The worst development in the history of sports is absolutely, undeniably, indubitably our modern-day penchant for over-the-top hyperbole.
See what I did there?
Yes, we live in a world filled with best-evers, and they stay that way right up until the next best-ever comes along. Usually in about five or 10 tweets.
So yes, we have to be careful when considering the fortunes of the Green Bay Packers. Even when they’re positioned to become the single greatest team in NFL history.
It’s such an easy trap, right?. All the Packers have to do is win nine more regular-season games, then go win the Super Bowl, and the 1972 Dolphins can finally stop writing those champagne toasts. Because everyone from Miami to Minsk will crown them with all the enthusiasm of Dennis Green. Because if a 19-0 team wins its second straight Lombardi Trophy, it has to be the best ever, right?
Well, the argument is there. And ever since the Packers took their 7-0 record into the bye week, it’s been amplified by some national megaphones. Maybe because they're searching for an overriding story from a rather nondescript NFL season. Indeed, Sports Illustrated's latest cover touts The Perfect Pack.
Never mind that 7-0 is a tad early for the Unbeaten Train to leave the station. But hey, desperate times...
So just for fun, let's play along with the perfect theme. Could the Packers really go undefeated? Could they go down as the greatest team ever?
They've got the league's best offense, and it's run by the league's best quarterback, no matter what Colin Cowherd says. Their defense certainly isn't dominant, but guess which NFL team ranks ninth when it comes to scoring defense? And yes, Green Bay, should be favored to win every game it plays this season.
And this is the point when, odd as it seems, we need a reminder of just how hard it is to be perfect.
Look, stuff happens. Guys get hurt. People drop balls. Kickers miss field goals. Coaches rest starters. Opponents catch passes on the side of their helmet.
And once that stuff happens, those perfect starts become quite easy to forget.
Case in point: How do you remember the Titans? Probably as Denzel Washington's inspirational movie rather than Tennessee's inspirational 10-0 start back in 2008.
How about the 1969 Rams, who went 11-0, then finished 11-4, with loss No. 4 being a first-round playoff exit?
It's hard, folks. Since the '72 Dolphins, only 12 teams have started 10-0, and yes, I think the Packers will become lucky No. 13. I wouldn't bet against Green Bay until the Thanksgiving game at Detroit. And even then, I wouldn't bet much.
But even if Detroit ends that perfect dream, here's the good news. Of those 12 10-0 teams, five went on to win the Super Bowl. And if the Packers do that, it will be only the eighth time in history a team has won consecutive Lombardis.
Hmm... only eight times?
This just might call for some hyperbole.
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