There have been volumes written about the negative impacts of the NFL lockout- the loss of face time between players and coaches through OTAs and such, but not much written about the celebratory aspects … The fact that last season’s Super Bowl-winning Green Bay Packers have been locked out of the fun.
Team quarterback Aaron Rodgers said in an interview with media last week in preparing for a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Calif., that it hasn’t been an issue for the players.
He said they “had a great get-together” in Green Bay a couple of weeks ago when the NFL gave them special dispensation to gather as a team for the presentation of the Super Bowl championship ring. All of the accounts and pictures streaming from the event make it pretty clear that they had a great time … And rightly so. That was the last time that specific group of individuals will be in the same room at the same time.
Questions swirl around what will happen with Mason Crosby and Cullen Jenkins, as well as Brandon Jackson … Will any or all of those players be back in the fold for another run with the team? Will they move on? Will their days of celebrating as members of a championship team be over?
That all remains to be seen.
So, while the team has been able to at least gather together for one celebration, it’s the fans who have been left out of the celebration. Less than one month after the Packers won the Super Bowl – an event that united every fan, and even the occasional fan living in the state of Wisconsin – the state’s citizens were driven apart once more – this time politically. The hurt and political stress of the times brought national attention once more, but not the kind we relished. Once again the joy of a championship was pushed away. Add in the actual NFL lockout that followed and you’ve got a recipe for total championship amnesia.
So, how do we fix it? Well, we get back to football. We get the damn CBA signed, we get the free agency period under way and we get teams into camp!
But there is one other celebration that the Packers have got to slip in before all this is to occur … Before teams start the annual trek to their respective training camps, the Packers MUST get on an airplane and make the annual trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with the president at the White House.
Of course, this year’s trip is of utmost importance because of a promise made by Charles Woodson and the rest of the Green Bay Packers following the NFC championship last January. If you remember, President Obama, a staunch Chicago Bears fan, said he would go to the Super Bowl if the Bears were to play.
Well, we all know that the Packers beat not only the Bears, but went on to win the Super Bowl.
And as Charles Woodson promised following the Packers win over the Bears that if the president wouldn’t go see the Pack play in the Super Bowl that the team would go see him after winning the big game.
Unfortunately for the fans of the Green Bay Packers that hasn’t happened yet because the NFL lockout prohibits teams from gathering together.
Well, if there is dispensation provided to allow the team to gather for the ring presentation, the league should surely allow the team to take the trip to see President Obama.
They not only owe it to the team to make the trip, they owe it to the fans who have suffered the most through this celebratory drought. How we would love to see the president Bears fan proclaim the Packers the best team in the world. How we would love to see Charles Woodson hand him a signed #21 jersey and for the team to come together just once more in the country’s symbolic home.
Not only would it make Packers fans from across the world beam with genuine happiness, it would provide closure on one of the greatest team seasons and one of the league’s greatest seasons.
The league owes us this one …
Then everyone can get on to their goal of the coming season … To win the Super Bowl.
What’s great about that is in order to achieve that goal, they’ve got to defeat the world champion Green Bay Packers … It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?