While watching the Packers roll by the Bears Sunday, 38-17, Green Bay Nation was given cause to rejoice.
Aaron Rodgers looked like Aaron Rodgers, carving up the terrible Chicago defense. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb looked like the All-Pro wide receivers they are expected to be.
Punter Tim Masthay stayed where punters should stay – on the bench.
So while watching (with some Bears friends of mine) and wearing my Packers gear, I found myself less than enthused.
A Packers’ thrashing of the hated Bears? An opportunity to openly mock and deride Jay Cutler? A huge divisional win on the road?
Yes – all three happened. But still, my emotions did not take over. I did not rejoice. I did not dance at the Packers’ success.
And why? Because I don’t believe in this Packers team. I don’t think this is a team that can contend for a Super Bowl title, and as a Packers’ fan, that is the ultimate goal for me.
Some other teams’ (Bears, Lions and Vikings come to mind) fan bases would be content with a playoffs appearance. I get that. After years of mediocrity at best, these franchises want to cling to any glimpse of postseason magic.
But for the Green Bay Packers? For Packers’ fans?
This is not the way things are supposed to be. This is not what we should be watching. Seeing a team give up 496 total yards? That’s not OK. Seeing a team get the benefit of a THISCLOSE call at the end of the first half that would have changed the entire complexion of the game? Still not OK.
We are Packers fans. Our quarterback is Aaron FRICKIN’ Rodgers (yes, I am well aware his middle name is Charles, aka Chuck). So we shouldn’t look like a mediocre team – in victory or in defeat. We should be in the class of the league.
But – as I feared last year, and will continue to believe until proven wrong – this is not a team that belongs on the field with the 49ers or the Seahawks. Those are the teams the Packers should be competing with, and while I understand it’s only the first week of October, I don’t see any reason for this to change between now and December/January, when it really matters.
Glad the Packers got a win. But I’m just not excited about it.
Mitch Nelles, aka Thunder, is a long-time resident of the Milwaukee area with some serious Wisconsin roots.
Born and raised in Boston himself, Mitch brings a bit of a coastie attitude to his fandom. He moved to Wisconsin in 1990, where he attended Nicolet High School and the University of Wisconsin. His grandparents and entire mother’s side of his family were born and raised in Milwaukee (yes, serious roots).
Mitch has worked for the Wisconsin State Journal, Milwaukee Bucks and 540 ESPN in Milwaukee/100.5 ESPN in Madison, serving as the co-host of “Homer & Thunder” for the past eight years.
Also very active in the community, Mitch has emceed and auctioneered events for Make-a-Wish, Variety of Wisconsin, Russell Wilson’s personal foundation and The Guest House, just to name a few.
Mitch was in the crowd when the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, when Wisconsin played in the Final Four this past April and when Ron Roenicke inexplicably pitched Shaun Marcum in Game 6 of the NLCS in 2011.