Brutal. Bears fan co-worker used the word brutal twice via texts on Christmas night and three times Tuesday morning. Brutal. That’s how she describes the Green Bay Packers. To her, the Packers are relentless, powerful and a team that stomps on its opponents (metaphorically, of course. No Suh’s on our team). I wish I could introduce her to some Packer fans I know. The “one and done” “we don’t deserve the playoffs” crew. A lifelong Bears fan, former resident of Chicago, person who watched the game in a bar in Chicago, looks at the Packers and sees a great team. And shares that information freely. And yet some lifelong Packers fans look at the same team and see something that looks like it was scraped off the bottom of a shoe. How did this happen? It’s a trend that became clearer this week via twitter. Drew Brees broke a record that stood for nearly 20 years, and apparently no one was supposed to talk about it. I am not a Brees fan. I don’t know why. Maybe because I think it would be incredibly boring to have a beer with him. Maybe it’s because I’m an awful person. But I don’t secretly route for him. He’s just another quarterback on another team to me. I don’t care if he broke the record or if Brady would have made it there first. But I think breaking the record is cool. I think Brees throws a mean ball, and his accomplishments should be acknowledged. I feel the same about Rodgers. I also have no problem with Tuesday morning certain people throwing Brees’s name into the MVP discussion. Rodgers should and most likely will win the award, hands down. But Brees is also having a great year. I don’t think he should win it, but I do think that he can be in the same discussion and I think he’s going to make a great runner up to Rodgers. A lot of fans on my twitter feed were NOT okay with this line of thinking on Tuesday morning. From Monday night to Tuesday morning you were either all Rodgers or you were against him; there was no middle ground. By simply mentioning Brees I received tweets with stats telling me that there’s no competition. Half way through the day when I said that Brees had never won a regular season MVP award, I got “finally, I agree with you, he doesn’t deserve it”. Somehow, by simply mentioning his name and the record, to some fans I was obviously saying that Rodgers didn’t deserve the MVP. My head was spinning. I went back to check my timeline; how did it get so confusing? When did it become so complicated? Is it twitter? Is it because of the cold war that launched Rodgers into the starting position? Is it because it’s the holiday season and we’re all stressed out to begin with? When did we become so protective of our team that the mere mention of someone else’s name caused us to stick out our chests, pound them and yell loudly from roof tops? When did being a fan turn from a nice club to belong to where you were welcomed with all your idiosyncrasies, into a place where the phrase “you’re not a true fan” is uttered more frequently than “nice to meet you”? Here’s something to remember: The Packers are the number one seed in the NFC and have lost only one game. We live in a world where we can interact with players via twitter and witness their interactions with fans and other players. The Packers are almost 25% favorites to win the Super Bowl. Rodgers is the leading candidate for the MVP. Donald Driver now has over 10,000 career yards, and Rodgers has thrown from over 40 touch downs this year. And a Bears fan thinks that this team is freaking AWESOME. These are good things. Like really good things. Let’s try to remember that.
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