCarthy is simply waiting to have his entire coaching staff in place before making anything official.”
The only explanation I can come up with is a simple one: by McCarthy keeping his coaching maneuvers under the radar, and then making a blanket announcement, there’s less analysis, criticism, and questioning of what the head man has been doing.
Remember when CEO Mark Murphy joked about how Ted Thompson hated to talk to the press? I’d say that McCarthy detests the press much more than Thompson ever did.
As you’d expect, the Packers have a bunch of employees tasked with handling public relations, public affairs, media management, news reporting, press releases, and the like. It looks like McCarthy has decided to act as their puppet master.
It’s another example of Big Mike becoming ever more secretive, controlling, and focused on his own image more than anything else.