You might be a begrudging Green Bay Packers fan if you take their winning ways for granted. Did you think Mike McCarthy should have been canned for conservative play calling during that cutting loss to the Seahawks in last season’s NFC Championship game? Did you think defensive coordinator Dom Capers should be dumped after defensive errors led to that last minute loss?
If you answered “yes” to either question–and this will soon make sense—it’s quite possible that your date of birth has something to do with this “Packers-always-should-win” mind-set. Yet, for younger and older Packers fans alike, a loss like this will stick forever. This devastating loss turned into mild depression for at least a few weeks for most Green Bay Packers fans.
Since 1992 to the present, the Green Bay Packers have been “the bomb.” Under Mike Holmgren, Ray Rhodes, Mike Sherman and Mike McCarthy they have compiled an impressive regular season record of 234 wins against 133 losses and 1 tie. The Green Bay Packers have made the playoffs 17 times over this booming 23 year period, and are 18-15 in these playoff games.
Since 1992 the Green Bay Packers and their fans have been on a long, fun ride. During this era of plenty, Green Bay Packers fans have only known two long standing starting quarterbacks: Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. They have known only three General Managers: Ron Wolf, Mike Sherman & Ted Thompson. The Packers have won 3 and lost 3 NFC Championship Games and are 2 and 1 in Super Bowls during this time. How lucky we are to be Green Bay Packers fans during this “Green and Golden Era.”
In fact, the 2015 training camp hasn’t even started and a mountain of hype already surrounds the Green Bay Packers. Fan expectations are sky high and Vegas odds have the Packers winning it all. All before a single game has been played.
Let’s pretend the Green Bay Packers don’t meet these high expectations for whatever reason. Say the Green Bay Packers start the 2015 season with 3 wins and 3 losses rather than 6 wins and 0 losses as some predict– but the Packers get it figured out by the end of the season to win the NFC North —only to lose another heartbreaking NFC Championship Game in 2016. What will you do when the game is over? How will you feel weeks later?
Save your complaints about Packers miscues, Thompson’s inability to sign splashy free agents or McCarthy’s conservative play calling. Instead, if you truly do bleed “Green and Gold,” remember just how lucky you are. Save those letters and phone calls for another day when a “Packers Playoff Drought” may hit again. “Drought? What Packers Playoff Drought?”
The “Packers Playoff Drought” that lasted from 1970 through 1991, when the Green Bay Packers regular season record was 124 wins against 180 losses and 7 ties; a ton more losing than winning. Unlike today’s fan, who has experienced gobs of thrilling Packer victories, frustrated fans in the ‘70’s and 80’s were growing tired of Green Bay’s losing ways and the long playoff championship drought.
From 1970-1991, the Green Bay Packers appeared in the playoffs only twice. Two times in 21 seasons is a far cry from 17 times in the past 23 years. Question, if you were alive back then would you have been the avid fan you are today, if you had to endure this nasty drought?
During this time frame, the Packers hired 5 head coaches/general managers: Phil Bengston, Dan Devine, Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg and Lindy Infante. The Packers started 18 different quarterbacks during this dark time period before Brett Favre took over the reins in 1992 and never looked back: Bart Starr, Don Horn, Scott Hunter, Zeke Bratkowski, Jerry Tagge, Jim Del Gazio, John Hadl, Jack Concannon, Don Milan, Lynn Dickey, Carlos Brown, Randy Johnson, David Whitehurst, Randy Wright, Anthony Dilweg, Blair Kiel, Mike Tomczak and Don Majkowski all had a chance to be that savior. In 1992 Don Majkowski was seriously injured in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Brett Favre took his place and the rest is history.
If you lived through this “Packers Playoff Drought” you are more than a satisfied Packers fan these days. Just to be in the playoffs nearly year after year since 1992 is gratifying enough, but, of course, those Packers fans always hope for a Green Bay Packers win. Regular season game or playoff, we all want to win.
The older Packers fan is somewhat special. These fans know all too well what it is like to miss out on the playoffs for years on end. Setting greedy expectations aside, they are simply more than thankful to even make the playoffs. Their appreciative attitude is “after the Packers make the playoffs, whatever happens, happens;” but, of course, a Super Bowl victory would be “neato and cool.”