Week 1. The Packers host the Chicago Bears for what would be my first Packer game at Lambeau field. Its true, I grew up a Packer fan in Wisconsin and never once been in the stadium.
All my life, I’ve heard about Lambeau being being the mecca of the NFL. A stadium incomparable to any other, simply the best. I often wondered what it would be like, post-Favre era. But in all reality, I didn’t care. I didn’t care about the stadium, all I cared about was the team and how they were going to win as a team.
The Packers knocked the Bears off with a 21-15 win. A grand experience, regardless the fact there were so many smartass Bears fans. I was proud of my Pack, and delighted to see a standing ovation for Aaron Rodgers and the team.
The win came with its problems. Everyone…everyone pin-pointed our troubles on Allen Barbre. No one else was to blame. All Barbre, all the time. It was a leak that needed to be plugged for Week 2.
Unfortunately for us, we found the Packer basement flooded. It was brutal as well as frustrating last Sunday against the Bengals. We found nothing worked. Passes dropped, penalty flags thrown, quarterback sacked, and we face-planted on the wrong side of the score. We realized that these problems were more than just Barbre, who a week ago the media and fans lambasted. He played reasonably well compared to everyone else. I found Aaron Rodgers losing confidence in his line, his recievers, and eventually himself as time expired.
My brothers who went with me to the game at Lambeau also watched it with me this past weekend. We rarely get together these days as we live far apart, but the Packers have brought us together. This weekend, we felt let down. I spent hours being mopey more than usual after a Packer loss. Like any other, I knew the sun always rises the next day. It still didn’t stop me from wanting to hit the panic button.
The panic button. It’s the button that button the Vikings fans push too often, and its the button the Packer fans rarely ever push. When you know your team goes 0-4, you push it. When your star player falls to injury, you push it. When everything you thought right goes wrong, you push it. It is simple. I seen across the interwebs that every Tom, Dick, and Larry was pushing it for the Packers. I was too.
Giving it a few days, I realized something: It was the first time the Packers have lost as a team.
I stand by this statement. I could be wrong about this, but it is something I finally realize after a few days of sobering up. All these years, the blame has lied on individuals, fundamentals, defense, offense, Ahmad Carroll, coaches, coordinators….the list goes on. Last year, we blamed the defense for our woes. Sure there a few outspoken individuals who place it all on Ted Thompson for the lost to the Bengals, but I think a majority of the Packer nation don’t agree, and the players don’t agree either.
Nick Barnett was irritated with fans after the loss for this celebration. I understand where he is coming from and how emotional he is. Greg Jennings yelled at the officials, not once, but twice. Greg Jennings doesn’t strike me as a guy to raise his voice, and it was different that he would, but I understand. Aaron Rodgers had a tone of voice, and was the first to criticize the entire team, and I understand. Mike McCarthy seemed more frustrated about the team than simply ‘pad level’. I understand.
They–more than probably us fans know–that this Packer football team is better than what they have showcased these past two games. You can blame the media-hype of the preseason. But the Packer players are blaming themselves instead of each other.
Oooo shit, here he comes!
The 3rd-and-34 is bad. They know it.
The 5 sacks is bad. They know it.
The first loss is bad, and they know it.
We are all shell-shocked. But, now I see a fire burning in each player. I’m not going to compare this team to another team. I’m not going to compare this season to another season. As Aaron Rodgers said, Charles Woodson played his ass off. He was in on every play, and he knows this team is better than what they show.
More than anything, a team that goes down together is going to rise together.
I don’t mean for this post to be preachy, uplifting, or cheesey. I’m not trying to tell you ‘don’t panic’. I just want to convey how I feel right now. My disappointment has turned to hope. I think we needed this loss more than anything. Our 3-4 isn’t going to be our savior. Aaron Rodgers isn’t going to pass our way to victory. This is a young team yearning for something more than a perfect record. I could be wrong, but I know that I am not. There is 14 games left, That’s 14 chances to win, not 14 chances to blow.
I can’t tell you if we are going to march into St. Louis and blow them out of Edwards Jones stadium. But, I can bet that the Packers are going to fight with a passion we didn’t see last year, win or lose.
Make sure and check out Westley's blog. Some good, good stuff there.