If you believe that there are no coincidences in life, then you’ll be convinced it was no coincidence that a mostly-positive interview of Packers coach Mike McCarthy debuted at ESPN one day before Bleacher Report published a comprehensive analysis of the perennial dysfunction the Packers experienced under McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The remarkable story from Tyler Dunne, who previously covered the Packers, deserves a full read. It also will result in at least three different posts here, because we’ve learned that the modern human attention span isn’t conducive to, well, something or other.
Here’s the first chunk of the article that caused me to mutter an expletive. In reference to the perception that McCarthy began to check out late in his tenure with the Packers, Dunne wrote this: “About once a week, a meeting would start up and McCarthy was MIA. Players weren’t quite sure where he was while, for example, an assistant coach would run the team’s final prep on the Saturday before a game. Eventually, word leaked that McCarthy, the one calling plays on game day, was up in his office getting a massage during those meetings.”
Dunne reports that McCarthy’s massage therapist told a player that McCarthy would “sneak her up a back stairway” so that no one would realize that, while the team was working, the coach was not.
“If you’re not a part of meetings, and then you’re trying to be pissed about execution, nobody’s going to really respect you,” an unnamed former Packers front-office member told Dunne. “They’re going to look at you like, ‘Where have you been all week?’ It sounded like he was really just chilling.”
Later in the article, Dunne points out that an unnamed Packers player who had heard about McCarthy’s massage habit wondered whether “Rodgers started that rumor and tried spreading it to anybody that’d listen.” That speaks to the toxic nature of the relationship between coach and quarterback, something that reportedly lasted for a very long time.
And that will be the topic of our next entry regarding Dunne’s story.