So the official word out of the National Football League standings is that the Green Bay Packers are eliminated from playoff contention. The same team which was one possession away from playing the perfect Patriots in the Super Bowl last year gets knocked out two weeks before Christmas.
Where did it go wrong for the Packers? They retained almost everyone from last year's team. Oh right! I forgot a change—the quarterback.
So this year was in the hands of first-year starter Aaron Rodgers. After three years in training from the legend himself, he should be ready, right? Maybe? Please? Oh crap!
A lot changed up in the land of the frozen tundra. A new face behind center for the first time in 17 years. A new team President/CEO/Outsider/Bears Fan, Mike Murphy. A new era, new philosophy, new sheriff in town. Ted Thompson. Yes, that buffoon who somehow found a way to divide the cheeseheads.
But Ted Thompson shouldn't have stopped there. No, he messed everything up when he failed to mention that this would be a "rebuilding" year. His argument was, well, we were in the NFC championship game last year and have virtually the same team back, so how can this be a rebuilding year?
I agree it's a tough pill to swallow. But doing such would have put less pressure on Aaron Rodgers and his teammates in the post-Favre era. Doing such would have given his quarterback and his coach (another knucklehead) some leeway. Heck, doing such might have saved his own @$$.
But Ted Thompson refused to acknowledge that the team was rebuilding.
What would you call it then, Ted? A new quarterback, a running back who only played half of last year. A "new" type of offense, which at one point the head coach Mike McCarthy claimed was so different from last year's that there was no way Brett Favre would be able to catch up.
Hmmm! So what was wrong with the offensive scheme of last year? Did it not get us to the NFC championship game? Did we not win 13 regular season games? Were we not mentioned in the same breath as the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and Indianapolis Colts—you know, the elite of the NFL?
So what changed? If the Packers' brass thought that Aaron Rodgers could have replicated Brett Favre's success from last year, well, they should have kept that to themselves. You know, a kind of hush-hush that no one on the outside knows about.
Maybe you could have told Aaron that you believe in him and that there was no reason for him and the team not to repeat last year's run. Followed by telling him, however, we are going to say we're in the rebuilding process to the public—you know, to buy us some time just in case.
I know that sounds like you're trying to confuse the heck outta Aaron, but in the public eye, it would have been less pressure on him and his team. The media and the fans would have looked at it as a year where we have a first-year starter, a fairly young team, and a "new" scheme, so the ups and downs are expected.
The whole concept of "rebuilding" would have been a tough pill to swallow for many Packer fans. However, for the length of this season and the next and the next, however long it takes the Packers to get back to the playoffs and beyond, this would have been the right way to go about it.
I mean, did the Cowboys not go through it after Troy Aikman retired? What about the Dolphins after Marino called it a career? Sometimes it is better to have a blanket around you to protect you.
An admission of the phase, the most important phase of general manager Ted Thompson's career. A new era for the historic Cheese franchise of the National Football League was in the REBUILDING PHASE!
There, see—nothing wrong with it. Nobody got hurt, the terrorist didn't win, careers weren't jeopardized, feelings weren't hurt. Family wasn't divided, statistically the greatest Packer ever wouldn't feel like he got kicked in the behind. Oh wait, that's right—he did get kicked in the behind.
Sometimes Honesty is THE best policy!
Way to go Ted!