Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Packer Transplants @ 8PM Central

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The "I Told You So" Post

I have been insanely busy with work lately and haven't had any time for updates. Anyhow, here's are three moves that I advocated this offseason that were controversial to varying degrees but that sure look like good ideas now.

In the interest of balance, I plan on a future post in the near future pointing out all of the times I was full of crap. But like I said, I'm way to busy for that now.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fact Checker: Packer Red Zone Efficiency

From Railbird:

Red zone offense sucks yet again. I'm really tired of this. Packers fans had to endure an entire season a year ago of awful red zone offense. Today illustrated that as good as the offense is, there is still a LOT of work to be done. If they could convert half of Mason Crosby's field goals into touchdowns today, I'd feel a lot better about the team going forward this year.

In reality the Packers had one of the best redzone offenses in the league last season. Number 6 to be exact.

Today was frustrating, but that doesn't mean that redzone efficiency has been some type of chronic problem.

It hasn't.


That Don't Impress Me Much.

  • Yes. That is a very dated reference. What of it?
  • I simply cannot get very excited about beating the Lion's scout team. I'm sure some fans are going to argue that "hey this Lions are the same team that yada yada yada." Wrong. This is not the same team that played the Vikings tough for a half or beat the Redskins. This was a team that was down to its third string quarterback and was playing without Calvin Johnson, and four defensive starters.
  • Three things I did not need to see today: (1) five unsportsmanlike penalties; (2) a flea-flicker on 3rd and1 ; (3) Pickett's ass crack (yikes).
  • While I still question the trade that brought him to Green Bay, Matthews already looks like he could become the player that Hawk hasn't.
  • I think we may have seen the last of Chad Clifton, and Thompson should have seen that coming.
  • The Vikings have won two games on unlikely last second plays.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pointless Tuesday List: Favorite Packer/Pop Culture Crossovers

It's been a while since I have done one of these. Here are my five favorite Packer/pop culture crossovers:

(5) Don Majkowski covers "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."

Every rose has its thorn. Just like every night has its dawn. Just like every metaphor breaks down eventually.

Back in 1990 the Majik Man has a minor radio hit in Wisconsin with his cover of Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." He donated all the proceeds to cystic fibrosis research.

Is it just me or should Brett Michaels write a new verse about a Pro Bowl quarterback who finished second to Joe Montana in MVP voting only to blow out his rotator cuff, be succeeded by a Hall of Fame quarterback, and be relegated to a footnote in football history. Damn. Every rose really does have its thorn.

As shown below, the Majik Man is still singing his signature tune. If you can listen to this without wanting to throw up a lighter and nod soulfully, you are a dick:

(4) Reggie White and Friends Film Reggie's Prayer.

This is one that I have posted about before. And for good reason. It's one of the greatest things of all time. Reggie White and Pat Morita with cameos from Favre, Holmgren, Paup, MC Hammer, Willie Roaf, Gayle Sayers, and the Paul "Big Show" Wight. Now THAT is an ensemble cast.

The movie is as well-meaning as it is hilarious. It's earnest gone to camp (word play!).

(3) Bart Starr Appears on "Gentle Ben."

I vaguely (and I mean vaguely) remember seeing this episode in syndication when I was a kid. For those that are unfamiliar with this show, it was like Flipper, except with a bear and without the awesome theme song. It starred Clint Howard.

How perfect is this cameo? "Gentle Ben" is about the furthest thing from cool as was ever recorded on film---maybe the most wholesome (and kind of boring) family show that ever aired. Many valuable lessons were learned. Bart Starr wouldn't have it any other way.

(Actually, come to think of it "Gentle Ben" might in fact be one of the most subversive family shows ever.)

(2) Ray Nitschke Appears in Head.

Here's another one in the "this really happened" category. The Monkees made a (strange) movie called "Head" and recruited cameos from lots of stars like Jack Nicholson, Sonny Liston, Frank Zappa (with a talking cow, of course) and Ray Nitchke.

The movie requires some "suspension of disbelief": everyone knows that single digit numbers are reserved for quarterbacks and kickers:

(1) Brett Favre Appears in There's Something About Mary.

Look. I hate the guy, but he did have one of the most awesome scenes in one of the highest grossing comedies of all time. The cameo was so well set-up. I saw the movie on opening weekend and had no idea the Favre scene was coming. I nearly fell out of my chair. Even watching it now, it kind of made me like Favre if only just a little. Don't worry: I got over it.

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Office is the Brett Favre of Sitcoms

Okay, I finally saw the (pitiful) "wedding episode" of The Office. I come to the realization that The Office is the Brett Favre of sitcoms:

  • It is wildly inconsistent ranging from brilliant (the season premier) to cringeworthy (the wedding episode).
  • Now matter how bad it gets, critics just continue to lavish praise on it.
  • It is treated as if it is an "all time great" but it unworthy of the distinction.

The wedding episode is the equivalent of throwing six picks in the playoffs. Just inexcusably terrible (although you won't have to search too hard to find fans making excuses).

For the record, the British Office is the Bart Starr of sitcoms: it came first and while it was less flashy it would never crap the bed in a big game.

And if have I have to stretch this premise even thinner, Arrested Development is the Joe Montana of sitcoms.


Oooooohhhhh Yooooo-o-o-ko!

Ms. Tynes-Favre: you are on the list.

I can see why she might be so bitter, considering the Packer organization and fans were so unsupportive during her health problems.

You've come along way from getting into drunken shouting matches with your redneck baby-daddy. But I'm glad to see you haven't forgotten your roots and still have the same amount of class.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Packers Are Rebuilding and It's Too Late to Whine Now

I worried back in January that a switch to the 3-4 would doom the Packers to a few seasons of rebuilding. Then a couple weeks back I noted that this season is starting to feel like a rebuilding year. At this point, if I had to bet, 2009 is the first year of a 3 year rebuilding project.

Next offseason the Packers are going to need cornerbacks, safeties, linebackers, defensive linemen, offensive lineman, and running backs. How in the world is Thompson (or somebody else) going to fill even half of those needs next year? The Packers are going to be patching a lot of holes with bandaid solutions for at least another season after this one (and probably two more seasons). That's not to say the Packers can't be competitive and even make the playoffs, but I think any dreams of the Packers in the Super Bowl are on hold for three more seasons.

It all comes backs to the scheme switch. The switch left too many holes (and perceived holes) on the team. Thompson went out and bundled four draft picks to get two players in the front seven. In the process, he completely ignored the looming problems at both tackles.

The Packers were a play away from the Super Bowl just one year earlier. Why effectively blow up the team and start from scratch? It made little sense at the time, and it makes even less sense now. It wasn't a terrible idea. It was a terrible time.

By the time the Packers get everything ironed out a lot of the key players from the 2007 NFC Championship Game (Driver, Woodson, Harris, Kampman) will be retired or on different teams.

In an alternative universe, the Packers hired another 4-3 coordinator, got a huge boost from the return of Cullen Jenkins, drafted Michael Oher (and had three more higher round picks to fix other problems) and look a lot better now and in the future.

In any event, there were a lot of folks clamouring for a system switch. (Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.) You got your wish, now stop whining. In fact, I'm revoking your whining privileges effective immediately.

We are rebuilding. There is little to do about it now, and were all in this together now.

So buck up. It's time to cope.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Green Bay's Next Top Scapegoat.

A couple weeks ago, I almost posted a question asking who Packer fans (and Packer bloggers in particular) would promote to #1 scapegoat now that Packers fans can't hyperventilate about Bob Sanders after every loss.

The mob has spoken and the answer appears to be James Campen. Andy Hayes goes so far as to suggest that the Mark Tauscher could step in and do a better job than Campen. Really? How could anybody that is not part of the locker room possibly pretend to know that?

It could just as easily be a lack of talent to work with. You can't make General Tso's Chicken out of a platter of chicken poo poo. On the defensive side of the ball the Packers have 5 former first round draft picks in the front seven (this is not even counting Justin Harrell). The Packers don't have a single first round pick on the offensive line. The Packers just haven't invested much in the offensive line.

So is it nature (Thompson didn't acquire enough talent) or is it nuture (the talent is there but Campen can't develop it)? That's a pretty complicated question, and I am dubious that too many (if any) bloggers are competent to offer an even semi-informed opinion on the topic.

Nevertheless, people have an innate need to find really simple (and unfounded) answers to complicated questions. Too many injuries? It must be the trainer's fault. Is there a contract holdout? It must be the negotiator's fault. Too many sacks? It must be the offensive line coach's fault. That's just the way it is.

So congratulations, Campen: you're Green Bay's Next Top Scapegoat.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I'm with Silverstein

From his chat (sub req'd):

I think Bigby would have helped, but it was just Favre's night. He was at the top of the game. Every time he faced a third down, he picked out the weak spot in coverage and attacked it. It was a thing of beauty. The guy knew every blitz the Packers threw at him -- which wasn't that many, but anyway -- and seemed a step ahead of Capers. He was on. He'll have games when he's not on.

This is basically the game in a nutshell. So I don't understand why everyone is so distraught. The Packers played a division rival, on the road, facing a future HOF quarterback who played one of his best games ever. It may be painful to admit, but it was "just Favre's night."

I also don't buy for a second that the game was not as close as the final score. If anything, the game was even closer than the final score. Rodgers threw for almost 400 yards. And the game ultimately came down to a dropped touchdown on fourth down. If the game had actually ended on that play, everyone would think the game was as close as close games can get. I would argue that the game doesn't become less close if the critical play happened in the 3rd quarter.


Why so serious?

Last night I had to go to the men's room and I wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible, so I was watching a Packers' third quarter drive from the bottom of the stairs, thinking I would have a head start on the change of possession rush.

4th and 1 from the goal line. Rodgers hits Lee for the TD. Sweet. I immediately turned and speed walked to the john.

Then I came back and the Packers still had 14 points. I asked some random guy what happened to the touchdown.

What touchdown he says.

The touchdown on the 4th and 1.

There was no touchdown.

Yes there was I saw it with my own eyes. Did the Vikings challenge it or something?

No. There never was a touchdown.

Then some other dude pipes up that the pass was dropped.

It was all very confusing to a guy who was already a little goofed up on Tusin and Jager-bombs.

Anyhow. There was no touchdown, and that was the difference of the game.

I suppose I am a little surprised by all the doom and gloom today. All in all, the Packers played pretty well, maybe their best game of the year. (Okay, I was drunk during the game and the Metrodome is a terrible place to watch football but from what I was able to observe, the Packers did welll).

If I were to have come up with my "keys" to game yesterday I probably would have said: (1) stop Adrian Peterson and (2) use the short passing game to sustain drives.

The Packers did both very well last night. I do not understand the criticism of Capers today. (I say this as a Capers agnostic.) Sure I would have liked to have seen more pressure, but you can't always get everything you want. The Packer defense made Adrian Peterson look like the other Adrian Peterson. The Packers challenged Favre to beat them, and Favre rose to the occasion. Sometimes thats the way it goes. I'm not going to second guess Capers and his game plan. The way those guys bottled up Peterson was amazing.

On the other side of the ball, the Packers had basically no problem moving up and down the field. The Vikings have a pretty good defense, and even with the protection problems, Rodgers worked them. That's good to see.

Last year the Packers lost on account of the previously unknown "unnatural throwing motion rule." This year it came down to a dropped one yard pass on fourth down (that secretly I still think was a catch.)

Oh well.

But overall, I actually feel much better about this team today than I did last week.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Dispatch From the Other Side of the Rubicon

If you are reading this right now it means that I am in a a very dark place: Minnesota.

Where do I start? Trying to write about this game, I was reminded of Chuck Klosterman's review of "Guns N' Roses" (really just Axl) Chinese Democracy:

Reviewing Chinese Democracy is not like reviewing music. It's more like reviewing a unicorn. Should I primarily be blown away that it exists at all? Am I supposed to compare it to conventional horses? To a rhinoceros? Does its pre-existing mythology impact its actual value, or must it be examined inside a cultural vacuum, as if this creature is no more (or less) special than the remainder of the animal kingdom? I've been thinking about this record for 15 years; during that span, I've thought about this record more than I've thought about China, and maybe as much as I've thought about the principles of democracy. This is a little like when that grizzly bear finally ate Timothy Treadwell: Intellectually, he always knew it was coming. He had to. His very existence was built around that conclusion. But you still can't psychologically prepare for the bear who eats you alive, particularly if the bear wears cornrows.

How do we even begin to talk about this game? What do you compare it to? I have no clue. But this is it.

This is really happening.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kudos to Bedard.

This is simply great. I read it twice it was so good.

I hope to see more pieces like this in the future. Less puff stories and more stuff like this.

Many months ago I bemoaned the trend of newpapers becoming too much like bloggers. Bedard's piece is a prime example of what a good journalist can do that a silly blogger can't do. Journalists still have access to people that we don't have access to.