As the Packers and Cowboys competed to see who would get the shit kicked out of them in Seattle next week (the Packers won, which I am glad of, for it fills next Sunday with the possibility, however remote, of joy) I kept going back to this:
It wasn’t always like this. It wasn’t always Discount Double-Checks and Lambeau Leaps. There was a time when the Packers were a sorry excuse for an NFL franchise, an embarrassment to the memory of Vince Lombardi.
From 1968 through 1991, the Packers had four winning seasons. They qualified for the post-season twice and won exactly one playoff game. They went through more than 30 quarterbacks, some of whom seemingly had no idea how to throw a forward pass.
BITCHES DON’T EVEN KNOW. Every mopey fan who sees in every Rodgers incompletion a horror beyond imagining (and calls for McCarthy’s firing on WTMJ every time the Pack don’t make the Super Bowl) has NO IDEA what it was like to show up every week to watch your team lose by six touchdowns. EVERY WEEK.
After Jerry Tagge, Jim Del Gaizo and Scott Hunter combined to throw for just 1,480 yards in 1973, Devine mortgaged the future by trading five high draft picks to the Los Angeles Rams for 34-year-old John Hadl.
Yes. The man, the myth, the legend: John Hadl. This was the team I grew up with. This was the joke: “Why doesn’t Milwaukee have a professional football team?”
“Because then Green Bay would want one.”
That wasn’t something Bears fans said. That was something Packers fans said. But we still tune in to the sports shows after a big game and find people complaining.
I mean Jesus on a toast point, if the Packers get worked by Seattle next week, the drama is going to be unbelievable, even with Aaron Rodgers looking like a wounded deer out there, wobbling around on one foot and stone cold throwing it to “oh, fuck it, somebody’s gotta be there” and still somehow making it happen. People will be acting like a loss late in the playoffs when your quarterback can barely cut his food anymore is something to be ashamed of, when most of the NFL has been off selling Amway for weeks now.
After two 8-8 seasons, the Packers went 4-12 in 1986, thus becoming the first team in franchise history to lose 12 games in a season. Gregg resigned after the team went 5-9-1 in 1987.
Lindy Infante, who had coordinated Gregg’s offense in Cincinnati, was hired in 1988 and the Packers went 4-12 again. The next year, led by quarterback Don Majkowski, they won 10 games for the first time in 17 years.
But the euphoria did not last long. In Infante’s final two seasons Green Bay went a combined 10-22.
Yeah, let’s complain about the quality of the play these days.