I have just finished six months of almost total withdrawal from football. It reminded me of the days before the internet when exiled Packer fans like myself had a hard time finding much information about our team even during the season, much less during those awful months between January and July when there is no football to watch.
This year, my withdrawal was self-imposed. In the first place, I found myself discouraged by the Packers' 1999 season, and did not know enough about the new coaches to have a sense whether things would turn around in the new millennium. I also found myself swamped beyond reason with things going on at work and at home, so that I really did not have the time to spend keeping up on the Packers. I rarely checked the familiar web sites for information, and I even unsubscribed from the Packer e-mail list.
I have now returned both from my football withdrawal and from a vacation,and think of this season from the perspective of a clean slate, personally. I have been out of touch, I know almost nothing about the coaches, and I really don't have a preconception as to how the Packers will do this year.
What little I have heard suggests that they are on the right track. Looking back at 1999, I was very unhappy with the hiring of Ray Rhodes. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for awhile, but as time went on I became more and more discouraged with the way the team was playing. By the end of the season, I really thought that the best move would be for the Packers to fire him, but I also thought they would never actually do it. I was pleasantly surprised when they did. Mike Sherman seems to have his head screwed on right, and with any luck the team will, too.