10 Year Challenge Wisconsin Sports Edition

The big thing on Facebook now is the 10 year challenge where people post a picture of themselves from back in 2009 and see how much they have changed in appearance.  As a sports fan it is sometimes fun to think about what your favorite teams/players will be like in 10 years.  Some of these “hot takes” may seem unreasonable at the time, but in sports anything is possible.  We have all seen unbelievable game-winners or players who have self destructed or burst onto the scene.  Lets take a look at the local teams and what their 10 year challenge would look like along with the hot takes that would have been back in 2009.  In addition we will make some predictions for 2029.

Green Bay Packers:

2009 True Hot Take —  The McCarthy/Rodgers duo will only win 1 Super Bowl in the next 10 seasons.

In 2009 the Packers were coming off a tough loss to Arizona in the Wild Card game in a season where they went 11-5 and Rodgers was coming into his own as the franchise QB at age 26.

Packers were set up for long term success and won the Superbowl the next season.  Since then Rodgers has taken on a bit of an ego and the relationship between him and McCarthy deteriorated.  On the defensive side of the ball, the Packers finished the season as a top 5 defense and continued that in 2010.  Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers was one of the most highly regarded DCs in the NFL.  Since that point Dom Capers became the absolute worst defense coordinator in the NFL and eventually was fired many years overdue.

2029 — Current UW-Madison commit Graham Mertz becomes the next Packers franchise QB and wins two Super Bowls.

With how Aaron Rodgers plays he will be out of the league by 2022.  By that time Graham Mertz will be heading into the NFL draft.  The Packers have a history of attaining UW school’s QBs as we have seen recently with both Tolzien from Madison and Blanchard from Whitewater.  It is not unreasonable to believe they will have interest in Mertz.  Give him a few years after being drafted and he will be a 2 time Super Bowl champion.

Milwaukee Brewers:

2009 True Hot Take —  Utility man Craig Counsell will be the Manager and a 30 year old GM will lead the Brewers into annual playoff contenders.

The Brewers had a big 2008 making the playoffs led by Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun.  In 2009 they took a step back missing the playoffs while finishing the season below .500.  At the time Counsell was a player, and Stearns was working for MLB in negotiating the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  At the time of the hire in 2015 Stearns was just 1 year younger than Ryan Braun.  This was a big change from long-time GM Doug Melvin.  Since that point Stearns implemented a strong analytical system while making big free agent moves including the signing of 2018 MVP Christian Yelich.  Braun now is a part-time player and mentor for younger players.

2029 — Stearns brings a championship to Milwaukee.

This may not be too hot of a hot take but it should happen in the next 10 years.  There is a core of strong players at the moment and a farm system that should be able to produce future talent.  Given the talent in the front office with Stearns at the helm and former Fangraph’s writer August Fagerstrom contributing they will find a way to win.  At the same time the Cubs dynasty is on its way down.  In 2029 the Brewers will have been through the winning seasons, gone through a rebuild in 2023-2027 and will be back to competing for a World Series.

There could be an entire post just about just how different the NFL and MLB will be in 2029.  Just from 2009 both league have changed so much.  Nobody would expect small QBs with not much arm strength winning Super Bowls or seasons with more strikeouts and home runs than ever before in baseball.  The crazy part about sports is that hot takes can easily become true.

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