Friday, November 30, 2007

Some good news from Irving

Despite the Packers getting bitch-slapped by the Dallas Cowboys last night, there was some good news for Green Bay fans.

Mainly, the fact that the Sunday School Teacher is no longer on the sidelines. He is someone else's
problem now. (Hmmmm, could the relative proximity of Irving to College Station have had something to do with the re-emergence of Bad Brett? I would not ignore that possibility.)

Just two years (plus 2 games) ago, another blogger* wrote.
"I'm going to tell you the facts, gentlemen, and the facts are these: At Green Bay, we have winners. We do not have losers. If you're a loser, mister, you're going to get your ass out of here and you're going to get your ass out of here right now. Gentlemen, we are paid to win. Gentlemen, we will win."
- Vince Lombardi

Something has clearly changed about being a Green Bay Packer over the years. When Mike Sherman talks about his 2-8 Green Bay Packers, he says they've done some good things, are dealing with devastating injuries, and really hope that they'll do better next time. As I watch Mike Sherman fumbling with his note cards on the sidelines, it makes me wonder, What would Vince Lombardi do?

Vince Lombardi taught us that being a winning organization was more about attitude and hard work than personnel. When he came to Green Bay, he turned a group of losers into a team that worked harder, prepared better, and expected to win every game. It wasn't that Green Bay had the greatest players in the league, but the Lombardi attitude turned them into the greatest team in the league. The players became champions because of what their coach and then they themselves came to believe. They were winners, and they paid the price and had the attitude to make it happen.

Mike Sherman is not that kind of guy. He comes off like an accountant in his numbingly boring and uninsightful interviews. He seems to suffer over losing, but also seems to be prepared to live with it. His interactions with fans and the media are wooden and full of platitudes. I'm sure he probably gets mad sometimes, but I can't imagine the experience would be very inspiring. What does he expect from his players? Well, he says he was disappointed in this guy or that play, and moves on to the next week where the same thing happens over and over again.

They will eventually win some games, but the Super Bowl will never again become a reasonable possibility without a dramatic change in attitude. Mike Sherman is clearly not the guy to make that happen.

"Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all-the-time thing.
You don't win once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing."
- Vince Lombardi

No excuses from Coach McCarthy following the loss, and he benched two under-performing players. He's more like Vince than Sherman.

From 8-20 in 2005 and early 2006, to 14-2 from the end of '06 until yesterday.
Under the leadership of the Evil Genius and The Kid from the Sou' Side the Packers have come a long way. Even after the beating in Texas the following is true.
  • The Packers' record is 10-2
  • They lead their division by 3-1/2 games
  • They control their playoff destiny for a first round bye and second round home game
All of this was beyond anyone's imagination in the fifth year of Mike Sherman. Now that he is gone, the Super Bowl is a reasonable possibility.

That news is good enough for me.

*I cannot remember the blogger, but he wrote a lot of fantastic posts. I made a Word doc of this one and posted it on my office wall. Let me know if this rings a bell.

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