At this point,it really doesn’t matter who the Packers play in the playoffs. With an offense this anemic and an offensive line obliterated by injuries,the playoff future of our favorite football team looks bleak.
But,this is the NFL. We’ve seen mediocre teams catch fire and win Super Bowls before. Right now,it doesn’t look like the Packers will be that mediocre team this season,but you never know.
Let’s pretend we’re all more hopeful than we actually are for a moment. How does that feel? Being optimistic feels good,doesn’t it? Let’s stay in that mindset and ask ourselves a question: Should the Packers throw in the towel against the Vikings on Sunday?
I’m not advocating that the Packers should concede Sunday’s game and another division title,but,well,it kinda sorta makes sense.
The Packers offensive line is an injured mess. Do we want to force all those guys back out there to play through whatever ailments they have on Sunday night? Or would it make more sense to give them a week off to recover and get healthier for the postseason?
Aaron Rodgers was a tackling dummy against Arizona. He could probably use a week off,too. And do we really want him playing on Sunday night if his tackles are once again Don Barclay and Josh Walker (or J.C. Tretter)?
Speaking of injuries,another week for Sam Shields to heal would be nice. Clay Matthews has also disappeared,he could probably use a rest. Julius Peppers is old,you can’t tell me he couldn’t use a week off at this point in the season.
If the Packers lose Sunday,they would travel to Washington to play the team with a racial slur for a nickname in the first round. If the Packers win,they’d host Seattle or Minnesota at Lambeau. Washington is nowhere near as good as Seattle and not as good as Minnesota. The Packers chances of catching fire in the postseason go up,way up in my opinion,if they start out against Washington instead of Seattle or Minnesota.
“But we should try and host a home playoff game!” The Packers lost to Detroit at home and Chicago on Favre/Starr night. I don’t think homefield advantage helps them much.
“But we should try to win another division title!” Nobody cares about division titles. Nobody.
See,I told you taking next week off wasn’t a crazy thought. There are reasons beyond simply trying to avoid a playoff matchup with Seattle.
Will the Packers do it? Not a chance. Should they do it? I don’t know.
Either way,here’s to the Packers pulling a rabbit out of their hats and making some kind of improbable playoff run. Go Pack Go!
Remember when we were all kinda mad that Packers general manager Ted Thompson didn’t trade for Vernon Davis near the NFL trade deadline? Let’s take a look at Davis’s stats since the trade and compare them to the numbers put up by Packers tight end Richard Rodgers over the same time period.
Vernon Davis: 19 catches,196 yards,zero touchdowns.
Richard Rodgers: 26 catches,237 yards,5 touchdowns.
Rodgers also had one of the most memorable catches in Packers history to beat the Lions on a Hail Mary. Davis dropped a fourth-down pass last week that cost his team a shot at beating the Raiders.
Does all of this mean Ted Thompson was absolutely 100 percent correct in not trading for Davis? Of course not. Who knows what might happen the rest of this season? And who knows what type of numbers Davis might be putting up right now if he had Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball?
All I’m saying is a lot of the consternation we saw from some Packers fans when Davis went to Denver instead of Green Bay was probably an overreaction. You have to let these things play out before you grab the torch and the pitch fork.
I have no doubt Thompson did his homework on Davis and determined he wasn’t worth giving up a draft pick. So far,Thompson appears to be right.
I’ve been sitting here trying to think of a way to frame this post,and I can’t do it. Instead of trying to come up with an angle or re-telling my entire “cancer story” for the 500th time,I’m just going to say what I want to say.
Early last week I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. The prognosis is not good,but I’m going to fight like hell to try and beat it.
At first,I wasn’t in much of a fighting mood. Thinking about my 2-year-old son growing up without a father and my pregnant wife having to raise our family without me was devastating. It put me in an emotional black hole that I thought was impossible to claw my way out of.
I was discharged from the hospital on Thursday,about 5 hours before the Packers-Lions game kicked off. Despite my state,I wanted to watch the game. My wife,who is my rock and my everything,and I never miss watching Packers games together and we weren’t going to start that night.
Before continuing,let me get back to the emotional black hole I mentioned earlier. I wouldn’t wish falling into that black hole on my worst enemy. It’s an awful place. Not only did being in that black hole turn me into a sobbing,emotional,uncontrollable mess,it made me incredibly bitter.
After my initial diagnosis on Tuesday,I was wheeled on a hospital bed from the emergency room to a permanent room. Every person I saw along the way – from smiling nurses to families on their way to visit loved ones – I wanted to bludgeon with a hammer.
Why do they get to be healthy? Why can’t they be on this bed instead of me? Don’t they know my wife and I were just told that I have cancer? Quit fucking smiling. Don’t look at me. Get lost and go away.
That attitude continued into the next day. There was also a lot of crying. Check that,it wasn’t crying. It was all out blubbering. Just a flood of tears and a category five hurricane of emotions.
Then it got worse. Way worse.
On Wednesday,an oncologist informed us that my cancer had spread beyond my colon into my abdomen and lymph nodes. The prognosis was bleak. My wife looked at the guy and said we have a 2 year old at home and another due in early May. Can’t you tell us something hopeful?
He said he was sorry. I wanted to stab him with the I.V. needle that was stuck in my arm. I hated not only him,but every healthy person in the entire world. This is bullshit. Why me and not someone else?
Bitterness. Unimaginable bitterness. On top of the sadness,agony,worry,anxiety,depression and everything else,bitterness had not just crept in,it had taken over my mindset.
I pleaded with my wife to,among other things,help me get over this bitterness. It felt unhealthier than the actual cancer. My wife was a wreck herself,but because she’s the best,she started doing what she could. Seeing my parents and my pastor later on Wednesday night also helped start the process of ridding my thoughts of bitterness.
Fast forward to Thursday. Before kickoff,my wife set up a Caring Bridge page so others could follow my fight. I also mentioned my diagnosis on Facebook and Twitter.
By this time,I had seen my son for the first time as a dad with cancer. My in-laws were also at my house to help and my parents had just went home. Having my wife,parents and in-laws either with me or helping out back home during this whole mess was the first big step in ridding myself of this God-awful bitterness.
Getting my son out of his crib after he woke up from his nap also worked wonders.
Progress was being made. I was still an absolute wreck,but the giant cloud of bitterness was starting to break. Instead of being mad at other people for no good reason,I could at least start to focus my energy on the long journey ahead.
As we sat down to watch the Packers-Lions game,I opened my phone to see if anybody had commented on my “announcement.” A lot of people had. A whole lot of people. I really didn’t pay much attention to the game because 1) the Packers were playing awful and 2) I couldn’t keep up with all the well-wishers on Twitter,Facebook and Caring Bridge.
We’ve all wished someone well on social media who’s shared bad news,whether it’s health related or not. Sometimes we send prayers,sometimes a word or two of encouragement. We might not think much about it after we type the words and hit send.
Let me tell you something: They help. A lot. Really,they do. Each and every message,even if it’s the standard “sending thoughts and prayers” or “you can beat this.”
The love and support of my wife and family had already helped me make great strides in ridding my mind of the bitterness. The outpouring of support from social media – from both people I knew in real life and people that I’ve never met – also helped.
I was still stuck way,way,way deep in that emotional black hole,but my wife,my family,my friends,returning home and the social media outpouring had started me on the journey to try and get out of it. Yes,believe it or not,social media can be a good thing. Hearing encouraging words from strangers or people you haven’t seen in a long time is a great cure for excessive bitterness (not to mention an overall morale booster).
Then Aaron Rodgers hit Richard Rodgers on a Hail Mary to get the Packers an improbable win. When Richard Rodgers caught the ball,I yelled like a little school girl,“He caught it! He actually caught it!” Then some weird giggling sound came out of my mouth.
My wife looked at me and said,“That’s the first time you’ve smiled since this started.”
Yup,I was smiling. It didn’t last long,but it was a smile. I didn’t think smiling would ever be possible again. The Rodgers-to-Rodgers Hail Mary made me forget about having cancer for like two seconds. In my state,those two seconds felt like an eternity.
Another step in the right direction.
Obviously,a football game isn’t going to make me better. Neither are notes of support on social media,no matter how many there are. But combined with the efforts of my rock star wife,an incredibly loving family and ready-to-take-action friends,it’s a small piece of the complicated puzzle that,when finally together,will have me ready to fight like hell.
Fast forward to today. I’m still stuck in my black hole,but I can actually see a light above me as I continue to claw my way upward. Once I’m out of this hole,the fight begins.
And I will get out of this hole. The bitterness is gone. The depression,the worry,the anxiety and a whole bunch of other stuff is still there but my wife,family and friends are continuing to push me toward that opening above me that I can now actually see.
Get this: My 2 year old tinkled in his potty for the first time on Saturday night! He sat down,ripped a fart,then tinkled a few drops. If that’s not a pick-me-up,I don’t know what is.
This post has already gone on way longer than it should have,so I’m going to wrap things up. I wish I had some creative way to tie together all the random thoughts I just laid out,but I don’t. Unfortunately,it’s impossible to wrap up situations like this in a neat little bow.
I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting in the coming weeks and months. If you’d like to follow along as I begin this fight,check out my Caring Bridge page or find me on Twitter.
Any and all support is appreciated,especially from the CheeseheadTV community. I need all the help I can get to emerge from this black hole and fight,fight,fight.
Editor’s Note: If you would like to keep abreast of Adam’s upcoming battle,the best thing to do is check his Caring Bridge page
. You just have to create a login,nothing more. Alternatively,you can also follow him on twitter at @adamczech