With the 2014 NFL draft right around the corner [though it was moved from late April to early May] — the long, arduous offseason for every team, including the Green Bay Packers, is finally winding down. I don’t know about any of you, but the time spanning early February to draft day feels quite barren.
We fumble through combine snubs, flubs and studs. We fill our heads up with the stats of all the eligible draftees, joining in on the mass speculation that goes along with big boards and mock drafts. We turn our attentions to free agency to quench our insatiable thirst for NFL football and all the drama that it brings.
With all the excitement (and I use that term loosely) drawing to a close, the tangibles become more clear. In early May, our teams will be flooded with young talent and aspirations will be higher than ever.
This is the fun time — this is the time to LOOK AHEAD.
There are so many things that I am looking ahead to for the Green Bay Packers.
One of the most scintillating: FAIL MARY [2.0].
The NFL released the list of contending teams earlier in the offseason. The Packers and Seahawks will be at it again in 2014 and I know it’s going to be circled on the calendars of every fan sporting green and gold. There are a couple of things that our recent history implies:
- It will be a featured game — Thursday, Sunday or Monday night. The NFL loves to promote these grudge matches, and what better way than to let it play out in primetime?
- It will be a season opener or a late season spectacle with playoff implications. Think about it, no enemy has been greater to the Packers than the San Francisco 49ers, as of late. We know it, they know it and the NFL knows it. In typical fashion, the Packers opened and closed with the 49ers for nearly two years straight. It isn’t a coincidence. Yes, playoff pictures play out as they may — but season openers that turn into season closers are drama, drama, drama and it’s good for television. On a related note: it’s also very bad for pre-existing heart, anxiety or stress conditions.
- It will come down to the wire. Yes, of this I am very certain. While I would love to say that the Packers will take this opportunity to completely redeem themselves and blow the Seahawks away — this kind of rivalry doesn’t work like that.
So, with the little that we know of the upcoming season, we know this: it is going to be big, it’s going to be costly and the whole world will be watching.
I am a little intrigued, especially with all the offseason changes. The Seahawks are coming upon a very challenging time, as Russell Wilson approaches the end of his rookie contract. In 2015, the man is going to get paid … big time. Couple that with the fact that most of their Super Bowl Champion defense is still playing for nickels and dimes, times are about to be tough in Seattle. Golden Tate, Red Bryant, Walter Thurmond, Chris Clemons and Sydney Rice are all gone. The “Legion of Boom” (or what’s left of it) will realistically only be playing together until time and money run thin.
I, for one, am happy that we have the opportunity to play the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks and not the decimated Seahawks of the future. In order for the Green Bay Packers to have their revenge, it has to be now and it has to mean something.
I’d love nothing more than to have 15 seconds left in the game, NFC Championship title on the line and the ball in Aaron Rodgers‘ hands. I’d love to see Richard Sherman jump an option route and to see Randall Cobb streaking down the sidelines into the endzone with Earl Thomas clinging to his shoulder pads. I’d love to see the ball fall into Cobb’s sure hands in slow motion, Sherman and Thomas grasping at air as they both stagger to the turf.
As time expires and Cobb toe-touches in the corner of the endzone, the refs will signal “touchdown” in unison, and the announcers will joke lightly about the “touchception” of 2012 and how Aaron Rodgers doesn’t accept interceptions as touchdowns.
I’ll be the first to tweet out a photo of Golden Tate and Richard Sherman watching the Super Bowl from the couch; underneath it will read:
WHO’S MAD NOW, BRO?