Why is this turning me on?
“When you can’t see what’s going on, you’re left wondering.” -Shawn Lehrke, writing for LovePanky, in their article “Blindfold Sex: 15 Sensual Ways to Use Blindfolds in Bed”
Upon arrival to Packers training camp, Aaron Rodgers flipped his shoulder-length hair, turned, and strutted out of his ride, wearing just a wife beater, jeans, and a light, moist layer of sweat (or was the sweat mine?). In his first of surely many memeable moments of this season, he sent two simultaneous messages. Message one: “Let’s get down to business.” Message two: “This is all a big fuckin’ joke to me.” Nothing matters, anyway. Let’s go be the best team in all of football and then break our own neck about it come playoffs, for the third year running. Green Bay Packers football, in a moment, was back.
Sex is great, but have you ever shouted at your TV until veins popped out of your head while watching grown men play a game? Have you ever done this in the living room of your in-laws? Yeah, sex is way better than that, but for some reason, statistically speaking, I am way more into the latter than the former. Unlike sex, Packer football comes reliably on schedule and baby it’s time to go down … field over and over again for 60 minutes once a week on Sundays and sometimes Mondays or Thursdays or Christmas or whatever too. Training camp started officially officially on the 27th, so we are ready to watch clip after clip of guys in shorts (with new white disco balls on their helmets) running, throwing, catching, running some more. If that doesn’t get you warmed up and ready to be hurt again, I don’t know what will.
The Packers head into the season with one major change to the roster that far outweighs anything else anyone could possibly care about: Davante Adams is gone. Adams left us, converting his frustration with contract talks into a trade request to the Las Vegas Raiders, his favorite team. In all my life asking myself the question “why wouldn’t players just go play for the team they rooted for growing up?” Adams is the first very big boy to actually execute that fantasy to a T. While there are many people who support Adams’ right to play where he prefers, and don’t think it’s childish that he — unlike pretty much every other professional adult football player ever — is leveraging his talents and sacrificing money to go and play for a lesser team because he rooted for them as a kid, others think he’s betraying the franchise. Me? I just want to say, thank you Davante Adams. Why? Because this life, convening in the same place once a week, assuming the same position as always, grunting around for way too long and engaging in a ritualistic exchange of fluids, was getting boring. I need some spice in my life, and sometimes when you take something away, it makes other things so much … hotter.
“Not knowing what your partner is going to do next is extremely sexy and you’re just left waiting and wondering. When something does happen, the sensations are often more intense and sometimes overwhelming, because of your lack of vision in that moment.”
My partner in this long, depressing marriage is the Green Bay Packers. We had some fun times about a decade ago, and things have slowly fizzled out since then. The Packers for the last several years have relied on this one move to keep me satisfied: Rodgers to Adams. “First and 10, Rodgers takes a snap, throws quick to Adams on the sideline, Adams pushes upfield, gain of seven yards. Second down, Rodgers finds Adams over the middle and hits him for a first down, Adams broke in and left his defender in the dust. Now Rodgers, back to pass, going downfield for Adams, what a catch! Rodgers laid it in perfectly over the defender’s hands and Adams is there to haul it in. First and goal now Rodgers, looks left, scrambles right, throws and it’s Adams there for the touchdown.” The first many, many times my partner did this, I went crazy. It was such an enticing maneuver, I couldn’t stand it. After years and years, though, it became a bit stale.
With Adams out of the picture it’s time for the Packers to get a little bit kinky.
My body is ready for an Allen Lazard WR1 season. My brain? Not so much. My heart? Also no, but let’s get wild. After building up the most dominant wide receiver core in the league, the Packers coasted on pedigree in that room for a whole decade. The result? Losing three receivers the year after we tried to sign Odell Beckham Jr. midyear to help improve our receivers. In other words: It’s bleak. In addition to Lazard, there’s Randall Cobb, the last relic of the Green Bay receiver room heyday, Sammy Watkins, a high-profile draft pick who didn’t pan out and has finally fallen to being affordable enough for Green Bay to sign (following in Tavon Austin’s footsteps), second-rounder Christian Watson, who played in the Green Bay of college football towns at North Dakota State and was a hulking freak among D2 players, Romeo Doubs, a speedster from Nevada. That is not great, but someone’s going to catch some balls, so let’s do this.
The removal of one known element begets the heightened sensation of numerous others. Let the pleasure roll through you — the pleasure of watching reigning two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers work with Randall Cobb and four guys who couldn’t hold James Jones’ jock strap; the pleasure of Matt LaFleur actually having to scheme guys open; the pleasure of needing to use tight ends and running backs in the passing game. Adams was targeted roughly 170 times last year. Think of what that can become. That’s 30 more carries each for A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones, 20 catches by rookie receivers, 20 more for Alien Lizard, and like 60 incompletions. Mmm. Tasty.
On a making-sense-of-my-weird-sex-metaphor note, the Packers will need all hands on deck to replace Adams. They’ll be forced to get creative. Receivers will be forced to carry more load than they ever have. Rodgers will be forced to trust them to do it. Rodgers spoke after his first day of camp about expecting the defense to beat up on the offense in camp this year, which is a good indicator that he expects to be a so-so offense against other teams’ defenses as well. So-so has never satisfied Rodgers, LaFleur or Brian Gutekunst, so those three will have to push themselves to elevate the team back to its rightful place as one of the best offenses in the league. With the talent haul brought in on defense and the new blindfolded offense, we’re in for one of the more interesting seasons we’ve had in a while Green Bay. As much as the success of the past was comforting, I’m definitely ready for something a little bit different.