15

July

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sunday with no Packers football.

Surviving Sunday with no Packers Football

The Packers are no longer the Little Engine that Could.

The release of the 2011 Packers financial data confirmed what most of us already know: The Packers are freaking rich.

This is no longer a franchise clawing and scratching to compete financially with large markets like New York and Dallas. Football rakes in a lot of cash in Green Bay, just like it does in Chicago and New England.

As Packers fans, we like the feeling we get cheering for a “small-town” team. People love the underdog, and Green Bay’s market size always made it seem like an underdog. If you still think the Packers are “small town” or an underdog, you have much different standards for both than I do.

The Packers are one of the big boys now (and have been for a while). And that’s great. Packers fans should be proud.

Thanks to community support, good management and an excellent product, the Packers have grown, and grown, and grown…

They might be not be the underdog any more, but there’s more to cheer for than ever before.

Whether it’s businesses or individuals, we have a tendency to dislike and/or distrust people or large organizations that are freaking rich. No doubt, that dislike and distrust is warranted in many situations. But not always. It’s far too easy and completely unfair to simply dismiss a person or an organization because they have a lot of money.

I see no reason to feel this way about the Packers. Sure, they are not perfect. Nobody is. But they are a real success story, something to be genuinely proud of.

It’s always more fun to cheer for the little guy. But sometimes, little guys grow up. They win Super Bowls, renovate stadiums, sell more merchandise, raise ticket prices, generate additional revenue and keep on growing. It doesn’t mean we should feel guilty cheering for the grown-up version of the little guy.

After all, why would The Little Engine That Could keep plugging along if it didn’t one day hope to become the lead car on the train?

Packers News and Links

  • Mike at Packerpedia.com combs through the archives and gives us a nice profile on P Tim Masthay. It’s amazing how much better your special teams look with a good punter, explosive returner and a kicker who has finally come around. Yes, the coaching staff deserves some credit for the special teams improvement last season, but just those three positions being good to great makes a world of difference.
8

July

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

The Green Bay Packers are huge in Oregon.

If you’re too lazy to click on the link, it basically highlights how a recent poll showed that most Oregonians cheer for the Packers over the nearby Seattle Seahawks. This doesn’t surprise me. The Packers are the greatest team ever. Everybody should cheer for them.

Unfortunately, not everyone realizes this. On July 4, Deadspin asked which sports team is the most American. They shouldn’t even have to ask. It’s the Green Bay Packers. And it’s not even close.

What’s more American than having a professional football stadium next to a K-Mart? Instead of being surrounded by fancy clubs and five-star restaurants, the area around Lambeau Field boasts local pubs that serve beer and fatty foods that are dipped in batter and deep-fried. People tailgate before, during and after Packers games. In the stadium, you don’t sit in a cushioned seat with a back rest, you sit on old-school metal bleachers.

Packers fans wear Styrofoam cheese on their heads. And blaze orange deer hunting gear.

This is America, people.

I know the Packers are no longer the Little Engine That Could. They’re a large, rich organization that is trying to squeeze every last dollar they can out of their fans and customers, just like every other NFL franchise. But I don’t care. They’re still located in Green Bay, Wis., population 104,057. They’re still small-town in my book.

The Packers are about as American as you can get.

(Note: I realize that not all Packers fans are cheesehead-wearing, fried-food eating, beer-swilling bumpkins. I’ve been on vacation all week and I’ve drank a lot of beer and eaten a lot of bad food, so that’s the sector of Packers fan that I’m identifying most with at the moment.)

Packers Links

  • There was another must-listen interview on Green & Gold Today this week. This one was with former Packers president Bob Harlan and is more than worth your time.
  • One of the things that Harlan discussed is steps Favre could take to get back on the good side of Packers fans. John Rehor shared his thoughts on the subject over at Dick’s Favorite Blog.
  • Mike at Packerpedia.com takes a look at Ted Thompson’s compensatory draft picks.
  • Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press Gazette thinks the Packers will keep seven WRs.Seven WRs?!?! The Packers have kept a ton of TEs and FBs in the past. Maybe WR is the position group this year that keeps an extra player or two.