Home Sweet Home: Will the Lombardi Trophy Return to Green Bay in 2010?
Is there any sweeter site than Lambeau Field?
The old school seats, the frigid climate, and most importantly—the hardcore football faithfuls—who slug it out year in and year out, no matter how poorly the Packers may be playing.
I guess if you looked up the word "loyalty" in the dictionary, you'd see a small green and white 'G' directly underneath.
But perhaps if you looked up the words "Lombardi Trophy," you'd receive a definition that sums up the Green Bay Packers in a nutshell.
In the Packers illustrious history, it is no secret that they have seen their fair share of success. Numerous League Championships accompanied by three Super Bowl rings, leaves the Packers fresh in many peoples minds when it comes to deciding who truly is "America's Team."
However, when it comes time to think back and remember the Lombardi Trophy's last holiday back to Lambeau Field, the most recent memory is slowly fading away.
For the most part, every Packer fan remembers the 1996 season quite fondly. The year that saw Brett Favre finally push himself harder than he perhaps ever has, was topped off with a dramatic Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots 35-21.
Looking back now though, the years have begun to drag out a little for the Packers, in terms of overall championship victories.
But before we go ahead and get to down in the dumps, things do look to be heading toward a new and positive light in the upcoming decade.
For those readers that are somehow unaware, the Green Bay Packers have been deemed potential Super Bowl favorites by not just fans, but analysts alike this offseason.
Realistically this isn't too much of a change from the past, but it is of course very nice to see some appreciation been thrown the Packers' way.
So what does this all mean for the 2010 Green Bay Packers?
Well, before we go ahead and crown them champions, it is important to realize that the Packers have struggled a little when they are marked down as favorites.
Sure, they are not to be mentioned in the same sentence as the Dallas Cowboys, but when the Packers have been favorites in the past, they have had a tendency to fall a little short in the long.
This season though, expect a different story.
Unlike Dallas, the Packers have had a clear focus for many years. The main focus for Green Bay has always been winning, and it has always been obvious from the beginning that head coach Mike McCarthy would do anything in his power to grant every Packer fan this luxury.
Has he done that?
Yes and no. At times Mike McCarthy has made some questionable calls, such as draft picks that have gone a little astray.
On the other hand, he has made some crucial team building decisions, such as promoting Jermichael Finley to the starting tight end role.
Aside from the Packer head coach, it is the team itself that has improved immensely.
In 2008, things looked bleak for the Packers. I, like most people was thinking quite negatively at the time, especially when Brett Favre retired, and the team was faced with a young and inexperienced quarterback.
But boy, did things change. Not only has Aaron Rodgers developed at an alarming rate, he has also managed to capture a few possible MVP votes along the way, and is sitting on the fringe of the Top 5 quarterback list.
If you'd asked any Packer fan what they expected from their team a year ago, I doubt they would have said an 11-5 season. The Minnesota Vikings were and still are a present threat, and it appeared that the Packers may have to unwillingly slip into an uncomfortable second spot in the NFC North division.
Fortunately for all Green Bay fans, this scenario never played out.
Instead, the Packers are close favorites in the division, and rightfully so. Given that Minnesota are still technically number one, if you asked any unbias fan, I think he or she would favor Green Bay heading into the 2010 season.
At the end of it all, the Packers are a much improved side. When a problem has arisen, they've fixed it. When Brett Favre played his games, they got rid of him.
When the defense couldn't produce, they hired Dom Capers, and when Aaron Rodgers was getting sacked like it was going out of fashion, they drafted Bryan Bulaga.
See the pattern?
Therefore, the final problem for the Green Bay Packers is the Super Bowl. They have failed to jump the final hurdle in the past, most recently against the New York Giants in 2008.
As of now, don't count Green Bay out.
The entire team is producing at a fantastic rate, and I think I speak for everyone in saying, it is a matter of time before young number 12 really leads the way to the big dance.
Don't get me wrong, there is a lot left for Green Bay to do this season. Surely though, no one can count out such a young, yet experienced side.
Forget the past, the present is the Packers concern. Let's just hope ole' Lombardi makes a stopover in the near future, as it has come time for Lambeau Field to see the famous trophy once again.
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