Buried at the very bottom of an article regarding the problem with yellow flags that’s plaguing a team whose fans wear large yellow foam hats is a contention that borders on the outlandish.
“It’s definitely on us as players,” an unnamed Packer told Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “But I think the refs are out to get us this year.”
Making that over-the-top remark even more over the top is the fact that there have been two completely different sets of refs this year. And the real refs, who have been back for two weeks after the lockout ended, have no reason to be “out to get” the Packers, for two major reasons.
First, it was a game-deciding call against the Packers that paved the way for the real refs to get paid. Second, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was one of the few voices loudly complaining about the replacement officials, which if anything would make the real officials less inclined to stick it to the Packers.
So those nine penalties for 89 yards against the Colts, including a roughing-the-passer call on linebacker Nick Perry that was despite objections a great call, surely were deserved. As were the seven penalties for 43 yards against the Saints.
Bottom line? We’ll never cease to be amazed by the extent to which some folks will warp reality in the hopes of blaming someone else for things that are their own fault. The Packers, so far, are a shadow of the team they were last year. And they’re not going to get any better if players actually believe their struggles trace not to the men in green and gold but to the men in black and white.