What a week it has been my fellow Cheeseheads in Packers land near and far.
Starting with the draft and the retooling of the offense and the bazillion dollar extension of Aaron Rodgers to the LeRoy Butler situation, there has not been a dull moment. Kind of nice to have some football news and not have to pick on the Vikings fans for their silly uniforms (but hey, what else are the Vikings good for except two victories a year).
In looking back at the draft, which has pretty much been covered from every angle, one thing that I am noticing is how some teams, such as the Steelers, are saying they were not sold on Eddie Lacy because of his injury history. I have also been reading about why the Packers did not draft any safeties or why they failed to address this need or that need.
Am I sensing draft envy by the other teams? Could it be that Ted Thompson pulled off such a draft coup that other general managers are jealous and the only way to fight back is to put our choices down? I guess time will only tell.
One thing that makes me proud about being a Packers fan (and owner), is that you very seldom hear anyone from the Packers slamming or putting down other teams. Now there is the occasional trash talking, but that is part of the game. What you never hear is anyone putting down other teams, their players or the choices that were made. It solidifies the class that our team has and I truly believe is part of the reason why the Packers are so successful, both on and off the field.
The other big chunk of news was the blossoming saga involving LeRoy Butler. Now before I go any further I want to put this disclaimer out: This is not a political statement, nor is it a religious statement. This is my outlook on an event that shows that there is still bigotry and bullying abound at all levels of society.
It began with LeRoy sending out a tweet saying, “Congrats to Jason Collins.” Collins was one of the first professional sports players to publicly announce he is gay (Glenn Lawrence Burke who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics, is considered to be the first openly gay player to play professional sports).
The tweet was no more than four words. Words that were not hurtful or derogatory in any way, which is a stark contrast to the words tweeted by Mike Wallace of the Miami Dolphins.
Yet those four words cost Butler a speaking engagement because they offended some people at a church. We may never know exactly why these people were offended, we can assume that the people who were upset have a differing opinion about homosexuality.
In the end, LeRoy was given the choice to apologize for his tweet and ask forgiveness for his support of Jason Collins, according to the many news articles that detail the events. He refused to do so. What is ironic about this story is that his speech is about standing up to bullies and doing what is right. I guess there are some people in that church who could have used this message sooner rather than later.
I applaud Butler for standing up for his own convictions and I truly wish the Pastor of the church and the members who were so upset would come forward to explain themselves, not to be judged, but to further the dialogue on treating our fellow-man with dignity and respect. I also wish those players who came out negatively to Jason Collins would not backtrack on what they originally said, we can learn from their comments as well.
I guess in the end, for as much good as there has been on and off the field this week, there is still so much room for improvement when it comes to how we, as people, players, and teams express ourselves and our thoughts about those around us.