I’ll admit it, I’m a sentimental guy. I don’t *reflect* with regularity but after the Packers officially locked up the #1 seed by vanquishing the divisional foe Vikings, I found myself looking inward.
What a treat this 2021 season has been. Filled with drama, intrigue, stellar play and lots of W’s..all you could ask for from our most cherished form of entertainment (okay, it’s more than just entertainment).
Speaking of intrigue..
QB Aaron Rodgers has begun to fuel speculation that he may walk away from football after the season.
Cue the groans from those who lived through Brett Favre’s years of retirement waffling.
Rodgers has sounded for the better part of two seasons like a guy on a farewell tour. Talking about being grateful, being present, talking about how “special” Green Bay, Lambeau etc. are.
Ain’t that the truth. Nothing lasts forever, and Rodgers appears to be feeling his playing career mortality.
Rodgers has turned into somewhat of a controversial figure in recent history, but I think all Packers fans can take away something from Rodgers sense of gratitude and living in the moment.
We are incredibly spoiled. Not to say that the team hasn’t earned all the wins, accolades and trophies over the years but there are so many teams and organizations left perpetually on the outside looking in.
Organizations that can’t sniff a .500 record, let alone the playoffs
Organizations that may make the playoffs but have never have made a Super Bowl appearance
Teams that have made it to the big game but couldn’t win it
Franchises that were once proud but have been in the basement for a generation
As Packers fans in the last 30 years we’ve had to experience…none of that!
Winning culture is a term that’s a bit of a moving target, but when you see it, you know it.
I have a close friend who is a Jacksonville Jaguars fan. Can you imagine? All that premium draft capital, all that cap space, a desirable locale (at least in comparison to Green Bay) and nothing but losing.
At risk of falling off of my high horse, I know that much of the Packers success over the last generation is attributed to two men. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.
If Rodgers does indeed retire or move on, I understand how quickly the script can be flipped when you’re trying to fill the most important position in the sport.
But I have the utmost confidence that an organization rooted in putting a winning product on the field will exhaust all avenues to do so.
Green & Gold & Grateful
I have to pinch myself from time-to-time that an NFL organization, whose historical threads are woven into the fabric of the league, resides less than an hour from where I’ve lived my whole life.
An organization in a comically small market that’s won, just, ya know, 13 world championships.
As Packers fans we love to rib Vikings fans that we don’t hang NFC North Division title banners, we just want Lombardi’s. But, it’s easy to take all the winning for granted.
Each win this year has felt special in it’s own right.
It’s okay to be grateful for what this team has done in the regular season this year. Or last year. Or during Rodgers tenure.
However, I’m not only looking backward. I think it’s important to pause for a moment to take in all that the team has accomplished this year in particular.
The potential to sweep MVP/Coach/Executive awards at seasons end.
Securing the one seed with a game to spare
Being Vegas’ odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl
Battling injury all year and still managing to post the best record in the NFL
All truly special feats, but let’s cap it off with winning the big one again.
If the Packers fall short of another Super Bowl win this year I’ll be upset, maybe even morose for a bit, but you can bet I’ll be ready to buy the ticket and take the ride next year.
If Rodgers ain’t on it, that’s okay too.
You can follow Adam on twitter at @adamjcarlson28.