Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ryan Grant for Pro Bowl

I’m loving Ryan Grant and his 4.4 YPC (5.0 in December) right now and his 1200+ rushing yards and 10 TDs. And when I saw Adrian Peterson fumble away another ball (six now on the season) Monday night, I delighted in the fact that Ryan Grant has only one fumble all year. That was back in week two, btw.

Through the first couple games of the year, there were stories suggesting Grant was a talentless meathead and others saying that Thompson was irate about the contract he handed him. At the time, those knocks seemed borderline legit even though Grant's short career suggested he might be a second-half player and even though our line was more chaotic than a police riot.

At this point in the season, #25 looks to be emanating with confidence and rightfully so. He’s third in the NFC in rushing yards and second in TDs. Hell, the man is even a top ten RB in most fantasy leagues. But the thing I admire most is his attitude. He seems to have a desire to reach his potential and the work ethic, competitive spirit and humbleness to match. In other words, Ryan Grant is Packer people.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a travesty if Grant doesn’t get in because we all know it’s a popularity contest and maybe he came on a little too late this season. But there is no question that #25 deserves the honor. Because of his numbers. Because of his attitude. Because Ryan Grant is one of the best running backs in the NFC. Period.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bookends Make a Great Gift

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Spending my days in a library has made me realize the value of a good set of bookends. Their versatility is rarely noticed, but I have found many uses. They obviously are designed to hold up books, but they can be used as doorstops, DVD and video game holders for the less literary, and even aquariums. Flip them upside down, attach to a wall, set a piece of 1x6 between the two and you’ve got a shelf…of course then you’d need another set of bookends to keep your books on it. I’ve decided what better Christmas gift than a good set of bookends?

For Uncle Larry. He's kind of nerdy... then again, so am I.

For Grandma Beatrice.

For Robert Greenfield.

The nice thing for all Packer fans is that they have all gotten a nice set of bookends this Christmas. Brand new, strong, and versatile, plus, these bookends will only get better with age. One was a little banged up at after UPS dropped it off, and the set wasn’t sent complete at first, but they are now together and look to be an excellent set. Clay Matthews and Brad Jones look to be an excellent set of bookends for the Packers linebacking corps, one is already a star and should be a Pro Bowler. The other is contributing in his first year despite being a 7th round pick of the 2009 draft class, which is like finding this bookend set in a thrift store for $0.50. Kevin Greene will keep these bookends in top working order, as he knows a little about being a bookend himself.

I hope everyone enjoys their Christmas, regardless if you get a set of sweet bookends from a friend or loved one, take comfort in knowing that Ted Thompson already got you a pair for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pretty Sure I Could Do That

In my youth, I dreamed of being the next Jerry Rice or Walter Payton with some Lawrence Taylor thrown in (hey, it was the 80s and we sucked). It’s hard to say since I was unstoppable on both sides of the ball during recess. But as the playground got bigger, I got weeded out for guys that were bigger/stronger/faster and had the early puberty and the whatnot. Before I knew it, that dream was gone and I was selling crapperware in Oshkosh to make the rent.

Now, as a beer-guzzling, couch-potato blogger, I don’t even joke about playing the NFL (I could get hurt really bad!) but do still enjoy the comical image of me ceding the last toilet stall in the locker room to a demanding nose tackle even though I may have to go much much worse. I just know I couldn’t make it – the league is too gifted and talented. These guys might as well be another planet as far as I’m concerned.

Then Mason Crosby came along and gave me hope.

I generally do not like ripping on players, but ol’ Colorado Thunder Thighs has been sucking more than a litter of kittens off a twenty-teat Tabby cat lately. I don’t care what McCarthy says, he is *this* close to bagging groceries at Piggly Wiggly. And if that happens, who’s going to take his place? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? Well, what about me, Robert Greenfield.

I’m completely serious.

I played competitive soccer for years (anyone who says soccer is for wussies never played beyond 5th grade) and was the go-to guy for penalty kicks. That means that A) I know how to kick and 2) I am clutch. Sure, it may take a few days to get my leg back into shape, but I can guarantee right now that I would be cash-money from inside 35 yards. Give me a little practice and one of those kicking tees, and in a couple of weeks I believe I could start booting them – with consistency – from 45+. Now that’s not the best in the league but it’s better than you got right now and you’ve got nowhere else to turn.

You don’t believe me, Packers scouting guy reading this post!? Try me. I will come to Lambeau this week at my own expense (I live near the Walmart). I would only ask you give me a day’s notice so I could get another driver to take my shift. As a bonus, I will bring you some delicious homemade curds and schnitzel for letting my tryout (again, a day’s notice to prepare these items is appreciated).

In all honesty, when I was just a little guy, my all-time favorite wish – the only I always replayed in my head – was me winning the Super Bowl for the Packers. I know you want to win the Super Bowl too. Let’s help each other. So, ah… we feeling pretty good about this dealio?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sly, Bush, and "I Told You So"

There are two things people love: underdogs and being first.

There’s an inherent inclination for humans to root for the underdog. Something in our wiring creates a need to witness people conquer overwhelming odds and stand on the field of battle victorious. This is true in life, and it particularly manifests itself in sport. Sylvester Stallone is a perfect example of both of these cases; we need the Vietnam Vet-loner and Philly nobody to succeed. For us to sleep soundly at night, Stallone must evade an egomaniacal, small-town sherriff and rescue P.O.W.s from hordes of Viet Cong. It is imperative that he escape his life as a low-rent thug/mob enforcer to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World…and defeat Communism. Actually, Stallone defeats Communism twice, once in Moscow on Christmas and again in the mountains of Afghanistan. Sly is the ultimate underdog. Watch Rocky or Rambo, all nine of them, and try not to root for him. It is impossible, your synapses are wired to scream at the TV “Get ‘im, ROCK!” I call this the Sly Stallone Underdog Phenomenon. If you want further evidence of the Sly Stallone Underdog Phenomenon check out: Over the Top (third greatest arm-wrestling movie of all time) and Victory (the greatest movie about Allied P.O.W.s playing soccer against Nazis ever made). You cannot help but root for him!

Being first is pretty self-explanatory. If you get picked first in gym, you’re probably good at sports. If you’re first in your class, you’re probably smart. If you’re first in line, you usually get what you’re waiting for before everyone else. If you discover something first, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you were on the ground floor of something. Just look at any comment space or message board and you will likely find three people whose post only reads “First”…actually, that’s not self-explanatory, that’s just stupid. But in most other instances, it’s good to be first, and people want to be recognized as first.

This brings me to Jarrett Bush. Some…maybe most, readers just clicked away. To them I say, good riddance! But if you’ve stuck around to see how these two things relate, you may be rewarded. There is no player on the Packers roster that draws more ire than Bush, and not without some merit. However, since Al Harris’ injury, Bush has stepped into the nickel role and played solidly, not great, but not terrible. Aaron over at CheeseheadTV even recognized this.

I am on record as saying I’m leading the Jarrett Bush Bandwagon as far back as here and also here. The reasoning for this is outlined above. 1) There is no bigger underdog than Jarrett Bush. For him to escape his rep as mistake-prone, it will take a Rambo/Rocky-like effort over the course of these next few games, an effort that I think he can give (The nice thing? The bar is set pretty low for success). 2) As tweeted, and to the best of my knowledge, I’m very much the first on board this bandwagon, I just looked in the rearview mirror, and I can’t even see anyone for miles. It’s a little lonely, but I firmly believe that it will slowly fill up. Just remember I was here first, and you should never underestimate my desire to say, “I told you so!”

There is a final reason that I’m wishing for #24’s success. It’s just easier and more enjoyable to root for someone to succeed than it is to root against them and hope they fail, unless of course they’re this guy. Once I committed myself to rooting for Bush on Sunday, I got incredibly excited for Sunday to arrive. It’s a different feeling to not root for the star, but rather the goofy, yep…underdog. It’s difficult to explain, but putting faith in someone who is not recognized for much other than failure, is an exciting feeling.

…and this is why am I rooting for Jarrett Bush this weekend, I may the only one, but that makes me first and you can’t fight the Sly Stallone Underdog Phenomenon. Climb on the bandwagon.

“Get ‘im, BUSH!”

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Real Men Don't Drink Zima

First there was the Minister of Defense, and now there’s the Jolly Rancher.

I just learned that the drink/drank/lean/sizzurp that Johnny Jolly is being indicted for (again) has a very simple recipe that starts with cough syrup and soda and ends with… wait for it… a Jolly Rancher.

Because of the last ingredient, this is dangerously close to falling into a category of drinks that should never be ordered by men. These are, in no particular order, the Appletini, the Wine Spritzer, the Cosmo, and oh yeah, the (classic) Zima with a Jolly Rancher at the bottom. Long-known to be enjoyed by women who don’t like the taste of beer, these fruity beverages actually come with a copy of the latest edition of O in some states (or so I heard). Among other things, it just reminds me of that sweet book back in the 80s, “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche.” Seriously, if I ever saw a group of guys tailgating with a case of Zima and a bag of Jolly Ranchers, I’d immediate start snapping photos because that’s about as rare as Sasquatch living in suburbia.

Now, I did say this concoction is “close” to being a girly, but it actually resides next to it. That is because I have seen Johnny Jolly play football and he is CLEARLY one bad mother – shut your mouth! However, does he deserve a little lighthearted flack for being associated with an illegal candy-coated drink? Yes. Thus, in the great tradition of Packer monikers, I submit for your consideration “the Jolly Rancher,” (supplanting my previous “Mother Untucker”) as the new nickname for Johnny Jolly. It is perhaps the most obvious and perfect nickname of all time, easily topping “Dookie Davenport” or “Chewy” and will be the name I use from #97 from here on out. I hope you agree.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Views from the Hillside

You’ve waited, and now it’s here, another installment of “Views from the Hillside". You haven’t been waiting? Oh well, maybe you didn’t know you were waiting, but your subconscious most definitely was. I usually throw one of these out when I can’t think of anything genius like this. The root cause often being a wicked hangover, but not this time. I’ve just had too many random thoughts and needed to get them all out.

  • How blind are football prognosticators? Remember this past summer after the great Jay Cutler was brought to Chicago, and that moved them up to the elite of the NFC? Peter King picked them to go to the Super Bowl and Kevin Seifert picked them to win the NFC North. How this happened, I really have no clue. I took an objective glance at their roster before the season…well, as objectively as anyone can look at a junk roster, and said no way they even finish 8-8. I’m waiting for the Sports Illustrated and ESPN job offers to come in…my email must be down.
  • Dom Capers is craaaazy!
  • I think Iwas involved in/overheard/ignored 23 different Tiger Woods’ conversations this past weekend. Those are parts of my life I will never get back. How does Tiger measure himself to other golfers? I think we know it’s not by height.
  • Soldier Field looks worse than East Dillon High’s. That is an embarrassment for a pro football franchise.
  • And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply". So he tucked his hair up under his hat and he went in to ask him why. He said "You look like fine a upstanding young man, I think you'll do. So he took off his hat, and said, “Imagine that. Huh! Me workin' for you!"
  • Avatar. Avatar. Avatar. Nerd-herd, mount up!
  • Corey Willams blew up the Shittsburgh Steelers. Yeah, that Corey Williams. Jolly, Pickett, Jenkins, and Raji are going to be eating Rothlis Burgers for dinner on Sunday.
  • Jermichael Finley needs a nickname. Thoughts? How about: “Don’t Even Try And Cover Me With Anything Other Than A Cornerback Because You Will Fail”? That has a nice ring to it.
  • Yesterday, I spilled a beer. That was my first spill in 107 attempts. Pretty good streak.
Okay, maybe I'm a tad hungover.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Uncle Dale: Traveling Man

I’ve known my uncle Dale for a good 10 years now. He was MIA from the family following his divorce to the “she-beast” in the early 80s. He only communicated to Grandma a few times during that period and his letters all had different return addresses. Turns out Dale was felt he got married too early and wanted to find – and possibly reinvent – himself somewhere nobody knew him. There were unverified rumors ranging from him as a stage actor in Canada to searching for the elusive skunk ape in the Everglades.

After twenty years of soul-searching, Dale finally returned to Green Bay the night of January 26, 1997… the night of the Packers Super Bowl win. I’ll never forget because the whole family was doing the Beer Barrel Polka in Grandma’s living room and yipping like hyenas gone mad in celebration. I was hopped up on Mad Dog 20/20 and Voodoos (Vodka + Mountain Dew) and was showing off my classic breakdance moves like the robot and the worm (aka “the dolphin” aka “the caterpillar") to everyone’s delight. As I was coming back for a second pass across the carpet, I heard Grandma exclaim, “It’s Dale!”. Sure enough in the doorway stood a skinny little weathered man vaguely reminiscent of a picture I had seen somewhere in the house. Dale shrugged off the attention (“yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s Dale”) and tolerated some of the inevitable hugs.

As we fed him a million questions as to his whereabouts and doings as well as many libations, Dale finally admitted that he worked random jobs such as a roofer and vacuum salesman here and there and everywhere. His stories all came back to a diamond-in-the-rough Packer bar he frequented. There was Howie’s Sports Page in Albuquerque, where the owner was originally from Fond du Lac, Town Hall in North Dakota where the bar was literally split down the middle – half watched the Packers, the others the Queens.

Dale’s favorite place of all was Rum Runner’s Tavern in Houston. Apparently it was as close to Green Bay as you can imagine. People dressed up in green and gold, bratwurst was served, and they even performed Lambeau Leaps. I looked it up and this Texas mecca of Packer Pride actually exists – check it out. Turns out the only criteria Dale had in choosing his next place to call home was that it had a Packer bar. Now that’s having your priorities straight. See you Sunday, Dale? Thought so.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Summer in Shawano...Nevermore.

I used to know a Lenore when I was growing up. She lived in Cleveland, and she used to spend her summers in Shawano at her aunt and uncle’s lake house. Lenore was a HUGE Browns fan. Kind of funny, right? I used to tell her that same thing, but she wouldn’t listen. She had three Bernie Kosar jerseys, two Dawg masks, and a Jim Brown autographed football which she slept with at night. She claimed to only sit in the Dawg Pound when she went to games. I never really believed her on that point, but she was very convincing. Some nights she would come and rap on my bedroom door, and we would sit on my grandma’s dock and talk football until her aunt and uncle would stumble home from the nearby resort bar and tell her to go to bed.

When Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore, Lenore never showed up in Shawano during summer vacation. I asked her aunt when she was coming, but her aunt said she wasn’t sure. I wrote Lenore a letter asking when she was coming to Shawano and she only responded, “nevermore.” I wrote again and asked why, and she responded, “Art Modell has taken the one thing I adore. The Browns are nevermore.”

I never saw Lenore after that and for this reason I hate the effing Ravens and all they stand for. Tonight, their playoff hopes are nevermore.

Go, Pack.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nerd Alert

This is a very rare and difficult thing for someone with such Packer pride, but this week I’d actually like to extend my praise to some of the Vikings players, notably the ones named Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor and Sidney Rice. These five purple-toting pigskinners comprise the elite group I have dubbed Penta Lambda.

Let’s say you were playing a fill-in-the-blanks kind of game and you were told that five guys names Bernard, Percy, Adrian, Chester and Sidney were all on the same team – what kind of team would you guess they were on? Maybe chess, sewing or table tennis? Nope. What about math or some sort of church group? NOT EVEN. These are the names of musclebound, tattooed manly men who play professional football for the Vikings of Minnesota.

Not since Revenge of the Nerds has such a powerhouse of dorkville names come together. When R.O.N. was made at the height of Nerd Power, the creators actually concepted the names Bernard, Percy, Adrian, Chester and Sidney as the stars, but studio executives felt that was just too nerdy and thus unbelievable. Instead, they went with the backup names of Louis, Gilbert, Arnold, Harold and Lamar, who we all love to this day. However, if there ever was going to be a backstory film about the original TriLambs (cross your fingers my screenplay gets optioned!), a large part of the Vikings offense would likely have starring roles waiting for them, or at least be able to sell the rights to their Penta Lambda names.

I’m sure no one ever expected a shy, stout young lad called Chester to grow up and play smashmouth football for the Ravens and Vikings. Nor could anyone predict a young Virginian youth named Percy in 1999 to content for Rookie of the Year in 2009. That’s why I say, congratulations guys. You’ve overcome the odds of having some of the most unwanted dorky names for guys in history to become some really impressive beauhunk Stan Gables.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Anton Ego: "The food tastes better."

I wanted to revisit something that I read a couple weeks ago. The copious amounts of food I consumed on Thursday brought it back to mind. Following the Packers' domination of the Cowgirls, Mike McCarthy noted that there was a sign in the weight room that read: "The food tastes good again" during his November 18th press conference. On the surface this just looks like a metaphorical way of saying that winning makes everything better; the grass is greener, the sky is bluer, and the Schmidty's tastes more like Spotted Cow. However, McCarthy was actually being very literal.

Along with the purge of defensive coaches, special teams coach, and weight room staff last offseason, the team chef was also let go. There was no mention in any press conference, but Robert tipped me off to this, as the former chef applied for a job slinging pizzas at Robert's pizza joint. Quite a fall from grace, but when you're not winning, the axe falls with abandon.

The new chef, Pierre Luc Garcon, is a classically trained French chef who served as an instructor at the famous Le Cordon Bleu school in Paris. Robert and I ran into him at Titletown Brewing while he was in the corner scowling into his beer. We started talking and it turns out he had a B & B in Door County that eventually failed...miserably, as near as I could tell because Pierre can be a real jerk. "Vat deed you zay? No, eet deed not fail, eet was all zees stoopid Amereecans who have not zee taste and class for my cueesine who failed." Be that as it may, Pierre applied for Head Chef of the Packers and was quickly hired by McCarthy... who knows talent when he eats it.

This transition has not been without its bumps and bruises, Pierre has been frustrated with the sheer amount of food needed to feed a professional football team. "Food ees meant to zavored, not eenhaled like oxeegen!" He is used to intricate preparation and delicate presentation, this is not really how D-linemen view food. However, following the win against Dallas, 8 games into the season, the transition seems to have taken hold as indicated by the sign, and Pierre's willingness to adapt his style. Hmmm...isn't that how long the 3-4 took to take shape? 8 games? Coincidence?

Yesterday, I emailed Pierre to find out how he was finding he job later into the season. He responded by saying he is still a huge Thierry Henry fan, and that American football is barbaric, but Cullen Jenkins has shown a great interest in his cooking and they are becoming fast friends. Cheers to Big Sexy and Pierre!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wild Turkey

The last few times the Packers have played the Lions on Thanksgiving, the games have been a little more than expected. But for the Greenfield’s, these particular days have been one for the books.

Nov 22, 2001: GB 29, DET 27
A Lions’ fourth quarter mad rally fell just short but the real story was that my sister was bringing her boyfriend for Thanksgiving she was really high on, so Grandma wanted to do something “special.” She saw an ad for Cornish game hens for like $1/piece at Piggly Wiggly so she thought it would be cool to give everyone their individual hen. Grandma Greenfield baked about twenty of them at the same time and when they were ready, each was plated with a side of mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. As we started cutting open the hens, it became evident why they were so cheap. Each hen was about 80% bone, vein and tendon so bad that by the time you surgically maneuvered around to the meat, it was nothing but chewy and gross. Embarrassed, Grandma begged him to come back for Christmas dinner where she would make it up to him, but they broke up before that came.

Nov 27, 2003: GB 14, DET 22
My cousin Chet brought over his dog he just adopted from the shelter a week earlier – a brown mut named Digger. Digger was more than happy to receive table scraps from anyone willing. Unfortunately, Chet forgot to mention Digger was on a strict diet. The table scraps didn’t agree with his stomach and he yacked up a few disgusting piles around the house. The smell was too much to bear so most of the Greenfield men ended up in the garage listening to the game over a case of High Life and a jar of honey roasted peanuts. It would’ve been OK except for the fact we had to listen to Favre turn the ball over four times in the second half en route to a crappy Detroit loss.

Nov 22, 2007: GB 37, DET 26
Favre and the Pack straight-up torched the Lions this Thanksgiving, but it was my Uncle Frank’s shenanigans that we love talking about. Uncle Frank couldn’t wait for Christmas, so he purchased a turkey fryer and invited us all over for the inaugural frying. Like the stubborn man he is, Frank decided he could bypass the directions and wing it because after all, “how hard can it be?” The first of the especially bad ideas was setting the fryer next to the garage. The next was dropping the turkey in the vat waaaaay too fast. The firey oil spewed over, bubbling onto his garage’s vinyl siding and melting it instantly. Frank freaked out and pulled out a kick reminiscent of the great Daniel LaRusso, knocking the fryer over and onto his driveway. His boot also briefly caught fire and before he could kick it that off, he suffered second-degree burns.

Always good times with the Greenfields on Thanksgiving with the Packers. I volunteered to host this Thursday. Should be interesting. Feel free to share your stories as well – I’d love to hear them.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Meet Your Neighbor

Won’t you be my neighbor? Hi, neighbor!

In an effort to better understand what makes Packer fans tick in our Packer Neighborhood, I have come up with a list of questions that, in my humble opinion, will tell you everything you’ll ever need to know about the people behind the scenes of the numerous and exceptional Packers’ blogs. These are the guys Robert and I read on a daily basis and you should too if you call yourself a fan.

Next up, I present Brian Carriveau, from Railbird Central. Much like Alex from over at Packers Lounge, Brian knocked these questions out of the freakin' park. Railbird Central is chock full of analysis, links to great Packer news and blogs, and Brian tops it all off with a great musical number each day. Without further ado, I give you the Packer Ranter Neighborhood Interview:

1) If you woke up in the middle of the night, and Ted Thompson was standing over your bed watching you sleep, what would you offer him to drink? (that's the polite thing to do) Why?
First I'd mix myself a whiskey old fashioned sweet with mushrooms and an olive for garnish. But Ted seems like a brandy kind of guy with a maraschino cherry and orange slice instead. I'd make him one of those. Nothing says Wisconsin like an old fashioned.

2) What's your favorite '80s hair band, and how do you relate them to the Packers? (this is relative, you may hate 80's hair bands, but if you had to choose one, who would it be)
I'm not a fan of '80s hair bands, but I always admired that the drummer from Def Leppard only had one arm, and he was pretty good. Likewise, although Spencer Havner is a beast of a football player with two arms, he would still be above average with only one. Just imagine if he had three arms. The Packers would be unstoppable.

3) Which cheddar is beddar: mild, medium, or sharp? Subquestion: How the hell does California think they can make cheese?
Mild cheddar is, without a doubt, the best. California is just a wanna-be state. I bet there's some farmer in California that grows potatoes and he thinks he's "all that." Just like Wisconsin, Idaho just laughs at him. And there's probably another farmer that grows some corn that he claims is the best in the world. And I'm sure Nebraska scoffs at him. Similarly, the Oakland Raiders have been a wanna-be team for decades. They're a laughingstock compared to the Packers, or any other NFL team for that matter.

4) If John Rambo, in his prime of First Blood Part II, played for the Packers, which position would he play? Is he Pro Bowl material, or just a serviceable player?
I'm not familiar with that particular Broadway musical.

5) Ty Webb or Jeffrey Lebowski?
Well sure, look at it! Young trophy wife, I mean, in the parlance of our times, owes money all over town, including to known pornographers--and that's cool, that's cool-- but I'm saying, she needs money, and of course they're gonna say they didn't get it 'cause she wants more, man, she's gotta feed the monkey, I mean--hasn't that ever occurred to you...? Sir?

6) If you woke up tomorrow and the Packers ceased to exist and no one but you remembered them, how would you convince everyone they are the greatest organization in sports?
My attempts at persuasion would probably be some asinine attempt to gain media attention through a hunger strike whereby I'd get my 15 minutes of fame, yet in the end convert no one. But that's okay. I know the Packers are the greatest organization in all of sports, and that's good enough for me.

7) Don Hutson basically invented the receiver position, what's your favorite invention: the Cheesehead, the truck-bed tailgate, or the Green Bay Sweep?
I'd have to go with a tailgate. There's not a environment I'd rather be in than a Sunday in a Green Bay parking lot with a tailgate decked out with a cheese and venison sausage platter, bratwursts and ice cold Spotted Cow.

Thank you, Brian, It's good to know you're out there keeping your fellow railbirds informed on all things Packers, and I completely agree on Spencer Havner...now I'm just imagining three-armed shoulder pads.

RE: Stallone's Broadway musical, if you want to talk about infiltrating Vietnamese P.O.W. camps sometime, I'm game.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Hypothetical

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Answer: Sorry for the buzzkill, friends, but it’s a trick question. That’s because the woodchuck, or marmota marmox, would never chuck any wood. Unfortunately, few people realize that this member of the Squirrel Family is actually a vegetarian. They enjoy nibbling and gnawing on succulents like clover and alfalfa, not birch bark or sycamore.

But what if instead of wood we used Cowboys, instead of woodchucks we used Charles Woodson and instead of chucking, he was dominating. Then I ask you, how many Cowgirls could a Woodson dominate if a Woodson could dominate Cowgirls? Answer: eleven. Charles Woodson could dominate eleven offensive players on the Dallas Shemales. We witnessed it yesterday.

About a half dozen Brandy Old Fashioneds and a couple keg stands into fantasy draft night this summer, two-time guest Ranter John Johnson aka The Company Man, proposed another intriguing question: Is Charles Woodson the best player on the team? Franklin and I took a half second to collect our drunken thoughts before unanimously agreeing. And the more we talked about it, we concluded that #21 was not only the best player on the Packers, but perhaps in the entire NFL.

His all-around performance Sunday did all the talking. Charles Woodson is an absolute elite talent. You’re gonna be seeing his name high atop the list for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year and if he keeps it up, who knows? Lawrence Taylor was MVP in 1986… All I have to say is, "Keep on chucking, Wood!"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Meet Everglade Gary and His (Elusive) Neighbor

I just back from Florida, and I would like to share a story about watching the debacle against Tampa Bay. Thankfully, I chose not to attend the game live. However, I did have the misfortune and enjoyment to watch the game with a gentleman named, Everglade Gary. Misfortune, as I was supposed to take “Everglade Gary’s Kick Ass AirBoat Tour” and then be back to civilization in time for the 1:00 pm kickoff, however his motor conked out, and we ended up at his mechanic/gator-wrestler/interior designer brother’s house in the middle of the Everglades. You ask 95% of people, and being stranded with a guy named Everglade Gary in the middle of Florida swampland is not how they would choose to spend their Sunday. However, this misfortune quickly turned to enjoyment, as I got to drink ice cold beer and watch football with a genuinely cool guy as his brother got to work fixing the boat.

By gametime, we were each eight beers deep, and he was explaining to me about the skunk ape. If you’ve never heard of the skunk ape, you are missing out on one of the greatest pieces of local lore this country has to offer. You see, the skunk ape is Florida’s version of Bigfoot or Sasquatch or Yeti or Abominable Snowman. It is similar in size to very large man, covered in hair, and, because “it sleeps in empty gator dens full of methane gas and sweats a lot without bathing,” it smells terrible. Gary was pretty sure he smelled one once, but then again, he said, it could have just been his dog who has a habit of rolling in alligator carcasses. Gary was quick to inform me that he was not an expert on the skunk ape, but that he liked to pass on the story for an acquaintance, Dave Shealy, Director of the Skunk Ape Research Headquarters.

Maybe not an expert on hairy, reeking humanoids, but what soon became apparent was that Everglade Gary was an expert on football. He would be deep into a story about how he got into a bar fight in Fort Meyers with six college guys on Spring Break because one of them said alligators couldn’t climb trees (Look it up. They can...if you don't believe me, Gary has something he'd like to talk to you about), and then he would quickly make an incredibly insightful observation about the game. I began to realize that Gary’s boat breaking down may have been the best thing that could have happened to me that day. 1) I got a taste of local Florida culture 2) I got to watch football with an incredibly knowledgeable football fan 3) it’s always good to be reminded that beers taste better when it’s hot, humid, and it smells vaguely of methane and sweat…

Monday, November 9, 2009

For Your Consideration...

Have you ever noticed that after pretty much any play – good or bad – McCarthy’s nose is buried in his sweet, laminated, color-coded spreadsheets? He’s worse than those fantasy guys, who spend more time in laptops and cell phones checking for updates rather than watching the game go down right in front of them.

It’s kind of sad that’s the game has turned into – a series of over-calculated risks instead of the exciting choose your own adventure. Well, if that’s the case, have I got some fantasy candidates I’ve encountered over the years that could probably do just as well, if not better, than MM these days.

Wiener Koins. This team has been a fantasy juggernaut for years. He doesn’t always draft the greatest (see Mason Crosby in the 6th …“kickers win games!”), but is unparallel in his amazing waiver pickups. He captured the crown by adding unsuspecting free agents that suddenly go off. This bodes extremely well for helping TT find those diamonds in the rough that he supposedly is known for but hasn’t actually found any. (That’s right Ted, I said it.)

Donkey Skids. Despite a penchant for peach schnapps and a tendency for crapping his pants in public, Donkey Skids is an otherwise very formidable opponent. He’s more than willing to mortgage the future by trading up to go after the first- and second-round studs. It pays off, too. He takes home the crown about every other year. How great would that be, Packer fans!

Multiple Scorgasms. This mechanical engineer turned inventor sets the gold standard for draft devices. You can have your Excel spreadsheets – Scorgasms stopped using those in the 90s. His boards are now a battery-operated combination hologram/Rubix cube, constantly morphing based on the dynamics of the draft. I’m 100% convinced his draft cube could someday coach the Packers by itself.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Reading: The Lost Art

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, that doesn’t include raking leaves or going to see Jim Carrey’s A Christmas Carol a full 50 days before Christmas, might I suggest reading a book? No, it’s not pronounced boe-ock, it’s bOOk; it sounds like crook. Books are the things on shelves in that small corner of the library? Yeah, the shelves behind the computers, magazines, and media center, there you go, you found them, those are books.

I know books are antiquated pieces of kitsch that you vowed never to touch again once you left high school or college, but I’ve found two pretty good ones if you can tear yourself away from your plasma, your laptop, or your Xbox. Plus, they can help you drift away from Sunday’s defeat, and get you excited for Sunday’s victory. The two great reads are “That First Season: How Vince Lombardi Took the Worst Team in the NFL and Sent it on the Path to Glory” and “The Official Vince Lombardi Playbook: His Classic Plays & Strategies, Personal Photos & Mementos, Recollections from Friends & Formers Players”. They’re both quick reads and one even has pictures for those of you looking for something visual to keep you interested. The later even includes Saint Vince’s plays written on legal pads which are fantastic. The former gives excellent insight into what guys like Starr, Hornung, and Kramer thought of Lombardi upon his arrival, it’s safe to say these guys were impressed…and nervous.

No, I can’t promise you a personal pan pizza if you read these two books, but I can promise you a renewed respect for the Packers and what Lombardi meant to them. Even if you don’t get to read them this weekend, pick them up. I read them at work, granted, I work in a library, so it might have been a bit easier for me, but if you can pull yourself away from the interweb (Believe me, I know it’s cool. just watched this 23 times) or your TV, you will be happy.

PS: Christmas Carol is a book. By Dickens, not Jim Carrey or even Scrooge McDuck. I promise.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Some Positives of the Game

Lambeau Men’s Room. Nothing against the giant metal splashy room-length pee troughs of yesteryear, but I really prefer a standard urinal. One of the best moves in the renovation. Only things missing were the #4 urinal cakes.

Stadium View. The servers were fast, friendly and dressed like foxy Madonnas Saturday night at this legendary sportsbar. If you haven’t had the deep-fried white cheese curds with a side of ranch, you are seriously missing out.

Novelties. We saw a guy selling $20 pelts; we saw another offering free mustache rides. There were vendors with kitsch galore that were printed with enough obscenities for every divisional opponent and them some. Fun stuff. Still, none of them had a onsie – I knew that was a good idea!

Front Yard Tailgating. Kudos to those Green Bay residents to offer their yards for parking and partying. Saw a sign in front of one house that read “No waiting line for this rest room!” That’s worth the $15 alone if you ask me.

Crowd Noise. Considering the town felt taken over by purple at times, it was even more impressive how loud everyone was yawping. The lungs of the Packer fans were as full and fierce as I can ever recall – great work everyone; glad to be a part of it.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Franklin's Halloween Excursion to Green Bay

7:34 Walk to coffee shop and grab a large light roast and bagel. "Go, Pack!" Comes from the teenage girl getting my coffee. It takes me two seconds to realize I have on a well-worn Packers cap. I smile and nod, and she gives me a fist bump. Nothing could have made my day start better.

9:50 Run through checklist: Long-johns (hoping I won't need them), winter hat and gloves (ditto), "We'll Never Forget You Brent" and "Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood" t-shirts ('cause you gotta have options), cash (for obvious reasons). Done and done.

11:37 At gas station filling up. Two morons in matching Brent Vikings jerseys and a loaded car. Looks like they may be heading to the game. I hope they get lost, like lost in the U.P. lost. Hmm...1 bag of road trip jerky for the ride or two? Two. Always two. You'll never regret having more than you need.

12:09 At Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis, last stop before I hit the road. Gotta grab a growler of Masala Mama India Pale Ale for Robert. He may hate Minnesota, but he loves the IPA. (I tell him I order it online from Banglapur, India, he pretends to believe me) Regardless, he won't be drinking it this weekend.

12:14 3...2...1...we have lift-off! Hit play on the iPod, a little Ram Jam, is a great way to start a road trip.

12:31 Good to know Wisconsin still welcomes me, wayward son that I am. Good to be back.

12:57 "Private Pleasures Next Exit" That's the one, the intersection of Highway 29 and Interstate 94, consisting of an adult book store, Shooter's Showgirls gentlemens club, Country Nights Saloon, and a gas station. I stopped at one of those...for cheese curds.

1:06 Saw the following bumper stickers on a truck: "Keep honking, I'm reloading." and "I still miss my ex-wife, but my aim is getting better." I've got nothing.

1:11 Bumper sticker #3: "Bad-Ass Ladies Don't Drive Mercedes" on a giant purple truck driven by a 300 lb man with a handlebar mustache. Again, I've got nothing.
1:16 Eating a banana and smiling realizing that this is the last food I will be eating that isn't fried, grilled... or cheese for the next 72 hours. NIIIIICE.

1:20 "Boyd: The Friendly Town. "Y" go by?" Okay, I won't. Coffee and beef sticks from Boyd. Not bad, Boyd, you're definitely a friendly town. Thanks.

2:22 Rib Mountain, slowly but surely I'm making my way to Green Bay. Side note: Rib Mountain is the only distinguishing landmark on the entirety of Highway 29. It really is a mind-numbingly boring ride.

2:31 Rothschild still smells the same...gotta love a paper mill right in the middle of town. Or maybe the smell is DC Everest High School. I could never truly tell and still can't today.

2:34 86 miles and counting...just got the nod and wave from a car full of Packer fans. That will power me through the next hour, that and the thought of ice gold New Glarus Spotted Cow.

3:57 Touchdown...please remain in your seats until we come to a complete stop. Finally....GB.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mad Case of the Runs

In 1st grade, my hyperactivity was fully unleashed for the first time ever. It was the highly anticipated Halloween at Valley View Elementary where we trick or treated throughout the school. My best friend Tanker (biggest kid in the class/3rd overall in school) dressed up as Ray Nitschke and I dressed as a little Lombardi, coaching him through classes that day as I imagined the real Lombardi would. Tanker played the part well, snarling at math problems and doing pushups upon command until I was satisfied.

At the end of the day, Mrs. Pfefferle granted us a five-minute candy free-for-all before we went home. While most kids were happily jamming Zagnuts and Tootsie Rolls down their gullets, Tanker and I were bonging giant Pixie Sticks in the back of the room. We finished right as the bell rang and that’s when the wild sugar energy took over.

I started mad flexing like my favorite wrestler, the Ultimate Warrior and projecting numerous barbaric YAWPS at the world. For the entire bus ride home, I was a motormouth of overactive smack talk, which I would later dub “The Runs”. I somehow latched on to the Packers (go figure) and pretended the rest of the bus was the other team. When Tanker was dropped off, I decided to join him although my stop was 16 blocks away. We wrestled for a half hour and then I sprinted home and passed out in the hallway.

As I got older, I realized that the perfect storm of sugar and highly anticipated events triggered The Runs. More often than not, it was a Packer game, which earned the special title of “The Sunday Runs”. Well, there is undoubtedly and lot of excitement in the air because I got the Sunday Runs on Wednesday. I was slugging my morning Monster and listening to sports talk radio and they were playing a clip of the Jared Allen spouting off. I sort of went borderline ballistic inside of my Tercel, screaming and taunting him with reckless abandon. I got so worked up that when I got home I passed out in the hallway (again). When I woke up, I realized that when the Sunday Runs start on Wednesday, it’s either gotta be Armageddon or Favre returning to Lambeau on the horizon to get me this worked up.

Franklin, I hope you’re ready to be Nitschke because little Lombardi is making a mad comeback Sunday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Corn Syrup? Check. Red food coloring? Check

Robert has posted a gracious invitation to the lovely Bikini Girls (which I heartily endorse), and I have an invitation of my own. I invite all Packer fans who are going to the game, tailgating, or simply walking by Brent Favre’s Steakhouse this weekend to deal with some misguided individuals that have wandered into Packer Nation. These individuals can be identified by the dumb look on their face, their close proximity to Vikings fans, and their combination of Brent Favre Viking clothing mixed with Packers garb. Maybe it's this, it could even include a Cheesehead. This individual seems to believe that he or she can still cheer for Favre AND cheer for the Packers. This nonsense needs to be dealt with swiftly.

I have come up with a non-violent, yet effective method of retribution for these ass-clowns that is also in line with celebrating All Hallow’s Eve. This method will identify these traitors for the weekend and provide a level of satisfaction to the true Packer fans in Green Bay for the game. I ask that you hose these people with fake blood, and not just a speck, I’m talking Carrie-style, a head-to-toe staining of their traitorous clothing.

Here’s a great recipe that I plan on using (but it needs to be multiplied by 30 if you want to have enough):

2/3 c. Corn Syrup
1/3 c. Warm Water
5 Tbsp Corn Starch
4 tsp red food coloring
1 Tbsp Powdered Cocoa
2 drops of green or yellow food coloring

Mix the corn starch with the water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the corn syrup. Add the food coloring slowly, checking for color.

I recommend filling a few water balloons if you need to spray a bunch of these individuals and then just having a large squirt gun on hand to douse solitary individuals. A bucket is also a fine choice, simple, yet incredibly effective.

Monday, October 26, 2009

We’ll Never Betray You

Dear Bikini Girls,

Judging from your sign, I gather that you took #4’s departure as hard as anyone. You look so happy right now – if only there was a way to bottle that joy and sell it at Walmart for $9.99 a six pack, we’d all be rich. In the meantime, I think it’s time for you to have some new and enjoyable experiences at Lambeau… with the Packer Ranters!

Why? Cheese. Franklin and I go miles beyond your standard curd-consuming, cheddar-block tailgating chumps. We are totally into the art of cheesemaking/tasting. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried Franklin’s jalapeno and pork-flavored Havarti or my classic semi-soft sheep’s milk cracker smear. Both will be on hand during our Sunday tailgate. We have even discussed testing out to be Grand Master judges for the 2010 World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison. Come tailgate with us and we’ll tell you all about it.

Why? Loyalty. Unlike #4, who was only loyal to the Packers from 1992 to 2008, we have been diehard fans of the Green and Gold since birth. We are not subject to drafting, trades or free agency, and besides a nickel for every ad clicked on, we are not paid either. Our dedication has been and will always be with the Green Bay Packers. If you don’t believe me, I will bring a picture of my headstone, which I purchased around Y2K. It reads, “Here Lies Robert Greenfield, Lifelong Packer Fan and Winner of Anduzzi’s 1997 Packerena Danceoff.”

As you can see, the case for you to party with us Sunday is pretty strong. We’ve already got a sweet tailgating spot picked out, possibly the best in Green Bay. As soon as we get confirmation of your arrival, we’ll give you directions to meet us as well as the combination to the cheese safe.

Looking forward to your response! ~R.G.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Penalty Flag or Good Sportsmanship?

The outrage about penalties needs to be put to rest. It has not been addressed by McCarthy during his tenure, and he evades questions with, “We’ll look into it.” He’s not fooling anyone into thinking he cares. There is simple explanation for the rash of yellow hankies tossed every which way at the Packers. The explanation can be found in any bowling alley or on any golf course. It’s called handicapping, and McCarthy is a huge fan. Handicapping is all about giving your opponents an even playing field and allowing for competition between two teams or individuals with differing skill sets. It’s quite honorable, actually.

In my opinion, it should be taken as a point of pride that the Packers can dominate a team while being flagged 13 times for 130 yards. This is an impressive feat, even more so because of the fact the Lions were shut out. Seriously, they couldn’t score a point, and they were spotted 1.3 football fields. NIIIIICE.

One Packer who has taken this fair-play idea to heart: Chad Clifton. He ensured that the Lions were given an equal playing field as long as he was on the field, and I’m willing to bet he pointed out to the men in stripes that he was going to line up off the line a few times. “Just watch for it fellas, it’s in the interest of fairness.” Otherwise, how can you explain being flagged twice for it when ALL tackles do it?

Going into Sunday’s game against Cleveland, I’m assuming that the penalty handicap McCarthy is discussing with his personnel is sitting right at 15 penalties or 145 yards. Either is an acceptable number and will set forth a legitimate challenge for the Packers to overcome, as well as provide the swine-flu, riddled Browns with decent chance to play a meaningful football game, otherwise, what do they really have to look forward to?

My recommendation to the fans? See the penalties for what they are, an equalizer. You will be much happier on gameday, and victories will be that much sweeter when you realize all that the Packers had to overcome.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Quickie Makes the Team... and my Heart

In only my 2nd Rant ever, I declared Donald Driver my favorite player on the Packers. This has not changed one bit – in fact, with his recent achievement as the Packers all-time receptions leader, I like him even more than ever right now. I can’t decide whether he is the Ron Popeil or Carrot Top of the NFL. Just when you think his career might be done, he blows your mind with another amazing performance.

Another reason I’m such a big fan is that The Dip Nipper also dabbles in doodling. Driver wrote two books. I fingered through the first, “Quickie Makes the Team” last time I was at Barnes & Nobles picking up my reserved copy of Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith. (Both books are sweet – don’t make me choose a favorite.)

The story was drawn from the Don’s real-life childhood experiences as a small but speedy youngster who wants to try out for the football squadron despite his parents’ concerns he’ll get hurt. The cool thing is that all the proceeds benefit the Donald Driver Foundation. The really cool thing is that we learn Driver was actually called “Quickie” growing up. I will have to add this to this list of nicknames I have given him over the last decade. These include, but are not limited to: Double Dipper, The Dip Nipper, The Don, Bald Bull, The Mad Dasher, Awesome McCool, Sticky Fingers, Moonshine and of course, Mister Shimmy Pants.

Here’s to another ten years of #80 in Green Bay.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Zombies, woo-hooo!

In honor of Halloween approaching, I would like to talk about zombie movies and how they relate to the Packers offense. Currently, there are two versions of the Packers’ offense, the Night of the Living Dead offense and the 28 Days Later offense. These two versions should coexist and work together, but unfortunately the only one that has been present is the 28 Days Later version. This analogy seems clear to me, but it might need explaining to the casual football fan or casual zombie movie viewer as to how the offense can be labeled through a reference to zombie movies.

Night of the Living Dead is the greatest horror movie I have ever seen. The reason for its greatness is the simplicity with which it scares the living daylights out of you. There are zero special effects, the zombie makeup just looks like someone is working through a bad hangover (basically, it looks like me today), it’s in black and white, and the goriest part is a girl eating her dead father. What makes this movie so great is the plodding nature of the zombies, they are not in any hurry, they are confident in their quest for brains and flesh, and they simply refuse to be denied. There is nothing flashy about them, and the living can never seem to outwit them even thought the zombies have zero capacity for decision-making. Their single-minded goal makes them unstoppable through the course of the movie. I liken this movie and its zombies to a 95 yard scoring drive, something that has been severely lacking for the Packers. The plodding nature of a clock-eating drive can scare the hell out of an opposing defense. When all the defense can do is slowly back up and retreat, they starts to lose hope and eventually succumb to the flesh-eaters, err offense.

28 Days Later is also a great zombie horror movie, 4th best all-time to be specific. It’s an in-your-face, all-or-nothing, make you jump out of your seat zombie fest. However, somewhere over the 34 years between Night of the Living Dead, and 28 Days Later, zombies gained superhuman strength and the ability to run 4.4 40’s and leap over 10 foot walls. This is how zombies attack you in the modern day and granted it’s fun to watch, but it has its limitations. In 28 Days Later, the zombies can’t sustain themselves and they eventually die (Redie? Unundead?) from starvation. This is the version of Zombie-offense that the Packers are running; it is an all-or-nothing scoring offense. They rely on long pass plays to move the ball and score, but when they don’t, they are forced to punt 28 seconds later. Man, that was bad even for me. Sure, this is fun to watch when it succeeds, but to sustain itself, the Packers’ offense needs to become a much more methodical unit, much like the zombies of George Romero. Those things would last forever outside the Pennsylvania farmhouse if it wasn’t for that damn posse…I guarantee they are still milling around the mall.

Either way, I’m hoping the Packers O starts off Sunday with a singular goal: flesh and brains.

Yeah…I just saw Zombieland and, yeah, I want a Twinkie.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Meet the Thompsons!

So my cousin is doing a photography apprenticeship for the Sears portrait studio in Ashwaubenon. You know -- change the backdrops, adjust the lights, wave a stuffed monkey in front of the kids, etc. And oh yeah, he also develops the photos and picked up this one-of-a-kind.

The other day the head photographer, Jo-Jo, told my cousin to go home over lunch and clean himself up because there was a VIP coming that afternoon for a PPS (private photo shoot). My cousin obliged, swapping the jean shorts and cutoff shirt for some Wranglers and a polo. Just as Jo-Jo foretold, right at three o’clock a badass Kia Sportage pulls up and out pops Packers GM Ted Thompson and his family.

They locked down the studio for three hours that day, shooting the Thompsons in every conceivable backdrop: the prairie, the library, the stone temple, the discotheque, and of course, gray clothtown. Apparently, the shoot went great and the Thompsons were just a real delight. This particular picture was taken toward the end and Big Ted’s hair was kind of swooping up on the left side all afternoon so he was constantly brushing it back. My cousin offered his back-pocket comb, but Ted simply licked his fingers, opting instead for the old-fashioned hand-comb. Who knew Ted Thompson’s spit doubled as hair gel? The legend grows...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Trash Talkin' with Vikings Gab

Once is a while before a big game, I’ll hit up some rival blogs and smack on their comments section. It’s usually pretty fun even if I only get a personal giggle or two out of it. After cracking his team, the editor of VikingsGab.com (and nice guy), Adam Warwas, offered me the opportunity to go toe-to-toe in a smackoff for his last post. It got a little heated there somewhere in between but it was a lot of fun.

As Franklin and I say, the first time a man faces a Packer Ranter is usually their last. You be the judge. Below is an abbreviated version. For the whole smackoff, here’s the story.

RG: I’ve been asked to tell you why the Packers will win MNF. The answer is seventy-fold. No ones knows #4 better than GB – his history, his tendencies, even his tendinitis (both knees, elbows and right thumb, btw). After his best game last year, Favre began a streak of nasty INTs that left Jets fans feeling as though they’ve been roofied. What great timing that the Packers come into the Dome as the top ballhawks in the NFL.

AW: For the most part I agree on your Favre take. But let’s face it, this is an important game to Brett, and he has a way of winning those “special” games. Unfortunately for the Packers, however, Brett Favre does not make or break these Vikings. With players like Adrian Peterson, Visanthe Shiancoe, Percy Harvin, E.J. Henderson, Antoine Winfield, Jared Allen, and the WilliamsWall, our quarterback truly is only part of what makes this team win football games.

RG: If Favre doesn’t make or break the Vikings, why didn’t you stick with T-Jack? Are you now suggesting it was a giant PR stunt to sell jerseys and season tickets? Yes, you’ve got some playmakers and I can’t take anything away from Peterson. Much like Alf, he is other-worldly (except that time we hurt him during a 34-0 thrashing in ’07… hehe). But you followed your list of Vikings playmakers after AP with Shiancoe though? Really? Mr. Six Catches for 49 yards Shiancoe? Pretty sure #81 wouldn’t even make our squad.

AW: You pretty much summed up exactly why I think the Vikings got Brett Favre. Don’t under estimate Shiancoe, either. He’s itching for a big game. And don’t let Adrian’s few (very few) struggles in his rookie year make you think you have some sort of way to stop him. There is no way to stop him, and if you try he’ll just run you over. Just ask Al Harris. Better send McCarthy some Tylenol, because he’s going to have quite the headache trying to figure out a game plan for this one. Or does he even do game plans anymore?

RG: I thought the entire state was already planning for #4’s Viking HOF induction. Mark it down as just another chapter in the never-ending “How Not to Run an Organization” saga, aka the Zygmunt Wilf story. As far as Shiancoe goes, I think he’s been itching for a big game his entire career. I know it’s something foreign to you, but our QB can do more than just throw (Favre) or just run (Jackson). So even if the Turbo Lax Williams boys squeak though, Rodgers can make a play on his feet. I even took your advice and Al Harris still feels bad about tearing the AP’s LCL in ‘07.

AW: Tell Al not to worry, #28 is an incredibly forgiving guy. Even cheap shots from has-beens don’t keep Adrian from churning out the yards. Any day I’d take Wilf over your “share holders” and incompetent putz Ted Thompson. Luck or no luck, we didn’t lose to a team as crappy as the Bungles and the Packers have. We are winning more games, scoring more points, and giving up fewer points than the Pack. That’s all I need to know to think the Vikes have the edge.

RG: Sure, bring Wario on over! They’re opening a new wing of the Pro Shop and we need a good PR guy. And while he’s here, he can stop by Lambeau and take notes on the greatest stadium (and fans) in the NFL and list them under “Things The Vikings Will Never Have.” Instead of inflating victories against three of the worst teams from last year, let me remind you that GB has owned MN as of late, winning 5 out of the last 6.

Robert’s Prediction: Packers 24, Vikings 20
Adam’s Prediction: Vikings 34, Packers 27

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tell Me How You Really Feel

Yes, I know how to Photoshop. No, I did not Photoshop this.

With the unprecedented matchup now only a week away, all the Favretalk (that I’ve tried to avoid) will be everywhere. And so, to try and see where the public really stands on the man, I performed a routine Google search.

As you can see, Brett Favre is no longer associated with complimentary terms like legend, warrior, gunslinger or even quarterback for that matter. He is now associated with being a jerk, a joke, a traitor and one of today’s most popular terms, the douche (this of course is the rootword and sibling to the also trendy “douchebag” In fact, thanks to Google’s smart search, we now know that “Brett Favre is a douche” is the #1 thing people search when finishing the sentence, “Brett Favre is… “.

I don’t necessarily know what people are expecting to find as Favre relates to a douche, but I can tell you there are 32,500 search results filled with anger I thought only reserved for our worst criminals, Ryan Seacrest and Rosie O’Donnell.

Congratulations, Brett. You’re now Rosie O’Donnell. We’ll see you next Monday.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Alert Level is Green and Gold

Packer fans, there is an enemy on the horizon far greater than any you have ever seen. This man is not a member of the Rams and most definitely not Adrian Peterson. Nay, this man is more dangerous than the evil love-child of Darth Vader, Freddy Krueger, Norman Bates, Keyser Soze, and Gozer the Gozerian, (the Goze is freaky like that). This man is not a member of the Axis of Evil and probably isn’t a member of Al Queda…I say probably because I can’t be sure, and even if I was, I’m not authorized to share that information with you, need to know basis and all that. He may not be on the FBI’s most wanted list, but he has made Wisconsin's persona non grata list in my book. And, you all know how important my lists are.

This dastardly human, who may or may not be a mixed-breed Bears/Vikings combo fan, is Charlie Radtke, owner of Phoenix Marketing Group of Milwaukee. My motto has always been never trust someone in marketing and that seems to hold true…once again. You see, Charlie Radtke has plans to change the Green Bay Packer logo into some gross, bastard-child logo that includes a “B” presumably from "Bay", but it could signify "bastard," no one knows. Combining these letters into a new logo would be comparable to combining Nickelback, Creed, John Mayer, The Jonas Brothers, and the Eagles into a supergroup for a Christmas Album. Just imagining that made me decide not the celebrate Christmas this year….and I LOVE presents.

Lucky for us, no one really cared, that is until something called Jim Stingl returned his call and gave a level of credence to this whack-job, although I’m not sure what level of credence the Opinion section of the Journal Sentinel really gives anyone (I'm actually probably giving it more by writing about it here at The Ranter). Radtke claims he doesn’t “want to see torches and pitchforks, angry villagers”. Well, Charlie, there’s an easy fix to that, shut your mouth, delete/burn/bury your designs, and disappear for awhile.

On a positive note, the designs are so awful that a drunk eight year-old could have done them with an Apple IIe, so I think we are safe from any uniform changes in the near future. However, people like Charlie are dangerous in that they can work in secret, behind the scenes and suddenly there is an ugly “G-B” on the helmet of Cullen Jenkins. You think I’m paranoid? Ha! Ron Wolf thought about changing the uniforms (then came to his senses). Also, I must remind you: never underestimate the power of the vocal minority…Prohibition and the Patriot Act are prime examples.

Please practice constant vigilance, Packer fans. Constant vigilance.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mother Untucker

The prestigious Men’s Underwear Fitting Guide tells us that if your undershirt keeps untucking from your pants, “you probably need a smaller size undershirt.” This is supposedly because the armhole depth of an undershirt too big will cause the side seam of the shirt hem to come up when you reach up. In fact, MUFG believes an undershirt should be at least 3" longer than the top of your pants. I don’t really understand this to be honest.

I don't think Johnny Jolly reads or understand MUFG either, because every game I’ve ever seen him play, his big ol’ XXXL jersey is untucked and open for business. This always struck me as unusual since everyone elses’ jerseys stay securely tucked throughout the game, so I watched Jolly closely the last two weeks. Sure enough, his jersey doesn’t become untucked during the course of the game; like clockwork, he pulls it out of his pants (no, not that) after the first defensive play.

I’ve always been an untucker myself. It’s faster, more comfortable and I have to agree with Gardenfoot when he says, “untucking your shirt means you live by your own rules.” Jolly is the same way. Sure, Rodgers, Jennings and Woodson normally come to mind when you think of “cool” Packers, but you know what? Their shirts are always tucked in. ALWAYS! With his untucked shirt, Johnny Jolly proves he is ultimate rebel in an otherwise highly controlled enterprise. He not only shows he’s the coolest guy on the Packers, but that he just might be the James Dean of the NFL.

And there’s more. Football has become so popular it has transcended the world of fashion and even common-sense style. Somehow along the way, it has become acceptable for grown men listed at 6’3, 320 lbs. to wear tight-fitting, tucked-in mandex outfits. In today’s world of 50+ inch HD televisions, that can get pretty disgusting. Johnny Jolly reminds us that’s not cool, and that sometimes living by your own rules does everyone some good.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meet Your Neighbor

Won’t you be my neighbor? Hi, neighbor!

In an effort to better understand what makes Packers’ fans tick in our Packer Neighborhood, I have come up with a list of questions that, in my humble opinion, will tell you everything you’ll ever need to know about the people behind the scenes of the numerous and exceptional Packers’ blogs. These are the guys Robert and I read on a daily basis and you should too if you call yourself a fan.

First up, I present to you, Alex, from Packers Lounge. Good humor, a critical eye, and intense passion for all things Green Bay fuel this blog. Without further ado, I give you the Packer Ranter Neighborhood Interview:

1) If you woke up in the middle of the night, and Ted Thompson was standing over your bed watching you sleep, what would you offer him to drink? (that's the polite thing to do) Why?

First off, let me make it abundantly clear that I want Ted nowhere near my bed at anytime. Secondly, if he was watching me sleep it would be hard to offer him anything. This being said, I would approach the situation Santa Claus style by making sure to leave out something every night lest I miss him.

Instead of the traditional glass of milk, I think Ted would appreciate a bottle of True Blood. You know, the stuff the vampires drink in the HBO series. I don’t know if Ted is a vampire, but I do know the guy looks like something straight out of Revenge of the Zombies. Ted Thompson is the living dead at the very least. This is yet another reason for him to stay the hell out of my bedroom.

2) What's your favorite '80s hair band, and how do you relate them to the Packers? (this is relative, you may hate 80's hair bands, but if you had to choose one, who would it be)

Everybody knows that the greatest 80’s hair band is a tossup between Warrant and Winger. With classics like “She’s only Seventeen” and “The Down Boys” both bands reek of spandex and Aqua Net. Granted, Motley Crue, RATT, Tesla, Autograph, Cinderella, Fire House, Poison, Def Leppard, and Whitesnake all deserve high marks, Warrant and Winger simply are unmatched in their ultra lameness.

How does this relate to the Packers? How the hell is anyone supposed to answer that? If I had to take a stretch, Rick Allen, the drummer from Def Leppard had one arm. This immediately makes me think of Justin Harrell, except Rick Allen was good.

3) Which cheddar is beddar: mild, medium, or sharp? Subquestion: How the hell does California think they can make cheese?
Sharp cheddar is the best cheese there is. I should know I eat a ton of it. Little known fact, I drink two gallons of milk every week and eat a block of cheese. Milk is my favorite drink of all time. Being partial to that product, and its production in my home state of Wisconsin, California can take a flying $%^# at a rolling cheese log.
4) If John Rambo, in his prime of First Blood Part II, played for the Packers, which position would he play? Is he Pro Bowl material, or just a serviceable player?
Rambo would never make the Packers squad because he is not Packer people. I mean the guy is tough but he can’t take direction. I mean how many times did Rambo ignore orders from John Murdock? Ted Thompson would never have any of that, look at Anthony Smith. Rambo would most likely be in the secondary somewhere, but due to his height disadvantage he might only be a special teamer. Regardless, after he gutted out a couple players in week one with his big ass serrated Bowie knife, he would probably be cut.
5) Ty Webb or Jeffrey Lebowski?
Caddy Shack is classic of course, but basic cable is ruining the #$%& out of it. I like the dude in The Big Lebowski, but I think bowling is schwag. I will have to go with golf on this one.
6) If you woke up tomorrow and the Packers ceased to exist and no one but you remembered them, how would you convince everyone they are the greatest organization in sports?

If no one knew the Packers existed, they would also not know that I wasn’t President of the World. So, before I addressed the Packers I would make sure world domination was intact first. After that, I could pretty much tell people whatever I wanted as the sovereign leader. I wouldn’t have to do much convincing, but I would leave out the whole Joe Johnson part, and probably omit Favre for the addition that included the lengthy career of Don Majkowksi.

7) Don Hutson basically invented the receiver position, what's your favorite invention: the Cheesehead, the truck-bed tailgate, or the Green Bay Sweep?

For the record, I think Cheeseheads are lame as hell. Being from Wisconsin, whenever you go anywhere else all people do is identifying with that stupid orange foam atrocity. It’s a travesty. Who ever invented that S.O.B. should be tarred and feathered. Dumbass.
I’m not a big fan of the other two either. Best invention in my mind… the Packer Potato Head.

Wow, Alex, I don't know what I expected, but I have to admit you far exceeded any subconscious expectations I may have had in regards to your responses to these questions. It's good to know you're out there sharing your views on the Packers.
RE: the 80's hair band relation to the Packers, if you want to talk sometime about 80's hair bands, I would be more than willing to relate them to anything.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Aaron Finally Finishes

Aaron is neither loud nor OchoCinco obnoxious, but with this guy there is definitely confidence to spare. He’s got this cocky half-smile and indescribable swagger that does all the talking. Yes, he was the man in the college and yes, he has always gotten most of the babes around Green Bay. But the last few years, he had been proving all the doubters right. He heard the whispers. He knew what people were thinking. I know it affected his confidence.

So it comes a bit of surprise that during the Greenfield Packer party last night, my buddy Aaron Jorgenson finally finished an entire tub of Shedd’s Spread Country Crock…in the first quarter.

It started out as a bet between two angry, drunk, competitive guys (Aaron and myself) after the Packers lost to the Falcons in the playoffs a few years ago. We challenged each other to an absurd bet neither of us thought the other would ever achieve. My gauntlet to Aaron: finish an entire tub of Country Crock in one sitting with no puking. Until this point, Aaron had failed on nine different attempts using a different strategy each time: butter bars, loaf of buttered bread, frozen butter pops, butter shake… you name it.

Last night was different though. Aaron didn’t show up plastered (as he normally does), he was all business in his warm-up suit and his trademark BKs. He had his tub of unopened, Robert-approved Country Crock inside a plastic bag from the Piggly Wiggly. He cut through the partygoers, plopped on the couch, looked me in the eye and asserted himself with two words: “Say When.”

This was serious business. I put Tanker in charge of the grill, grabbed a sixer and took a seat next to Aaron. As Crosby kicked off, I gave him the go-ahead and he went to work. Like mortar for a foundation, Aaron swiftly scooped out two spoonfuls of Country Crock and scraped them into each cheek. Every few seconds, he tilted his head back and swallowed. Within minutes he was butter-loading his cheeks again. It quickly became evident that his strategy was twofold: 1) Gillespie the butter and 2) use natural body heat to melt it.

Unlike chipmunking (where you jam as much food into your cheeks during the last seconds of an eating contest), to “Gillespie” something is to wad up the food into your cheeks so much that you look like the great trumpeter, Dizzy Gillespie. Some eaters do this to compress the food; others do it to take breaks; still others do it to pretend they are popping zits. Aaron Jorgenson, on the other hand, did something I never would’ve considered. His essentially used his mouth as a heat lamp, causing each scoop of Country Crock to melt, seep between his teeth and slide down his throat like a human butter drain. Genius.

By the time Grant scampered into the end zone, Aaron was licking the tub clean. He pounded down the empty tub and tried to get comfortable, butter-drunk as he was. I was so impressed, I almost said he should go home and rest, but I had to ensure he didn’t throw up. Like the good sport he is, Aaron waited until the game was over before leaving.

The only downside to the whole achievement was that he endured (and is still enduring as of this writing) one of the worst butter headaches known to man. He closed his eyes early in the 4th quarter and moaned like a dying cow the rest of the night on the couch. He missed both Jennings' TD and Harris’s game-clinching interception.

But he finally did it. And that’s something no one can ever take away. Way to go, Aaron! I suppose this means you’ll want me to teach that Curves for Women class now.
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