The Packers should be 3-2, not 2-3. I’ll give them that.
They were the victims of a terrible call in Seattle, a call so bad by the replacement officials it made the NFL cave and bring back the real refs. But it was one game, and the Packers have yet to play up to their usual level – their porous defense isn’t stopping anyone and their offensive line has given up more sacks (21) than every team except the Cardinals (23).
The Packers aren’t without their flaws. They’ve got a lot of work to do to turn this season around, but they may never turn the corner with thinking like this:
“It’s definitely on us as players,” said an unnamed Packer on Monday. “But I think the refs are out to get us this year.”
The refs are out to get us.
That’s a phrase you hear in a bar after the home team has struggled through the first half, a phrase usually reserved for hall-of-fame couch coaches and Monday morning quarterbacks.
As a fan, it’s easy to blame the refs. You are helpless in the outcome of the game, you watch and hope that everything works out the way you want. When it inevitably doesn’t, the last thing you want to do is give credit to the other team (“They’re not that good” or the less eloquent “Psh! Whatever, they suck!”). Nor do you want to blame your own team, you’re way too invested for that. So who’s the buffer that takes the edge off?
Those guys wearing the goofy pinstripes.
But as a player, you have a direct result in the outcome of the game. You either made plays that helped the team or you didn’t, it’s that simple. Bad calls do happen, but over the course of the season, it happens to every team and it evens out.
Players are professionals who get paid an insane amount of money to play a game. There’s no room for whining and excuses for losses. It’s not becoming, and that’s why the NFL fines players for complaining about the refs. The refs are supposed to be the authority, and no one wants to listen to a millionaire whine about a bad call while refusing to take blame for a loss.
Suddenly, the entire conversation is about the refs and not about how your defense let a rookie quarterback (we’ll call him Andrew Luck) drive all the way down the field for a touchdown to take the lead and, after your quarterback (we’ll call him Aaron Rodgers) bailed out your defense and drove the offense into field-goal range, your kicker (we’ll call him Mason Crosby) shanked the potential game-tying field goal.
But the refs are out to get you, right?
Stop being such a martyr and own up to your team’s bad play, you Cheesehead.