|The ghostly presence of Mayhem, shown here piling on|
An attempt to gain an extra edge went awry for the Green Bay Packers on Monday night when recently-acquired fullback, the Allstate Insurance-contrived mythical figure known as Mayhem, contributed to a play which injured his own starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. As Rodgers was being sacked by Bears defensive end Shea McClellin, Mayhem apparently jumped on top of McClellin, forcing Rodgers’ left shoulder violently into the turf. Rodgers left the game and did not return, and the Packers’ cut-rate insurance plan, Seneca Wallace, was unable to see over the heads of his lineman, as the Bears claimed their first victory at Lambeau Field since the Coolidge administration.
Lost amidst the panic of a potential multi-week stretch without Rodgers is the shroud of mystery surrounding the Packers’ fullback, Mayhem. An anonymous team source claims the signing took place during the bye week, with Mayhem to serve as a battering ram for rookie… battering ram.. Eddie Lacy. The source remarked that the aim was to “get a real running game going, and turn the tables a little on the whole god-hates-us rash of injuries.” Any ‘collateral damage’ to opposing defensive players was left out of his written contract, but the Packers apparently expected Mayhem to “at least twist a few knees from time to time.” As Mayhem is technically a force of nature, and barely visible to the human eye (unless contractually obligated for television advertisements), league rules to not require the Packers to list him on the 46-player gameday roster. The only sensory evidence of Mayhem’s involvement at the time of the play was a shrill, maniacal cackling heard by both McClellin and Rodgers after the play. In an attempt to obtain comment from the fullback following Monday’s contest, a network camera operator slipped in a pool of gasoline, dropped his cigarette, and burst into flames.
Beyond dealing with the loss of Rodgers, the Packers also now have a tough decision with regards to Mayhem's tenure in Green Bay. Some are also pointing an accusatory finger toward the injury sustained by Jermichael Finley, which leaves his season, and perhaps his career in question. Speculation is running wild regarding the fullback’s potential involvement in an incident bearing the undeniable mark of the kind of invisible player who falls on cars from great heights, distracts teenage drivers, and lights camera operators on fire. In releasing Mayhem, however, the Packers are clearly concerned about the decline of the now-ever-important running game, as well as possible retribution from a potentially dangerous character. In an official team comment on that very issue, General Manager Ted Thompson essentially defended his player, stating: “Mayhem is a valued member of our organization, and we currently no plans to release him, or reduce his role on the field due to these unfounded accusations of his intention to injure Aaron Rodgers. Also, Mike McCarthy, the front office staff and I all agree – we don’t need that fucker releasing raccoons into our homes during Christmas dinner.”
Packers fans, however are clearly more focused on the state of their star quarterback. Wisconsin State Highway Patrol officers have been advised to keep an eye out for any cars parked near bridges of significant height, and the legal sale of Draino, handguns, and beverages with an alcohol content of over 60% have been restricted to hippies and out-of-towners until further notice. The internet and social media are expectedly ablaze with Eeyore-isms, blame (in all directions), and doomsday predictions for the Packers’ season. One such comment, attributed to the handle “Cow42,” actually predicted the Packers would somehow manage to lose 31 games this season now that Rodgers is out.
Indeed, the gloom hangs heavy in Packerland, and as Mike McCarthy put it “We’re going to do the best we can, but to be honest, when was the last time you saw a Packer team that sustained a high number of key injuries, had to start a backup quarterback late in the season, and relied on a strong running game and stout defensive line – when is the last time you saw a team like that really achieve anything?”