Monday, December 26, 2005

With respect to The Doors...

"This is the end...". A great and haunting song by The Doors. Not so great when applied to the feeling many Packers fans have after yet one more loss at home, one more game filled with missed opportunities and turnovers, one more almost-but-not-quite comeback. Da Bearz looked liked and played like the Packers used to; the Pack looked and played like Da Bearz used to.

Actually, you could see the difference before the kickoff even took place. Cameras showed Da Bearz coming through the tunnel onto the field and they looked pumped, the body language was energetic. Cut to the Pack coming down the tunnel: heads were down, shoulders almost seemed slumped. To their credit, the Pack played much better than that initial impression would have led one to expect.

If there was any bright spot to yesterday it was that the ViQueens were knocked out of the playoffs in the late game vs. the Ravens.

One more week of a season to forget. The Seahawks come to town and will take a win back with them to Seattle as they get ready for the playoffs. Then the post-season analysis begins...or perhaps continues, as the season in effect ended months ago. The off-season will offer fans the opportunity to vent on coaching and player changes, and speculate on the upcoming draft (see this story for more). As it would look now, the Pack will get a top 5 pick, but could drop to a couple spots depending upon game outcomes next weekend. The draft won't fix all the things that are currently broken with the Pack, but it does give fans a sense of optimism. The Pack has a lot of money available under the salary cap going into next year to sign the players they want to keep, bring in free agent upgrades, and make whatever other personnel moves they feel will help bring the team back to its rightful place at the top of the NFC North. The biggest boost the Packers will get, though, is getting back the 17 players -- one-third of the team in effect -- that at one time or another were on the injured reserve list for this season. That in itself will win games. The rest should be gravy.

2006: Da Bearz are one and done, the ViQueens will continue in their usual muddle, and the Lions will flounder as long as Matt Millen is GM. C'mon, Packer fans! Looking at the future through Green'n'Gold-colored glasses is just the remedy we need for a season to forget.