There is never a dull moment when the Bears-Packers rivalry comes up in conversation. Although, things are getting weird as we approach the Week 1 showdown between Chicago and Green Bay. And, frankly, I’m into it.
I’ve seen so many variations of the tweet below. And I laugh at each time I’ve seen it:
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the point they’re trying to make. Packers fans in small-town Green Bay showed up in a big way for practice. And on the other side of the coin, those big-city fat cats in Chicago get a mere handful of fans for Bears practice. Whoopdiedoo. Congrats, I guess. It’s a shame that these types of tweets are saying more than what they’re letting on.
Because what these tweets are really saying is that there is a loud and vocal segment of the Packers fan base that sees that Jordan Love isn’t looking too hot at camp and is looking for ways to cope. Think about it. If Love was looking good at camp, then you’d be seeing an endless string of tweets, threads, and other declarations raving about what he was doing at Packers camp. Instead, we’re seeing a bunch of posts like this:
We knew there would be a significant fallout after the Green Bay Packers sent Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets in a trade last spring. But what I wasn’t expecting was for Packers fans to react in the way they have to this point. Every once in a while you’ll see a Love throw that makes your head tilt. And every so often, there is a play that would make Packer backers scream and shout that they have proof that Love is The Guy. However, so much of it comes off as Packer propaganda that I don’t know fully how to analyze what is happening.
This is new ground for Packers fans. And it makes sense that many of their social media posts reflect how uncertain they are about the quarterback position for the first time since before the Brett Favre years. Going out of one’s way to rationalize the unsavory moments while overstating the good stuff has been a way of life at Bears camp for as long as I’ve been going. So, for me, it is fascinating to see how the Packers fanbase deals with its first bit of adversity. It is like The Simpsons episode when Lisa doesn’t study for a test and has no idea how to deal with the consequences. And to think, there are people who think this series begins sliding in Season 10. Ha!
To be clear, no one really knows what Jordan Love is or will be. Good? Bad? Mediocre? Somewhere in between? All of the above? None of the above? Who knows? Anyone who says they know is a liar. And probably a bad one at that. But I’ve been someone who has done all sorts of mental gymnastics over the years to get psyched for Bears-Packers games and convince me that this is the year. And every time I experience the real-life equivalent of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown at the last possible moment before he kicks the darn thing. So, seeing Packers fans go through these exercises is an absolute hoot. It is undoubtedly hilarious. I’ve been having a good, hearty laugh every time one of those posts comes across my nose.
All of this to say that one fanbase is going to be tremendously hurt after the dust settles in Week 1. And while I don’t think we’ll be able to make any grand pronouncements after one game, it will be tempting depending on how the game goes. I’ll fall short of calling Week 1 of a 17-game season a “must-win” … but the outsized importance of this one is making a compelling argument that this could be the exception to the rule.