How to Become a Punchline


According to this story by Don Walker, Mike McCarthy has fired a 22-year veteran of the Packers maintenance crew because, according to the team, the worker had the temerity to say “don’t lay an egg” to McCarthy before the Vikings game.  The worker, Mike Wood, denies saying this, claiming instead that he said “let’s get the boys ready to kick some butt this weekend.”

I don’t know who to believe.  On the one hand, does anyone ever use the phrase “kick some butt” anymore?  I can see “kick some ass” or something along those lines but I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say “kick some butt” since 1982.  On the other hand, there is no one in the story who confirms the Packers’ account.

For argument’s sake, let’s assume the guy said some version of what McCarthy thought he heard.  Maybe something like: “Don’t let the boys lay an egg this weekend, let’s get them ready to kick some ass.”

Is that really worth firing someone who has worked for the team for two decades?  That is crazy – and looks even worse since the Packers did, in fact, go out and lay and egg November 1.

The irony should be obvious to even the most casual observer.

On the one hand, McCarthy says publicly that special teams coach Shawn Slocum, whose unit has performed poorly all year and largely cost the Packers their last two games, “has done a good job.”  And Mike Wood, whose 22 years with the Packers suggest he probably really has done a good job, is fired for making (or not making) a wisecrack?

I don’t think this story ends well for Coach Mangini, er, McCarthy.

How disrespected are the Packers now?  I was listening to Sirius NFL Radio on my drive in the other day and squeezed in between their hours of discussion devoted to the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers they managed to preview the Cowboys-Packers game.

It was depressing.

The commentators — I think it was Bryan McGovern and Gil Brandt — wondered aloud whether this might be a “trap” game for the Cowboys.  That is, coming off a big victory against Philadelphia, the Cowboys might be so confident about a win this weekend in Green Bay that they would overlook the Packers and lose.

Two months ago, the Packers were being discussed seriously as a potential NFC champion.  Now, after two losses to the Vikings and last week’s defeat at Tampa, they are considered so weak that teams could look beyond them to future games.

Not good.



12 Responses to “How to Become a Punchline”

  1. Trav Says:

    Love the Mangini/McCarthy drop in. Well done…

  2. Aaron Rogders Says:

    I have used the phrase kick some butt. Not everyone swears you know…

    I am almost at the point where I hope the Packers do really bad in the second half of this season. Only because I want MC and TT fired after the season. If they somehow make it to the playoffs it is not because of MM. A super bowl win should be the only way for them to keep their jobs for next year.

    One last thought, I don’t believe this article to be true. Does the coach really have HR responsibilities for the maintenance crew as well? I doubt that..

  3. sfhayes Says:

    I stand corrected on “kick some butt.” Maybe I spend too much time with people we used know as “sweary Harrys.”

    Not sure why you don’t believe the story. The JS reporter got it, the employee in question spoke on the record (after resisting) and the Packers confirmed in a statement that he was fired for making an inappropriate comment. If McCarthy wants someone fired, he can fire him.

  4. Joe Says:

    “If McCarthy wants someone fired, he can fire him.” Even for a guy on the grounds crew? That is just stupid. What the heck does Mark Murphy do if McCarthy is also the HR director. This guy is on the payroll for 22 years and this Coach Chucklhead can fire him for making a comment?

  5. Ron La Canne Says:

    Packer Management is starting to look like one of those tiny, broken down cars with hundreds of clowns exiting. TT and MM can’t win so the solution is fire a groundskeeper. I’d start by firing the whole O-line. Jolly headbutts an opponent and it’s no big deal, but you’ve gotta watch those evil groundskeepers.


  6. Doug in Sandpoint Says:

    I, for one, am glad to finally discover who is to blame for this year’s poor performance. It seems common sensical to me that when the team performs poorly that the responsible parties are rooted out and sent packing. We know through MM’s statements that it is not Campman’s, Slocum’s, Capers’, or McCarthy’s fault. We are told the schemes are fine. And it doesn’t appear to be the players’ faults or else changes would have been made. Keen observers will observe who has left the organization when assessing blame for our recurrent underperformance.

    Since the VP of Marketing left before the most recent suckiness, it is obvious that Don Walker is the culprit. I think we can all give a huge sigh of relief knowing that this cancer has finally been cut out. If only we had known sooner, think of how many Lombardi trophies would be on display.

  7. Doug in Sandpoint Says:

    Oops. I didn’t mean we should kill the messanger. It is Mike Wood who is to blame, not Don Walker. My sincere aplogies to Mr Walker and his family for lumping him in with the dreaded Mike Wood. As for you Mr. Wood, all I can say is, “My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!”

    This balme and revenge stuff is tough.

  8. 56Coop Says:

    Evidently on some radio show in WI MM says he didn’t fire anyone. I guess the guy knew that his pad levels were not right, he was not paying attention to the scheme, and didn’t really think it was fixable, so he just up & quit.

  9. Ron La Canne Says:

    PM presser update:

    Whole presser on firing. “I was walking through the maintenance tunnel and someone said something (He would never say what) and I responded. I asked Anderson who he was. That’s all!

    He then ends the conference. No matter who said what this makes the GB Packer organization petty and stupid. Hmmmmmm! Could that be telling us something?

  10. foundinidaho Says:

    LOL Doug in Sandpoint. I’ll bet this turns the whole season around.

  11. Debbie B Says:

    Woods probably did tell him not to lay an egg and nothing worse than that or McCarthy would have defended his own actions more vociferously. If the story were completely wrong, McCarthy would have tried harder to clarify what happened. I am a fair-weather Packers fan and didn’t have a strong opinion on McCarthy one way or the other until now. He must be absurdly insecure and insensitive to be offended by such an innocuous comment. Even if he didn’t personally fire Woods, he could have stepped in to say he felt that firing the man was too severe of a consequence – as anyone with an ounce of common sense or compassion would have done. I hope the Packers organization will treat McCarthy with the same mercy he has shown Woods.

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