The Packers are no longer the Little Engine that Could.
The release of the 2011 Packers financial data confirmed what most of us already know: The Packers are freaking rich.
This is no longer a franchise clawing and scratching to compete financially with large markets like New York and Dallas. Football rakes in a lot of cash in Green Bay, just like it does in Chicago and New England.
As Packers fans, we like the feeling we get cheering for a “small-town” team. People love the underdog, and Green Bay’s market size always made it seem like an underdog. If you still think the Packers are “small town” or an underdog, you have much different standards for both than I do.
The Packers are one of the big boys now (and have been for a while). And that’s great. Packers fans should be proud.
Thanks to community support, good management and an excellent product, the Packers have grown, and grown, and grown…
They might be not be the underdog any more, but there’s more to cheer for than ever before.
Whether it’s businesses or individuals, we have a tendency to dislike and/or distrust people or large organizations that are freaking rich. No doubt, that dislike and distrust is warranted in many situations. But not always. It’s far too easy and completely unfair to simply dismiss a person or an organization because they have a lot of money.
I see no reason to feel this way about the Packers. Sure, they are not perfect. Nobody is. But they are a real success story, something to be genuinely proud of.
It’s always more fun to cheer for the little guy. But sometimes, little guys grow up. They win Super Bowls, renovate stadiums, sell more merchandise, raise ticket prices, generate additional revenue and keep on growing. It doesn’t mean we should feel guilty cheering for the grown-up version of the little guy.
After all, why would The Little Engine That Could keep plugging along if it didn’t one day hope to become the lead car on the train?
Packers News and Links
- Mike at Packerpedia.com combs through the archives and gives us a nice profile on P Tim Masthay. It’s amazing how much better your special teams look with a good punter, explosive returner and a kicker who has finally come around. Yes, the coaching staff deserves some credit for the special teams improvement last season, but just those three positions being good to great makes a world of difference.
- Drew Brees became a rich(er) man on Friday by signing a 5-year, $100 million contract with the Saints that will pay him $40 million for the upcoming season. $40 MILLION!!!!!!! Aaron Rodgers is due for an extension sometime soon. You remember those record Packers profits I wrote about in the intro to this post? The Packers better enjoy that money now, because a good chunk of it will soon belong to their QB. Zach over at CheeseheadTV takes a look at the contract numbers for the top QBs around the NFL.
- A whole bunch of good stuff over at AcmePackingCompany.com this week. I recommend this, this, and this.
- Be sure to follow Jason Wilde’s list of the most important Packers for the upcoming season. He’s got rookie LB Nick Perry at No. 12 and rookie defensive lineman Jerel Worthy at No. 13. It’s nitpicking, but I’d put Worthy ahead of Perry. The d-line was a mess last season. If Perry flops, the Packers can at least count on OLB production from Clay Matthews. If Worthy flops, and nobody on the d-line rebounds, well…..
- Decision, decisions. The Packers might have to make a few if they want to keep their talented core together according to Rob Reischel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- The bald dude in this video previewing the Packers has to be trolling, right? Very little talent on offense besides Rodgers? Jordy Nelson overpaid? I know Bleacher Report has come into some money recently, but hopefully they’re not spending too much of it on this guy.
Non-Packers News and Links
- I know you probably can’t stomach reading anything else about the Penn State fiasco, but you really should take a minute and read this piece by Jayme over at Eat More Cheese. It’s definitely worth your time.
- I’m cracking open Jack McCallum’s new book on the Dream Team this weekend. McCallum is the man. Jeff Pearlman interviewed him here and it’s a must-read.
- If you want to read something that is beautifully written, painstakingly reported, creepy, weird, sad, strange and strangely fascinating, read this about the Piggyback Bandit.
- The Lamb of God vocalist I wrote about last week remains imprisoned in Prague. He still hasn’t been charged with anything. There’s also a White House petition you can sign here to try and bring more attention to this case. I mean seriously, this is an American in jail in another country without a charge. If he wasn’t a singer in a “scary” heavy metal band, I wonder if this case would be getting more attention. Hikers seem to have no problem getting on the news whenever they’re wrongfully arrested in some faraway land.