Quick, what's the biggest issue confronting Wisconsinites today? The recall election? Nah. The weakening of mining laws? Pretty scary, but no. The ongoing shouting over the Capitol Rotunda holiday decorations? Please, no more.
No, the biggest issue we, the Cheesehead Nation, wrestle with today is the epic question of whether the Green Bay Packers should try for a perfect season, or rest their starters in the hopes of being more fresh and healthy for another Super Bowl run.
If you want to be cautious, read Tom Oates column from Monday. He makes as good a case as you can for that point of view. But I don't buy it. Here's why the Pack should go for running the table.
First, there's no evidence that rest helps. Last season the Packers squeaked into the playoffs and had to play every game on the road without a bye. Yet they won it all.
Second, while the risk of needless injuries is real, the Packers have unusual depth at most positions. Last year they won a championship with what seemed like half their starters on crutches.
Third, thanks to that depth, the only real death blow to their chances to repeat would be an injury to Aaron Rodgers. So, why not start Rodgers, get a lead and then put in Matt Flynn when things start to look comfortable? I do agree that Rodgers shouldn't have started the second half against the anemic Raiders.
Fourth and most importantly, perfection matters. The Packers are the NFL's most storied franchise, and for them to achieve what no other teams has done would add to the glory. Miami is the only other team to go undefeated, but they did it in a fourteen game regular season. Winning another Super Bowl would be great, but the Packers have already done that. Four times. Do you remember who won the Super Bowl in, say, 2001? Probably not, but you remember the 1972 Dolphins. When a team is this close to the history books they shouldn't give up on the chance to write their own chapter.
Let's go for a perfect season and if we fail, let's fail daring to do great things. You can quote me.