I admit it. Less than 4-weeks ago, I thought both Matt Lafleur and Jordan Love were on thin ice.
Me and many of my impatient Packer fan brethren and sistren were giving up. We were doing mock drafts in October! Checking on draft position weekly. Some of us (not me) even advocated for a tank job to get the Packers high enough in the draft to pick one of the hot quarterback prospects.
Then came November
From Halloween after the Vikings loss to Thanksgiving afternoon, could the Packers outlook be more reversed? Sure, they could have beat Pittsburgh, but they also could have easily lost to the Chargers.
All it took was a 3-1 record and improved performance from the offense, most notably, the first year starting QB. Now the Packers have realistic playoff aspirations. As cool as a playoff invite would be, I’m as sure as I can be it would be a one and done. And yet, I couldn’t care less.
Empty the tank
Tanking is for losers, losing teams with losing coaches and losing management. So, clearly, tanking is not for the Green Bay Packers. The pitiful surrender of a “losing might help us” approach is not a plan, unless the plan is to extend your failure.
I’m not naïve enough to think the Packers have “arrived.” They have not. They’re still young, they’re not close to healthy and you can bet they will disappoint us more than once down the stretch.
Still, the last month of wins and, most importantly, improved performances of young players has been a bright ray of sunshine. Never mind fans outlook, what about the players and coaches? These are the kinds of games that inject locker rooms with energy, confidence, and the will to compete and win.
I’m no Packer’s historian, but a favorite Lombardi quote of mine is “Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”
The idea of tanking was never really a thing at 1265 Lombardi Ave. Tanking is what discouraged, unrealistic fans root for when they’d rather cling to the “fool’s gold” of a higher draft pick, than grind through a season with a painfully young team inflicting pain on fans every Sunday. Good teams and great fanbases fight through it. Tanking means losing and losing is a habit fans should never want for their team.