It happens every year, but this year, things will be different. The Packers have always been the biggest bandwagon team in the NFL, but this year, the Packers bandwagon will be unbearable. You’ll hear sportswriters, commentators, and analysts throwing around phrases like “Cinderella story” and “underdog”. Both true cheeseheads and the folks that chose to follow the Packers as a playoff team will delight in the fact that their 7-loss team has rallied after not being able to field Clay Matthews, Aaron Rodgers, and Randall Cobb for key midseason games.
“We’re a long shot”, they’ll say. “We field an exciting team with a lot of youth, and Eddie Lacy has really come into his own”, they’ll say.
Imagine if the Miami Heat lost Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh for a couple of games, then proceeded to make the NBA finals when they returned. You’d hate it. You’d hate the smarm, the feigned humility, the faux-underdog attitude adopted by a team that has always been really fucking good. It wouldn’t even be a surprise, because of course a team will start winning games when its better players are actually, you know, playing.
And so it was that Green Bay would defeat the Chicago Bears to ensure a spot atop the NFC North, a division full of teams hell-bent on collapsing at every critical moment, and somehow be seen as a long shot playoff contender based on the team’s record and not its talent.
Here’s a fun game: Ask anyone wearing an Eddie Lacy jersey this coming week when the last time the Packers won the Super Bowl was. I guarantee most of them will tell you it was in the 90’s instead of 3 years ago in 2011. The Packers organization has somehow transformed the image of their team to one of a talented-but-middling team, instead of a team that consistently plays in the NFC Championship game and has won more league championships than any other NFL organization to date.
I used to be a Packers fan. They were my first team. I loved watching them play– they seemed unstoppable on the field. My little 8-year old self loved the logos and the colors, and would listen to the announcers tell me I should be madly in love with this team. And I was.
This is why you should all hate the Packers.
Because every single year, no matter what, the Packers will have a Clay Mathews, an Aaron Rodgers, or a Brett Favre on the team, and every year, asshole children will gravitate towards them, picking the Packers as a favorite team for no other reason than the fact that the announcers always seem to create a cult of personality around Packers superstars.
And then the asshole kids grow into asshole adults after watching their favorite team winning for decades on end. They get jobs in middle management and wear Brett Favre jerseys to the office whenever the Packers play on Monday. They treat their employees poorly after a loss because they don’t know how to deal with their team losing. They go home after work and post on message boards about how Brett Favre should come back, or how Brett Favre should coach an NFL team or how Brett Favre was Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Favre Brett Brett. And then, after their team loses like, 4 games, they’ll take a look at the sad, resigned faces around their office. At their dejected employees wearing Browns, Bills, or Lions jerseys. They’ll remember how those employees, after their team won, came in to work truly happy, did their job impeccably, and went home with a smile on their face.
And that’s when a Packer fan realizes that the only way he or she can be truly happy is to downplay the achievements of the team, to wipe away the wins, and act like their team is just another NFC North heartbreak factory. Because that way, they can expect losses, even if none come. They can pretend as though the Clay Matthews FatHead ads aren’t the dumbest fucking things ever. They can pretend that Brett Favre isn’t their fault.
Fuck it, forget every other reason I wrote. You need a reason to hate the Packers? Just remember that Brett Favre is their fault. That shit like this is their fault.
Fuck the Packers.