Green Bay Packers: Entering a pivotal year which will help define whether 2013 was a year lost to injury or a decline in the teams’ ability to compete for an NFL Title. Aaron Rodgers became the first Packers’ Quarterback to miss more than one regular season game (missing 7-starts) in more than 20-years. Yet the team found a way to make the playoffs by winning the NFC North. What will be revealed in 2014—is whether the Packers will be competing for a Division Title or an NFL Title. The Packers are in a good place—one of the NFL’s model franchises--.but make no mistake, 2014 is a pivotal year for the franchise—most importantly Mike McCarthy. His seat could warm up significantly if the Packers fall under .500 in 2014. Overall, the performance of Ted Thompson has been outstanding—but the production of his drafted defensive players, and his avoidance of Free-Agency will be called into question if the defense isn’t much improved in 2014. Bottom line--Packers are one of the NFL’s top franchises and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Milwaukee Brewers: Entering the 2014 season, the Brewers should make a push to be relevant and competitive again. 2013 was the most forgettable season in recent team history—it all began with a Doug Melvin Scorpion sting at Spring Training…and got worse from there…including a 6-22 record in May, Yovani Gallardo’s DUI, Corey Harts double knee surgery and lost season, and Ryan Braun’s 65-game season ending suspension for his relationship with PED provider-Biogenesis. A forgettable 2013 is all done. Can the Brewers once again be considered a contender in 2014? As the league’s smallest market team, everything has to go right. Doug Melvin is as good as the Brewers can hope for in a General Manager—despite a woeful Minor League system. Ron Roenicke is a very likeable Manager…but will be measured by wins and losses in 2014, with his job likely hanging in the balance. Most of all—it will be a season to watch Ryan Braun. His numbers this year will determine whether his career on the field has been a lie as well. There is optimism…this should be a season for the Brewers to be on an uptick.
Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks are impressively bad…and that’s good…right? As a work in progress, the Bucks are finger painting their way through the NBA’s art gallery. There is no getting around that this team is the worst in the NBA. That idea is providing hope for a franchise that hasn’t had any since Andrew Bogut was a rookie. When the Bucks report to the Cousins Center for camp in September, there will be a star on the roster. The “unknown” star will be 19 or 20-years old, and the center-piece of Milwaukee’s NBA future. Let’s hope he is worthy of the position. There are even bigger issues off the court. Specifically--Ownership and a new arena. Owner Herb Kohl has been a franchise savior—but he knows it’s time to move on—while not allowing the team to “move on.” New “local-ownership” and a new arena are absolute musts. 2104 will go a long way in determining whether the Bucks are returning to relevance in Milwaukee…or the new team on the move to Seattle.