Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens have tasted greatness


Don’t tell the Green Bay Packers or Baltimore Ravens this, but many  often say that once a player has won the Super Bowl, he becomes complacent and loses the motivation that got him there.

I can see where that theory works – I mean, your entire career is in pursuit of one thing: the Lombardi Trophy. Once you achieve that, what else is left? Individual accolades don’t seem to be enough to push a player to his highest potential.

Is that where many careers begin their eventual decline?

See, it does make sense.

I read a one-on-one interview with A.J. Hawk last night that said something completely different.

He said that once you have tasted greatness, you will do anything to get back there. Every season that doesn’t end in a Super Bowl victory is more of a disappointment than it was before you ever achieved it.

Now, THAT makes sense.

The Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens head into week six with different paths, but very similar aspirations. The Packers are in their third full season removed from their last taste of greatness. The Ravens are defending Super Bowl Champions. I know that both of these teams are hungry for another chance to hoist that trophy.

Is either team at an advantage?

I remember back to the 2011 season when the Packers posted a 15-1 record in the regular season and were the favorite to win the Super Bowl again. I was gloating ALL season long. I just had this gut feeling that we were going back – the talent level was there. Maybe the Green Bay Packers felt that way, too. We had everything going for us.

But, we were still riding the high from the previous February. Maybe the hunger hadn’t had a chance to truly sink in.

That’s where the Ravens are right now. They are still Super Bowl Champions. No one has taken their crown, the distinction is theirs. Until someone rips that trophy from your hands, it is difficult to feel pressure to get it back. They are also playing with a completely gutted interior. Some of those guys are struggling to attain their first championship, so the pressure isn’t necessarily to “defend” a title in which they had no part.

The Green Bay Packers, however, are STARVING. They know that the clock continues to tick, seasons continue to rise and set, and that players aren’t getting any younger.

The time is now … the Packers have tasted greatness and every single year that passes without it, the urgency rises. I think that puts the Packers at a significant mental advantage this coming Sunday. They aren’t coming in to defend anything. They aren’t coming in to stay unbeaten. They aren’t coming in to prove that they haven’t lost a step.

They have one mind, one heart, one motive: Bringing home another Lombardi Trophy, one game at a time.

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