Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Straight Packers Chat

If you’re anything like me and on the computer most of the day, email threads about the Packers will come up often (and are always welcome). While it can sometimes get heated, I found this personal thread that took place over the course of 20 emails yesterday to be extremely unfiltered and optimistic. So why not share it with other fans?*

Subject: PACK

TM: Their D has got to be better this year right? I mean it can’t get any worse. Clinton-Dix is a HUGE get. Bigger than Peppers IMO. IF they can stay healthy—should be a solid unit. I do think Abbey is going to have a good year too with returning kickoffs and punts and seeing some WR action. Excited for season to start.

JJ: I think Peppers is going to be HUGE. A little worried about Clay and his injury.

TM: What injury? From last year? Rest him entire preseason.

FH: I bet Micah Hyde starts at safety.

TM: F—that I will bet you a 6 pack of Lakefront Riverwest Stein that he does NOT start. No effing way. Clinton-Dix will start week 1. Book it.

FH: I’ll take that bet. (Purely on winning the job, not from injury.) McCarthy loves him some Hyde.

TM: Ummm—what does Capers think? I think he has final say on who starts on D. Shake hands…..we have witnesses.

FH: I know Capers does have final say, but I also know that McCarthy doesn’t make statements lightly. {shakes hand} YES! First bet of the season. Feels good.

JJ: Great bet. MM wants Hyde on the field all 4 downs. Good problem to have if our D backfield is deep enough that he may not get to play. Outside Corners: Tramon, Shields. Slot: Hayward. Safeties: Burnett and HaHa. Hyde floats between slot and Safety. House backup on the outside. Wow.

TM: F-injuries this year. Also think Bulaga coming back is HUGE as well.

RG: Contract year players: Bulaga, Tramon, Jordy, Randall, Sherrod, J Bush, Raji, House, DuJuan, Boykin.

FH: I have very high expectations for this team, as they do themselves, I would venture to guess.

JJ: I would hope that Jordy, Cobb and Bulaga get deals before the season starts if healthy.

FH: I actually say you let Sherrod and Bulaga battle it out. Both have injury questions.

JJ: Bulaga, when healthy was best RT in the league. If Sherrod is that good, I would agree. Just haven't seen him play in an actual game in a meaningful role. Hope is still in 1st rd. OL material.  

RG: Bakhtiari could be the best on the O-Line this year and for years to come. Love him.

FH: Bulaga hasn’t played since November of 2012.

JJ: Good point re: Bulaga. That's right he had that weird hip injury before the knee. Really hope he gets back to pro bowl form. Would be huge.  

FH: Having Bakhtiari saved the season an equal amount to having Lacy. IMO.

JJ: Can't wait to see what Lacy does in Sophomore campaign. Such a monster. When does Harris even get on the field?

RG: Also think Carl Bradford will be a stud, and the biggest steal of the Packers draft.

*Posted with emailers' permission

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Packers Minimalist Wallpaper/Poster

So I was GISing (Google Image Searching) for Packers screensavers the other day and couldn't really find anything particular that I liked. And when I considered that Franklin and I have always appreciated minimalist movie posters, I thought I'd combine the two ideas.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Will the Packers Take Bitcoin Already

What’s Bitcoin again?

Bitcoin, kind reader, is a digital currency. You keep your Bitcoins in a digital wallet just like you would with online banking or PayPal, for instance. Numbers on a screen. Except unlike dollar or credit card purchases, with Bitcoin there’s no transaction fees. #NerdGold

The Packers recorded a franchise record of $54 million profit 2013. If you take a typical 2% credit card processing fee alone, that’s well over $1 million. Sound good yet?


Look. Richard Sherman accepts Bitcoin.


And there’s even going to be a Bitcoin Bowl game. 


Hey, I get how the corporate world works. Every decision – from takeout to takeovers – can get micromanaged and analyzed by committee to the point of apathetic agreement. So take baby steps. Just a couple of kiosks here, maybe a beer stand there with these Bitcoin signs and see how it goes for the 2014 season.
You'll be seeing a lot of these
In five years, Bitcoin purchasing will likely be the norm across major venues everywhere, which is why I believe the Packers should lead the way. It’s only fitting that the same team who innovated with public ownership, the Power Sweep and John Kuhn also become the first team to use Bitcoin payments.

I know what you’re saying. Why on Earth would you test a hyper-modern, digital currency in a traditional small town like Green Bay? The answer is simple. If you’re successful Green Bay, you’ll be successful ANYWHERE.

Just one favor: let me buy the first Bitcoin beer and brat.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Game of Mind Games

In 2005, my pal and fellow die-hard Packers fan, Dobber, and I went to Lambeau for the Wildcard game against the Vikings. The tickets were actually given to us, incredibly. In recent years, the Lions and Bears weren’t putting up much of a fight and the Vikings were by far our biggest division rival. The game was itself was unfortunately one of the most unforgettable in Packers’ history. Not only was it just the second home playoff loss EVER, but it was also the game in which Randy Moss mocked mooned the fans. Most of you will recall Joe Buck describing the “disgusting act.” After that, Moss was cemented as arch rival #1 (until he stunk in Oakland and Favre later lobbied for him to come to GB, temporarily splitting Packer fans’ reality).
Bad day for Packer fans.
But that’s not what I choose to remember from that game; something from pre-game, actually. Dobber and I had tailgated several blocks from Lambeau. It was annoying, but parking was free and there was more room to sprawl out in our best Al Bundy poses with a couple of suds. For the Nth time, Dobber told the story how he battled Najeh Davenport in PlayStation once (they lived in the same GB apartment complex), and we should ask him if he wants to hang out sometime. “Sure, let’s do that.” I told him, not believing it would ever happen for a second.
Sit like this once. It's fun.
Before we knew it, the lot was vacant except for parked cars. All the tailgaters had left for their seats. Sure enough, kickoff was just 10 minutes away so we slammed the rest of our beverages, packed our things up in a fury and began the long walk to the stadium. There were two other guys in the same boat. Vikings fans, clad head-to-toe in purple… our polar fan die-hard opposites. We were going to have to walk next to these guys the whole way. Ugh.

You could tell they felt the same way about us, and we were all ready to immediately exchange insults. But something strange happened – no one was taking the first shot. We just kept walking until one of us eventually asked where the other was from. Soon, we were chatting about work, life, etc. and even making genuine compliments about each other’s teams. When it was finally time to part – and I’ll never forget this – one of the guys says to us, “Part of me can’t believe I’m saying this, but good luck to you guys (the Packers).” “Same to you,” we said, shaking hands with them, chuckling at the irony of it all.

There’s a big difference between good-natured ribbing and unfiltered, unprovoked disrespect for no other reason than the jersey one wears. I have no time for these people, who I consider the equivalent of bullies. (And yes, alcohol can play a significant role in all of this, but only to a point.) With dozens of games under my belt, I’ve pretty much experienced them all, and probably have even personified them all to some degree. But I’m feeling done with that posturing BS right now. Maybe it’s as simple as reminding ourselves that we’re not the ones actually competing? Whatever the solution, I simply believe you can have an enjoyable rivalry without the pre-programmed animosity. I believe you can be a die-hard fan without being a dick about it.

Take from this what you will, if anything at all. I can only tell you the times I’ve had the chance to engage the person instead of the jersey, I’ve gotten new perspectives, had healthier conversations, and as my story illustrates, much better memories. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Your "Draft Grades" Amuse the Zang Meh Doh

“Good pick…Nice value…Reach!...Great draft!”

The Zang Meh Doh finds these generalizations amusing.

Who, or what exactly, is Zang Meh Doh?
It has been characterized as both wicked-smart and epic. Gordo Ramcyzk, 4-time league champion of his Yahoo! fantasy football league, has called it “whatever the opposite of ass-backwards is”. But enough hyperbole.

In the simplest term; in the most convenient definition, the Zang Meh Doh is a V.A.T., or Value Analysis Tool. And the Zang Meh Doh just happens to be the most innovative V.A.T. around. There’s been at LEAST three hours of actual mathematical exploration put into this already, and the formulae have been verified by our interns, Darcy and Bong Man, who have a combined 4 semesters in engineering from the University of Phoenix and Kansas Technical Institute (defunct), respectively.

Zang meaning “excellent”.
Meh meaning “average”.
Doh meaning “fail.”

WTF are you talking about? What makes the Zang Meh Doh so great?
The Zang Meh Doh is unique in that it creates a customized draft value based on three criteria of candidates: 1) Overall Valuation 2) Positional Valuation, and new for 2014! 3) Perceived Team Need. The round itself is meaningless, similar to most shows on cable.

Seriously, there’s a real formula and everything: 
Math'd.
These two values are then averaged to calculate the score. Anything over 100 is considered positive. A true ZANG! (excellent) is ONLY achieved when the value of the player exceeds both the overall and positional categories. By comparison, a DOH! (fail) results when both overall and positional values are subpar. As a bonus, if that pick qualifies as a perceived team need in the immediate or near future, it receives an asterisk (*).

Do not be overwhelmed! The logic is iron clad; the math bullet proof…trust me.

Last thing. I am getting the silent treatment from the Packers for access to their draft board (very frustrating), and therefore am forced to use the rankings from NFLDraftScout.com as listed on CBS Sports’ site.

Whatever, bro, get to the picks! How did the Packers do?
Settle. And don’t call me “bro”. I will. Here, grab my hand, and I’ll walk you through the Packers 2014 draft picks.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, taken as the 21st overall and the 2nd Safety. Against an 18 OV and 1 PV, and also qualifying as a team need, that makes the pick a true Zang! score of 159*. Ideal first pick.
Davante Adams, taken as the 53rd overall and 9th WR. Against a 59 OV and 11 PV, the pick is an 86. MEH. I would not classify WR a team need in the near term, therefore no asterisk either.
Khyri Thornton, taken as the 85th overall and 7th DT. Against a 166 OV and 16 PV, the pick is a 48*, or very close to first DOH of the draft. However, he is likely perceived to fill a void in the near-term, hence the asterisk and the MEH rating.
Richard Rodgers, taken as the 98th overall and the 6th TE. Against a 210 OV and 11 PV, the pick is a 51 and a team need. 51* is the final score. MEH.
Carl Bradford, taken as the 121st pick and the 10th OLB. Against a 54 OV and 4 PV, the pick is a staggering 237*. Mathematically the best value pick of the draft so far. Outstanding.
Corey Linsley, 161st pick/6th Center. With a 227 OV and 6 PV, the pick gets an 86* as Center is a position with a lot of uncertainty. It gets a MEH, but at this stage in the draft, that’s very a very good value-upside pick, scientifically speaking of course. 
Jared Abbrederis, 176th pick/23rd WR. With a 110 OV and 18 PV, the pick gets another ZANG score of 144 for TT and the Pack. This guy is a helluva player and going to be a fan favorite for sure.
Demetri Goodson, 197th pick/26th CB. A 247 OV and 31 PV makes Goodson a strong MEH at 82, nice.
Jeff Janis, 236th pick/33rd WR. A 211 OV and 28 PV gives Ted’s last pick a ZANG of 115. What a way to cap the draft!

Wow. This sounds promising! Can you recap the Zang Meh Doh values? KTHXBAI.
Final Zang Meh Doh Scientifically Verified Scores: 4 ZANGS, 5 MEHs, Zero DOHs.

From best draft value down, the results are as follows:
1.                Carl Bradford (237*)
2.                Ha Ha Clinton Dix (159*)
3.                Jared Abbrederis (144)
4.                Jeff Janis (115)
5.                Corey Linsley (86*)
6.                Davante Adams (86)
7.                Demetri Goodson (82)
8.                Richard Rodgers (51*)
9.                Khyri Thornton (48*)

Analysis. The Clinton-Dix pick was epically solid for both the Packers’ value and team need, but the steal of Bradford at pick 121 is just ridiculous. The Zang picks at WR of Abbrederis and Janis coupled with a very solid pick in Adams has to make fans of the offense happy. Linsley and Goodson are great depth guys, and while the Zang Meh Doh may not appear to like the Rodgers and Thornton picks, keep in mind they still qualified as MEHs.

The Zang Meh Doh has spoken! Good-day.
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