It is said that someone’s past never really leaves them, and that is true with my allegiance to the Green Bay Packers. The season starts tomorrow with a match-up against Da Bears, pro football’s longest and most hate-filled rivalry. I, of course, will be watching and pacing up and down in front of the big screen sipping on, of course, a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy, since it is still summer.
There has been much hype about the 2019 version of the Pack with a new coach, a revenge-motivated Aaron Rodgers and a new cast of defensive backs, linebackers and defensive linemen. The new coach, Matt Lafleur, has a pretty good reputation as an offensive guru, but there is a big difference from being an assistant coach to running an NFL team, especially in Title Town USA.
The wonderful and patient fan base in Green Bay cannot take another year of sub 500 football, in light of the fact that the Pack are predicted to be a Superbowl contender. The cheeseheads will show up for the games and pray to the gods of Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, and Paul Hornug for multiple wins but this year’s schedule is tough and there is always the fear that the offensive line will crumble and stand in shame as Aaron Rodgers is carted off the field.
It is a challenge being a Packer fan here in New England where football is king, the personality-deprived head coach Bill Belichick knows how to win and the GOAT Tom Brady is leading the Patriots. The pressure will surely be on LaFleur to produce a winner but I have that unsettling feeling that a rookie coach is no match going up against the more experienced Belichick, Andy Reid of Kansas City and Sean Peyton of the New Orleans Saints, all predicted to be somewhere in the Super Bowl mix.
So much is riding on Rodgers having a premier year with magical throws into the end zone and pinpoint accuracy across the middle of the opposing defense. It was great to hear that LaFleur is allowing Rodgers to make calls on the line of scrimmage if he sees something that needs an adjustment, a bone of contention with disgraced coach Mike McCarthy. Yet football is a game not only of making adjustments but also of warriors who can outplay an opponent for 60 minutes. We will just have to see if those adjustments made by Rodgers and those 60 minute warriors can lift the Packers.
Based on the poor performance of the Packers the last two years I am prepared for the worst, and I might have to drown my sorrows in a few Summer Shandys with perhaps a few PBRs added as well. As noted, I am not only a Packer fan, but I know what beer to drink during a game. Now if I could only get some half way decent brats out here in Patriots land watching the game tomorrow would be a pleasure no matter what the score. Go Pack