Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sack-beating or Fingernail-pulling?

I was sitting at work the other day, shuffling through a pile of ravaged books that needed extensive work, when Lance, one of the library's army of custodial technicians stopped by my work-station. I was watching a tape of this year's Colts victory to see what different in that game than in the 10 losses. Now Lance is a nice enough guy, but he is a typical Vikings' fan, on board when they win, and a screaming child when they lose. But, he likes to watch old Packer/Vikings game tapes with me when we're both too hungover to work, so we get along. Today Lance asked me, "Who do you want in the playoffs, my Vikes or da Bears?" I glanced up at him, and just smiled and shook my head. "You don't get it do you?" I asked. "Get what?" "As of Sunday, at about 3:30, the 2008 NFL season is over, and I start thinking about 2009." "Come on, man, it's the playoffs, who do you want to see from the North?" "Neither, if somehow they both could not make it, then I would be happy, since that's not the case, I tune out." " No way, you gotta choose the Bears, right? You hate the Vikings, man," he says. "Lance, asking me to choose a team from the NFC North other than the Packers to be in playoffs, is similar to asking me whether I want a sack-beating or my fingernails pulled out. I would rather not have either, and avoid both at all costs." Lance looks at me shakes his head and mutters, "Sore loser." I chuckle and turn back to the game.
Abbreviated Views from the Hillside:
  • Who's the big winner today? Miami Dolphins. Looks more and more likely, that the Favre will trade will only get the Packers a third round pick, when the cast-off Chad Pennington rides his magical Dolphin into Miami today. It's a shame because Thompson has hit second-round gold with his picks, we could have used another.
  • Pretty safe guarantee, Travis.
  • Jarret Bush-league. I don't have have to say much about your performance on Monday night, you let your play speak for itself.
  • Enjoy a victory for the last game. It's been awhile.
  • Get ready for an off-season of Ranting! Fear it!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bruce Ineffectual

In 1976, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks joined the NFL as expansion teams in the AFC West. The Seahawks managed 2 wins that season. The Bucs, led by Steve Spurrier at QB, went without a single win and finished 0-14. To date, they are the NFL team to experience a winless season.

That meant that “Bruce Bucco,” the name given to original Buccaneers logo shown to the left, never really had a chance. If the Bucs had gone 14-0, ol' Bruce would look a lot different. More like a Pirate superhero instead of an extra from the musical “Yaaar! The Pirates Who Prance A Lot.” No, with his Errol Flynn sass and Pixie Stick orange, Bruce has always reeked of futility and shame. If you look long enough, you can almost hear him say, “They made me wear this earring and bite this letter opener, but the wink – that was my idea.”

But unlike the expansion Bucs of 1976, the Detroit Lions have been around since 1930. You’d think that an organization with 78 years of experience would be operating like a badass Ford F-150, not a Ford POS. At 15 losses, the Lions have already surpassed the Bucs and on Sunday at Lambeau, they have a chance to make history by losing their 16th. If that happens, they will earn the title of “The Suckiest Bunch of Sucks That Ever Sucked.”

With my season Packer predictions at 5-10 (shocking), I won’t go so far as to say the Packers will win this one. I’ll only go so far as to say we’ll put up 23 points. If the Lions can top that, it could prove a capstone to the 2008 season of tough losses for the Packers as well.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Larry McCarren's Pinky

Tom Cruises’ crooked nose. Harrison Ford’s heavy breathing. The Dark Knight’s insanely deep voice. There are some characteristics that can make certain people almost impossible to watch.

Like the other night I was watching a Harry Ford classic, Air Force One. In this sweet action thriller, Gary “Not Yet An” Oldman, hijacks the president’s plane in hopes of getting money for his sex change operation or something. I don’t remember because the only thing I could hear were the two arctic wind tunnels known as Harrison Ford’s nostrils. Seriously, the dude breathes so loud even when he’s not the focus of the scene, his nozzer tries to play best supporting actor. It’s like trying to decipher the lyrics from “Blinded By the Light” over and louder again and not making any ground (Seriously, what are they saying?) It’s just plain annoying.

Larry McCarren, former Packer and Green Bay television sports anchor, is the same way for a lot of people. If you've ever watched "The Mike McCarthy Show" or "Larry McCarren's Locker Room" or sportscasts on WFRV-TV 5, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Somewhere during the Rock’s 162 straight games under center with the Packers, his left pinky bent about 90 degrees the wrong way. It now dangles outward like a broken twig that refuses to fall off the tree.

The first time I noticed it I jumped up out of my seat and yelled, “Whoa! Lookit McCarren’s finger! Holy Crap!” That feeling of awe and disgust has never gone away. And once you’ve seen it, you can’t look away. It’s like being mesmerized by a snake charmer; you just follow the finger wherever it goes – your eyes fascinated and powerless to look away.

I’m not saying that Larry should get it reset or fixed. It’s an ultimate tough-guy-man-symbol that he definitely earned and has the right to show off. Heck, it might even be cool to put some phat ice on it to make it stand out more. One day, however, that pinky will undoubtedly fall off. It has to. Perhaps that day Larry will be cooking his famous chili for some friends and he’ll say, “Hey friends, do you smell what the Rock is cooking?” and they notice his missing digit and will reply, “Your pinky?”

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bear in Mind

According to the greatest, most accurate source on the interweb (Wikipedia), tonight’s game between the Packers and Bears will be the 178th time the two historic teams have met. The number 178 also has significant meaning to math nerds across the universe because it is considered “semiprime,” or the products of two primes (2 and 89). Pretty cool, right?

But if you take apart the number, you have 1, 7 and 8. And even most non-mathletes know when added together, those numbers equal 16. Do you see the connection? No, do you see it? 16, Ranter readers, is not only the number of games in a regular season or the age Kyle Orton hit puberty, it is also the date (November 16) of the last matchup and Bears beatdown. In that game, the Packers dominated 37-3. That’s a victory of 34 points, and was a game in which #34 himself, Walter Payton, likely wept from his football throne high above that day.

But the most important number of the game has to be 25. That is the number of our 226 lb., 26-year old running back, Ryan Grant. In that 34-point Bear victory, RG (nice initials – please tell me you get that at least) had 25 carries for 145 yards. It was the coming out party for the Packers running game and the key to that division rivalry win. With a cold, windy game (possibly up to a -25 wind chill) expected, it’s going to be up to the running game in this one.

Wait. The Ranter intern, Peter, just informed me it’s the 177th meeting, not 178th. That throws off everything. Nevermind.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Wish List

  • The Packers shelve Justin Harrell for the season now. It is apparent he is not healthy, and by not addressing his injury now for the long-term, the Packers risk having him miss off-season work which has happened each of his first two years. At this point, Harrell needs to be given one more chance where he is allowed to go through full off-season workouts and team activities healthy to prove what kind of player he is, bust or first round defensive tackle. Ending his season now, will allow him to be ready for the first mini-camp....we hope.
  • Packer fans recognize and think about the things to come following James Jones game against the Jaguars. Jones had four catches for 132 yards last Sunday, a career day for the 2nd year receiver who has had a disappointing second season due to injuries. This Jennings-like performance bodes well for the league's most talented, young receiving core.
  • My uncle's brandy slushes don't run out before my Grandma wants everyone to sing carols. If they do, everyone is forced to sing sober, which never ends well. Great Aunt Gertrude is the only one who gets a reprieve, as she can't hear anyway.
  • A sweep of the Chicago Bears for 2008. After the recent Bears' dominance over the Packers it would be a nice Christmas present to shut them down Monday night at Soldier Field. This would be especially sweet considering Lovie Smith's recent comments, that are not-so indirect potshots at the Packers.
  • Anything from this site!
  • An Albert Haynesworth pairing with either Jason Taylor, or preferably, Julius Peppers. Since Ted Thompson is so pleased with his recent draft class (and presumably all others), it is time to bolster this extremely young team, with an impact free-agent signing...or two. If he really is a disciple of Ron "The Brain" Wolf, he can prove it by adding to his team through free agency. Since the problems for the Packers this year started...and while I would like to say ended, I obviously can't....with the defensive line, adding the best D tackle in the game would be a good start to addressing Thompson's recent shortcomings. While being a hulking beast of a run-stuffer, Haynesworth has added 8.5 sacks, meaning he can get pressure on the QB from the interior...and meaning he only has one less sack than Aaron Kampman, the only Packer who gets pressure on the QB. While Aaron Taylor is at the tail-end of his career, he would be a guiding force for the young defense and would be hungry to eliminate last year's injury plagued season from recent memory. A one-year deal would be perfect for Taylor and the Packers, as it would give Taylor one last chance before he goes Fred Astaire full-time, and allow Mike Montgomery and Jeremy Thompson a year to learn under one of the best defensive ends of all time. Ideally, Thompson would pull the trigger on Julius "Habanero" Peppers to give Aaron Kampman a guy to meet up and have a beer with at the Busted QB Tavern. Happy hour from 12-3:30 every Sunday. Stat prediction for Kampman and Peppers if Thompson gets a deal done: 12 total sacks each, but attained by 24 half-sacks as each play they drill the QB at the same time.
  • Aaron Rodgers gets the late game monkey off his back. To be fair, Rodgers has given the Packers the lead late in the fourth quarter, only to watch the defense already head to locker room and let the other team walk down the field to score. But to eliminate the stigma associated with losing 20 games by a total of 2 points, #12 needs to take the offense on a drive late in the game for the win. Not only to give him some street cred, but because it's more fun to watch the Bears lose in the waning seconds. Let's be honest, we'll be beating the Lions by 35...well, hopefully. It's no guarantee the way we've been playing and been coached.
  • One last thing. But only if Alyssa Milano comes with it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Packer Pro Bowl Predictions (PPPP)

With maybe just a few scraps of pride left in the once-overflowing vat of talent and confidence, there’s not much positive to talk about. Despite the floundering season, there’s still a few deserved Packers that should make the Pro Bowl this year. Winners will be announced today. Here are my predictions.

1) AJ Hawk. The thing about Hawk is that, yeah, just kidding.
2) Nick Collins. Tied for 2nd in the league with 5 picks and leading with 3 TDs. Nice work for the 3rd-year player who’s really come into his own. Also second to Hawk on team tackles. These stats may help overshadow some inconsistent play.
3) Charles Woodson. The first of the two great moves made under the Ted Thompson regime (Jennings = #2), Chuck Wood has been an absolute force this year. He helped shut down some of the league’s best WRs in Steve Smith, Reggie Wayne and TO. At 32, he’s still very much in his prime and an asset to the Packers. Also has 5 picks, 2 for TDs.

On the Bubble
1) Greg Jennings. Let’s be honest, even if he does not make it, Greg Jennings is a Pro Bowl receiver. It just sucks that the majority of the best WRs this year are in the NFC. He could still get in based on his complete awesomeness.
2) Aaron Rodgers. Again, with Brees and Warner locks, it’s going to be difficult for Rodgers to squeeze in to that NFC lineup. But when you factor in the pressure of following #4, he makes it in this Ranter’s opinion, and is my vote for team MVP.
3) Aaron Kampman. Not quite the year as ’07, but #74 always brings it. Plus, making it last year definitely helps for visibility in the voting.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bob Villa Will Fix It.

The Ranter has been silent long enough. Coma-inducing, memory-wiping drinking sessions have succeeded in keeping Franklin Hillside silent long enough into the week where I have been able to build up false-hope for the weekend’s impending Packer game, which invariably turns into a loss and another coma-inducing, memory-wiping drinking session. You see the pattern here? Well, not this time! I’ve stayed sober enough to collect my thoughts and direct them into a venomous Rant directed at Mike McCarthy.

Coach McCarthy, I know how when plays fail, you are very fond of saying, “Well, it just wasn’t executed on the field.” Quick to toss your players under the bus, aren’t you? It never would be the fact that the play called was suspect or not called at the right time, would it? You also like to say, “Well, {insert player’s name here} looked good in practice.” Or “That play is something we work on in practice all the time.” Which is a backhanded way of saying the players can’t perform in a game situation. However, you never criticize your play calling, or admit you have been wrong in certain instances. I’m not even asking for a lot, maybe just once or twice…a season.

Coach, I haven’t heard your press conference yet, but I’m guessing you didn’t admit that sending in Shippensberg’s finest son, John Kuhn, to get a crucial yard on fourth down in the fourth quarter was a mistake. Nevermind the fact that he has 10 yards rushing on the season with a 1.3 yards per carry average. He does it in practice right? Come on, you say, “He has 27 Shippensburg school records, not to mention 4 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Records.” In NFL terms, that’s like saying you’re the world’s tallest little person. “The guy’s a football player, the kind of guy we want on our team.” I won’t argue that, but he’s the guy you want on special teams, or smashing through the hole and leveling a linebacker for Ryan Grant or Brandon Jackson, he’s not the guy to pick up a crucial 1st down. He’s just not.

It’s like sending Maxwell Smart instead of James Bond to kill Scaramanga.

It’s like sending Firehouse to rock out instead of AC/DC because you like monster ballads.

It’s like sending Ty Pennington to remodel your house instead of Bob Villa. Do you trust flannel or goofball?

It’s like sending Jason Seaver to put a “Foot in your ass” instead of Red Foreman.

It’s like sending George W. Bush to diffuse an international incident instead of any other statesmen in history.

It’s like sending E. Honda instead of Ryu to fight M Bison.

In other words, you give it to someone else.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Views from the Hillside.

Due to my recent absence drowning my sorrows in Central America with cheap beer after the New Orleans and Carolina debacles, this will be an extended Views from the Hillside.
Hold on to your Butts.” – Sam Jackson, Jurassic Park
  • Newsflash: The Packers are not good.
  • 549 yards. 549. That’s how many yards the Packers gave up on defense yesterday. At home. In the cold. Against a Division I college team…which makes the Packers a D-IAA team, or maybe a good D-II school. I’m unsure at this point.
  • Going into the season, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who would say that there was any other aspect of the Packers that would set up a potential giant face-plant for Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy other than the Rodgers-Favre situation. Thompson and McCarthy should be commended for their evaluation and faith in Rodgers’ ability. Rodgers has played well despite inconsistency on the O-line and in the running game. It turns out the face-plant came on the other side of the ball. “We’re going to be defined by our defense…” –Mike McCarthy said early in training camp. The complete failure by the defense this season was a colossal misevaluation of talent and coaching ability and has lead to MM and TT’s faces being slammed into the ground repeatedly, much like Roberts’ five-iron during a drunken round of golf.
  • Who knew Robert Greenfield was a golfer? RG is a golfer much like Carl Spakler is a golfer.
  • I don’t like to make excuses for losses, but I will. Peter Morrelli and his crew were seen running to their chartered plane after the game whose flight plan had just been changed to New Jersey. It seems that all refs involved in this game had owed serious money to some rather unsavory characters who may or may not have been linked to organized crime. It’s obvious who they had money on. The Packers got hosed on so many calls yesterday, they were given complimentary NFL logo bath towels and robes after the game. #1 was the phantom holding call on Tony Moll in the 4th quarter, the fact is, he barely touched the guy, let alone held him. This negated the 8 yard Grant run that would have been a first down at the 14. #2 was the no call on the holding of Aaron Kampman in the endzone with a minute and half to go. The game should have been over with a safety for holding in the end zone. Aaron Kampman had to get a spine readjustment after his neck was throw out whack on the play. #3 was the phantom holding call on Jason Hunter on the Tramon Williams second half kickoff TD. #4 was the offensive pass interference call on Donald Driver in the first half. Oh, and how could I forget the blown call on the Kevin Walter fumble in the 3rd quarter? It became a non-issue when Johnny Jolly recovered a fumble on the next play, but it could have been a game-changing missed call. COME ON STRIPES! We’re not good enough to beat 11 players let alone the officiating crew too.
  • As The Ranter's good friend, John Johnson, said "A shout out to Mark Tauscher. Stand up guy, hard worker and turned himself into a good professional. I think his career with the Packers is over. Well done."
  • Jared Allen going after someone for a “cheap hit” is laughable. This is the guy who was fined for two hits on Matt Schaub, one of which forced Schaub out for a month with a knee injury, and then flagged and fined again the following week for a helmet-to-helmet shot on Aaron Rodgers. If you’re going to play that way, Meathead, you should expect others to play you the same way. Allen stated that the rivalry between the Vikings and Lions will have a lot more meaning to him in the future. Read that again and try not to laugh.
  • R.I.P. John Lennon, you have been missed. John Mayer, American Idol, and EMO do nothing for rock and roll.
  • Week 13 BASTOW: I’ve never heard a stadium or a bar cheer as loud for a punter as I did on Sunday. After a shaky start, ..ummm…whatshisname….hold on….yeah, there is it, Jeremy Kapinos punted like, well, an NFL punter. Kapinos’ first ever BASTOW in just his second game is to be shared with Joey Havner who downed Kapinos’ punt on the three with a minute and half to go in the game…unfortunately, the defense had to come back on the field and we all know what that means when there is more than 5 seconds left…victory for the opponent.
  • Finally some emotion from Mike McCarthy.
  • Gus Johnson should call every game of every sport. Steve Tasker should stand in awe and shut his mouth. The call on the Jennings reception, you know the one, was a thing of beauty (so was the throw).
  • Albert Haynesworth. Albert Haynesworth. Albert Haynesworth.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Packers Bitten. Frost Booted.

For months, the Ranter and Packer fans everywhere have been clammering to cut punter Derrick Frost like the extra, useless appendage he is. With a pathetic net average and minimal kicks inside the 20, it’s as though he was the reincarnation of the Ahmad Carroll as punter. Well the Packers have finally listened. On Monday, McCarthy announced that Derrick Frost would be released this week, saying “cleary it’s a performance issue.” You think?

Back in September when Jon “Big Red” Ryan was cut, fans were a little surprised. Yes, Ryan fumbled twice last year but overall he was a solid as a frozen cheese wheel and rarely botched a kick (Ryan’s 2007 net average was actually the best the Packers had in 38 years – no kidding). Surprise quickly turned into head-scratching when his replacement, Derrick Frost, was picked up after being released from the Redskins. But with lower stats in just about every punting category, Frost was looking like a serious downgrade.

Thompson calmed people down with some glowing reviews of Frost with regards to his consistency and amazing practices (yes, practices), so most Packer fans were willing to give TT the benefit of the doubt. He must know something we don’t. After all, he is a “genius” GM, right?

Hmmm, we might need to rethink that label (again).

Frost’s net average of 36.1 yards with the Packers was good for 26th in the NFL, and he was further at the bottom of the punter barrell for kicks inside the 20. (These numbers, by the way, mirror what he was doing with the Redskins before being cut in August.) Throughout the season, Franklin and I constantly asked, “We dropped Big Red for this guy?” It’s not our fault, Franklin.

And what about our castoff, Jon Ryan? How’s he doing this year with the Seahawks? Turns out Big Red is having a career year – a 46.4 average with 14 kicks inside the 20 and a league-leading 11 touchbacks. Sigh…

It’s normally hard to get worked up over a punter, but when you release a quality one for a lesser one for no apparent advantageous reason and it shows ... man, that's just embarrassing. I mean, how hard is it to pick up a decent punter? I’m not even talking about a Pro Bowler either, just give me middle-of-the-road, get ‘er done guy. But as long as we’re on the subject, let’s talk about Pro Bowl punters.

For the last two years, Bills punter Brian Moorman has been the starter for the Pro Bowl. With a good average and 30+ kicks inside the 20 each year, Moorman seems to do exactly what NFL punters should do. But he must make a lot of money, right? Wrong. In light of his Pro Bowl efforts, Moorman recently signed a deal worth 6 million over 7 years – that’s an average of $857,000 per year. Derrick Frost, scrub, made $605,000 this year and $850,000 last year. I will repeat: The best punter in the NFL (Moorman) made $857,000 last year and the worst punter in the NFL (Frost) made $850,000 last year. Yes, that’s right Ranter readers. There’s only a difference of 7 thousand dollars between the best and worst punters in the NFL! WTF!? Is this position really that hard to figure out, Thompson? Pay for the Pro Bowler (or at least a top 5 guy). It’s the cheapest starting salary on the team. It’s peace of mind. It’s common sense!

Say it with me: WE WANT MOORMAN! WE WANT MOORMAN! WE WANT MOORMAN!

This has got to be a priority in the offseason. Not top, but you know, definitely on the list and everything. The way things have gone, I wouldn't be shocked if they picked up BJ Sander.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Season Slipping Away?

Seriously. What’s going on here?

A week after leaving New Orleans still smoldering from being torched by Drew Brees so many times, the Packers defense took a gut check and determined that no, their embarrassment still had not peaked.

“We felt the Saints game just left us with our tails between our legs. But what we really wanted to do was wet the bed,” a member of the secondary told the Ranter.

Consider it soaked.

With just under two minutes left in the game and a three point lead, Crosby kicked off. Mark Jones, who had over 200 yards returning on the day, gave Carolina exactly what they needed for a potential game-tying FG. But when you’re on the road and playing at Lambeau, I guess you go for it. Delhomme went deep and somehow the 5’9 Steve Smith came down with the ball at the 1 yard line. Williams then scored standing up - his 4th TD of the day.

Drenched. Sopping.

At 5-7, the Wild Card is about as realistic as making out with that chick from Transformers. It’s the division or nothing. We’re at Chicago and have Detroit at home the last game of the season. Very achievable wins, but with this team right now, who knows...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Down at the Bayou

This evening the Green & Gold match up against the Gold & Black while I’ll be helping myself to mass quantities of Black & Tans on my Green & Orange couch handed down from my uncle Red. Should be a colorful game, if nothing else.

The Saints are making their first actual home appearance at the Superdome since Katrina hit. You can bet the home crowd will start the game as jazzed up as a French Quarter quartet on Mardi Gras; however this same crowd will quickly fall silent after we punch it in on the first drive.

The good news for New Orleans is that Reggie Bush is likely out for the game. I say this is good for the Saints because the Packers defense, now led by the White Warrior, takes full advantage of blood in the water like sharks do a wounded seal. Save your Bush. The bad news for Green Bay is that former Packers CB and me-first complainer, Mike McKenzie, is on injured reserve. Franklin and I were really looking forward to picking him apart like we did in ‘05. Have fun watching from the sidelines.

McCarthy, former offensive coordinator for the Saints, should have the Packers well prepared for this one. Points will be put up – though about 2/3 in Green Bay’s favor. For every TD Brees throws, there’ll also be an INT. I expect Rodgers to throw for 2 TDs, while Grant and Crosby do the rest of the damage.

Packers 30, Saints 17

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Dragon's Breath

Let me just start off by saying it's an honor to have been contacted by The RANT and asked to contribute to this soon-to-be award-winning site. I feel that in under three years the RANT will be up for G-Force fan of the year ..... enough fellatio let's RANT!

The Green Bay Packers are the greatest franchise in NFL history, period. This is not a debatable topic such as turkey jerky v. beef jerky; it is, in fact, science. Monday evening the Pack begins their march to secure the NFC North Division title with a trip down to the bayou. What stands in our way? Five juiced-up Saints players who still have not been reprimanded for their failed drug tests.

This can only mean one thing, the NFL has turned against its greatest franchise in order to give hope to other divisional "rivals" and boost revenues.

Obviously the Pack will overcome, but as I Rant on I can't help but feel sick to my stomach, not from the 12-pack of High Life I consumed last night, but from this shoddy and classless move by the NFL front office. I have a sneaking suspicion that Rodger Goodell is a Bears fan and hopes that the Saints can in some way use their juiced up players to defeat the Packers much like the Vikings did with Pat and Kevin Williams. We've heard it before, parity is good for the NFL; but do you really need to create parity with non-suspensions and injuries to the Green and Gold?

Shame on you Mr. Goodell, with your obsessive use of gaudy fines and non-suspensions - maybe you need an oversight committee.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

AJ Hawk: The White Warrior

I like many things (road trips and the art of jerky among them) and Packers trivia definitely ranks near the top. Every time I take Research Road down to Packer Playerville, it’s always an interesting trip and definitely a box of chocolates as my main man FG once said.

When looking up our newest middle linebacker, I found some gems that needed to be shared with the Ranter readers. Yeah, most people know he’s hitched to Brady Quinn’s sister, but did you know that he was named after Indy car man AJ Foyt? Or that Top Gun is his favorite movie? Both true. And while you can bet your last Leinie’s he was a Top Gun linebacker for the Centerville Elks, would you have guessed he also played running back? And quarterback. And placekicker. And punter (averaged 40+/per, nice). Even lettered as a point guard for the b-ball team. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Hawk also might be the most humble Packer since the original Mr. Nice Guy, Samkon Gado. In fact, while in high school, AJ apparently went out of his way not to be the center of attention. He forbid – and I’m not making this up – his parents to cheer for him during games (although the disclaimer noted they could cheer when a team TD was scored – yipee!). That may have been especially difficult during the game he recorded 30 tackles. Maybe not though, seeing as how people generally avoid making AJ Hawk angry for fear of being formed into a human pretzel…even if you are his parents.

Yes sir, Aaron James Hawk is an interesting dude, and only one thing bothers me – his nickname. AJ is fun and sporty an all, but it just doesn’t quite encapsulate all that he is or what he brings to the Packers. I’m thinking either Mr. Nibbler or The White Warrior – not because he’s white, but because of the sweet getup pictured. Thoughts?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lambeau Leap 101

Memorial services will be held Thursday, November 20th, for Debra Schlobinski, 48, who passed away this Sunday at Lambeau Field during the 4th quarter of the Packers-Bears game. Schlobinski, season ticket holder since 2003, died after Jason Hunter Lambeau Leaped directly into her chin with a full head a of steam. Authorities were unable to determine the exact cause of death, but it is believed she died of absolute joy at having a Lambeau Leap done directly into her arms....and ultimately her face. Bernice Fraustein, Schlobinski's friend of 38 years, said of the leap, "Well...I'm not really sure what happened, I got three full beers splashed in my face after Hunter picked up the fumble. When I could finally see again, he was two rows deep in the stands, and I couldn't see Debra anymore." When the crowd and Hunter cleared, Debra was found sprawled over two rows of bleachers not breathing, but with a grin on her face spread from ear-to-ear.

Schlobinski's brother, Teddy Schlobinski stated in a Monday press conference: "We mourn the passing of Debra who was a great daughter, sister, mother, and friend, but most of all she was a great Packer fan. There is no other way she would have wanted to go out. Go, Pack. Go!"

At his post-game press conference, Mike McCarthy stated that all full-time offensive and defensive players get a 20 minute training in how to do a Lambeau Leap, but since Hunter was fairly new to the team and no one ever expected him to score a TD, he hadn't received the training. McCarthy continued by saying that players are instructed to slow up, plant, and jump straight up, resting their rears on the edge or have fans hold them up. "Jason, in his excitement, did not slow up, and propelled himself three rows into the bleachers, unfortunately striking Ms. Schlobinski on the chin. Our condolences are with her family," McCarthy said.

Lambeau security staff believe Hunter's Lambeau Leap was the single highest Leap ever done since LeRoy Butler invented the touchdown celebration in 1993.

Bears 3, Packers 37. Bears Embarrassed!

As Ice Cube once said, today was a good day.

In this chapter of the storied rivalry, the Packers imposed their superior wills in a dominating win over the Bears at Lambeau today. It was evident from the beginning of the game that Ryan Grant and the offensive line decided this week they were really going to do it. Some great space was created and RG definitely took advantage, treating the Bears defense like the tackling dummies they are. With 200 yards on the ground total (145 from Grant), it was by far the best running game of the season.

And when things are working that well with the running game, you can expect some tasty opportunites through the air. Rodgers was very effective, finishing really only with one mistake onto another 100+ rating. He and others will probably have to ice their faces tonight – there was an awful lot of smiling near the end of the game. It's good to be on top. Trust me, I work for the Ranter.

As if things couldn’t get any better, I even saw the lights of the Goodyear Blimp: Minnesota 13, Tampa 19. I got to say it was a good day.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Brandt Rant

Andrew Brandt is trying my patience.

Having spent nine years in the head offices of the Green Bay Packers, he now relies on his experiences with the team to fill space in his mundane blog, “The Busine$$ of Football”. Yes, that’s how he spells it. Brandt has written about the Favre situation (extensively), opening game against the Vikings, Rodgers, Rodgers’ contract, Najeh Davenport, The Millen/Favre issue, and Koren Robinson to name a few, most recently, the Packers’ failure to land LaVarr Arrington. Needless to say, there are a ton of times he has pulled the curtains back on the inner workings of the greatest organization in sports. I find this irritating, unprofessional, and borderline unethical. Do you have the connections to do this with other teams? Judging by your posts, I would say not.

Look, I understand using your recent experiences when starting up your blog and website, “The National Football Post”, which isn’t bad, but at some point you need to branch out and make new connections, find new stories. Being a blogger really isn’t that hard, any ego-maniac with a computer and an earnest belief that people REALLY need to hear what he or she has to say can do it (see Bill Simmons or to a slightly lesser extent Franklin Hillside). Judging by your bio you are a relatively smart guy, and should have no problem finding other things to write about other than the Packers inner-workings. I realize that most fans of the NFL are closet Packer fans and may find this interesting, but until there’s another A. Brandt out there for each team looking to live the tiresome and grueling life of a blogger and letting us see the Great and Powerful Oz of their teams, please stop writing about the Packers’ dealings and find another topic.

PS – All that being said, Andrew, if you are interested in being a guest Ranter at The Packer Ranter, we would be happy to have you. We pay in PBR tall-boys and beef or turkey jerky.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2006 Draft – How’s that working out for you?

Three years. That’s the length of time it took me to get through 5th grade (stupid reading, math!) and generally how long it takes a player to man up or punk out in the NFL. With that in mind, I thought it’d be nice to look at the Packers ’06 draft to sort the men from the boys. It may not look pretty at times, but this is possibly the best Packer draft in the last decade. Don’t believe me, look it up.

Round 1, 5th overall: LB AJ Hawk. Really a mixed bag. Sometimes you get the M&Ms/pretzels (tackling) and other times you get the rabbit turds/twigs (coverage) your nephew dumped in there.
Round 2, 47th overall: T/G Daryn Colledge. I’ll take “Things that are Inconsistent, Alex”. The Alaskan native has started over 30 games. Big rip.
Round 2, 52nd overall: WR Greg Jennings. #85 was drafted to help fill the void of poopy pants Javon Walker. He’s been amazing – a budding superstar, Packer favorite and one of the best draft picks in recent memory.
Round 3, 67th overall: LB Abdul Hodge. “College’s version of Ray Lewis” has been mostly injured and with only 9 career tackles, AH was released earlier this year and now rides pine in Cincy.
Round 3, 75th overall: G/C Jason Spitz. I don’t distinguish between Spitz and Colledge. Spitz has less hair but same notes.
Round 4, 104th overall: WR/KR Cory Rodgers. Cut a month after signing; now in CFL.
Round 4, 115th overall: CB Will Blackmon. Is he finally living up to the flashes we’ve seen between injuries? It’s gotta be the mohawk.
Round 5, 148th overall: QB Ingle Martin. As a first-team quarterback and punter in college, I think the Packers were hoping for the next Randall Cunningham. Currently listed as the #2 in Kansas City.
Round 5, 165th overall: T/G Tony Moll. I guess we figured one of these O-line draft picks would pan out. Not this one.
Round 6, 183rd overall: DT Johnny Jolly. The two-time member of Texas A&M’s Leadership Council (really? yes) is a good player but has some off the field concerns.
Round 6, 185th overall: S Tyrone Culver. Getting occasional PT with the Dolphins now.
Round 7, 253rd overall: DE Dave Tollefson. Interesting note about Tollefson – his last name would make for a good restaurant. “Tollefson’s!” Sounds friendly enough. Think about it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Views from the Hillside.

  • Aaron Rodgers, are all your limbs still attached? Yes? Check again.
  • It’s hard to win a football game when only four guys show up to play. Thank you for the outstanding effort, Charles Woodson, Nick Collins, Atari Bigby, and Al Harris. You gave us a chance to win, even though we didn’t deserve it.
  • 10 more penalties is unacceptable.
  • Was AJ Hawk a fifth pick or a fifth round pick?
  • Sign Brad Childress is not long for the league: Letting a player talk you out of punting on 4 and 1 only down by 3 in the 4th quarter is not a show of decisiveness. Player then fumbles. Man up, mustache-man.
  • Ryan Grant had another good day with a yards per carry average over 4, yet McCarthy wouldn’t commit to the run.
  • Week 10 BASTOW: I had three players in line to receive a BASTOW this week, but all of them had another play that counterbalanced their bad-assness. Desmond Bishop completely planted some nameless Viking special teamer on the opening kickoff, but later in the game, he got a 15-yard personal foul penalty for hitting Aundre Ellison when he was out of bounds on a punt. Mason Crosby hit a 47-yard field goal to put the Packers up by 6 with 0:33 left in the third quarter, but later he missed a 52-yarder to win the game. Will Blackmon kept the Packers in the game with his absolutely amazing punt return for a TD. Seriously, you will not ever see a prettier punt return than that, but earlier in the game he fielded a punt a yard deep in his own end-zone. Let me repeat this: A YARD DEEP IN HIS OWN ENDZONE. Totally un-badass, and just plain stupid. You don’t see high school players make that kind of mistake, and therefore, Will, you can’t win a BASTOW.
  • The Ranter holds ALL accountable.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Packer Midseason Grades (3)

Offense: B+
Aaron Rodgers, he of monster contract, has played well. This is not a surprise. The only thing holding this group back from scoring 30+ a game, is the O-line and the running game. Ryan Grant, he of monster contract, had his best game of the year against the best run defense in the league in the Titans. Look for a huge second half to match the huge dollar signs, he is coming around and so is the line. James Jones has been replaced by versatile Jordy Nelson. Sophomore slump, indeed.
Defense: Secondary A- and Front Seven D+This is like a group project where one part of the group just didn’t show up and decided to let the other group do all the work. Unfortunately for that lazy group, the teacher gives out individual grades. The front seven have been soft, and have been gashed by mediocre running backs all year, they have not maintained their gap control, and have had very limited pressure on QBs. On the flip side, the secondary, despite key injuries, has play admirably and done all the work on the project. The teacher has realized this and has graded accordingly.
Special Teams: DAny team that cuts special teams beast, Tracy White, in mid-season fails. Period. However, the inverted trebuchet-legged, Mason Crosby ups the grade to just above passing. (Keeping Tracy White would have lead to an A+ as Crosby and White could dominate special teams by themselves.)
Overall: CThe Packers are like that smart kid in class who just doesn't care. He could be a 4.0 student, but he'd rather drink PBR tall-boys with the Principal's daughter in the school parking lot. Saying that the Packers have the potential to be a great team is like that smart kid 10 years after graduation working at the townie bar saying he had the potential to go to Princeton. It doesn't matter.
Hit the books, you've got one semester to get your grades up!

Packer Midseason Grades (2)

Offense: C
While the passing game has been as solid as a case of frozen Johnsonvilles, the subpar running game is more like processed hot dogs. And when you discover the Packers are dead last in offensive penalities – 575 against so far – it’s really a Debbie Downer for the offense as a whole. (Believe it or not, the Texans are #1 in that category.)
Defense: B-
Again, there’s good and bad (thankfully no ugly this time). The secondary has produced a motherload of interceptions (13) and points so far, but we’re getting rushed on like a mofo. With 11.5 sacks, Joey Porter almost has as many sacks at the Packers (14). Lot of room for improvement and now that we’re healthy, I think it’s going to be a big 2nd half for these guys.
Special Teams: C+
Mason “Braveleg” Crosby is the best kicker in the history of kickers and I am still quietly irate he wasn’t allowed to attempt the 60-yard game winner against the Titans in overtime. His range is up to 80 yards, McCarthy. WTF!? Tracy White will never be forgotten.
Coaching: B-I love the Michelin Man Mike McCarthy and probably always will. There’s been some outstanding issues all season that should’ve been taken care of by now (penalties, offensive line, Braveleg opportunities, etc.). Oh yeah, do NOT wear that snowmobile suit this winter, MM, or you will be on Franklin’s list. You have been warned.
Overall: C+
The bottom line is that we’re 4-4 yet so much better. Yeah, we were close in the losses to Atlanta and Tampa but those are teams we should beat. Our only great game was against Indy, and the other 3 wins (MIN, DET, SEA) were borderline gimmes. It’s like we’ve got all these cans of Whoop-Ass lined up and ready to open on our (weaker) opponents. Well boys, it’s time to start crackin’ them. Who’s next? The Vikings, you say? Excellent.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Packer Midseason Grades

Offense: B
We have to run the ball in order to win the NFC North. We have not effectively done that.....yet. The offensive line is beginning to gel and Ryan Grant looks as though he is regaining the burst from the second half of last year. The passing game has carried this offense this year. Greg Jennings is an elite WR and Aaron Rodgers has proven to be a legit, franchise QB. DD is DD, a beast to take down. Jordy Nelson is going to press James Jones for all he is worth to be the #3 in this potent passing attack.
Defense: B-
We have be unable to shut down the run. Nick Barnett has not had the kind of year expected preseason. Brandon Chillar has been a pleasant surprise – he can play ball. The defensive backfield may be the best in the league. With Al back and Charles Woodson playing like the best corner in the league, we are going to be tough. Tramon Williams is a legitimate starting press corner that just needs to play more snaps. With the defensive line rotation hopefully set for the rest of the year, look for this D to step up. Harrell will make an impact in an improving interior.
Special Teams: B
Jordy Nelson is a good return man; Will Brackmon is great. He will break at least one more this year. Our coverage on punts has been excellent and it seems as though Frost has worked out some kinks. Brandon Chillar has proven he is a valuable asset on special teams as well. Mason Crosby is one of the best in the league. I like our special teams and expect big plays from that group in the second half of the season.
Coaching: B+
I have to say I love the Green Bay coaching staff. MM is a great play caller and is being recognized around the league for that. He runs a tight ship and I think the players want to play hard for him. The defensive has been able to make adjustments when necessary, without sacrificing the physical, in your face defense Green Bay loves to feature.
Overall: B
This team needs to put together a few good games in a row. Talent is abundant and players are gaining unbelievable experience. The Packers are a young, healthy organization. They need to learn how to close games. At 4-4, the record is dissappointing. They are better than a .500 team and should win the NFC North. It’s a great time to be a Packer fan.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Harrell Party

If there is one thing we know how to do here at The Packer Ranter, it’s party. Even John Johnson has been know to loosen the tie at his company picnics, and by loosen the tie, I mean running half naked screaming, “Go, Pack, go!” through the softball field while the marketing and accounting departments play. Never a dull moment here at The Ranter.
Therefore, we have taken it upon ourselves to throw a party this weekend…well, in addition to our normal weekend festivities. This Sunday we are having a coming-out party for Justin Harrell. Conspicuously absent from the field this season and most of last, Harrell will more than likely see his first action Sunday against the Titans after two back surgeries. Coach McCarthy said that Harrell is in the best shape he’s been in since being a Green Bay Packer. Well, that’s good news for Packer fans, but let’s be honest, he hasn’t set the bar very high. At the every least he will give The Picket Fence, Jolly Johnny, and Cole Miner a much needed breather every few plays. Robert, John, and I welcome you back, Justin, and hope you can contribute like the 16th pick that you are. Packer fans will finally be able to put this “bust” discussion to bed. That said; don’t for a second think you have a free pass, #91. We don’t throw parties for just anyone, and we will be watching you like John watches player interviews on Packers.com, with an eagle eye.
Fear The Rant!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lionsgate: Facts Glazed Over

Last week, Jay “The Cueball” Glazer of FOX Sports proudly scooped a now infamous phone call between Brett Favre and former Lions GM Matt Millen. From the onset of this 300-word opinion piece that reads like something plucked from the blogosphere, Glazer references his mystery sources, who said Favre gave the Lions “a rundown of the nuances of what Green Bay does on offense” and “spent over an hour on the phone with Lions coaches”.

The outcry and media attention has been both bloated and ridiculous. Favre and others have denied and dismissed the reports ala “are you cereal?” and the story has finally/thankfully fallen by the wayside. In the end, all Jay Glazer discovered was that there was a phone call between Favre and Millen – two friends who were discussing a hunting trip. Yes, that’s right, a hunting trip. Glazer was wrong on every other statement (all two of them): the duration of the phone call and the subject matter. And he was certainly wrong about a conspiracy theory that Brett Favre is hell-bent on sabotaging his former team, the Green Bay Packers.

As if Glazer’s anti-Favre opinion wasn’t clear enough, he concludes his tale by saying, “Still, Favre has the right to do whatever he pleases. If he wants to help other teams there is nothing in league rules that prevents him from doing so.” That’s right Jay. It’s almost like saying writers posing as reporters have a right to spin a story in whatever way will garner the most web hits. If they want to time an opinion piece filled with anonymous sources and rampant speculation, there is nothing from preventing them from doing so. Hell, they can even pose hypotheticals on the air like “Brett likes to talk, therefore he must’ve said something” and almost make it sound credible. OK, Jay. And let’s not forget that robots are strong, because they’re made of metal. If Jay Glazer can be a Senior Writer with FOX Sports, I have to believe the Packer Ranter will replace ESPN within the year.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Views from the Hillside.

  • KGB has recently said that he doesn't think that people should be punished for making more money, and as a result will be voting for John McCain. The Rant could care less about who you vote for, Kabeer, but making that claim is ridiculous. How about this: do you believe someone should be punished for not doing their job? You have the highest salary of any Packer player, yet you play one down in four and have notched a whopping nine tackles and half a sack. Once you start earning your keep, maybe we’ll listen to where you think your money should go, or not go as the case may be. Until then, shut it.
  • The Vikings even screw up on their bye week. Jokers.
  • Last week the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a story about Colin Cole. The same day, Packers.com had a story about Colin Cole. Also, the Green Bay Press Gazette ran a story about the presidential election and Packers’ players. The same day, the Journal Sentinel ran a story about the same topic. Same quotes from the same people. Can we get a little variety please? Robert and I mostly promise not to duplicate topics, even though our superior insight is always in high demand.
  • Bye weeks are binge-drinking inducing boring. {hiccup}
  • Packer fans, please take the time this Sunday to preview the next addition to the Packers: Albert Haynesworth. Remember what happened when Ron “The Medulla” Wolf signed another dominating D-lineman in his prime? Free agency is only four months away; please get your house in order Teddy.
  • Nice attempt for Tony G, Teddy. Must be difficult dealing with idiots and/or Chiefs management, same thing really.
  • Kerry Collins, your luck has just run out.

Kevin & Pat Make A Stinky

Like something out of an SNL skit, Vikings D-tackles Kevin and Pat Williams apparently tested positive for a banned diuretic. As a result, they could each face four-game suspensions and lot of caricature drawings.

On one hand, I feel bad for these guys. Can you imagine the lengths taken to procure illegal diuretics? I can’t help but envision the two them renting a conversion van over the summer and driving undercover to Tijuana on a mission for the kind of bazooka-pooping Colon Blow deemed too extreme for America’s retailers. They probably tested a few out before settling on the Turbo Lax from Dumb & Dumber.

In my opinion, this whole story is misleading. I believe the Williams’s are simply health-conscious athletes who weren’t just worried about weight issues, they were trying to keep their blood pressure down. Little did they know they could’ve achieved the same effect with Hot Pockets and Sunny D.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Week 7 BASTOW

It took a few weeks for anyone to play bad-ass enough to earn a BASTOW, but when you have a game like Sunday's dismantling of the Colts, there are bound to be some bad-ass plays in all phases of the game, special teams being no exception. This week's BASTOW goes to Johnny Jolly, who blocked Adam Vinateri's 45-yard field goal attempt in the 3rd quarter. There's nothing that fires up a defense, or the crowd at Lambeau, like a big defensive stop. A blocked field goal is a pretty big defensive stop, especially when a behemoth like Johnny Jolly is involved. Congratulations to Johnny Jolly on his first BASTOW, and feel free to share this with your attorneys, all judges fear The Rant.

In addition, I'm going to award a runner-up BASTOW to Mike McCarthy this week. Going for an onside kick in the 1st quarter, up 3-0, is very bad-ass. It didn't work, but keep trying things like that, Coach, and sooner or later they will pay off. The Rant loves aggressiveness; balls to the wall and good things happen.

Braveleg....what happened? I know it was a little windy(Robert and I gauged a 15 mph wind coming out of the West) but with thighs as big as kegs, this should be no problem for you. Missing a 35-yard field goal is not something that Packer fans are used to. I'm convinced there is an ulterior motive, like lulling the other team into a false sense of security and then drilling a 76 yarder. Yeah, that's it. Case closed.

From this day forward, the BASTOW's full name will be The Tracy White Memorial Bad-Ass Special Teamer of the Week. Fitting I think.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Agenda - Packer Ranter Extended Weekend

THURSDAY
6pm - Franklin packs for trip out of MN: fishing pole and tackle box, LeRoy Butler #36 long-john's (just in case), four can coozies: 1) Miller Lite, 2) How think you drunk I am? 3) Away-White, 4) Home-Green
9pm - Robert packs toothbrush and toilet paper.
11:57pm - Unable to sleep Franklin compiles Special Teams stats from the preseason, threatens #58 under his breath so his beagle Hutson doesn't wake up.
11:59pm - Unable to sleep Robert reviews O-line play of the '08 home games. Weeps at number of penalties.
___
FRIDAY
12pm - Franklin leaves for cabin where the weekend's festivities begin.
12:20pm - Franklin reaches Wisconsin border....ahhh, the Motherland.
5:00pm - Meet at White Lake tavern. Robert purchases Jagerbombs from preseason Brett/Aaron bet.
5:05pm - Franklin purchases 2nd round Jagerbomb from Justin Harrell bet. 7:15pm - Hustle underage F.I.B's at darts. Tell them to come back when they are of age and bring some girls next time too.
9:30pm - Strategic planning meeting by the campfire. Tentative topics of discussion: Rodgers' shoulder, Tracy White's absence on Special Teams, Al Harris' spleen, The Bikini Girls, turkey or beef jerkey for the game?
10:45pm - Beef jerkey is decided for the game. Turkey jerky eaten now.
___
SATURDAY
9:30am - Email friends of the Ranter tailgating plans
11am - Marinate knackwurst overnight in Franklin's secret sauce
1-3pm - Watch Colts game tapes from this season. Detail Robert's Tercel.
9:30pm - Head back to tavern to talk with CPL, Crazy Packer Lady (she usually has us spread any ashes of her cats that have died in the Lambeau Parking lot)
___
SUNDAY6am - Green & Gold pancakes.
7am - Head to Lambeau. Forecast BASTOW potential over jerky.
8:30am - Get to parking lot and realize it's an afternoon game. Smile, and settle in for an extended tailgating session.
_____
As are any plans made by the Packer Ranter, this agenda is subject to change at a minute's notice (usually due to a sale on Old Milwaukee and/or Johnsonville Brats). Any Packer Ranters in the Green Bay area should feel free to meet up with Robert and I at some point during the weekend. We are hoping to run into Justin, Jessica, and Dawson (star of the fourth best football movie of all time, and raging Packer fan) again. Let me tell you, JT almost beat me in a shot-gunning contest, that guy can drink more than you'd think.
However, Dawson is the only to respond to us. Justin and Jessica haven't responded to our letters, calls, emails, texts, or IMs, so they must be busy. I know they aren't avoiding us, though, as they FEAR THE RANT as much as anyone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where are the Bikini Girls?

Last season, male Packer fans everywhere were pleasantly surprised when three young vixens started getting noticed during televised games. In Packer country and across the nation, the Bikini Girls were making all sorts of noise – showing up in papers and crashing blogs across the interweb.

And who are they? Turns out they are related. Jen and Liz (middle & right) are sisters and Ashley (left) is their cousin. All three are diehard Packer fans, college students and have been flaunting their stuff since 2002. Given that they are now 23, 22 and 21 years old, that means they were sporting bikinis at Lambeau since the ages of 17, 16 and 15, respectively….nice!

At the end of the 2007 season, the Bikini Girls were quoted as saying, “Thanks for the support, keep the Packer faith because they will be back and we’ll see you next year!” Well the obvious question is, where are they? We at the Packer Ranter are going to find out. Franklin and I will be on the prowl at the Colts game Sunday. We are planning to circle the stadium before, after and at halftime of the game in search of these girls. If we seen them, we’ll buy them a couple of Leinies on behalf of all the fans. No thank you necessary - the pleasure is all ours.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Views from the Hillside.

  • Good to see Koren Robinson back on the field regardless of the jersey. I was always impressed with his actions and demeanor in Green Bay, and he seemed grateful for the opportunity the Packers had given him. Unlike Pacman Jones in his tenure with the Cowboys, a classless individual and a classless organization.
  • Handshakes are often used to seal a business deal. In the case of the Packers' DBs, they are sealing the deal of taking the ball away from opponents. You didn't score, Chuck? Come on!
  • Suzy Kolber is a wealth of information. I think I forgot what she just said. Keyshawn Johnson just pointed out Brady Quinn's guns. Weird.
  • Grant: 33 carries for 90 yards. Not a good day for the line as there were no holes made, just huge piles of manflesh, but the offense controlled the time of possession to ensure the win. Grant only needed 6 more carries to get the Packers' record for carries in a game of 39 set by Terdell Middleton in 1979....Terdell? Really?
  • Aaron Kampman 6 sacks, Jared Allen 2. Kampman is still the best end in the North, NFC, and the NFL.
  • Gotta admit, I questioned McCarthy's QB sneak call. Why do this with a QB with a beat up arm? Truth is, it doesn't matter. Rodgers kept driving and stuck the ball over the line despite no push from the O-Line. He showed incredible toughness and grit to get the 6.
  • The Vikings/Lions game set football back 20 years. Uggg-ly. These teams are really the J.V. squads of the NFL.
  • Al Harris' spleen is nearly healed, and he may be ready for the Packers' game against the Titans. This is proof that Predators' bodies are capable of healing at a rate much faster than humans.
  • Harrell, you are on notice. FEAR THE RANT!

Packers 27, Seahawks 17

Aaron Rodgers is shouldering the load so far (I make a funny?). In a must-win game for the Packers, Rodgers played through some visible pain to lead us to 3 TDs and solid victory. This comes after not practicing for the second week in a row.

I am a little concerned that he was the only man wearing long sleeves on the field. I hope it was to keep his arm warm rather than him getting cold easily. That'd be like getting your wounds sewn up on the battlefield but asking for a Zima and a Jolly Rancher instead of whiskey.

I am still miffed McCarthy passed on the 63-yard FG attempt in the 2nd quarter in favor of a punt from Derrick Frosty Tips. Have you forgotten who kicks FGs for you? He is Braveleg!

Was it me or does Holmgren look like an angry, old, pasty, Northwest bear? Even more than normal. He needs a nap. I think it's safe to say he's done after this year (in Seattle anyway).

So that’s where Mike Wahle is now. I miss that guy – not sure why we couldn’t have landed him again in the offseason. I'm sure TT has his reasons as usual.

Next week we face the Colts at home. Prancing Peyton Manning and his white knights are coming off a blowout against Baltimore, so their confidence will likely outweigh their performance. It might be the most important game of the season thus far, and that's not just because Franklin and I will be sitting front row (you heard correct).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Eye of the Tracy

You have made a powerful enemy, Ted Thompson, and I do not envy you one bit. On Tuesday, Ted Thompson released Tracy White and signed Danny Lans...Lansan...Really? What does it even matter, we'll just call him #58. Remember, TT, Tracy White doesn't sleep, he waits.

Packer Ranter readers have known of my well-placed affinity for White for a long time. A Special Teams animal whose list of on-field accomplishments are only outweighed by the amount he bench presses. For a special teams unit badly in need of leadership and playmakers, replacing White with #58, a rookie from the practice squad, is foolish. The rationale behind this roster move is troubling because it cannot be justified. Aren't there numerous other positions that could be shored up? Punter and D-line imediately come to mind. Are you trying to field the youngest team in the history of the NFL? It hasn't seemed to work out so well this year. Were you worried about White's meager salary? Compared to his stallion-like efforts on the field of battle, it is a bargain. I read that it was done, in part, to save #58 from signing with another team. You know what? The TT Youth Movement should be about complete, releasing a loyal, productive veteran to promote a practice-squader shows weakness.....and fear...and we all know that fear leads to anger, which leads to the Dark Side.

I have refused to comment on TT's moves until this point, preferring to wait until they play out, but this bone-headed transaction that was swept under the rug needed to be shared. The only consolation I take is that Tracy White is a Survivor. This will not stop him in his quest for total and utter special teams domination, albeit for another team, one who will rank 1st in special teams once he signs. I only hope that Ted Thompson's office is buried deep in an undisclosed, secure location, because, as another group of Survivors once said: "The last known survivor stalks his prey in the night." Tracy White is after you, man, RUUUUUUNNNN!

Tracy White Fact of the Day: Tracy White ghost-wrote Rocky II.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Brief History of Seattle Dominance

Jan 4, 2004 @ GB. W, 33-27
What Packer fan can forget this gem? It was the cold playoff game that went to overtime in which Seattle won the toss and Hasslebeck, smirking like a jackass, announced they'd take the ball and score. Whatever big shot. Al Harris picks him off and returns the interception 52 yards for the winning score. One of the all-time great Lambeau wins.

Jan 1, 2005 @ GB. W, 23-17
It was a disappointing, injury-riddled season (4-12) and the only losing one in Favre’s career. Seattle came into the game with the best record in the NFC (13-2). At the time, Shaun Alexander was aiming for Tiki Barber’s rushing TD record. He got it in the first half (big deal) after which Favre rallied the troops onto victory. With fan chanting “one more year” throughout the game, it appeared to be the end for #4. Three years later, he’s still truckin’.

Nov 27, 2006 @ Seattle. L, 24-34
On this snowy Monday nighter, Hassleback was a paltry 17-36 for 3 TDs and 3 INTs. However Favre, starting his 252nd straight game, also threw 3 picks. But the real story was Shaun Alexander rushing for 201 yards on 40 attempts (that’s a lot of rushing). Forgettable and rare win for the Seahawks. It was highly speculated this would be Favre’s last Monday Night game. Whatever doubters!

Jan 12, 2007 @ GB. W, 42-20
An unforgettable winter wonderland Lambeau win. After only the first four minutes, Ryan Grant had fumbled twice and we were down 14-0. It was looking like a disaster in the works, but somehow we righted the ship incredibly fast, scoring touchdowns on 6 straight possessions (wow). Grant recoverd to finish with 201 yards and 3 TDs (suck it, Seattle). The Seahawks fell to 0-8 in postseason road games. Favre joined Joe Montana as the lone players to pass for more than 5,000 yards in the postseason and improved to 43-5 at Green Bay when the gametime temperature was 34 degrees or colder.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Matt Ryan or The Shermanator?


Who is the starting QB for the Atlanta Falcons? None other than Chuck Sherman, The Shermanator from American Pie 1 and 2. Better known for being a sophisticated sex-robot sent through time to change the future for one lucky lady, than a competent NFL quarterback.

The Packers won't lose to Chuck Sherman, end-of-story, even being busted up on both sides of the ball.

Pack 27 Atlanta 9

Friday, October 3, 2008

Views from the Hillside.

  • D The Dragon asked if I was going to give out a BASTOW for week 4. I believe Mr. Miyagi said, "You cannot receive, what you do not earn." Or maybe it was Yoda. Either way, it was someone way more impressive than anyone on Green Bay's special teams last week.
  • Ryan Pickett on Justin Harrell: "I don't ever see him. I've seen him, like, once in a blue moon." Same with us, Ryan, same with us.
  • This week, Tony "The Incredible Bulk" Mandarich, confessed to be addicted to painkillers and booze during the three years he was a member of the Green Bay Packers. Ummm...Tony, don't you get it? In Green Bay, that's not an excuse for sucking harder than anyone's ever sucked. (See Favre, Brett; addiction)
  • Matthew Berry of ESPN actually makes his living "reporting on" and "analyzing" fantasy football. If this is the case, I think I can get a halfway decent job analyzing coin-flipping. I believe Berry hosts a radio show called Captain D-Bag and Why I Never Get Laid.
  • Charles Woodson's toe called, and it reminded Ryan Grant, Donald Lee, Donald Driver, Brandon Jackson, and James Jones that it has more TDs than them.
  • Mike McCarthy's jowls shake when he is disgusted, they've been registering a 4.2 on the Richter Scale the past two weeks.
  • Fear THE RANT!

For Sale: Brett Favre's House

If you’re in the neighborhood and have $475,000 sitting in a Folders can, you might want to consider this Ashwaubenon beauty. It’s got four bedrooms, three baths and oh yeah, Brett freaking Favre lived there. That’s right. Our good friends at the Press Gazette have uncovered Brett Favre’s Wisconsin home, now for sale. The property’s owner is listed as D. Tynes. For all you Favre trivia fans and Deanna Googlers, Tynes is Deanna’s maiden name. If that weren’t proof enough, the tax bills are even sent to Hattiesburg – holla!

In all honesty, it is kind of sad to see the home for sale. You’d like to think that Favre loved Wisconsin so much that he’d keep the home and visit during summers or at least deer season. I guess we all move on. The good news is I have an incredible proposition for my fellow entrepreneuers out there. Here’s your chance to acquire a truly unique collectible. So get this – I live like 10 minutes from the house. Tomorrow morning, I’m planning on posing as a buyer anyway just to see what kind of Earth-bound dwelling a demi-god lives in. But if you want me to wipe the counters for dead skin cells or comb the bathroom for some hair or whatever, email me right away. That stuff is GOLD on eBay. I heard an apple that Tiger Woods bit into went for like 10 grand! Let me know right away or I might just keep it for myself.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This One Hurts

I’m not sure what was more depressing about Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay. Was it that with 3 picks and a game-ending injury that Rodgers suddenly looked fragile, or was it the highlights of Favre in a throwback uniform going for 6 touchdowns in New York?

The answer, I think, is neither. This loss rests on the hairy shoulders of the offensive line. With Scott Wells back and Ryan Grant supposedly healthy, Sunday was supposed to be our breakout running game. Instead, Tampa’s D broke broke though our protection like a squirrel-crazed Rottweiler does a plywood fence. In the end, Grant was held to 20 yards on 15 carries and Rodgers looked like he was playing one-on-five. What’s worse, we let the 35-year old Derrick Brooks act as though he was trying out for the next Spider-Man movie. It was painful to watch.

If we can’t shore up the O-line, we’re going to find out how good Matt Flynn and Brian Brohm are because Rodgers is going to get annihilated back there. Here's to getting our crap together...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Programming Update

If you are sitting in front of your T.V. looking for something to watch because your V.C.R. has finally died and all of your Packer game tapes are mocking your inability to view them, then I've got a show for you. My constant channel surfing this morning has landed me a gem on the N.F.L. network. It's a recurring program called America's Game that highlights past Super Bowl winners.

Well, it used to. This episode was called Missing Rings: The 1969 Minnesota Vikings. The program description says, "One of the greatest teams in the NFL to have never won a Super Bowl." Once I stopped chuckling, I ran to computer to update the Packer Ranter readers, so they could tune into this non-stop laugh fest.

I eventually got over the crippling laughter that had overtaken me, and began to think about this T.V. program. Didn't there used to be a time when we only celebrated success? Why are we glorifying medicority? The answer lies with the Vikings themselves. When you have nothing to cheer for or brag about, you begin to embrace things as successes that other teams would view as failures. Much like their season this year, "We have the best running back, we have the best D-line...." Well, you are still 1-2 and soon to be 1-3.

The Vikings: Celebrating Mediocrity Since 1961

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Cribbage Story

Four years ago I was poised to faced off against my heated cribbage rival, a lanky Pole named Gwidon. It was Anduzzi’s 3rd annual Peg ‘n Keg tournament, which Gwidon and I had split the first two years. At stake was $300, a case of Klements and a hell of a lot of pride.

At the pre-tourney potluck it was announced that the organizer had misplaced (forgotten) the board, and unless someone had one, the tournament would be canceled. Lucky for them, I had my pocket Packer crib board, well, in my pocket. The board itself is about the size of a dollar bill and is known among my friends as the losers’ table board at tournaments held in my basement. (There’s nothing more pathetic than watching grown men try and peg on something the size of a Post-it…losers’ table indeed.)

Being it was the only board available, it was dubbed official and I was given a first-round bye and a handful of drink tickets – I was quite happy. Not much comes to mind after that. My cribbage handlers tell me went through many Jagerbombs and was kicked out in the 3rd round for making threats of violence against Gwidon and his unkept child, Adalbert. According to the Press Gazette, Gwidon had lost in the finals to a newcomer. That was good to hear. According to my handlers, I made out with a chick named Krystal. That was also good to hear. If you are out there Krystal, email me and I'll take you to the Lions game.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Week 3 BASTOW - is wrestled out of me

I wrestled with my generous and giving half all day Monday and today, debating whether or not anyone other than Charles Woodson or Cullen Jenkins deserved any sort of recognition for excellence against Dallas. I put that half in a headlock and tried to smash an empty bottle over its head, but I realized that Silver Wolf Vodka only comes in plastic bottles. Following this living room destroying cage match, I was still fairly certain that no one deserved recogntion, but then I realized that there were a number of bad-ass special teams plays during Sunday night's game. No Packer player made them on his own, but it was a group display of bad-assness.

With Derrick Frost managing only 3.66 seconds of hangtime per punt on Sunday, the punt coverage unit was able to limit Pacman Jones to a 4.3 yard average per return. This is pretty remarkable and earned the punt coverage unit the BASTOW for week 3. In a game with few bright spots for the Packers, the "Punt Grunts" did a great job of ensuring things didn't get uglier.

Back to Frosty Tips, if you hadn't actually seen Frost kick the ball you would have thought he just wound up and threw it right to the returner. Great spiral, on a rope. Unfortunately, this is not what you look for in a punt. Please, Mr. Frost, let's warm it up a little before you kick next time, I don't want to have to give out any more BASTOWs for these kinds of plays. I want bone-crushing, helmet-melting, jersey-ripping plays to get the BASTOW, as do the readers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Moving on then...

Things are not good today. Beer bottles, jerky bits and general cluttered depression surround me. I literally have not moved from the recliner since Franklin left sometime last night. This is why I take Mondays off. Whether it's celebrating a win with an afternoon kegger or painfully replaying a non-win in solitude, I always need one more day after a Packer game to recover. If I were delivering today, the general idiocy that surrounds the pizza business in Green Bay would likely push me over the edge.

And as if things couldn't get worse than losing to Dallas at home, Franklin left this message about 10 minutes ago. "Robby, I know it's Monday Mourning but the word is Al Harris has a ruptured spleen and is out the rest of the year." The good news is that I was actually able to take things in stride. And by "stride" I mean my lifeless stare into the void. And by "void" I mean my gila monster, Rick.

Here's to hoping Tuesday brings better news for the Green & Gold.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

T-minus 2 hours 38 minutes....

I have a very hard time with late games, an even harder time with Sunday night games, and I go absolutely crazy when the Packers play on Monday nights. To keep my mind off things, I decided to check in and see if any Packer Ranter fans have left any comments. NO?!?! NO!?!?!? It is your duty to get yourself heard. Ranting is good for the soul!

I guess I will go back to pacing my hallway...I have worn a trail in the hardwood floor that will be hard to explain to my landlord.

This game shouldn't be as close as the so-called experts predict, Dallas has never won at Lambeau and there is no reason to see why that should change tonight. Plus, tonight John Madden begins a new love affair.....with Aaron Rodgers.
Packers 37
Dallas 17

Friday, September 19, 2008

You can't buy rings!

After what seemed like a decade and a half of traveling down to Texas to play the law-breaking, me-first Dallas Cowboys, they finally have to play us at Lambeau. What do they bring? Celebrity girlfriends, HBO cameras and the poster boy for what is wrong with sports, Terrel Owens. They bring talent. Tons of it. Every good player who gets booted off a team for breaking the law resurfaces in Dallas. (Think Jerry Jones' 1.3 billion dollar stadium had any influence on Pacman getting re-instated?) They bring the labels, "best team in the NFC" and the most disputed label of all, "America's Team". The Cowboys consistently build the best team on paper. Why is it that they also bring zero playoff wins in the last ten years? Zero.

You can't buy rings!

The Packer organization has a different philosophy and a few more playoff wins to back it up. We draft players that want to play football...for a team. We don't spend any money on players who have been suspended or players that are more interested in "Me Selling, Me". The Packers are built with players that are hungry to play football for the right reasons. We do not have the brighter lights, or the bigger celebrities, but we have the better TEAM. I look forward to watching the long faces and temper tantrums on the sideline of "America's Team", it'll be great drama for HBO. The drama I'm looking for will be at 10:25 on WFRV.
Packers 34
Cowboys 28

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Week 2 BASTOW

Week 2's BASTOW was originally going to go to longsnapper Brett Goode. When he fired that snap through Derrick Frost's hands I thought he put some serious zing on it. I mean how does a punter not catch that? It must be going about 150 miles an hour to go through his hands because that's his one job, right? Turns out, no. Frost had no reason why he didn't catch it, "Just went through my hands." So, sorry Brett Goode, you don't get the BASTOW.

The BASTOW this week goes to Mason "Braveleg" Crosby for putting the Packers ahead with a 4th quarter field goal, a lead we would not relinquish (it shouldn't have come to this, but oh well). Mr. Crosby has icewater in his veins, and it showed. I must confess, the award this week is twofold for Crosby, or should I call him Mason Quasimoto? I would like to congratulate you, Mason, for having the best fantasy football commercial I've ever seen. A kicker having a football commercial? Braveleg Quasimoto, indeed. Plus, he loves bingo at the VFW, and who doesn't?

Tracy White Fact of the Day: Tracy White chose the number 59 because it was the number of special teams touchdowns he had in college....in his first two games. True.
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