The Last Family Night Scrimmage Was Terrible, But It Helped
The 16th Packers Family Night is tonight in Green Bay. It will be a night of very little football and a lot of fireworks and little kids getting to see football up close in a real NFL stadium, which is just fine for the last day of July.
Family Night used to be a heck of a lot more, but the last time the Packers tried to make it into something it never should have been in the first place, things went... badly.
It was 2013, and Bryan Bulaga was the projected starting left tackle having made the switch from right tackle in the off-season. At some point during the scrimmage, Bulaga tore his ACL, though he didn't even realize it until the next day.
The Packers were forced to press David Bakhtiari into duty, and though there were some rough spots, he's been a fixture at left tackle ever since.
And then there was the Mason Crosby disaster. Coming off his worst season as a pro, Crosby managed to convert just three of eight opportunities in his competition with upstart kicker Giorgio Tavecchio. Tavecchio managed to make six of seven attempts that night, turning what seemed like a formality into an actual contest for the Packers kicking job.
Crosby, however, quickly refocused and won his battle with Tavecchio. His 2013 season was great, and he's been among the league's best ever since, making 85.7 percent of his field goal attempts, including 13 of 19 from beyond 50 yards.
So while Family Night was pretty grim that August evening in 2013, it's actually helped the Packers grow.
But let's not bring it back.