Undefeated status doesn’t distract Packers
By Mike Vandermause, Green Bay Press-Gazette
~Can they do it?
Can the Green Bay Packers become the first team in National Football League history to go 19-0, and only the second team besides the 1972 Miami Dolphins to complete an entire season undefeated?
With the Packers sporting a franchise best 11-0 record, that question is becoming more and more prevalent.
But at least one former player from the Packers’ Glory Years in the 1960s is sounding the voice of caution.
When asked about the Packers going unbeaten this season, Jerry Kramer said: “I’m not sure I want them to.”
Those weren’t the words of an embittered ex-player hoping to see the current team fail. Quite the contrary, Kramer still bleeds green and gold and is the biggest Packers fan on the planet. He was the starting right guard under coach Vince Lombardi and played on five championship teams. The closest he came to a perfect season was the Packers’ 14-1 finish in 1962.
But like Lombardi, Kramer covets a championship more than a perfect season.
“I am afraid that if we get down to 13-0, 14-0, 15-0, that the emotional hype and the media attention will be so overwhelming, it might take our eye off the championship and the playoffs,” said Kramer. “If we go 16-0 I can hear the sigh at the end of the season, ‘We did it.’ And then, ‘Oh yeah, by the way, we have a playoff game here and we have a Super Bowl to go to.’ ”
The New England Patriots famously went 16-0 in 2007, rolled into the Super Bowl with an 18-0 record and promptly lost to the New York Giants in the title game. Maybe the pressure to produce a perfect season cost the Patriots a championship.
Kramer would gladly accept a regular-season loss if it meant the Packers had a better shot at winning another Super Bowl.
That seemed to be Lombardi’s philosophy in 1962 when the Packers started 10-0 before losing to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. Lombardi was anything but livid after that loss.
“That is the object — not to win ‘em all but to stay in first place,” Lombardi told the Green Bay Press-Gazette following the game.
Rest of story here