I’ve always been that guy that after a rough Green Bay Packers playoff loss that will immediately embark on the “get over it” journey. I try to be thankful for having a team that at least got to the playoffs as some aren’t so lucky as often as I am. Ever since the Super Bowl XLV Championship, when we haven’t succeeded, I’ve always thought, “there will be next year.” But 11 years later, we still haven’t returned to the Super Bowl. Aaron Rodgers is now talking of retirement year to year. There might not be a bright tomorrow. For the Packers Championship aspirations, the time is now.
This past weekend, I was watching the movie Back to the Future 2. In a nutshell, the main characters, Marty and Doc Brown were discussing their plan to restore their timeline after it was drastically altered. Marty asked Doc, “What if we don’t succeed?” to which Doc answered, “We must succeed.” For Doc, there was no other alternative to success. There was no tomorrow. It dawned on me that that’s how I kind of feel with the Packers right now. I’m done with looking to next year. Next year might not look like this year. Again, the time is now.
Some may think the Packers blew their chance last year. Who knows, they may have. But there’s no DeLorean to take us back to the 2021 offseason and maybe make some decisions that would’ve helped us out, in hindsight. Doc Brown isn’t going to arrive from 2023, roll up to Matt LaFleur tomorrow and say “It’s your Line, Matt! Something has to be done about your Offensive Line!” We have to focus on succeeding this year with what we’ve got. With no look into the future.
The Packers are currently doing something that I never thought I’d see them do. Kick the salary cap problems down the road to win now. This was unprecedented several years ago. With our front office seemingly always looking to ensure future success, I never thought I’d see the day. So, it’s more important now than ever to take home another Lombardi before that clock runs out.
This season, the team might look a little different in some areas, but this team is hungry and poised to win now. In some ways, I think this year’s team is a bit more motivated than the past. Analysts are already counting out our receiving corp. But as Sammy Watkins stated in his recent OTA interviews, he has something to prove. If he doesn’t prove that, his career may hang in the balance. Rasul Douglas and De’Vondre Campbell both received new contracts after seasons where they proved much better than their previous suggested value showed. They definitely have the chance to prove they’re not one year wonders. And I could go on with the list of young players now with huge opportunities to step up.
The success might come from a different area than Packer fans are used to. The dual running back attack of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon could help propel the offense and open up the rest of the field. The defense could be stronger than ever with Kenny Clark finally having the help he needs on the defensive line. No matter where it comes from, this team, needs to take it the distance.
It hurts to say, but we never know if we could head back into the dark ages of the 70s and 80s. This Cheesehead definitely isn’t ready to head into the dark ages without one more ring. There is no more “better luck next year” anymore. It is time to finish this season hoisting the Lombardi, we must succeed.
Greg Meinholz is a 24/7/365 Packers fan. When he’s not spending time with his family, he can be found meditating in his Packers shrine with a good beer. You can follow him on twitter at @gmeinholz.