It’s been 5 years since the Miami Dolphins have been to the NFL playoffs. The Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Texans, Jaguars, and a merry band of others also have zero trophies in their case. (Oh, did I mention the Vikings?)
The end of another Packers season without the Lombardi trophy brings with it an avalanche of criticism. Was the teams’ failure due to Dom Capers inept defense? Was it Mike McCarthy’s play calling? Was it Ted Thompson’s lack of personnel choices? Bad drafts? Lack of participation in free agency?
The short answer: All of the above
But anyone who doesn’t think it’s mostly on Ted Thompson is asleep at the wheel.
Dom can’t put together a defense without beastly playmakers.
Mike McCarthy can only call plays his players are capable of.
It’s all about the players.
In Green Bay, division titles are stacked up like cord-wood and most of them have gone virtually unnoticed.
Why? Simply because the goal is to win the Super Bowl.
Being at the doorstep of great doesn’t cut it anymore.
As this translates to parenthood, it reminds me of a quote I saw one day at Starbucks (a bit cheesy I know, but it is what it is)
Don’t let the good things in life deprive you of the best.
If that isn’t the truth… Our friends, family and Parents teach us to be proud of solid achievements. They do this because they are our protectors, they want a good life for us and don’t want to see us get hurt or lose our livelihood. But as you know: to go from good to the “best” takes significant risk and/or sacrifice.
Risk like paying Reggie White a huge contract at time when numbers of that nature were unheard of.
Risk like trading a number one draft pick for some hillbilly backup on the Atlanta Falcons.
Risk like giving an aging Charles Woodson $10 million per season when no other team in the league even wanted him.
The business world is littered with similar risks, but the conservative and scared will tell you about all the business failures of people who risked it all and lost everything.
I do know this: Without risk there is no reward.
The Packers have such a loyal customer base and rich history that if they went wild and put all their eggs in a few baskets and lost, the true and understanding fans would appreciate that they even “went for it all” in the first place.
If you need an example of this can work, look no further than 2 hours south of 1265 Lombardi Ave in Milwaukee.
After solid runs at the NL Pennant, Milwaukee Brewers ownership group had to back off a bit on payroll last season. The knowledgeable fan base understood. There was limited backlash. They understand that after pushing all the chips to the middle of the table and not coming away with a championship in previous seasons meant it was time to back off and re-tool things a bit.
The Green Bay Packers last won a title in 2010. It’s now 2014. The re-tooling period has ended folks. Franchise QB’s don’t grow on trees …I realize I’m not sharing anything new here, but sometimes the obvious must be restated.
Let me be clear: I believe in Ted Thompson, but I also think it’s time that Ted and his staff stop letting the good life deprive us — the fan base — of the best.