Archive for March, 2008

The Pack in Iraq

March 19, 2008

Balad, Iraq — So I’m having breakfast yesterday at a mess hall in Balad, Iraq, when I look up and staring back at me is Mark Tauscher. Not really Mark Tauscher, but Tauscher on a poster in a Green Bay Packer display case on the wall. It was one of several NFL displays set up at the mess hall to boost morale. It worked for me. Tauscher was featured on a poster that showed Mike Wahle, Marco Rivera, Chad Clifton and Mike Flanagan standing on or in front of a road-grader. The bottom of the poster reads: “Paving the Way.”

The display also had a Packer pennant, covers of two gameday programs (including one from the win over Seattle in the playoffs a couple years back), a 2004 team photo, and a huge, white #87 David Martin jersey.

It’s cool, though all of the stuff is outdated.

I know the Packers do a lot for charity and I think this display and others like it in Iraq, gives them another opportunity. They should donate some new stuff for Packer-supporting troops in Iraq.


Sal Paolantonio, Still Clueless, Admits Using a Blowdryer

March 19, 2008

Last week, Mike Vandermause smacked around ESPN commentator/reporter Sal Paolantonio for his idiotic column on Brett Favre. We made a similar case a week earlier, here.

With the ferocity of a blindside sack, ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio called Favre overrated and argued the last decade of his career was pedestrian. Paolantonio not only attacked Favre’s credentials, but blasted the media for heaping undeserved praise on the quarterback.

It’s an absurd notion, particularly coming from an experienced pro football observer.

Having witnessed the Packers’ starting quarterback first-hand since 1992, my job has been to call it like I see it, with no vested interest in defending Favre and no reason to inflate his career accomplishments. The unemotional, objective facts show clearly that over the wide arc of his career, Favre was brilliant.

Vandermause points to the same major flaw in Paolantonio’s argument that we did: He focuses largely on Favre’s playoff record over the past ten years, ignoring the fact that without Favre as quarterback the Packers might not have had much of a playoff record at all.
Now comes the news that Paolantonio has written a letter to the editor of the paper. You can read about it here.

Thank you for Mike Vandermause’s smackdown of my column on Brett Favre. But I take issue with one major point: I was not trying to criticize Brett Favre, only offer some healthy perspective, provide an alternative take. Favre, as I pointed out, is a bona fide first-ballot Hall of Famer. But I just wanted to hit the pause button on the over-the-top deification of No. 4. In my view, he is not even the greatest Packers quarterback of all time. That would be Bart Starr. Bart Starr has always been treated like Ringo Starr — underappreciated and, these days, overlooked. I was trying to provide some historical context that my brethren in the media often ignores.

By the way, I do use a hairblower, but I never bring it to the press box with me.

Okay, at least the guy has a sense of humor. But I’m not sure it’s worth losing such man-cred to make the joke.

Favre and the Onion – 2 great WI phenomena

March 18, 2008

Thanks to Greg Bedard at jsonline for pointing out this funny Onion article on Favre. Perhaps most interesting is that even the hilarious but often brazen writers at the Onion waited several weeks after Favre’s retirement to post this article. I guess even unabashed hilarity needed time to absorb the pain of Favre’s departure.

Also, check out the infograph here.

Packers sign Jeff George

March 18, 2008

Just kidding. Sorry, experiencing offseason boredom and NFL withdrawal.

Odd bee article – for several reasons

March 17, 2008

Check out this article on CNN today. It is about a truck tipping over and millions of bees escaping. It is remarkable (literally, worth remarking) for several reasons.

1) I am allergic to bees. The scene described is the scariest possible scene I can imagine. I’d rather have to watch 12 straight hours of Vikings metrodome “football” replays than face bees on this scale.
2) This accident was initially reported by Sacremento’s newspaper – the Bee.
3) I never thought that having the AC on might be a bad idea as the vent could suck some bees in – good new knowledge for me.
4) Steve Merchant, the Highway Patrolman quoted in the article said “there was somewhere between six (million) and 16 million of them running around out there”. Several things: a) bees don’t run; b) why did Steve Merchant give or take 10 million bees in his estimate?
5) There is a tremendous acronym used here – the CCD. I can’t wait to start using this and then look at people incredulously when they don’t know that I’m refering to the “Colony Collapse Disorder”.

Bubba Franks a NY Jet

March 17, 2008

Nothing to write here really except Bubba now a Jet. He was a good Packer when he was here for a couple years anyway, but at this point in his career, losing him shouldn’t hurt the Pack too much at all.

Mike McCarthy getting married?

March 17, 2008

I am largely unaware of McCarthy’s family background (this is somewhat intentional as I don’t feel like it’s much my business). But I thought this brief tidbit from the GB Press Gazette was interesting for a couple reasons.

I wasn’t sure, but I had assumed McCarthy was divorced due to his kids living in Texas or somewhere like that. This confirms it. But it is also interesting that he has apparently been wooing the ex-wife of a current member of the Packers Board of Directors. And, this also begs the question: was McCarthy courting this woman during the season – could she in fact be part of the inspiration behind what was mostly genius coaching (or perhaps was it an irrational argument she initiated the night before that left McCarthy less than sharp coaching against he Giants – just kidding, sort of).

Bottom line is: good for Mike. He’s a good guy.

Rodgers sled dog racing?

March 14, 2008

Check out this post from the GB Press Gazette. Funny. Maybe Rodgers does have a quality character that fans can get behind. I realize he was in Alaska for an NFL players/military thing, but still, dog racing?

Players have already commented on how he likes to have fun. I know his facial hair experiments were done jokingly to get a rise out of people. Remember that mustache? That was painful. All he needed were not-dark-enough-sunglasses and a windowless van and they wouldn’t have let him go near schools.

Good News!

March 13, 2008

The New York Giants signed David Carr and his one glove gloves. This comes only days after the Atlanta Falcons re-signed Joey Harrington. It ensures that the Packers will not once again make the Tim Couch mistake.

I’m not big on Quinn Gray and I think it’s unfortunate that Brett Favre’s retirement decision came after free agency started and after unrestricted quarterbacks like John McCown, Todd Collins and especially Billy Volek had signed with other teams. But I’m thrilled that we cannot get either David Carr or Joey Harrington.

Count Peter King as an early Rodgers supporter

March 12, 2008

Peter King writes today about how he has come to believe Rodgers could be a legit QB in the post-Favre era. He makes some good points and I was particularly struck by McCarthy and Favre both pointing out that Rodgers maybe hadn’t really won over his teammates until this past year.