I'm sad today.
Later today, the Packers will receive their Super Bowl rings in a private ceremony at Lambeau Field. For all intents and purposes, it will serve at the culmination of the 2010 season, the final main event to encompass last season, except for the elusive visit to the White House.
Last night on Cheesehead Radio I had the opportunity to discuss why having the ring ceremony a public event would have been a good thing. It is my belief that opening the event to the fans, the ones who stood by the team from preseason all the way through the regular season and to the Super Bowl, would have allowed one final memory from last season. The "Return to Titletown" celebration held right after the team returned from Dallas was more of a party atmosphere, while the ring presentation would have allowed a glimpse into something much more symbolic of a season of greatness.
As I was stating my case for why it should be open to everyone, it was my opinion that having a public ceremony would have been a good PR move for the Packers. In the midst of the lockout, allowing fans to witness such a historic event would have been wise in trying to appease the most rabid fan base in the NFL. Since we cannot see them practice right now, how about a glimpse of them trying on their rings? I would have been happy with that. Why? Because I'm selfish, and don't want to have the 2010 season end.
Naturally, I lost my discussion to Jersey Al, because that's how I roll. But this morning I woke up with a different take as to why I thought the ring ceremony should be public. It's not because I'm selfish-it's because of uncertainty.
I have been fortunate in the last 20 years. I've seen two Super Bowl victories. I've also witnessed a Super Bowl loss. It's not a perfect record, but 3 trips to the Super Bowl is not a terrible ratio. The Packers have been good enough to be perennial contenders for the playoffs, and as this year's team showed, getting into the playoffs is all you need to win the Lombardi Trophy.
Now consider teams like the Browns, the Lions, and the Chiefs. Teams which year after year set out with a goal of reaching the playoffs, yet for years have been so bad getting to .500 has been an accomplishment. While we expect our Packers to not only reach the playoffs every year but compete for a trip to the Super Bowl, teams like the ones listed above have shown that fortune should change, but doesn't always happen.
The same could take place for the Packers.
We have no idea what the future holds for this team. On paper (that dreaded phrase) the current roster is built for long term success. I believe that this team will win another Super Bowl in the next 5 years, but of course have no guarantees. And that is why I want to hold onto last season just a little bit longer.
Am I suggesting that the 2011 team will collapse and start to decline? Absolutely not. Am I saying that they will fall to bottom of the NFC North? No way. What I am saying is that in the NFL, as is the case with any professional sport, things can change quickly, and we should celebrate the successes for as long as we can. That is why I believe the ring ceremony should be public.
The Packers should enjoy tonight for all that they can. In the middle of the lockout to have a celebratory event like the presentation of Super Bowl rings is something special. I wish I could be there, just to be a fly on the wall would be a memory I would cherish forever. It would be like I was receiving my own ring. I hope they remember this night forever. They may never experience it again. I may never experience another season like 2010 again. So forgive me if I want to hold on just a little longer.