Friday, May 29, 2009

Stop Smiling, You're Not Happy!

It’s May 29th and as of right now, the Packers season apparently hinges on the happiness of one Aaron Allan Kampman. His refusal to share his feelings with the hordes has taken on a mythic tone. He’s unhappy, nervous, uneasy, scared, terrified, overwhelmed, underwhelmed, rewhlemed, and just plain whelmed. I can’t find anything to read other than speculation as to why he has continued his silence.

Obviously like you, I’m not sure why he doesn’t want to talk, could it be because the questions would be something along the lines of how Kramer visions marriage:“You talk about your day. 'How was your day today? Did you have a good day today or a bad day today? Well, what kind of day was it? Well, I don't know, how about you, how was your day?” That sounds brutal, especially standing at your locker with 40 people lobbing those questions at you. Could it be because he doesn’t have a good enough feel for it yet? Could it be because he’s got about 20 other people answering for him anyway? Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, Kevin Greene, Aaron Rodgers…and the list goes on.

Adding fuel to the fire is this. People are worrying about Kampman’s happiness and somehow this would be solved by getting rid of him and adding a prima donna who is demanding to be traded from a team that has taken care of him for his entire career? I don’t grasp the thinking there. Having read CheeseheadTV for awhile, I realize that Aaron says a lot of things tongue-in-cheek, so maybe this is along those lines. Hopefully, it will be addressed in the CheeseheadTV/Packerslounge/Railbird Central/Tundravision - EXTRAVAGANZA tonight. (Hope I got everyone. Seriously, that is awesome. )

The thing that stood out to me in all of this “Aaron Kampman Emotional Well-Being Assessment” doesn’t even directly relate to AK. It came out of Greg Bedard’s notes from Thursday’s OTAs:

“Everybody was raving about the way CB Al Harris is adjusting to the new
WHAT?!? Al Harris was penciled in to be one of the defensive stars to be an immediate casualty of the 3-4 switch, how can he be doing this? He’s old. He’s strictly a bump-and-run cover corner. There is zero chance he can adjust to the zone required in a 3-4. You can choose to believe me or not, but I suspected that Harris would be okay, because it comes down to one simple fact: Al Harris is a good football player. Given time, he can learn to adjust his game and apply his talents to new things. (Apparently he didn’t need much time). Good football players and good athletes in general can change, adapt, and even improve…over time. Kampman is, as you know, a good football player, I'd put him at 2nd best on the defense behind Charles "Ravenswood"son. He needs a little time, and I’m sure this time will be his Zoloft. He will start talking to people again, smiling, and doing his patented one-armed fist pumps with more frequency than ever before. Until that time, I’m not going to worry about the perceived depths of his depression, and I don't think you should either....unless he doesn't talk today, then I'm really going to freak out.

Update: I swear I used the Seinfeld reference before I read this. Dang it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Great moves!

I visited Robert the other day, and we sat in his mom's basement having Old Milwaukees and and gnawing on venison jerky. Great combo that day, bad the next. He started flipping through the channels, and Saturday Night Fever was on...well, that got us talking about moves. John Travolta had them then, and we started thinking about great Packers' moves. Here's a sampling of what we came up with:

The Hurdle - One of D the Dragon's favorite Packers of all-time is William Henderson, I have a hard time arguing with that. A good fullback is fun to watch, and even more fun when they touch the ball every now and then. It was rare that Will "The Bull" ever took a handoff, but he was a very good receiver out of the backfield. It's hard to stop a freight train that's got a head of steam and Henderson was definitely a freight train, would-be tacklers usually would attempt to take him down by going for the legs. Whoop! You missed! As big as he was, William Henderson was a world class hurdler...of opponents. Rarely did the first guy take him down, he usually had to watch from the ground as Henderson leaped over his prone, embarrassed form. While it may not have been high, rather an exaggerated spread of his legs, it usually got Henderson another few yards. Great move!

The Four-Yard Shimmy - One of Robert's favorite players is Donald Driver, again, no arguments from this guy. Driver is a favorite of mine too. He's tough, hard-working, and is a great example to the young receivers on the Packers. Would Greg Jennings be as good without Driver? Just something to ponder. Like The Hurdle, my favorite Driver move both evades tacklers and makes them look stupid. Driver seems to be able to sense where defenders are all over the field even if they are coming at him from behind, couple this with his tremendous athleticism, and he usually avoids the first two defenders attempting to tackle him. #80 plants his downfield foot, and he jumps back about 2 yards, while chuckling to himself as two guys go flying by in front of him. A quick push-off and Driver always gains four more yards than he maybe should have. This sometimes gets him drilled by the third and fourth tacklers, but Drive feels no pain. Great move!
The Heat-Seeker - While a lot of these offensive moves were done to evade defenders, Ahman Green had another approach...actually, it was the complete opposite to avoiding tackles. The Batman would break through the line and actively seek out other jerseys. If you didn't have Green and Gold on and you were in Green's way, Ahman was going right through you. This is an attitude you rarely see in a running back anymore, and I, for one, miss it. Watch this for some great Ahman Green highlights, The Heat-Seeker is on display at the 0:44 mark, against the Vikings no less. Great move!

The Ten-Yard Pump - Forget the most recent move of waffling on retirement, go back a few years when 'ol number 4 could still take off downfield to pick up a few yards when no one was open or the pocket broke down. This was a toss-up for me, as I used to love when he would hand the ball off but then continue his part of the play by doing a fake jump pass even though everyone in the stadium knew he had handed the ball off. Seriously, did this ever work? I didn't and don't care, I still love it. My favorite Favre move was when he took off downfield, eyes always on receivers, and when anyone took an angle to tackle him he would pull back the ball and fake a pass....when he was ten yards downfield! Invariably, linebackers, linemen, and d-backs would all stop and get ready to make a break on the ball regardless of the fact that Favre couldn't throw it anyway as he was way over the line of scrimmage. He made so many guys look foolish with that move. During one game, I can remember Jon Madden showing the replay of it about 10 times laughing so hard at the defense he was spitting up turducken on the telestrator. Great move!

The Club
- This move is legendary, surely a favorite of ALL football fans. When you can sense the split second a tackle is off-balance and then swat him out of the way with one arm like he was a fly, you have perfected a move that few others can attempt, let alone perform with success. Reggie White's signature move's beauty is unparalleled. It really was amazing to watch...I'm getting goosebumps thinking about it. Legendary move!

Got anymore? Let's hear 'em. Fill the offseason void with positives!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Birds of a Feather

I haven’t given the latest Favre nonsense much thought, not real high on my priority list to be completely honest. To be sure, everyone has an opinion and I am no different: Fade away, man, fade away. Certainly didn’t take me longer than 5 minutes to reach that conclusion. However, it took me a full hour to find a parallel individual that has walked/is walking the similarly strange path that Favre is on. I didn’t actively do this, in fact, it was about as passive as it could be in the sense that I was in my living room while the TV was on VH1. Don’t judge me. Anyway, after Rock of Love: Floor of Motel 6 was on, VH1 Behind the Music came on. Too lazy to change the channel, I just left it on and went back to reading this. Gradually, I started being pulled away from the book to the train wreck that was developing on the TV. Behind the Music: Whitney Houston. As I began paying more attention, it became apparent that it is a strange version of deja vu. Laugh if you want, but the similarities between Whitney Houston and Brett Favre are numerous….and sad.
  • Both have reached the pinnacles of their respective careers garnering multiple awards and accolades
  • Both have been media darlings throughout most of their careers, often having their shortcomings glossed over, until recently
  • Both have had brief acting careers, Houston with Dances with Nuke LaLoosh and Favre with Derek Zoolander
  • Both reached their peak in the mid-to-late 90s, both being two of the most recognizable and adored people in their respective fields
  • Both have battled drug problems, one slightly more than the other
  • Both tend to cry when placed in front of a camera
  • Both surround themselves with family and hangers-on who have an incredibly negative impact on their lives, decisions, etc., but, hey, that’s their prerogative
  • Both are becoming increasing irrelevant, and finding it hard to take
  • And last but not least, both are absolutely crazy at this point...

I guess not entirely last, both make me wish I hadn't spent any of my existence thinking about the aforementioned similarities. {Sigh}

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

There Shall Be No Truce!

Occasional Thought: Growing up I always wondered what it would be like to play for the Packers. Now I wonder what it would be like just to play. Sometimes being an adult stinks.

Brett Favre is apparently meeting with Vikings braintrust Major Dad Childress and Wario this week. Brett Favre is simultaneously destroying whatever good graces still left in the tank with the Packer faithful.

Some fans – notably those in the TT fan club – have already said more than their goodbyes to Favre. Other fans – notably those in the BFF club – will always revere #4 no matter how many rivals he plays for. Me, I’m somewhere in the middle but definitely lean more toward the QB than the GM despite the fact both are VIPs in both GB and the NFL.

But I honestly thought Favre’s career was over after last year’s embarrassing finish with the Jets. I told myself, “I can’t blame the guy for taking one more shot. In fact, it might be kind of fun to see one more run by the Ironman in a non-NFC, non-threatening team.” With the news he is meeting with the Vikings, my tune is rapidly shifting. If he ends up wearing purple this year, you can bet the big screen you will see fans more singularly irate…more ridiculously hell-bent with revenge…more ravenously lust-filled for his destruction…basically, you’d see a stadium full of Bravehearts where Favre’s the evil Longshanks or 60,000+ Glenn Closes where Favre’s the cheating Michael Douglas. Maybe it’s half and half. Whatever, you get the idea.

Please Brett, just walk away from this one. In your quest to destroy TT, you are creating thousands and thousands of fans who would equally want to see you destroyed. Things can end now peacefully and without bitterness. I cannot say the same will happen if you go to MN. As my main man Yoda once said, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” That suffering, for you my friend, will be having to see Green Bay claim another NFC North title in 2009. After all, they are the Vikings, and we are the Packers.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Franklin Hillside Packer Bar

A wise man once said, "A man's home is his castle." Well, if that's true, then a man's Packer bar is his Bat Cave. With the economy in the tank, the library business is booming, no one wants to buy books, they just want to borrow them. Which means that by extension, the book repair business has been booming. I'm fine with this for two reasons 1) it allows me more time to sit in the library basement working and watching old Packer game tapes and 2) it has allowed me the opportunity to purchase a permanent residence. Unfortunately, it is not this place, (remember that house across from Lambeau Robert?) but it is still a decent home. Since this is my first home purchase, I qualify for the homebuyers' $8,000 tax credit. HI-YO!!! Now some people would use that money to redo the kitchen or bathroom, or put on a new roof, go on vacation or even just save it for a rainy day, but not me. All in good time. I'm taking all $8,000 and putting in a Packer bar in my basement. Since I live in Minnesota, this will be my refuge from the Purple and Gold.

Now for those other homebuyers out there, or even those of you just interested in putting in a Packer bar, I have put together the essentials needed to make it a shrine to Sunday afternoons. It even falls right into the $8,000 budget. For those of you who already have Packer bars, let me know what I've left out that you have found essential. I wish it was September.

If you are going to have a true Packer bar, it starts from the ground up. What's on the ground? Carpet. Pick up a roll @ $4.39/square ft. If it's good enough for the Pro Shop, isn't it good enough for you? I'm going with the 12X14 ft. roll for $778.08.

Next, you"ll need bar stools. I'm getting 4 of these bad boys from the Pro Shop. $139.95 each for a total of $559.80. Plop down on these and you'll want the game to go into multiple overtimes.

Obviously, you need a bar. I'm going with this oak beast, and I love the foot rail too. Not Packer specific, but that will change...It runs $1,599.oo

Everybody needs to see their Leinie's, New Glarus, Lite, or Old Mo'. Not much classier than these Mission-style bar lamps. I'm ordering three at $134.95 for a total of $404.85 of beer-viewing goodness.

In addition to the stools, you'll need somewhere to pass out...or have guests sit. To each his own. I'm going with this cushy sofa and this leather recliner.

The sofa is $699.95 and the recliner is $995.95 for a total of $1695.90.

A good Packer bar needs some legendary images on the
wall. #1 on my list is this framed Ice Bowl Sneak print for $165. I also added two more framed prints of Lombardi to complete the set. $165 each for a total of $495.

A Fathead? Why not? Classic "G". Enough said. $89.

You have to drink out of something right? I love these Lambeau Field pint glasses. I'm going with 10 @ $9.95 for a total of $99.50. Toss in 6 martini glasses for $65.70 and 6 wine glasses for $59.70. Total: $224.90

Gotta keep the hunger at bay, have some chips and dip from this tray for only $14.95. For the healthy eater, here's a veggie tray for $45.95. Got 'em both for $60.90.

Wow, took me awhile to notice this. What better place to spill your drinks cheering for another Rodgers to Driver TD than this helmet coffee table? A steal for $549.95.

If you've been keeping track, you'll notice I (or you) have $1542.62 left of my tax credit. Not anymore. 50" of Packer viewing pleasure for only $1,499.

$43.62 left over....Gone. Come on over, all are welcome.
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