It’s my last Thursday Morning Ramblings column before I take a few months off during draft season, so I figured we may as well go out with a bang.
Last week, I spent the entirety of the column talking about all the things I was thankful about in this Packers season that was. Now that I’ve got the mushiness out of my system, it’s time for one last extended edition of TWO MINUTES’ HATE before the offseason begins. And this time, our target is the entire 2020 NFL season, and the Green Bay Packers themselves.
Let’s break it down and talk about all of the lowlights of this year.
Before the season started, there were a lot of questions about whether the NFL would make it through the entire season, given the ongoing spread of the coronavirus pandemic. While the league miraculously made it through the season without having to schedule a week 18 or cancel games entirely, the way the league handled the pandemic was suspect at best.
Teams like the Tennessee Titans, which openly flouted COVID protocols, and the Ravens, who had a coach infect half the team, didn’t see any sort of punishment from the league. In fact, the league bent over backwards to reschedule their games, screwing over other teams in the process.
Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos were forced to play without a single available quarterback, the 49ers were forced to host a Thursday Night game without half their team and the Browns were forced to play a playoff game without their coach, all because the NFL had no actual plan or standards for how it would handle COVID infections.
By the way, that Ravens coach was back working with the team at the end of December. Seriously. Dude should be blacklisted for life.
It should come as no surprise that Roger Goodell, who has completely dropped the ball on every single high-profile disciplinary challenge of his career, utterly failed to fairly manage the pandemic in a way that would maintain a competitive balance in the NFL. But that doesn’t make it any less pathetic and detestable.
Yes, the NFL still managed to get through the season. But it quickly became apparent the league’s plan for COVID entering the 2020 season was “close our eyes and hope it goes away.” Absolutely no excuse for that from an organization with finances and power that the NFL has.
Also, never forget Kelly Stafford comparing Michigan’s stay at home ordinances to a “dictatorship.”
THE INEVITABILITY OF TOM BRADY
As the good Kris Burke mentioned on Twitter several weeks ago, we had to sit through the entire mess that was 2020 only to see Tom Brady go back to the Super Bowl?
There’s not a soul alive outside of Pats and Bucs fans that wanted this. Not a one. Even I, someone who actually enjoys Tom Brady the player (Tom Brady the person can get bent), cannot think of a worse way to cap off the season than Brady celebrating a seventh Lombardi with the Bucs.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU HAVE TO PROVE?! Just go home, man. Nobody likes watching you any more. We’re so damn sick and tired of the “Brady is the GOAT” discourse. Did you really have to take a shit all over the silver lining to 2020 that was supposed to be the NFL season?
FAILED TANK COMMANDER ADAM GASE
One of the more hilarious lowlights of 2020 has to be the saga of the New York Jets, a team that for three months looked like it had a cakewalk to 0-16 and the top pick in the NFL draft (presumably to be used on the uber-hyped Trevor Lawrence), only to accidentally win a couple games and completely blow it.
All year long there had been so many theories that Adam Gase’s employment persisted entirely because he was the chosen tank commander for the team. Surely there was no other reason the team would’ve wanted to maintain him past some of the rougher stretches of the year, right?
Instead, the Jets choked away their chance at taking a potential generational talent. They even suck at being terrible.
THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
We see you, Dan Snyder. Hiring good-guy Ron Rivera and having Hallmark-Movie-in-the-Making Alex Smith on your team doesn’t cover up the fact that you fostered a culture of sexual harassment and assault, and that you yourself have been accused by numerous women of improper behavior.
You don’t get to score goodwill by finally ditching your racist mascot as a distraction. And that’s exactly what it was–you didn’t even have a plan for renaming the team. It was a pathetic desperation move by a despicable creep whose shady past is hopefully, maybe, finally starting to catch up to him.
The man should be stripped of his team Donald Sterling style, but that won’t happen because the NFL owners group is a boys club that protects its own.
THE GREEN BAY PACKERS
I spend all season long devoting Two Minutes’ Hate to the Packers opponents. To wrap up the 2020 season before I head into a brief hibernation, it is time to make the Packers the final subject of Two Minutes’ Hate. Here are a few quick hits.
The only thing Mike Pettine loves more than a three man rush with soft zone coverage is ignoring persistent calls from his head coach and team leadership to call more aggressive schemes.
Which comes first, Jordan Love starting a game for the Packers or fans shutting the hell up about the team not drafting a receiver in the first round? Trick question, both are never gonna happen.
Speaking of Packer fans and the 2020 draft, you can pick out the dullards by tracking how quickly in arguments about the draft they bring up the name Patrick Queen.
Brain Gutekunst could move heaven and earth to bring every member of the All Pro team to Green Bay on vet minimum deals and people would still say he didn’t do enough to give Aaron Rodgers a Super Bowl when the Packers inevitably choked away another NFC Championship.
The Packers could take the synthetically developed genetic blend of Jerry Rice, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens in the first round in 2021 and fans will just focus on being pissed that Gutekunst didn’t take random University of Wisconsin white guy in the fourth round.
Packer fans be like: OPEN UP THE STADIUM AND LET IN FANS! DON’T TREAD ON ME! Meanwhile, they’re packed nuts to butts in Stadium View Sports Bar without masks, screaming their faces off and spewing COVIDidiot droplets into each other’s faceholes. And you wonder why northeast Wisconsin was a COVID epicenter?
This team was on a collision course with a Super Bowl championship until recently pardoned Lil Wayne decided to make a hype video. The universe could not let that stand.
The last time the Packers had a good special teams unit, half the staff of this site was in Kindergarten.
I love this team too damn much for my own good.
Thanks to the folks at Game On Wisconsin for having me this season. See you all in a few months.