Posts Tagged ‘Seneca Wallace’

Packer Pathos

November 30, 2013

Friday November 29th, 2013 – Milwaukee, WI

The Green Bay Packers are having one of their worst seasons in recent memory, and I find it to be a fascinating case study in human behavior whether someone is a football fan or not. They are completely unraveling as the season goes on, and have slid from heroes to bums in a few weeks.

It all started when their star quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with a fractured clavicle on November 4th in a game against the archrival Chicago Bears. It didn’t appear to be that violent of a hit, and fans weren’t in a panic assuming the usually durable Rodgers would bounce right back.

Then in the next game against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 10th, backup quarterback Seneca Wallace went down in the first quarter with a groin injury. Again, it didn’t look to be that bad but he too was out of commission. That brought in Scott Tolzien, a third stringer that played in college at Wisconsin so a lot of Packer fans were familiar with him. He performed admirably.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to win either of the two games he started, and the spoiled fans of the Packers who have been one of the elite teams in the NFL since the early ‘90s were starting to grumble from within. An entire generation of fans has grown up assuming the Pack would win.

Last week they blew a golden opportunity to beat their most bitter rival of the last twenty years the Minnesota Vikings. They are having a horrific year themselves, but no Packer fan alive feels the slightest bit of sympathy for them. They’ve also had a great run, and when I was a kid they’d traditionally thump the Pack twice a year. Any day the Packers beat the Viqueens is a great day.

Too bad it wasn’t this particular day, as the best they could muster was a tie. They had a shot to win it in overtime, but they weren’t able to pound it into the end zone from a few yards out to get the win. Fans had grown accustomed to them being automatic in those situations in recent years.

Well, this isn’t recent years, and hope is fading like the paint job on a Yugo. Yesterday was the biggest all out ass kicking they’ve gotten in decades, and it looked like they’ve completely given up in every aspect of their game. The offense, defense and special teams played like Girl Scouts.

I have been a loyal (read: stupid) Packer fan my entire life and I have to say I am not pleased to see how this year has unfolded, but on a personal level I can totally relate. I wish I couldn’t, but I absolutely do. It’s very similar to my life, and I find it fascinating to watch how it’s playing out.

Unforeseen circumstances have been the cause of the downfall, mostly devastating injuries that have wiped out their best players. It has been uncanny how many important players were lost this year, but that’s the luck of the draw. It wasn’t planned on, but now they have to suck it up and try to salvage the season with what they have left. It’s not pleasant, but nobody has a choice. It’s life in the NFL, and life in general. The fans are growing restless, and the coaches are on the hot seat.

Three years ago the same coaches won the Super Bowl and were considered geniuses. That’s a long time ago in football, and now they’re bums. I find this interesting, and it’s a character test to make due every week with depleted resources. This is exactly how my life has been since I was a kid, so I’m finding an even deeper kinship with the team this year. They’re living my existence.

It's been a rough year for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers - but at least they're getting paid. We fans are getting screwed for free.

It’s been a rough year for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers – but at least they’re getting paid. We fans are getting screwed for free.

Scott Tolzien Syndrome

November 12, 2013

Sunday November 10th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

The Green Bay Packers are living my life. They are being bombarded by one unexpected crisis after the next, and it’s all coming at once and totally out of the blue. That’s been pretty much the blueprint of my entire life, and I’ve gotten used to it by now. It’s fun to see someone else squirm.

What’s even more fun is to watch the fan base panic. Aaron Rodgers has been very durable as a star quarterback, but he suffered an injury last week and now he’s out for at least a few weeks. They were shaky at best in the backup position with Seneca Wallace, but Coach Mike McCarthy gave him his full vote of confidence last week. The team spent all week trying to band together.

Then wouldn’t you know it, Seneca Wallace goes down in the first quarter with a groin injury, and a hush fell over Lambeau Field as former Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Scott Tolzien took the field. He’d only been activated from the practice squad the week before, and was a last resort.

Lo and behold, he came in and did a spectacular job under the circumstances. He looked like a seasoned pro, and totally belonged out there. He made a couple of mistakes, but nothing to incite mass panic either with the coaching staff or the beer swilling masses who think they’re coaches.

That was no easy feat, but Scott Tolzien went in there and got it done when everything was out of control. He exceeded everyone’s expectations, and when he got his chance he was prepared to deliver. That’s very impressive, and even though the Packers lost the game it doesn’t bother me.

Life has a way of throwing curveballs, and sometimes things get hairy very quickly. I know it’s not just me, but I’ve felt like I’m the third string quarterback for most of my own life. I’ve done my best to hang in there the best I could, but there is never any sympathy from one’s opponents.

No team is going to take it easy on the Packers because Aaron Rodgers is out. In fact, they will go out of their way to make life as miserable as possible for Scott Tolzien just like they did when Seneca Wallace was in that spot. The rules of the jungle are unforgiving, and I am living proof.

I was born into a crisis situation, and had to resort to Plan B from the start. My mother took off when I was five months old, and I was sent to live with my paternal grandparents. Their plan was to find an orphanage to send me to, but they decided to raise me themselves because they were at each other’s throats and they thought it would keep their marriage together. I was their project.

Their marriage eventually ended anyway when I was twelve, and Gramps died when I was 18. Grandma had kicked me out of the house when I was 17, and I have been on my own ever since trying as hard as I can to piece together whatever a ‘normal’ life might be. I’m still wondering.

I’m not looking for sympathy, and never did. All I’ve ever wanted is a chance to pave my own way in the world and get ahead on my own merits. I’ve sincerely tried with all my might to be a quality person despite what poker hand I may have been dealt, and I haven’t always succeeded.

Warts and all, my life has been what it has. Much like the Packers, it wasn’t what was planned on but there was no choice on my part. Scott Tolzien is a man after my own heart. I can relate.

Scott Tolzien stepped onto a mine field, and left with both of his legs. Kudos to his achievement.

Scott Tolzien stepped onto a mine field, and left with both of his legs. Kudos to his achievement.