Hundley and the Green Bay Packers: A lesson in leadership is about to begin


Brett Alan Hundley Jr. was born on June 15th, 1993.

He played college football at UCLA and was the Bruins starting quarterback from 2012 to 2014. He is the school’s career leader in both total offense and touchdown passes. He was drafted by the Packers in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Brett Alan Hundley Jr. is also the new starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.

In two words:  Sweet Jesus.

The injury to 34-year-old quarterback Aaron Rodgers – a player who mere adjectives no longer adequately define his skill or role as the leader of the Green Bay Packers – is a devastating blow to the Super Bowl hopes of the storied franchise.

The pundits declared the season over for the Packers the moment Rodgers was carted off the field.

They declared the imminent end to humanity the second news came that Rodgers had a broken collarbone.

And, Mike McCarthy suddenly realized that big bulky sweatshirts with the massive letter “G” emblazoned upon them were not slimming in any way, shape or form.

I admit.  I am a Packers fan by marriage.  My bride, however, has Packer’s blood flowing through her veins.

As she will make clear to anyone she has seen the good times – and the many bad times – as a Packers’ fan during her lifetime.

She will, good naturedly, watch their games on television even when they are horrible – often uttering “Oh, Packers!” when they do something horribly wrong.

Of course, the house explodes with a quick succession of claps when they excel, coupled with a few “Go Packers!” exclamations!

I, on the other hand, am a fickle Packers fan.

When they are doing great, I am all on board and the first guy in front of the television.

When they aren’t I go look for other things to do.  Like clean the garage.  Or blow leaves off the patio.

Then, far from the television I furtively check www.NFL.Com on my phone to see what the score is.

I hold my breath until the screen pops up showing the score and then look quickly at how much time is left.

This has become my preferred way of watching the Green Bay Packers even since I purchased my first iPhone.

It’s not very brave.  I know that.  I share my shame with you with hesitation.

I carry this burden with me every Sunday, Monday and Thursday that the Packers play on national television.

Ironically, though, Brett Alan Hundley Jr. may well be my opportunity to change my perspective on the Green Bay Packers.

This 24-year old young man has a huge task ahead of him.

He is being given the reins of one of America’s oldest and proudest NFL franchises and is expected to promptly:  Fail.

Green Bay Packers fans – the analysts – Tony Romo – all of them aren’t hoping he fails (Well, except for Tony Romo) they are just expecting him to fail.

My guess I that Aaron Rodgers has mixed emotions.

Brett Favre?  He is a mixed emotion.

Here’s where I stand on this whole Brett Alan Hundley Jr. situation.

First, I just misspelled his middle name for the 12th time.

Instead of “Alan” I have now written “Lana” repeatedly.  It is clear we need to shorten his name.

There’s already been a “Brett” so we can’t just call him that.

And, Rodgers has been known as “A-Aaron” for some time now.

So, from now on Brett Lana Hundley Jr. will be known as “Hundley”

Second, Hundley won’t fail.

Not by a long shot.

In fact, I suspect that Hundley will rise to become the Packer’s next great franchise quarterback.

Why do I believe that?  Is it my years of extensive NFL scouting expertise?  My knowledge of player skills, strengths and weaknesses?

No.  None of that.

I believe it because the Packers are an institution that has developed greatness as a culture within its franchise.

Brett Favre.  Aaron Rodgers.  Each of these quarterbacks didn’t join the Packers as the legends we know them to be today.

They grew into their legend.

That legend was developed, nurtured, trained and through the coaches behind them, and the players around them, they became who we know them to be today.

I don’t think Hundley will succeed because he woke up one morning and read a meme that said, “Today you will succeed!”

I think he will succeed because the teammates around him will not permit him to fail.

They will step up.  Do their part.  Raise the level of their game.

The Green Bay Packers are not Aaron Rodgers and The Green Bay Packers nor were they ever Brett Favre and The Green Bay Packers.

They are the Green Bay Packers.

A team.

People should remember that.

All the great leaders in the world didn’t become great because of one person.

Patton, Gates, Lincoln, Thatcher, Meir, Merkel, King, Powell – and many others – they did not meet their acclaim because of their individual brilliance.

Without a team behind them, beside them and in front of them they are merely footnotes in history – if even that.

It was everyone around them that made them great.

So, Green Bay Packers football team, listen up.

You want to go to the Super Bowl?  You want to make this season the one you thought it would and could be?

The only thing standing between you and that NFL glory isn’t how good your quarterback will or won’t be.

You want to be great?

Make Hundley great.

Be great as a team.

Go, Pack, go!

(And, I will see how you do from the safety and security of my iPhone)

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