It may be cold and frozen in the confines of Lambeau Field, but the NFL off season is heating up! CBA negotiations and voting are taking place between the owners and players union as we speak. Like any negotiations we shouldn’t be surprised if they get contentious. The owners prepared an offer (which I’m sure you’ve all seen by now) and should be voting on it soon, if they have not already. It appears the players may not have been very fond of what they saw on social media. Their comments I read were not very favorable. The NFL Combine begins this week, with interviews and skills testing in front of the 32 teams. The NFL Free Agency and Draft will not be far behind. For the NFL sports fanatic this is akin to an NFL smorgasbord. I can’t wait to see Brian Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur and his staff in action!
The Packers didn’t waste much time on resigning PK Mason Crosby to a 3 year, $12.9M deal. Well deserved and earned in my opinion. There are several other Packer Free Agents that we are waiting to hear some news, like Blake Martinez, Jimmy Graham, Lane Taylor and Brian Bulaga, among others. Their fate will be determined by how they affect the team’s CAP. From that group Brian Bulaga has the best chance to return. Wide Receiver will most likely be addressed in the draft, along with another OLineman/Dlineman. During Free Agency we may see an Inside Line Backer on the Packer’s radar. The Packers, unfortunately cannot spend anywhere near what they did during last season’s Free Agency. GM Brian Gutekunst did not rule out picking a QB if the value/talent is available when they pick.
Considering our Sports teams in Wisconsin, I see a common thread throughout all our teams both college and professional. It seems to me that winning records are more important than winning championships. Take the Packers for example, they have had back to back First Ballot HOF QB’s over 30 years and have 2 Championships during that time. All we hear is, we should be happy with winning seasons. To one point this is true, I’d rather be the Packers than the perennial losing Browns. But, isn’t the goal of every team to win championships? It appears the Packers organization has settled for winning over championships. Maybe Gutekunst/LaFleur will change that culture and emphasize winning championships. The Wisconsin Badgers MBB and FB have suffered the same fate, many winning seasons, but no championships. At what point do you tell recruits, come to Wisconsin to win a National Title (Women’s Hockey the exception). Then we have the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks, same story, they win, but not when it counts toward a championship. Are we Wisconsin sports fans to blame? Do we now accept consistent winning seasons over delivering championships? Are we now satisfied with “it was a great year,” instead of “We Won the Champioship!” I’ve been a Wisconsin sports fan for six decades and I prefer championships, they are much more gratifying than making excuses. “Just win baby!”
Let’s hope the culture in Wisconsin sports is changing. I think I see some changes in the attitudes of our teams leaders, a little more cockiness, more fire in the belly. This may change the fate of Wisconsin sports, we may soon see some championships coming our way. Great players want to play for great teams and teams that are consistently in the hunt for titles. Let’s get behind our teams, cheer them on, but constantly remind them, we want to see championships.
As Always, Go Pack Go!
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter