I almost laughed out loud the first morning I turned on the local sports radio show when I woke up in Tarpon Springs, Florida two weeks ago. I could have swore the guy on WDAE was talking about Ted Thompson and the Green Bay Packers. The fact that the Bucs let Santonio Holmes go to the Jets for a measly fifth-round pick put the local morning man over the edge. Talk about a home-away-from-home feeling. It felt like Groundhog Day.
Dan Sileo, the morning guy on WDAE simply could not believe the Bucs not only refused to grab Holmes but was livid with the Bucs lack of activity in free agency. They simply are not trying to win, much like the way general manager Ted Thompson is perceived here in Green Bay. Cracked me right the f?*#, uh, cracked me right up.
If I was a Tampa Bay Buc fan I would be worried too. Unlike the situation in Green Bay where Thompson has built what appears to be a perennial playoff team in his five years as general manager, the Bucs are doomed to failure since firing the two guys who lead them to greatness; John Gruden and Bruce Allen. Packers’ fans can feel secure knowing Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy aren’t going anywhere, there won’t be a rebuilding project every two years in Green Bay.
This week is Thompson’s week to shine, he has built this team through the draft and has been pretty damn successful so far. But the stakes are higher now that the Packers are once again a playoff team. Getting to the playoffs now better be a given, advancing in the playoffs must be the next step. Another draft like last year’s and the Packers might even have higher expectations.
The week I spent listening to the Tampa-St. Pete sports guys made me appreciate the men we have in charge in Green Bay more than ever. The Packers’ off-season really starts this week with the draft. Now we go.
I’m back baby!