by Bill Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Are you becoming the kind of fan that you hate?
For years, it was the other guy: Bears fans, Cubs fans, Cowboys fans, Michigan fans.......
They were rude, arrogant, spoiled, entitled...all the things you weren't as a Packers fan, right?
Now go and look at yourself in the mirror. Have you become that guy?. When you hear fans of other teams talk about how obnoxious Packers fans are, are they talking about you?
It's bound to happen when the team that you follow is good, and with the exception of a few blips, the Packers have been good for 20 years. 20 years means that most of the fans in their 20's and early 30's have no idea what it's like to be bad. Nothing wrong with that. Don't let anyone fool you, being bad sucks. It's no fun to be a laughing stock, especially when the two chief rivals of your team, the Bears and Vikings, are good. There is no honor in being a bad team.
Two decades of winning has spoiled the fan base.
I understand that the ultimate goal is to win championships. The Packers did that two years ago. Last season, they appeared to be on the fast track to repeating. In spite of a porous defense, the Packers rolled through the regular season at 15-1, the best record in the storied franchise's long history. Aaron Rodgers was the NFL MVP and the leader of a record setting offense.
Then, the Packers lost to the Giants in their first playoff game.
Disappointment is understandable, but some of the reaction of Packers' fans, and the media that cover them, has been embarrassing. Some fans demanded that Ted Thompson immediately go away from his successful draft and develop formula in favor of quick fixes through high priced free agents. When Thompson didn't explore this high risk low reward option, many fans expressed their disappointment through social media. One that I saw went as far as to say "It's gonna be a long year." When I pressed him on his definition of a "long year" he said no better than .500.
I know this is an incredibly small sample, but they were 15-1. Mario Williams must be the greatest player ever if he would make that type of difference.
The Packers were 9-7 in 1992. They signed Reggie White and improved to...9-7 in 1993. The move would obviously pay huge dividends down the road, but the point is that moves are not and cannot be made solely for the short term. Fans want short term fixes. They rarely work in the NFL. Look it up.
Speaking of social media, another example of poor behavior by Packers fans is on Twitter.
Not all of you, just some of you.
Some of you believe that while you can have your own Twitter account and tell the world everything from your kid's latest Nobel worthy exploits to the humorous aftermath of your eighth Schlitz on Friday night, your favorite Packer writer doesn't have that right. For some reason, you believe that, even though Twitter is free, the beat writer for your favorite team should only concentrate on what you're interested in. Anything beyond what you're interested in receives an immediate rebuke. "How dare you Tweet anything other than Packers news!!! After all, you belong to me!!!!" If that doesn't work, you threaten to "unfollow" the beat writer for your favorite team. You could just unfollow without any hoopla, but this way the world can see your extreme displeasure. Hopefully, the threat of losing such a devoted and valued Packers fan will make the beat writer change his ways and customize his Tweets to meet your specific needs.
You sound like a swell guy.
After the Packers lost, it wasn't just the writers that incurred the wrath of certain Packers fans. Packer players, who aren't required by anyone to maintain and use Twitter accounts, became the targets of cowardly attacks from "fans" suddenly blessed with giant beach muscles thanks to the internet and anonymity. Some even went as far as to attack Jermichael Finley's wife. You know what they say, "It takes a big man to anonymously kick a woman when she's down." (boy, it sounds even more cowardly in print. Good sentence, Bill!!!)
We are living at a wonderful time. The Packers are one of the NFL's best teams. As long as Aaron Rodgers, Ted Thompson, and Mike McCarthy are around, it looks like those good times will last awhile.
We also have access to more information than ever before. It's not just Packers writers. Fans can now communicate with national writers and reporters, even certain players and coaches. Fans have more access than they've ever had before, and most of it is free.
Don't screw it up. Don't be a jerk.
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