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Dominant ideology and it's affect on being a fan...

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by evad04, May 14, 2007.

  1. evad04

    evad04 Cheesehead

    Apr 30, 2007
    If you managed to read the gigantic title of the thread, I guess that means you might actually care to read what I have to say. You might think me stupid, you might disagree. I guess all I'm really asking for is that you consider what I have to say before you disregard it.

    Okay. I'll first start things off with admitting guilt. I am part of the [soon to be mentioned] problem. I take part in it. That said, I've become acutely aware of my involvement but more importantly the negative effects of the problem. I'm admittedly a hypocrite, but I'm trying to change my ways.

    So what's the problem? In this day and age we are too quick too judge. We are too quick to judge in part because we have more information at our disposal and this information comes to us faster than it ever did (or rather, "could"). The internet allows for a constant exchange of information (authentic or not) that is disseminated to the masses with amazing speed. Something that happens in Sri Lanka (if big enough or deemed "newsworthy" enough) will be on the wire within moments. In this example, we may be imparted with previously untold information about, in this case, Sri Lanka. How great is that, right? What can be bad about being aware of things we heretofore would not know about [if technology didn't allow us to]? Well, simply put, it could be bad because that hot button news about Sri Lanka will often lack any truly insightful analysis. It's meant to be read over quickly. In addition, if John Q-article reader doesn't already know something about Sri Lanka then he or she won't likely make accurate sense of what's going on. Nonetheless, they'll store the article's information away in a special part of their brain, and call it up if necessary.

    So let me try and draw a parallel to how this relates to "being a fan". We now have, at any one point, a multitude of different websites, all generating an absolute messload of information about our teams. We have player interviews, scout, coach interviews, columns, editorials, specials, rumors, qualified insights, predictions, evaluations, mock drafts, ad infinitum. We, as fans, take great interest to what these articles (or videos, etc., you gete my point) include. We seek out such information, I think, because of our desire to be up to date, to get the inside scoop, and most simply, because we care about our teams and we find that the attainment of such knowledge is inherently good.

    The problem is, however, we're often ill-equipped to make sense of it all. We apply different standards to different types of information. We're quick to give credence to something that supports our already defined position; we typically disregard something that's incompatible with what we believe. We have trouble tying relevant information together (which, in our defense, can be difficult. One report says this, another report says something else. There's a connection between the two, but we're so bogged down by the influx of information, we forget to apply an analytical mind and connect the dots). Also, we're at a disadvantage because the system of information is constantly moving forwards, and rarely corrects its own errors. A report says one thing today, another thing tomorrow, but doesn't usually provide a solid, objective answer; there's another story to get to tomorrow, so why bother? This leaves us with a problem that has 3 causes, maybe 2 of which have already been accounted for, but we don't know it because the newest bit of information fails in pointing out the erroneous nature of previous reports (okay... that was admittedly a TERRIBLE sentence. Do you still get me?). I can give a decent example for this one. League sources reported that Randy Moss was unequivocally unwilling to restructure his contract with the Packers. Another report stated that the Packers weren't able to make the deal because the management was unwilling to give up a 4th round pick. Favre then comes out and says that it wasn't just that they didn't give up the pick, but rather, that they wouldn't pay him the money (and that Moss indeed willing to restructure and wanted to play in Green Bay). So what do we do with this messload of contradictory information? We quibble with each other, we zone out the information that's not palatable to our preconceived ideas of what's right, and we deflect blame. We never really know what the truth is. Was Moss willing to make it happen? Did TT drop the ball? Was Moss only going to restructure for a contender? Did Favre REALLY demand a trade?

    We don't know these answers. We do have this great outlet for information (mostly via the internet) but we're not prepared to use it constructively in many cases. It's not all on us, as stated; the system itself needs to improve. Nonetheless, the crux of what I'm trying to get at is this: it's changing what it means to be a fan. It used to be that being a fan was fairly simply defined: you rooted for a team, joined in community with others who did the same, and you put a cheese hat on. Yet now, we have so much information at our disposal, we have such a need to get things first and become inebriated with new reports. And I think this is hurting us.

    What did people probably think 17 years ago when Holmgren and Wolf made the trade for Favre? They gave up a 1st rounder for what was then an overweight, unexperienced 2nd round pick. What would we be saying if this forum (and a well populated internet populace) existed back then? Would we have called for TT's job (or made vitriolic attacks about his ability, his intentions, and his character)? What about if we were Cowboys fans from 30 years ago (God forbid)? What would we think of Landry in his first few years when the organization was the dregs of the league? I guess we'd probably have some of the same arguments; however, due to what would probably have been a lack of information (or rather, an absence of an information OVERLOAD) we would HOPEFULLY reserve judgment. We'd take the "wait and see" approach rather than the childish, self-righteous, know-it-all, won't-budge-from-my-stance, gotta-see-results-soon bullshit that is so unbelievably pervasive in our society (on this forum, in America, in most of the Western world, maybe just ingrained in humans altogether [sorry if that sounds fatalist]).

    I just gotta think there's a better way of goin' about things. We all, on this forum, want the same thing. Yet, we claim to stand divided on a bunch of topics. We can't resolve our disputes rationally, we call each other names, blah blah blah. I don't know what the answer is, but I think it starts with being patient. And that's hard. Because every time a new interview comes out, or an insider report, or a nasty rumor shows its ugly face, we think everything has changed. Well it hasn't.

    Let's see where this thing takes us. Let's wait and see if these players turn out to be any good. Let's see if we can, as fans, stop exacerbating this internal shitstorm. We don't want a damn Packers "Civil War", but I promise you, if the debate about the Packers becomes one simply reduced to TT and Brett Favre... we are hopeless.

    So... I dunno... this went on forever. I guess I should say that I think we should try to simplify things. Remember what makes us fans. Remember that reports and scouting and interviews happen everyday, but come September the really important stuff starts: they go play football games.

    Knowledge is a public good and its widespread accessibility is critical to the cultural, economic, and political development of the citizens of an open, democratic society. But we aren't so knowledgeable anymore. Instead, we're just overcome with information. Let it soak in, really think about things, try to remove your emotions and pre-conceived ideas, and THEN have an intelligent debate.

    [...steps off of soap box...]

    And like I said, I'm part of the problem too. But I'm gonna try and change my ways a bit. Maybe you should do the same.
  2. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

    Aug 15, 2005

    ill read this later and comment on it. you obviously took time to write that up.
  3. Green_Bay_Packers

    Green_Bay_Packers Cheesehead

    Mar 30, 2007
  4. yooperfan

    yooperfan Cheesehead

    Dec 4, 2004
    In my mind you are right on the money.
    You obviously put alot of thought into this and did a fine job of putting it all together.
  5. net

    net Cheesehead

    Jun 3, 2005
    Here's the proverbial rub: would you prefer to return to the pre-Internet times?

    1) It's not going to happen.

    2)Your opinion above probably would exist to anyone on this website.

    Having thought much of this through long ago, I concluded it's better to have the info than to not have it. With all the info comes judgement. Yes, at times, too quick. But 'dems da times, as they say.

    How short is too quick to judge? Lombardi came in and had the team in the NFL championship game within two seasons. Anyone sniffing the Lombardi Trophy next year at 1265 Lombardi?

    Regarding the Packers the team has always had this kind of buzz around it. When I first started getting interested in them in the '60's, the Lombardi players all had "rumors" around them. The team was the talk of the town, everyday. What has changed is folks like all of us can talk about them to a wider group.

    The argument you make above about the information being unfiltered is specious. Before the internet people were ticked at the media filter. Now the filter is removed by technology, but you either believe or not believe websites. It all has something to do with the credibility of the author. Jay Glazer, as an example, makes it a profession of breaking news stories based on fact. I tend to believe what he says, based on his record.
    Even the best get it wrong sometimes, but overall, the legit media(dissed by the Internet sites) works to get it right, contrary to what some think.

    Even with all the 'info' we still don't know the day-to-day and probably never will. The problem with football is the long off-season. Baseball is off about 100 days, basketball about 4 months...but the off-season in football goes on for six months, then there's only about 20 games to watch. We all get bored with the inactivity.

    The one thing that has changed since the '60 is the fan. The fans today have less patience, and that's a GOOD THING. The fans from the 70's to the 90's tolerated one bad team after another. We did our best, I was at the exhibition game against the Broncos where the Packers fans started cheering for Denver. It got that bad under Bart Starr's coaching reign.
    But the media was forgiving, and without the Internet and other attention, everyone just sat on their hands.

    A bit of impatience by the fans is a good thing. TT thinks he's a genius and can run the show HIS WAY. Well, we'll see if that happens to our satisfaction.

    I'm quick to judge that being quick to judge is a good thing overall for a franchise that hasn't seen much winning recently. This is the way the fans in New York have been for generations and it is now just coming to Wisconsin. But the ultimate judge is the results.

    So far, under Ted Thompson and his two coaches the team has won 12 games in two years. Prior to Ted's arrival, the reviled Mike Sherman had a consistent winner.

    Go figure.
  6. MassPackersFan

    MassPackersFan Cheesehead

    Apr 18, 2007
    If anyone thinks the team Thompson inherited from Sherman was a solid winning team that could continue its success into the future, you're wrong. He gutted the team with aging expensive FA's that didn't pan out and drafts that were borderline laughable. At least now I like the core of our team and feel they have the ability to be something good.

    This "12 games in 2 years" generalization is crap. The team he got from Sherman won 4. After a year's effect of his rebuilding took place that went up to 8. If you see a 100% improvement in your team over a year, what possible reason could you have to clump the two years together and say we're not going anywhere?
  7. evad04

    evad04 Cheesehead

    Apr 30, 2007
    I appreciate comments, fellas. I did have a lot to say, and I think that what I have to say relates to a set of other important discussions.

    net- I see what you are saying. But I think you misunderstand me. I'm not asking for a return to old times (and I'm on board with you in recognizing that going back just isn't possible). What I'm trying to argue, though, is that we have to make the necessary next-steps with the [abundance of] information we receive.

    The example I tried to illustrate in my post, I think, makes sense. There are so many rumors flying around about Moss/TT/Favre. VERY FEW, however, have been substantiated; nonetheless, we fans don't think twice about inserting these unsubstantiated claims into our arguments and as defense for our biased positions. The rumor mill is playing the role of cannon fodder.

    We have to drop back a second and say, "Wait... now that more information is coming out it appears that 1.) Favre did NOT demand a trade, 2.) Many league sources have reported that Moss wouldn't restructure with TT, and that's why the deal didn't go through".

    We can analyze the situation from one perspective and say, "Yeah, well, he wouldn't give up a 4th rounder" or "Favre said that they could have gotten [Moss] but wouldn't pay him the money". That information does exist, in some form. The problem is that said arguments seem to lack consistency and reliability. THAT SHOULD MATTER! Is it probably that Favre knew EVERYTHING about the inner workings of the deal? Are we really supposed to believe one man's words over an abundance of confirmed league reports that all said that Moss went to New England ultimately because HE felt he'd have a good chance to win there (and for THAT very reason he restructured his contract)? I don't know... but I think if we, again, drop back and take our emotions and predispositions out of it, we'll hopefully arrive at the same conclusion:

    -What we saw from Favre's comments is likely an emotional response from a great player, who feels a bit entitled due to his tenure and short window of oppurtunity. Favre is a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, and doesn't hold back in telling you how he feels (one of his best qualities).

    -There is probably more truth in the Moss/TT not being negotiated on grounds that Moss was unwilling to restructure. Sure, TT didn't make the necessary offer, but if he knew Moss wouldn't restructure, a deal wouldn't make sense (anyone think Moss would be worth 9.75 million a year?)
    Whew. I've officially exhausted this topic, but I hope that my methodology is clear. We should sincerely try to analyze what bits of information seem to be most truthful, and adjust our positions accordingly. It's tough to do, because there's SOOOOO much information coming at us. But it's not altogether impossible.

    Thanks for reading.

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