Archive for March, 2009

Survey Madness

March 4, 2009

Anyone else notice that every time you make a phone call to any sort of company, you are asked in some way, at some point in the call, about how the service was – or asked to do a survey at the end of the call. I am massively annoyed by this. I called my bank the other day because I didn’t recognize the company my online bank account indicated took money from me. I was concerned. I called and spoke to a rep who cleared up the matter instantly – honestly, my situation was addressed in 4 seconds. I was then asked if I wanted to complete some survey. I didn’t and I never do, but for some strange reason that day, I wanted to see how long the survey took. I said fine and the survey ended up lasting nearly 30x longer (2 minutes) than the matter for which I called. I was pissed (though it was my fault for allowing curiosity to take hold).

And, just yesterday, I had another example, this one an email survey. It came from Turbo Tax. I had a tax question that I emailed in and the response given to me in an email from Turbo Tax was 10 words long. The number of words in the survey below it was 40-50 words. Ridiculous.

Given the out of control use of surveys today, I worry for the future of customer service. Will it look like this:

  • “Good afternoon sir, how can we help you today?”
  • “Um, I had a quick question about…”
  • “Excuse me, would you be able to complete a quick survey rating the effectiveness of the greeting I used…?”

I know the major argument against my having a problem with this survey madness is that they are voluntary and I don’t have to do them. But my counter to that point would be that just because they’re voluntary doesn’t mean they’re not annoying!

(From a clinical perspective, I’d say that this constant need for reassurance is an epidemic crisis of collective corporate self-esteem.)

John Lach

March 4, 2009

Why Not Holliday?

March 4, 2009

Unlike many PG readers, I like Ted Thompson’s overall approach to free agency and the draft.

I like sitting out the first weekend and all of its silliness.  That’s especially true this year — which was a very weak free agent class.  Were the Packers going to pay $100m for Albert Haynesworth?  No chance.  I think they would have been foolish to pay half that much.  The Redskins are going to get an on-again, off-again player who is dominant when we wants to be (as he has been these past two contract years) and is mediocre when he’s unmotivated.  (Think a much more talented Cletidus Hunt.)

And I don’t think the Packers would have been a significantly better team for having signed Chris Canty.  (He had 3 sacks and 37 tackles playing opposite DeMarcus Ware.  Maybe he’ll blossom in New York and I’ll be happy to acknowledge that I was wrong.  But right now, he’s an average player at best and the Giants overpaid for him.)  Thompson could have done more to express an interest and I think the complaints from Canty’s agent in that regard have some merit.  But ultimately what matters is money and we weren’t going to pay him as much as the Giants did.

But I’m surprised that the Packers apparently aren’t interested in Vonnie Holiday.   As Greg Bedard points out, Holliday  likes Wisconsin, he’s a veteran and a he’s a leader.  And he can still play.  In fact, his numbers — 3.5 sacks, 29 tackles — look a lot like Chris Canty’s — and Holliday wasn’t playing opposite DeMarcus Ware.

All of this, plus his real name is Dimetry Giovonni Holliday.  And in training camp he’d occasionally line up against Breno Gomes Giacomini.

What happened to Illinois LB Jeremy Leman?

March 4, 2009

This morning after reading through a few mock drafts and seeing the name Vontae Davis (from Illinois – quality CB), for some reason, it made me think about a LB I remember being dominant during his college days at Illinois. I couldn’t remember his name and I had no idea if he was still on the team or if he graduated. After some research, I learned that the guy’s name is Jeremy Leman. He went undrafted in the 2008 draft, but was picked up by MN as a free agent only to be cut during final cuts. Most recently he was signed by the Carolina Panthers after sitting out all of 2008.

The reason I bring him up is that I watched several Illinois games that year and remember him being one of the better college LBs I’d seen play in a while.  He was positively dominant – all over the field. I can’t imagine why he would go undrafted unless he got injured somewhere along the line or had a horrendous combine. After watching him play during the 2007 Illini Rose Bowl campaign, I just assumed Leman would be a quality NFL player.  Anyone know what happened or why he’s become an NFL afterthought?

It’s Square Root Day!

March 3, 2009

There is a close friend of mine who reads Packergeeks almost everyday (though curiously, he never comments on the site). Anyway, my guess is that he’s pretty excited today because today is the math holiday called Square Root Day (3/3/09). Read here for more on Square Root Day. While we here at Packergeeks are definitely geekish with our Packer madness, we can’t touch this kind of math geekiness. (To think, someone somewhere this morning got up with a slightly swifter step and extra positive outlook because today is Square Root Day…it really makes you think about how we’re all different, in some cases very different.)

Anyway, this close friend of mine, when we were young, obnoxious teens, once yelled for many to hear “I love math”. Girls were even present. Imagine a kid saying this to other teens. It went over like Eleanor Roosevelt on a fashion runway. Sure, he did eventually get his PhD by age 26-27 and became a successful, tenured professor at a high quality University by his early 30s – but still, I’m not sure anything justifies a public exclamation like “I love math” in front of teen cohorts.

Anyway, anonymous Packergeek friend, daily -reader-no-commenter, are you celebrating Square Root Day?

Vonnie Holliday, Jason Taylor, Dom Capers reunion?

March 2, 2009

OK, I have no evidence for this – haven’t even read any rumors anywhere. Once again, I’m starting rumors. But Vonnie Holliday was just released by the Dolphins in a cap room move. Jason Taylor was also just released by the Skins. Let’s just pick them both up. Let’s not make sort-of offers and come up just short again. Let’s just call them up, sign them and have them both in GB tomorrow. A Capers-Taylor-Holliday reunion.

Just did some rather geekish reading to learn that a couple years ago, when Holliday was facing unrestricted free agency in Miami, it was Capers who was instrumental in bringing him back (not sure if he enticed with piano or guitar). Capers likes him, many a Packer fan still feels badly re how Holliday departed Green Bay and importantly, he is exactly the kind of character/football guy MM and TT like so much. To me, he’d be a great addition because he has valuable experience in Capers’ 3-4, would line up as a DE, and because he has been a captain recently – he is a defensive and locker room leader.

Throw Taylor in there for the hell of it and see what happens. Why not? Despite their age, I can say with certainty, having both would improve our defense instantly (and at least Holliday would come cheap).

Peter King nugget re Pack operations

March 2, 2009

Took this from Peter King’s MMQB over at cnnsi.com:

Weirdest thing I heard over the weekend: Pack gave their coaches the weekend off. They’ll be in today, and this week, to work on the free agents. I’m told that has meaning — that the Packers want to send the message that free agency spending these days is profligate, and they’ll get in when the Dan Snyders get out.

Interesting, but not shocking. While I too think the initial wave of free agent pick-ups is often characterized by ridiculous contracts players don’t really deserve, giving the coaches the weekend off is going one step too far in the other direction. In fact, Peter King notes that the Pack had scheduled a meeting with Canty for today – but I read somewhere else that it wasn’t scheduled sooner because TT wanted Canty to meet the Packers’ coaching staff (which we now know was not at work over the weekend). Perhaps if TT hadn’t given the coaches the weekend off, the Pack might have Chris Canty on board.

Vandermause right – Rosenfels?

March 2, 2009

I must say, I had the same reaction as Vandermause to the news that the Vikes had acquired QB Sage Rosenfels from Houston. While I still don’t think Tarvaris is terrible (maintaining my view that with a decent coach, he could be very good), I don’t think picking up Rosenfels makes much sense. It’s almost like management wanted someone just as mediocre as the departed Gus Frerotte. Don’t get me wrong, I like that MN has wasted money and a roster spot here. But I just don’t follow the reasoning when QBs like Jeff Garcia and Byron Leftwich are available.

Packergeeks back – some FA thoughts

March 2, 2009

Sorry for the brief hiatus. I was on vacation the past week in Florida. Here is a round-up of my thoughts on free agency thus far:

  • Chiefs/Pioli being aggressive so far. Managed to acquire two quality players (Cassell, Vrabel) without giving up much because he knew that the Pats had little leverage with nearly $30 million in QB contracts tied up heading into next year.
  • Brian Dawkins might have been a nice player to add to our roster.
  • Colin Cole was not that great and I’m not crying for his loss. However, I remain concerned re our overall D-Line depth.
  • Too bad Chris Canty was snagged by the Giants. Sounds like we were serious about picking him up but once again, fell just short. Bigger concern for me here is the pattern of the Packers falling short when trying to pick up bigger-time free agents (Randy Moss, Tony Gonzalez, Chris Canty, others I’m sure). One quiet possible consequence of Favre’s departure may be a diminished interest among free agents in coming to Green Bay.
  • Too bad Bart Scott went to the NYJ.
  • Ray Lewis is still available – would he be worth pursuing to at least help us get this defense implemented for the next 2-3 years (and also, because he’s a veteran leader)?
  • Why isn’t Ted Thompson looking at Jim Leonhard? Leonhard won’t command a huge contract and he knows the 3-4 well – and he just seems like the kind of under-the-radar football guy TT seems to crave.

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