True story: The Packers fan who organized this past weekend’s trip to Lambeau Field printed out 10 copies of RandBallsStu’s most recent “Increasingly Lost Season” with the intention of passing them out at Sunday’s tailgating session and letting me explain it. But he forgot them at home. I’m not sure if that was a blessing or a curse, but here I am alive and well. So there’s that.
In any event, if you aren’t familiar with the ILS, it’s a concept born out of a series of Tweets by @RandBallsStu, an idea by your humble proprietor and a sick thirst to rile up Packers fans for no good reason. This is a rich time for ILS content, so Stu will continue, tongue-in-cheek, to explain the Packers’ misfortunes as they inevitably tumble into Randy Wright-esque putridity. Stu?
As mentioned in this space last week, the best possible result for Green Bay on Sunday would be to lose to the lowly Lions at Daunte’s House. This may have seemed counterintuitive or wrongheaded to many of the green-and-gold faithful, but to be fair, when you’re disrespecting moments of silence, taking the longview on a desperately needed rebuilding process is probably beyond your reach.
Now, though, as the grim reality of the 2015 season has slammed into Green Bay with the force of a shanked Mason Crosby kick, perhaps more will be ready to hear the truth: It was the best Packers game of the year.
No longer will anyone pretend that this is a dangerous team, much less a Super Bowl contender. No longer will anyone pretend that the undersized Aaron Rodgers can rally a ragtag group of receivers to another NFC North title. No longer will anyone pretend that a defense more interested in auditions than audibles will be able to bail out an absent running game and dreadful special teams. The Lions gave Green Bay every chance to take this game, and the Packers, correctly, said, “No, thanks.” A rough, necessary accounting is now underway, and the slow, painful rebirth has finally begun. When Green Bay is good again in 2022, historians will look back on this game and remark, “This. This is where the lies ended.”
Some will no doubt disagree, and say that, while this was a shameful display of football (I’ll concede that point), there is still time to turn this around. Denial is strong and has an undeniable pull. To them, all I can offer is that, when you drown, after the initial panic, a calm acceptance allegedly sets in, your body resigning itself to the unknowable deep. To put this in football terms, YOU JUST LOST AT HOME TO THE LIONS. Let the waves wash over you. Let go.
Or, if you’d rather, you can’t spell “wild card bubble team” without “Jared Abbrederis.”
This week, the Packers travel to Minnesota and take on the resurgent, NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings. One might assume that this is a critical game for Green Bay, and offers them their last, best chance to steer out of 2015′s skid. In an increasingly lost season, the only hand at the wheel is a long-delayed meeting with the future, and his name is Teddy.