Much has been said recently in the national media about the Packers lack of an owner and the effect it has on the Aaron Rodgers situation. And once again their views of the Packers could not be further from the truth. These uninformed talking heads never take into account the Packers situation as the only major professional sports team in a small city and how that effects every single decision they make. For the Packers to survive in the NFL they have to do things differently.
With a population of 104,777 Green Bay is a fraction of the size of the rest of the NFL cities. Thriving in a market this size is quite different than it is in New York or Los Angeles or Chicago. The Packers were on the verge of collapse when Ron Wolf took over as general manager in 1991. After winning Super Bowl II the Packers became the laughing stock of the league for all of the 70s and most of the 80s. A visit to bet-michigan back then would have found the Packers at the bottom of the barrel each and every year.
It was so bad that teams would threaten to send players to Green Bay if they did’t play better. It was pretty much Siberia of the NFL, a city of 50,000 people and they are all white (white racists using today’s terminology). The team sucked, the facilities sucked, the stadium was outdated. There were rumors the NFL was beginning to think about how to get the Packers out of the league, mostly likely by dissolving them and adding an expansion team. Thanks to Wolf, they didn’t have to go that route.
Since the turnaround began in 1992, the Packers have built one of the most successful and respected franchises in the NFL. With only a few down years scattered in they have been Super Bowl contenders pretty much every year. They have put together a winning formula that is meant to keep the team competitive each and every year. They are not about to risk putting a losing team on the field for five years just to win a championship. They want a championship contending team every year.
The Packers have rebuilt Lambeau Field into a 80,000 seat monstrosity and the Titletown District is a beautiful multi-purpose facility that is immensely popular and adds to the tourist attraction that is Lambeau itself. The Packers need asses in the seats and people in the district and fielding a losing team year after year won’t cut it.
To do this the Packers have to make tough decisions, especially when it comes to aging veterans. The Packers are never going to be an old team that will eventually have to do a full rebuild. Not the way they operate. And no one player is going to change that. If the Packers didn’t back down to beloved fan favorite Brett Favre, they sure as hell aren’t going to back down to Rodgers, who may or may not even be liked by his teammates.
To continue to survive and to thrive, the Packers must continue business as usual. If that means losing Rodgers a year or two earlier than planned, then so be it. Brian Gutekunst has built a solid team and had the balls to take Jordan Love last year knowing the head case that Rodgers is. If Love succeeds that move will be right up there with Wolf trading for some unknown gunslinger nobody ever heard of.
The Packers organization is in good hands without an owner. They have been a model franchise going on 30 years now. If that chick don’t want to know, forget her.