Some people prefer to look at life’s ugliness, the hard ugly truths head on. That I or anyone else is just so inclined does make me any less of a Packers fan. I care or did care a great deal about this. But as the season gets started this weekend, I am far from indulging in any great expectations. The Packers are almost certainly not going to win the Super Bowl this year. And, once the Rodgers era finally comes to a close in Green Bay, Packers fans should expect a new dark age rivalling that of the 70s up to 1989 when the Majik Man brought the Pack back for the first time in almost 25 years. Jordan Love will have proven to be a disastrous draft move, amounting to Dan Devine level of incompetence and malfeasance as it sounds the death knell of the Aaron Rodgers era and contention for Super Bowl Championships in Green Bay for the foreseeable future.
Rodgers is obviously disgruntled with the Packers front office. This most likely does not bode well for the prospects of our team. But if he does play with a chip on his shoulder, propelling the team to over-perform yet once again, it still will likely not be enough. David Bakhtiari is, as we all know, out for the first six weeks, and will almost certainly be out longer. We have two rookie linemen with stalwart guard Elgton Jenkins playing left tackle. As great as Jenkins is, he is a guard, not a left tackle. And we are missing Corey Linsley, whom many regard as the best center in the League.
We have one top-flight receiver, Devante Adams. He of course is much more interested in getting paid so many more millions (that he does not need) than standing for and by the Green and Gold. This and Rodgers displeasure should give any fan pause and ask why, if the players do not care as much about the Green and Gold–about that Oval G symbol on the helmets–why should we fans?
Randall Cobb is coming back? He is way past his prime and almost certainly a pointless move that, if anything, just shows how bad our receiving corp is, as it also shows how much the front office is reeling from alienating our future hall of fame quarterback so spectacularly. Marquez Valdes-Scantling has shown explosive play making ability which has nonetheless been eclipsed by an equal number of gaffes. Thus, Robert Tonyan is our second and last proven receiving threat. Super Bowl Championship teams generally require much greater quantity and quality of receiving talent than just two proven play-makers.
The defense showed improvement last year but, unable to get the defensive coordinator of his choice, Coach LaFleur had to settle with Joe Barry. Even premiere, top flight defensive coordinators often require a transitional year before getting a defensive unit to show drastic improvement. With Rodgers possibly or even likely being gone after this year, and Devante Adams certainly leaving after this year, that is a year we do not have. This of course is exacerbated by the ZeDarius Smith fiasco where he only showed up to camp way too late and is likely to not even play in the season opener. It seems he is also displeased by the choice of team captains, which did not include him.
All of these considerations point to a season that will likely end in yet further disappointment. This is, incidentall,y bolstered by the horrendous, bullshit non-call of the most Obvious Pass Interference fans could see in the season opener. Ah, but you see, that is Terrific Tom Brady’s team, so the referees simply could not throw a flag there, because then Terrific Tom might lose. “We really like him,” the consensus seems to be among NFL executives, sportsball talking-heads on four letter networks, and above all the referees. One can justly wonder if they whisper among themselves what a “dreamboat” he is among themselves, like some teenage vamp swooning over the man in campus in the 50s or 60s with that certain tingly feeling in their chest and between their legs. Just as the referees had their very weighty fingers on the scale on that game—just as they had them on the scales in that gut-wrenching NFC Title Game loss last year—rest assured they will do so again.
So at least for this Packers fan, the season begins on a rather somber note, of disillusionment and despair. The Rodgers era is about over, and I highly doubt we will win a Super Bowl era this year, and will not for a very long time once 12 is done.
The very worst part of it is that, over the past decade, another Super Bowl Dynasty was right there for the taking. The Packers organization faltered in spectacular fashion, time and again. McCarthy lost his way (if he ever truly had it), coaching one hell of game in Seattle in the 14 NFC Title Game, only to lose it through a series of gaffes that indelibly and irrefutably indict his coaching prowess, much more so than his winning game plan had brought us to the precipice of victory, only to be snatched away by jaw-dropping incompetence and buffoonery in the waning minutes. That is to say nothing about the team not harboring a proper vendetta over Lance Easley and the Fail Mary that, for example, would have motivated Morgan Burnett to run that interception in for a pick six not just to punctuate the victory, but to exact some measure of revenge, so as to humiliate Seahawks players, coaches, and fans alike in their own building. Instead, we were the ones humiliated.
The organization kept Dom Capers way too long as well, and certainly made a mistake keeping Shawn Slocum after the 2010 season, who was a clear and obvious liability even during that Super Bowl Championship run. And Mark Murphy and friends kept Ted Thompson around for several years when those in the inner sanctum at 1265 Lombardi Avenue knew he was in declining health and not well in a way that outsiders only suspected.
Do not fret too much though, fellow Packer fans, the same clown who has let the Rodgers era come and go with one single Super Bowl Championship—a level of such astounding underperformance that it is as criminal as it is shocking and gut-wrenching–assures us that “we are highly successful.” So many playoff appearances. Be sure to buy overpriced gear at the Packers Pro Shop. One can practically hear Gap Tooth Murph say “hey look at me go down a fucking kiddie slide (the tubular slide) with a half ass smile on my face,” as if he were one of those idiot contestants on the Price is Right, sans the opportunity to ogle Rachel Reynolds and her bombshell body in a low cut, tight-fitting cocktail dress and open toe “fuck me” heels, which is about the only thing anyone should smile about these days, ever. This, in one image, perfectly signifies how a decade has come and gone, as those in charge have flushed a would-be Super Bowl Dynasty down the toilet.