And now for something Packers related.
I might be a couple days late on this, but I wanted to make sure I’d get the final word.
In 1997, the Packers drafted Brett Conway; I was 15. I loved Brett Conway. He was hott – yes with two t’s – and clearly he could kick; all Wisconsin Badger fans remembered him from his college days at Penn State. To me, Conway’s legend was everything; we NEEDED him on the team. Then the preseason happened, and guess what, the kid couldn’t get the ball through the upright to save his life. People were calling for his head, and in my 15 year old haze and admiration (read = pure obsession), I wanted to hear none of it. “We are the Packers” I’d say. “We don’t just give up on people.” I think back to that time and I laugh now. As a 15 year old, madly in love with a man’s dimples, my juvenile approach to the business side of football was mildly acceptable. Hearing this same type of logic from grown packer fans today regarding Al Harris, is less excusable.
The fan, the homer, in me would love to hug him and ask him to stay around and watch games with me. That’s also the voice of my 15 year old self who still clings to the hope that someday Brett Conway will play a major role in my life. My real voice, the one not hindered by unadulterated fan love, realizes that while having been a great member of the Packers for years, there is a logical argument for his release. He is older, coming off of a knee injury that seems to be taking longer than expected to heal. He is a competitor who loves to play and be on the field, and I question right now how much we need him in a starter’s role. The Packers and Al Harris are just not a good fit right now. That is not the Packers fault; it is not Al’s fault; and no one “owes” anything to the other. It doesn’t matter how long a player’s played for you or how many times they help you deal a crushing blow to Matt Hasselbeck; be it an unproven rookie or a committed veteran, this is a business. The 15 year old in me is saddened deeply by his departure; the 28 year old in me is excited beyond words for the Packers defense and its potential.