CHICKS DIG SCARS: He asked for it.
Things were bad enough on Monday afternoon, the day after the Packers failed to show up for a game in Detroit and ended up losing 7-3. A game that was more devastating to Packer post season hopes than most initially thought. A loss that not only kept them a game behind the Bears with three to play, but also took away their tiebreaker should the Packers beat the Bears on the last game of the season (and both teams end up tied in the standings). The Bears now own that tiebreaker, thanks to the Packers losing to the Lions. It was like getting socked in the stomach twice.
No, make that three times. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered his second concussion of the season and may miss his next start against the heavily favored New England Patriots. So, that’s basically two shots to the gut and a kick in the ass.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get much worse.
“Rodgers deserved to be knocked out of the game. He really did.”
Wait a second. What? I reached for the volume on my computer speakers and turned it up. I must have misheard. I had to! No way would a player, or former player, say that another man deserved to have something bad happen on the field, right? It brought back memories of Warren Sapp’s 2002 hit on Chad Clifton, when (mostly non-Packer fans and Sapp apologists) actually blamed Clifton for being seriously injured because “he didn’t keep his head up,” despite the play being well down field. I grabbed a pen and scribbled the words down, so I could verify later. Come to find out, I wasn’t hearing things. The words were uttered by former Green Bay Packer tight end Mark Chmura on Monday afternoon on the Homer and Thunder Show on ESPN Milwaukee. But, Chmura wasn’t done.
“He deserved to get a concussion.”
WOW. Head injuries are serious business, and you’re saying that Rodgers DESERVED IT? I was flabbergasted. The host, ESPN Homer, gave Chewy plenty of opportunities to back off his statement, even telling him that he was being a bit harsh (you think?), but in typical Chmura fashion, he stubbornly refused to retract or reword his statement. Plenty of people say dumb things in the heat of the moment when they’re angry, and once someone points out that they may have crossed a line (something Homer also did), they will reword, apologize or back off slightly and clarify what they meant. But, not good ol’ Chewy.
“I was embarrassed to watch that game.”
You were embarrassed? Really. You know what, Mark? I paid $65 for a #89 Packer jersey ten years ago, and then couldn’t wear it in public because of your embarrassing little “incident.” That jersey ended up being the most expensive painting smock I ever owned. Embarrassed? Try living around Bear fans while your private life was splashed all over the papers. It was a real fucking treat having your name tossed in with Mossy Cade’s and being thrown in my face all the time by those doorknobs.
Plenty of people think that Aaron Rodgers took a huge risk on Sunday by not sliding after crossing the first down marker and suffering the hit that slammed the side of his head against the turf in the second quarter. No argument. He should have slid. However, I can’t fault the man for trying to get his team going. The offense was pathetic. Who can blame Rodgers for trying to get more yardage than needed on that play? He watched his tight end fumble the ball away, his running backs get nowhere, and his star receiver drop a perfect pass into the hands of a defender for an interception. But Chewy saw it this way:
“I don’t want to see, ‘Hey, I’m competing against Brett Favre to prove how tough I am.’”
Oh, for God’s sake. Not everything is about Brett Favre. Not everything Rodgers does has something to do with him, and not everything this team does needs to be compared with the “good old days” that you were once a part of. I will bet hard money that the last thing on Aaron Rodgers’ mind as he took off with the ball on Sunday was, “I need to prove I’m as tough as Favre.” However, I bet he WAS thinking, “I need to get something going because nothing else is working.” I also bet that as he took off and crossed the necessary yard marker for the first down, it flashed in his mind other instances in which he ran for a first down, slid, and had the referees give him a lousy spot, resulting in the opposition getting the ball.
Sidetrack: I guess rather than risk his own neck, he COULD say something to those underperforming teammates, right? He IS the Field General. The buck stops with him when it comes to the offense. Oh, what am I thinking? He’s supposed to pat his players on the butt, hand them a juice box, an orange slice, and a participation ribbon, and tell them, “Nice try. I know you did your best.” But that’s last week’s argument.
“Are people calling him out for being dumb and not sliding?”
You have a fixation for calling out players for being “dumb,” don’t you, Mark? This summer, you called Jermichael Finley’s intelligence into question, as well. I find this to be kind of ironic. Not only given the hot tub incident, which doesn’t exactly smack of intelligent behavior, but the fact that your main running buddy during your playing days was a rather immature, unsophisticated, good old boy, who was close to throwing everything away had he not sought help for his addictions. I don’t think anyone ever mistook Brett for a member of Mensa, especially in his younger days, but because he could play, everything he ever did was given a pass.
“I’d sit down at the end of the year when he’s having his evaluation with Mike McCarthy and I’d run film and run that play and say, ‘See, this is why we’re not going to the playoffs.”
Really? THAT play? That play alone is the reason that the Packers are not going to the playoffs? Rodgers is solely responsible for the Packers (most likely) missing the playoffs this season? Not the injuries, not the BAFFLING play call at the end of the game this week, not Mason Crosby hitting the upright at the end of regulation of the Washington game which would have given the Packers the win, not the ridiculous amount of penalties in the Chicago game while Rodgers was playing his ass off, not the special teams in the Atlanta game, giving the Falcons the ball back at the 48 yard line in OT, but THAT PLAY, where Rodgers risked his ass for yardage his teammates failed to obtain. Okay, Sparky.
Seriously. I need a beer.