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Why Your Team Sucks

Why Your Team Sucks 2021: Green Bay Packers

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

Some people are fans of the Green Bay Packers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Green Bay Packers. This 2021 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: You kicked a field goal.

Your 2020 record: 13-3. But you kicked a field goal.

And please don’t sleep on what happened right before the half, when their quarterback was intercepted and gave Tom Brady a chance to sneak in the miracle white boy touchdown that ended up being the difference. Yes, the Bucs held on that interception. Yes, the PI call on Green Bay that iced the game one half later was comically bad. NO I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S ASS. About goddamn time the refs did another team a favor instead of you. Eat fucking dirt.

Your coach: Matt LaFleur, who elected to kick that field goal. Why trust Aaron Rodgers to get you to the Super Bowl when you can count on your defense to do it instead? With less than two minutes to go? Against the greatest quarterback of all time? When the defense has been so CLUTCH all game long?

Really impressive that this team finally shitcanned Mike McCarthy only to hire a guy who makes the exact same mistakes but has nicer hair.

Do they have a Guy on the coaching staff? No.

Your quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, who has to team with Bryson DeChambeau to beat Tom Brady at anything.

What a good sport Aaron Rodgers is. Doesn’t look like he wants to choke that contestant to death at all. “Thank you for that,” he says, while grinding his teeth so hard they catch flame. This man makes any room 700 percent more uncomfortable when he enters it.

The Packers have given up 184 points in their last six postseason games, and yet Aaron Rodgers never says, “We need more cornerbacks.” No no no … Jake Kumerow. THAT’S the final puzzle piece this team was missing. When Rodgers doesn’t get his precious Kumerow, he sits around all offseason and does his best impression of an alcoholic stepfather. Nothing is ever Aaron Rodgers’s fault. It’s all his GM’s fault for firing McCarthy, and for vastly improving the front seven, and for keeping the offensive line intact, and for making Rodgers the highest-paid player in the league after only seven months on the job. WHAT AN INCOMPETENT PRICK.

Now the GM in question, Brian Gutekunst, looks like he used his fist for a face transplant. But he represents a vast, vast improvement over his predecessor Ted Thompson, who conducted team business via Pony Express and died earlier this year due to complications from looking too much like David Lynch. Gutekunst brought this podunk franchise into the 21st century and gave the Packers a legitimate front office. Yet none of it matters because he dared to put a succession plan in place at quarterback.

I have rooted against Aaron Rodgers for many years now, so I’ve seen him pull this shit every time something goes wrong. He pouts and kicks his dog and says IT’S OVER BETWEEN US and then, when it’s time to show his cards, he reports to camp right on time, looking like he just came back from axe throwing lessons at a Gowanus brewery.

The narrative for the past decade is how the Packers have pissed away Aaron Rodgers’s prime. But now you know it’s Rodgers who lives to waste time, tending to his grudges like bonsai trees and living in an alternate reality where he has six titles instead of a paltry one because a better world accommodated every last one of his whims. In this, he’d make a perfect Green Bay fan.

To placate Rodgers, the Packers reworked his deal so that he can throw the exact same empty tantrum again a year from now, traded for a done Randall Cobb, and barely humored all of his other petty requests.

It’d be funny if, after all that, Rodgers fell apart this year. It’s gonna happen sooner rather than later. When it does, some NFL team will hire him as its GM, the same way the Broncos gave their future away to John Elway. You now know exactly how terrible Rodgers will be in that job. He wasn’t a good Jeopardy! host either.

Your backup is Jordan Love, who Rodgers will have kneecapped by hired goons two weeks from now. This team is about COMMUNITY.

What’s new that sucks: Oh, a little bit of everything. All-Pro LT David Bakhtiari tore his ACL right before the NFC title game and no one knows when he’ll be back. All-Pro center Corey Linsley is now a Charger. All-Nothing wideout Devin Funchess, who opted out of the 2020 season to see if he could eat an entire airplane, got injured and has been cut already. The D-line outside of Kenny Clark is more empty than Sean Salisbury’s calendar. Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator elected to stay at Wisconsin rather than become Rodgers’s next scapegoat. Instead, your new DC is the legendary Joe Barry, who makes Rob Ryan look like Bill Belichick. Meanwhile, the team responded to the Jacob Blake shooting by arming more cops.

This team can’t afford to be a little bit worse. They have to be 20 percent better than the rest of the league because their players and coaches will be 19 percent stupider than the opposition when something important is about to happen. Fourth-and-goal from the eight with their season on the line, for example. You’re not getting to that fourth-and-goal this year. I’ve seen the Bucs roster. They’re gonna bury you.

What has always sucked: Kevin King! He’s still here! Ready to get burned like the Milwaukee PD torches its own body camera footage! FUCK YEAH!

Yes yes I’m a Vikings fan, so I’m one to talk. “Count the rings,” “Kurt,” etc etc. I’ve heard it all before. No, my team will never have its shit together. But the misery I have to endure once a decade, when they sniff the proverbial mountaintop only to get buried by a fucking avalanche when they’re a step below the summit? That’s EVERY year for Green Bay. This team is built to choke, and the best part is how surprised these fans look when it happens. A million pasty chins all hitting the linoleum in unison. But… but… we’re the good guys! We have Aaaaron Rodgers! How can this haaaaappen? You know why? Because God fucking hates you. God gives you nice things and then sets them on fire just to see the look on your sorry-ass faces when he does.

You just watched Giannis carry the Bucks to an NBA title singlehandedly. Giannis was able to do that because A) That kind of thing is easier to do in the NBA than in football, and B) His team isn’t a fucking loony bin. The Packers very much are. They’re too busy being insane to win it all, and they like it that way. Rodgers will always prize his organizational clout more than he prizes actual winning. Their fans will cheer for Jordan Love to replace Rodgers because they hate all of Rodgers’s girlfriends. And Wisconsin will remain the Florida of the Midwest. Just a bunch of crazy fat people screaming at trees. You guys are gonna blow the NFC title game every year until Rodgers dies and I couldn’t be happier. Sit and spin.

Ratto says: The Packers claim they lost $149 million last year in revenue, which would be catastrophic if not for the fact that they took in $300 million or so in TV money. This team’s ability to mesmerize people outside Wisconsin has its clear limits, which would please Comrade Magary if not for the fact that the Vikings are even less charming than that. EST NAME TO HEAR ON TV: Equanimeous St. Brown, or if you remember we already used his brother Amon-Ra in the Detroit essay, Shemar Jean-Charles.

What might not suck: Giannis could have lit out of this hell state to win a title elsewhere but didn’t. That was both incredibly generous and incredibly stupid of him.

HEAR IT FROM PACKERS FANS!

Ali:

The field goal.

Noah:

We went for the field goal.

Landon:

JFC I just remembered how they kicked a fucking field goal while down EIGHT POINTS in the 4th quarter.

HJ:

In last year’s WYTS I proclaimed “I don’t know when it will happen, but I can’t wait for Matt LaFleur to embrace his inner Kyle Shannahan and decide to not run the ball at the absolute worst time,” and boy howdy did he manage to go above and beyond.

Nick:

Fuck our ginger president between his fucking tooth gap.

David:

We are probably the envy of 90% of other teams and the laughingstock of 100%.

Molly:

This offseason has taken 10 years off my life expectancy. And I say that as an immunocompromised person living through a pandemic. 

Mike:

I get to look forward to one more embarrassing NFC Championship loss followed by the 30th pick in the draft. Can’t wait. 

Mark:

They’ll still win 12 games before losing by 27 points in the NFC championship.

Justin:

Did you see Mercedes Lewis catch a pass and attempt to run with the ball last year? He is so fucking slow it is actually shocking to watch, a casual viewer might assume he’s an offensive lineman out there on a trick play.

Mike:

Every year we make the playoffs. Sometimes it’s as a 6-seed, sometimes a 1-seed. In both cases we are beaten in a playoff game by a team that makes us look like we never belonged there in the first place.

Nic:

From 2012-2021, The Packers took one offensive player in the first round of the draft: Jordan Love. Packers fans still don’t get why Rodgers is frustrated with the front office. 

Jim:

We’re really gonna have to watch Rodgers win a title with Denver, aren’t we? Can’t wait to find out this was all because Shailene wanted to open a boutique yoga studio in Telluride.

M:

My team sucks because its first ballot HOF QB is at war with his two faces.

Matt:

It didn’t even take one minute after the first image of Aaron Rodgers (2021 Bohemian Jesus Edition) hit the ether for this entire fanbase to completely forget he was the reason they’ve had their head buried in a crockpot of fried bologna casserole for the past three months.

Will:

Every time the Packers fall behind by so much as a single point he immediately turns into a petulant toddler, firing every pass either straight into the ground or into an opposing defender’s chest, and then glaring over at the sideline. What an asshole. 

Esteban:

Last year we needed a receiver. Instead of that we drafted the heir apparent for our QB whose talent is only rivaled by his capacity for spite. 

Adam:

In 2008, Packers spent the entire offseason having the biggest QB controversy soap opera in the history of the NFL. Thirteen years later, somehow, they did it again and made it even more ridiculous and painful. 

Steve:

Quarterback karma is coming for us like climate change. I deserve nothing but a parade of Trubiskies for the rest of my life.

Nick:

Our fans rival the Patriots’ for “Which mediocre white guy’s jersey can I buy?” 

Dylan:

The Packers are more inert than the far-right of a periodic table and half as interesting. Their only real function is to ensure the people of Wisconsin have a receptacle for the crushing existential dread of winter. 

Tom:

This year the choices are rooting for a QB who talks about the importance of mindfulness while trying to get other people fired, or rooting for Mark Murphy. The Packers will look good but not overwhelming before, in true Green Bay fashion, a weakness we’ve known about forever but failed to address (DL or ILB I’m looking at you) will rear its head before they make the Super Bowl.

Matt:

During the 2020 season in October the Packers beat the Lions, as usual. After the game on the local news station they covered an older Packer fan with Down’s Syndrome who had just gone to her first game! It was amazingly heartwarming, until the rest of her family got interviewed.

They are generational season ticket holders who had gone to every game they probably could have, and just never took her with. They then patronizingly gloated about finally doing it.

Shortly after interviewing these selfish pricks, the new station acknowledged that she had been inducted into the Packers fan Hall Of Fame! How amazingly heartwarming, until I went to the game the very next week vs. Oakland when the ceremony took place.

Yeah, she wasn’t there. Fuck this community.

James:

The Packers are going to do the same thing again as they do every year, except with a few new wrinkles. They will win this shitty division, beat two mediocre playoff teams, and then collapse in the NFC championship game, AGAIN. There will be an SNF game where they are completely lost and I drink two bottles of wine listening to fucking Collinsworth. There will be an inexcusable loss to an AFC North team. There will be four games where the team is so lethargic that you wonder if they want to play. Don’t forget an ill timed fumble in the fourth quarter, probably by a fullback. Or the game(s) where they give up 220+ running yards to a washed up 33-year-old RB. 

Matt:

Being a Packer fan means:

You have to listen to random other Packer fans try to explain that it’s not funny and that Aaron Rodgers thinks he’s BIGGER THAN THE TEAM when it’s truly hilarious to watch two petulant child-people try to out-petty each other.

You have a discussion with someone who just compared Jordan Love to Patrick Mahomes.

You see photos of a guy wearing a Gutekunst jersey without a shred of irony or shame.

You know, deep in your heart, that you and your fellow GB fans are the worst. And even this recognition won’t save you from getting your hopes up and believing in this team only to see them get to the NFC Championship Game and lose in truly stupid fashion. And you’ll deserve all the mockery because you probably do see yourself as a superior, knowledgeable fan. Because you’re the worst.

God I hate my team and myself.

Dave:

We’ve always known, deep down, that Rodgers is kinda shitty as a person sometimes. We rationalize this by focusing on his success in the games (non-playoff edition). We rationalize this by saying that the greatest athletes are frequently great because of their personality defects. And now he’s leveraged his displeasure by trying to bring back Randall “No Hamstrings” Cobb so we can get those crucial five yards on a third-and-six. This motherfucker had better throw eighty TDs. 

Don:

Their owners are Republican dickheads who have no qualms about taking a taxpayer handout.

John:

Mark Murphy looks like the love-child of Roger Goddell and Alfred E. Neumann. Brian Gutenkust looks like the love-child of Roger Goddell and Mark Murphy. 

Matthew:

Lol they’ve alienated Davante Adams too.

Matt:

My dumbass Packers want to toss their MVP QB overboard after this year for Jordan Love and 90% of this braindead fanbase is okay with it because they just assume the Packers will back their way into another Hall Of Fame QB. 

The line has one sure thing. 

Patrick:

Being a Packers fan is like being slapped in the face by a ham sandwich every Sunday. Aaron Rodgers wears sunglasses that Dale Earnhardt would stab you for wearing. It’s great as a fan to watch our talented receivers be chased out of the team because our toxic lord-QB felt some imagined slight. 

Colin:

I’m 31, so I’ve known nothing but uninterrupted Hall of Fame play at the game’s most essential position. Am I happy? Reader, I am not. Like every smarmy fuck with an ‘Owner’ jersey, I’ve taken every NFCCG loss as a personal injustice, and I’m incandescent at any mention of Rodgers’s indisputable narcissism. We’re the only team not owned by plutocrats, and we spent the offseason buying Tasers for cops.

Dez caught it. Fuck me with Brandon Bostick’s helmet.

Kenny:

Aaron Rodgers’ career has mirrored Brett Favre’s in such a way that I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually find out he sent dick pics to a Jeopardy! staffer and embezzled charity money.

Jeff:

My son’s name is Aaron, yellow and green are his favorite colors, the Packers are his favorite team, and Aaron Rodgers is his favorite player. Assuming his fortunes evolve accordingly, I look forward to surly Thanksgivings culminating in an eventual estrangement because, I don’t know, I bought insurance from Allstate or something.

Mark:

I moved from Green Bay eight years ago and let me tell you everyone not from Wisconsin LOVES him. They would kill family members for him to be their QB. Since I moved away, not a day goes by I don’t see a text or post from someone still in the land of diabetes that questions Rodgers on the following:

1. Does he REALLY want to win

2. The man-bun..is he..you know…quickly followed by not that there’s anything wrong with that.

3. Why does he support BLM? Why doesn’t he talk about how all lives matter? Well he IS from Commiefornia! HERR HERR <coughs on cheese curd>

Andrew:

I am a die-hard Packers fan from Nashville, TN with absolutely zero ties to Wisconsin.

The day following the Bucks NBA Championship win, I was enjoying myself on the patio of a local bar. A heavily intoxicated woman steps out to have a cigarette and notices my Packers hat. Joy comes across her face as she talks about the Bucks win and asks me where in Wisconsin I hail from… only for that joy to disappear as quick as it came when I inform her I am “from here.”

She then proceeds to tell me what an asshole Aaron Rodgers is for daring to essentially demand a little respect from this organization, and that he can fuck right off if simply wearing the green and gold isn’t enough. I inform her that I am fully on Rodgers side of the aisle, and give her all the reasons why I believe the organization has let him down. Her response was simply, “Well that’s how we do it in Wisconsin! You’d know that if you were from there!” I very bluntly tell her, “Well that’s just fucking stupid.” She stares blankly at me for a minute, shouts “FEAR THE DEER” in my face, and walks inside.

Samuel:

Dr. Brown:

I had a troubled childhood. I overcame what troubled me and I live a good life now. Sure, life is complicated but at a very very young age I realized there are things you can control and there are things you cannot. The things I could control never stressed me out: telling the girl of my dreams I love her and would not stop at anything to marry her (things are different in India) and then marrying her, getting a scholarship for my education in the US, making people around me feel happy, making sure my kids are happy. Those things never stressed me out. I think I have that shit under control. If they throw challenges at me that’s fine because even if life has ups and downs I know it will be OK. 

There are things that are not in my control. Something deep inside resists those things and I hurt to my core. A lot of that has to do with what I went through as a kid. I see trouble coming from a mile away that I know I have no control over… that’s when I lose my shit. You see where I am going? 

I knew Russell Wilson would overcome a fucking 16 point lead, I knew Eli Manning would shit on a great season twice with his stupid fucking face, I knew San Francisco would fuck them up, I knew Larry Fitzgerald would run 1000 yards in OT after two miracles by Rodgers. You saw them coming too, didn’t you, fellow Packers fan? Yes you did. 

I can see now clearly see that Matt Stafford will fuck us up in the NFC championship game this time. He deserves it. It’s too bad Calvin Johnson won’t be on the football field when that happens.

Ben:

My team continues to squander one of the greatest QBs to ever play the game by not adequately stroking his ego. 

Peter:

I’m of a mind that I’d rather my team build its way to consistent contention and win 10-13 games a year than sell out for a more accessible, but much shorter, championship window. I’ve had this argument with countless family members, friends and strangers in bars, and I stand by it.

And yet, when I watch the Green Bay Packers blow yet another NFC Championship Game thanks to a delightful mix of subpar offensive line play, subpar coaching and Kevin King, I rip my hair out and scream FUCK as loud as I possibly can. Because reasoned, rational arguments mean nothing when you lose in the semifinals for the fourth time in 10 years.

Scott:

I’ve become 100% convinced that the original reason the Packers traded up to #26 in the 2020 draft was to get Brandon Aiyuk*, who’d finally be the fabled and long-rumored Additional Weapon That Aaron Rodgers Has Always Needed. Except, it turned out that #26 wasn’t *quite* far enough, because the 49ers promptly moved up to #25 and nabbed Aiyuk for themselves.

At that point, just drafting some regular-ass jagweed would’ve made it clear that Brian Gutekunst got outmaneuvered. So instead he panicked and took Jordan Love, which will likely culminate in Rodgers finishing his career elsewhere.

John:

Green Bay manifests all the worst aspects of my state; the seething resentment, the reactionary conservatism, the festering grievance, the sheer unadulterated entitlement that scream-cries that you won’t wear a mask to Fleet Farm because of fucking Iwo Jima or something. It doesn’t matter if the team only wins six games as long as California Boy leaves and there’s a ham-colored Teutonic fullback to squeal for.

Nick:

The most disappointing thing about this recent NFCCG loss (their 4th straight!) is how unoriginal it all was. It’s like those dramas that go on three seasons too long and start recycling a bunch of old plot points in the same episode. Give up multiple third-and-longs on every drive? Check. Inexplicably let a receiver free for a long end-of-half touchdown in a situation where most teams would just kneel out the clock? Yep. Backbreaking fumble deep in your own territory? Uh huh. Inexplicably bizarre reffing suddenly nullifying big plays? You know it! Kicking a field goal in a situation that would make the NYT 4th Down Bot explode? How else could the season end?

And the best part is I don’t even care anymore!!! Thanks to the Bucks and the Greek Freak I pretty much don’t give a shit about what happens to the Packers this year! Rodgers can win two Super Bowls with Denver and retire in Minnesota and it won’t affect me in the least!!!  I’m writing this entire email to show you how little I care about this!!!!

David:

Like a true asshole, I have spent the past six months defending kicking a field goal because I’ve convinced myself it was an aggressive play call and that LaFleur was going for the win instead of a tie.

I’ve always told my friends at least my quarterback isn’t a Trump-loving-child-mouth-kissing-magic-water-drinking-fancydog, but deep down I know Rodgers is a new-age-libertarian who thinks watching Jeopardy makes him an intellectual.

I hope Scotty Miller blows out an Achilles next time he jogs past Kevin King.

Jon:

Watching them shit two NFC championships down their legs the last two years is one thing. But pissing off not only Aaron Rodgers, but Davante Adams in one off-season is a new level of incompetent bullshit. Gutekunst can fuck himself with a rusty chainsaw. They deserve to be last in the north for the next 30 years.

Alex:

Because the front office drafted a QB in the first round with Patrick Fucking Queen, a great linebacker prospect and solid step toward fixing the glaring weakness against stopping the run, still on the board.

Now in the ultimate example of sunk cost fallacy, the Packers are going to let Davante Adams walk and ship off Rodgers in favor of said first round QB who’s seen less time on an NFL field than that guy who ran onto the field during the Super Bowl.

Allison:

I knew my Packers fandom had a shelf life on October 18th, 2020. That was the day they lost to the Bucs by four touchdowns, but it wasn’t really the game itself that did it. I had taken up mountain biking earlier in the year and had been working my way up to climbing a whole-ass goddamn mountain. The weather and the timing just happened to look good that day, so I went and gave it a shot. But it didn’t work out. I ate too much before setting out. I drank too much water too early on in the ride. It was hotter than I thought it would be. It was all much steeper than I had thought it would be. I felt like garbage and got about two-thirds of the way up before I decided I just didn’t have it in me that day. I turned around and headed back down, defeated. It was hot and dusty and I was miserable the whole time. When I got home and saw that the Packers had gotten clobbered, I just laughed. I was so, so glad I hadn’t sat around to watch the game. Even the worst bike ride I’d ever been on was preferable to watching football. I wasn’t mad at all, which was what surprised me. If I could laugh off a loss like this, maybe that meant I really just didn’t care as much as I used to.

My Packers fandom predates my gender dysphoria, or at least the parts of my gender dysphoria that I can distinctly remember and categorize. I latched onto the Pack at a young age sort of as an accident of timing and because an uncle that I liked was also a fan. My Packers fandom led me to become a full-on football nut. As recently as five years ago, I was the type to watch every football game that aired. But as I’ve been forced to confront the ethical dilemmas of football as a sport, I’ve watched less and less. It really came to a head last year as I finally started to confront my gender dysphoria and work on transitioning. I came to the realization that my general football fandom had become more of an obligation; the kind of thing that closeted trans women pretend to like so that we can fit in better with our male peers. I no longer gave a shit about what the Jets were up to or whether the AFC North was going to be fun to watch this year. I still had my emotional investment in the Packers but felt nothing else for football. But that day in October showed me that even that investment was waning. I’ve been secretly hoping that the Rodgers drama this offseason resolves with him going elsewhere. It would provide me a clean break, I thought, one last excuse to jump off the train. But if I’m looking for an out, why not just leave? I fully came out as trans about a week before I wrote this email. That’s a generic get-out-of-stereotypically-male-interest-free card if ever there was one.

I don’t think the Packers suck. I’ve done my fair share of whinging about the management and the coaching and the players, but you know what? I’m done with that. I’m in a place where I can appreciate the ride I’ve been on. They’ve won two rings in my lifetime and played almost exclusively good football in that time. The upper management has been mostly competent. There have been far more players that I’ve been happy to root for than guys that I tolerated because they were on my team (FUCK Clay Matthews though). I am convinced the ownership structure of the team is the least-immoral of any of the major American sports teams and the Packers truly are a community team in a way that no other football team can really claim (I will not be commenting on the fanbase at this time). I think the team will always have a place in my heart and I’ll always wish for the best for them, but the time for me to actively care about them is over. It’s time for new things.

Nick:

A friend once told me about the time he ended up in some bar, in some Wisconsin town that was maybe 50 miles south of Green Bay, one month or so after the Packers won the Super Bowl back in 2011. As a black male who had a fairly athletic physique, the bar patrons assumed he was a player on the team and proceeded to buy him drinks. It was hilarious, one of the best stories I had ever heard. 

I realize I’m not doing the story justice. It’s been ten years since Hank told it to me. I’d ask him to share it, but he died on September 18th of 2011. He was out riding his road bike when he got hit by a drunk driver. The guy who killed him was a 22-year-old asshole named Chris Schnider who got behind the wheel after having more than half-a-dozen drinks while at a friend’s house watching the Packers play their second game of the season. Don’t worry, though. Chris had to serve a 90-day jail sentence (with work release)! Plus, as a felon, he lost the right to hunt with a firearm in Wisconsin! As the guy’s lawyer said “Hunting is a huge part of Mr. Schneider’s family. It’s a huge part of who he is. He is never going to hunt again in his life, at least with a gun.” Talk about justice being served!

Fuck Chris Schnider.

Fuck the Wisconsin legal system.

Fuck the alcoholic fans of the Green Bay Packers.

Daniel:

I hope you go blind from pleasuring yourself to our misery.

Daniel:

I sent you my first email earlier, but Rapoport’s tweet just dropped that Rodgers is coming back. Kiss my white ass, Drew. 

Submissions for the Defector NFL previews are closed. Next up: Buffalo Bills.