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PG"s Tony Walter column: It's a new ballgame for fans

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by PWT36, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. PWT36

    PWT36 Cheesehead

    Apr 15, 2005
    Tony Walter column: It's a new ballgame for fans
    Green Bay Press-Gaxette -September 6, 2008


    Regular, schmegular!

    Anyone who wants to believe that the Packers’ 16-game schedule fits into a category with any of the previous 89 seasons is entitled to that opinion. But this is an uncharted football sea we are preparing to sail and we’re taking a national audience along for the inaugural launch.

    There have been football seasons when expectations have been sky high and those with knee-high expectations. But this one begins in the shadows of the undeniable wrack and ruin of an offseason in which the normal business of collecting and discarding players was eclipsed by the drama that practically produced a fan civil war.

    Yes, we talk again about Brett Favre, the man whose teeter-totter summer has helped lead some to the peculiar position of still pledging allegiance to the team at Lambeau Field while caring about the ups and downs of the quarterback for a team named after aircraft.

    One thing should find consensus. Favre’s performance Sunday in Miami and Aaron Rodgers’ execution against Minnesota on Monday should not be cause to issue the final judgment on Packers General Manager Ted Thompson’s tenure.

    While it’s true that careers can often be defined by a single action — say Chuck Mercein — they also are owed the courtesy of having both the results and the full body of work considered when the retirement epitaph is written.

    In other words, jumping to any conclusion at midnight Monday is jumping recklessly.

    The country will have a new president before loyalists to either Favre or Thompson should find a soapbox to begin an “I told you so” chant.

    What the Packers and their fans are facing is the discomfort of change. It’s nothing novel.

    The team, since 1992, has changed coaches, radio announcers, the look of its stadium, its president, its bathroom space, ticket prices, and even the local disc jockeys who thump pre-game and halftime gimmicks.

    It’s just that the Packers split from the other 31 professional football teams by enjoying the once-in-a-lifetime luxury of not having to change quarterbacks for 16 years, a situation so rare that too many who claim loyalty to the team might have forgotten that all things come to an end eventually.

    If it is conceded that No. 4’s work here will go into the books as legendary, as it should, then the first steps into the football future without him must also rate special, not regular, status. In the backwash of this most unusual summer hovers this strange mood among the faithful.

    There is a cure, of course. It’s the same thing that Packers fans did when they got ready to watch games without Michalske, Hutson, Canadeo, Hornung, Lofton or Butler.

    They took a seat in the stadium. They gathered in front of the TV in the family room. They tuned to the right radio station. They paced, they prayed, they ate, they donned their Packers shirts, they cursed, they drank.

    Somebody grab a football so we can have a kickoff.

    Editor’s note: Chuck Mercein was an unsung hero during the Packers’ game-winning touchdown drive in the Ice Bowl. Mike Michalske, Don Hutson, Tony Canadeo, Paul Hornung, James Lofton and LeRoy Butler are all enshrined in the Packers Hall of Fame.

    Tony Walter is a columnist for the Press-Gazette. .
  2. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

    Apr 23, 2006

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