Green Bay is a unique place, and it’s not just because of its excess of beer and cheese. Green Bay is a unique football place.
Every year in the NFL, fan bases in each city have to deal with personnel situations: Ezekiel Elliott, Jamal Adams, Julio Jones — the list goes on and on. Diehards who spend their hard-earned money on tickets and jerseys are left to choose sides between billionaire owners and millionaire athletes.
Again, Green Bay is unique. Those same diehards are the owners. The shareholders. It is a special situation unlike anything else in professional sports. Because of this, nothing is ever more important than the colors. No one is bigger than the logo.
If any other fanbase had gone through the Brett Favre situation, you would’ve seen a war of opinions and takes. That’s not to say that there weren’t fans on Favre‘s side, but that number was low compared to other teams. The moment there was an issue, you had grown men all over the state crossing names off the backs of jerseys and heading to the local courthouse to change their son’s name from Brett to Aaron. It was clear that not even Brett Favre was bigger than the Packers.
Here we are again years later. The man who had to deal with the wake of the Favre drama, and did so with aplomb, is disgruntled. And although he has publicly stated his love for the fans, his teammates, and the coaches — saving his criticism solely for management‘s culture — a vast majority of the fanbase is ready to move on from him.
Spend two minutes on Twitter or a Packers message board, and you quickly understand that most fans are ready to be done with him. You find stories of local bar owners who put up a new type of beer called Crybaby No. 12. It’s insanity.
All of this backlash is because he had a concern about the organization’s direction and choices. Concern about their ability to build a team that can win a Super Bowl. That’s all he wants, to be a champion.
Tom Brady recently made some new comments that have nothing to do with Green Bay but should provide insight on the Rogers situation for those who still need it.
Brady famously made the motherf*cker comment about a team who refused to consider him as an option last offseason. Although he hasn’t revealed who that team is, he appeared on SiriusXM with Jim Gray and elaborated:
“There’s private things for me that are going to remain motivational for me,” Brady said to Gray. “They know who they are, it’s fine. Everyone has a choice to choose. I think what you realize is, there’s not as many smart people as you think. That’s just the reality. I think it’d be a no-brainer if you said, ‘Hey, you’ve got a chance to get Wayne Gretzky on your team, or you got a chance to have Michael Jordan on your team.’ . . . ‘Oh, we don’t need him, no thanks. We’re good.’
“In my mind, I’m kind of thinking, ‘OK, let me go show those teams what they’re missing.’ At the same time, let me go prove to the team that did bet on me, and the team that really showed they really wanted me, and committed to me, that I’m not going to let them down.”
Just take a second and go back and reread that. Look at how he thinks about himself. He comes off like such a jackass. He thinks he’s Gretzky and Jordan. And he is, but the fact that he’s referring to himself in that way it’s pretty douchey. But you get it. He gets to come off that way. He needs to come off that way. He needs to handle things the way he needs to handle things to be great, and he needs his organization to understand that. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got that. The team that passed on him didn’t.
That’s all Aaron Rodgers needs. So why are Packer fans so quick to assume he is betraying us. Maybe he’s actually trying to help us. Maybe he’s actually right. Green Bay is a unique place, but maybe just maybe if we stopped, listened, and as a fan base rallied behind Rodgers, he could help us make it an even more unique place.
Because if we don’t, and three years from now he’s won a couple of titles somewhere else, Love is a bust, and he’s on talk radio calling Mark Murphy an expletive, Green Bay might start to lose some of that unique shine.