Friday, December 31, 2010

Ron Paxton: Stylist to the Stars (or at least Jay Cutler)

One thing I still don’t get…no, it’s not how the Bears have won the NFC North. That’s easy.  They played bush league QBs in 50% of their games and then got really lucky in the other 50%.

The thing I can’t figure out is why Jay Cutler’s hair is so terrible.  

Look at that weird pile of follicles.  It’s like a mop crossed with a helmet and then dipped in reddish orange hair dye.

Does he let a drunk 8 year old cut it? That just seems unsafe…not to mention illegal to provide an 8 year old with booze.

Is he nostalgic? Does he go to his childhood barber? Because I can respect honoring the past, even if the Bears don't. (btw -  It wasn't us, but whoever named that photo is a genius.) But is his childhood barber blind? 

Does he have one of the trainers cut it? With tape scissors?

Does he do it himself?

As I pondered these options, I realized I should take the time to honor the hair gods for bestowing Robert and me with magnificently beautiful locks….done.

Okay, back to Jay Cutler’s head of disgrace. It took me awhile to get there, but I figured it out. Cutler is in Chicago, while there is most definitely a number of qualified hair-trimming technicians in the area, there is only one Ron Paxton.

 Okay, Jay, sit there. He’s going to put that thing on your melon.
Yep, Jay Cutler uses the Suck Kut. If there is one thing we all know about Ron Paxton’s Suck Kut, (that actually might be a great nickname for Jay) is that “it sucks, as it cuts.”

It certainly does….resemble the Bears.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

From My Goiber to Yours

GOIBER (n.) An acronym, which stands for "Greenfield's Observations, Inventions, Brainstorms & Experiments Room." Also known as my basement.

It’s been said that everyone has at least one great idea. Not to brag, but I’ve had like seven so far. But this isn’t the venue to get into fingerprint identification undergarments. Instead, I’d like the share a few ideas I whipped up in the ol’ GOIBER in honor of the big showdown this weekend with the Bears.

Jay Cutler Interception Slinger
OK, so this is a like an outdoor arcade game shaped in the form of Jay Cutler. Simply load footballs into the chamber on his back and when you’re ready, yell “Hike!” The voice-activated game will begin slinging wobbly, poorly-thrown passes in the vicinity of preset trajectories. Whenever the ball is caught, you’ll hear an actual TV/radio soundbyte of an announcer from one of his career interceptions – over 75 soundbytes in all! On top of that, the Cutler robot will hang his head and cry “real” tears (you need to fill his head with water first).

Lovie Smith Checker Board
Sure, at first glance, there’s nothing odd about this, right? That is until you realize that every other NFL coach has a chess board to his name. Zing!

Oprah Show: Home Team Disadvantage
This would be a reoccurring series about Bears fans who’s hearts have been broken over the years. Figured Oprah is perfect since the show tapes in Chicago. These fans would discuss frustrations with the Bears as well as secret jealousies of Packer fans. Probably the occasional complex with Milwaukee as well.

Chicago Sucks! Toilet Paper
A little crude, perhaps. But just imagine the satisfaction and of wiping your behind with TP embossed with the Bears logo. “That take, b!tches,” you might even say. Talk about a stocking stuffer and I really think a roll of Chicago Sucks! TP offers that little added personal insight for those creepy door-to-door salesmen that come around selling you Vogue subscriptions and then use your bathroom. This will give them something to think about and also lets them know you’re probably not the type of hombre to mess with.

Other ideas are welcome in the comments section…

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

And a happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Vikings/Bears First Half Running Diary

I'm bored, so I figured I'd do a little running diary of the Vikings/Bears game. FYI - The only reason I'm watching this giant, frozen crap-fest is that it's important to the Packers.

7:35 - Man, I hate these two teams...we'll see how long this lasts as there is a South Park Christmas marathon on Comedy Central. Jay Cutler has always reminded me of Cartman.

7:40 - Would a tie help the Packers? I really don't want either team to win.

7:41 - Vikings fans wear some stupid outfits. Eric the Red would not be pleased.

7:42 - Jaws: "Brett Favre, the ultimate warrior.", there was only one Ultimate Warrior..actually maybe there was two.

7:46 - Percy Harvin TD. The. Bears. Still Suck.

7:50 - How long before Gruden says, "These teams don't like each other."?

7:51 - Text from Viking fan buddy: So. Much. Fun. Favre.

8:00 - So Favre's a "wily, old veteran" and "like a 23 year-old"? I'm so confused right now. Make it stop.

8:01 - Favre's healthy. He threw an INT. And I win an online sports betting wager.

8:04 - I wish Toby Gerhart would have blown Julius Peppers up on that interception. Make yourself useful, Tobias.

8:10 - It's like the Vikings are playing the Vikings, they aren't even mentioning the Bears.

8:14 - Bomb to Johnny Knox. Ugh. Double-Ugh.

8:17 - Toby Gerhart is a poor man's John Bob Cratchit poor.

End of First Quarter

8:22 - Chris Harris just blew up Bob Cratchit. Tiny Tim might have felt that hit.

8:27 - Jay Cutler looks miserable. Then again, doesn't he always have that look on his face? I guess he can't be that miserable, he got away with a blatant intentional grounding.

8:31 - Is there any player in the history of football that Jon Gruden didn't love?....other than Keyshawn Johnson. Now there are coworkers, I wonder how awkward those staff meetings are.

8:32 - Favre got LIT. UP. Joe Webb, strap up. Side note: Bryant McKinnie is terrible.

8:39 - There is nothing to like about the Chicago Bears. I'm trying to think of something...anything...nope, nothing.

8:40 - Favre's return "Doubtful" We know that doesn't mean anything.

8:42 - Thanks a lot, Vikings. You could have at least pretended to show up. 17-7. Game over.

8:47 - The Vikings should start running the option, it might not work, but it'd be fun to watch.

8:48 - Gruden: "He doesn't know anything." I'm beginning to think you have a lot in common, Jon.

8:51 - This game is terrible...let's see what else is on...hmmmm...Bad Santa? (Link contains fairly un-Christmaslike language. Sorry, Grandma) "You want me to make you some sandwiches, Santa?"

8:55 - The Vikings have fallen really, really, really, extremely, drastically far in a short amount of time.

8:56 - Two minute warning. Two minutes until I go find something more worthwhile to do like....well, like anything else.

8:58 - How the hell do the Bears not know that offsetting penalties negate the play?!? Morons....and Jay Cutler pulls out his magic. I love watching him throw interceptions. They really are a thing of beauty. Seriously, that was a perfect throw to Asher Allen.

9:07 - It's a Christmas Miracle. HALFTIME.

9:16 - I don't think I would buy a Dodge Caravan from Dexter Morgan...on the other hand it might be the safe thing to do to stay off his radar....and I'm off to shovel. Night everyone.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holding Out for a Hero (The Matt Flynn Tribute)

Where has our quarterback gone
With the season on the line?
Who's the unknown champion
To keep playoff hopes alive?

Will you be our white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night we toss and we turn and we dream of what we need

WE NEED A HERO! (Matt Flynn!)
We’re holding on for a hero to fight Sunday night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh for the fight
WE NEED A HERO! (Matt Flynn!)
We’re holding on for a hero to fight Sunday night
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life

Sometime after 7 pm
Sunday on NBC
I’ll be reaching toward my big screen
To give you the courage that you need

Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat
It’s gonna take a superman to beat BELICHEAT

WE NEED A HERO! (Matt Flynn!)!
We’re holding on for a hero to fight Sunday night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh for the fight
WE NEED A HERO! (Matt Flynn!)
We’re holding on for a hero to fight Sunday night
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life

WE NEED A HERO! (Matt Flynn!)
We’re holding on for a hero to fight Sunday night

Up on the coast somewhere in the East
Where the ocean is somewhat blue
Lombardi will be up there above
Watching over you
Through the wind and the chill and the snow
And the New England crud
Let them feel your approach
With a fire in your blood!

WE NEED A HERO! (Matt Flynn!)
We’re holding on for a hero to fight Sunday night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh for the fight
WE NEED A HERO! (Matt Flynn!)
We’re holding on for a hero to fight Sunday night
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Roary? And You Wonder Why You Fail....

"Hello, my name is Roary. Like all Lions, I have zero football talent whatsoever, but I do have a beautiful head of hair that demands respect in Detroit."

Well, at least he's respected in Detroit....but then again, does that really count for anything?

Monday, December 6, 2010


I go to one game a year. I wish it were more at times, but I am thankful to get to Lambeau at least once. As if the gratuitous tweeting didn’t already indicate this, Sunday was my game. The seats come via an aunt, who owns season tickets. Like me, she only goes to one game and then sells the rest at face value (very classy). They are also excellent seats – almost eye level with the players, near the opposing bench and within spitting distance of the area where the kicker/punter warm up. On top of the close action, it makes for very intriguing player watching.

A couple of years ago Franklin and I witnessed the Packers blast the Colts in one of the best games of that season. But what I remember most about that day is Marvin Harrison sitting at the very end of the bench near the kickers. No big deal, right? Except that he completely alone, away from the other players, by himself. Quiet and observant. Never talking to anyone the entire game – just like this and this. To be honest, I couldn’t stop watching. On one hand, he might have simply been focused on the game, but to me, he just looked awkward and anti-social. Apparently he was like that in the locker room, too. Again, who knows the reasons for his behavior; all I know is that I couldn’t look away and it offered some unique insight of a player that I might not have seen on T.V.

Sunday I witnessed another player who caught my eye due to some unusual behavior – that of recently acquired 49er kicker Jeff Reed. Look that guy up sometime. Here is one of the most accurate kickers of all time with two rings. If you were a Super Bowl betting person, he would’ve been your guy. But this is not your run of the mill kicker. News outlets have labeled Reed as “quirky” and “eccentric.” Those terms are kind. I Google image-searched him and there are dozens of pictures of him with bleach-blonde wild clown hair looking like he was on spring break in Tijuana. I guess it’s not surprising he has had his share of off-the-field incidents, which probably led him to be released by the Steelers recently. Seriously though, take a look at this guy.

Sunday we saw Reed and at first glance of him in person, you can’t help but notice the size of the guy’s thighs – they are massive. According to his profile, he is 5’11 and 225 pounds. Sure, maybe his rookie year. Each of his legs has to be over 100 pounds – they are that huge. So big in fact that a rather big-boned lady in a tarp next to us cackled, “He’s got more cellulite than I do!” Classic. After gawking a little more at the massivicity (that’s a word, right?) of his bottom half, we nicknamed him “TurboDumps.” Because we’re immature and “ThunderThighs” would’ve been too obvious.

But this alone was not what made seeing TurboDumps so memorable – it was the fact he couldn’t solve the configuration of his jock strap for three hours. On numerous occasions, TurboDumps had his hands jammed down his pants (front and back – mostly back), furiously tugging and twisting and adjusting that of his undergarment puzzle. It was both shocking and hilarious and it went on all game about twenty feet from the lower level of section 125 in plain view. There were times when it appeared ol' TurboDumps had arranged things to his liking, but before you could say, “Yahtzee!” he dove right back into the complicated abyss. It even got to a point where I guess he decided he could no longer fly blind – TurboDumps literally pulled out the front of his pants and looked down at “the situation”. At this juncture, I pleaded, “Come on, man! There’s kids here!” (Tarp lady loved that.)

I wish there were a happy ending to this story, but the truth is, I have no idea if he ever successfully negotiated the mechanism. But he did make all his kicks. Maybe there was some method to his madness, after all.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

1929: A Year to Remember

This Sunday the Packers will trot out their 1929 throwback uniforms, and I, for one, am incredibly excited. The 1929 jerseys will be worn to commemorate the franchise's first championship season. Seems like a good enough reason to me. By the way, any talk of jerseys always sends me running to The Green Bay Packers Uniform Database. "90 years of looking good while playing well" HELL. YEAH. Important tip: set aside some time to get lost in the awesomeness, and the blog is a must-read too.

After staring at the beautiful navy, yellow, and tan for longer than I care to admit, I realized that other than the stock market crash putting a screeching halt to the Roaring '20's, I didn't know much about the year 1929. So, I decided to hop in the hot tub, and check it out. Actually, I just headed over to the lazy man's World Book and took a look. Yes, yes, I know that I work in a library with countless volumes of historic information, but 1) plumbers don't like to play in their own toilets when they are done for the day and 2) LAZY.

So according to this venerable internet historian some really fascinating things happened in know, other than the Packers first championship):

  • Canadian women were invented: If you've ever known any Canadian dames (in the parlance of the times), this is a fantastic thing.
  • A German airship flew around the world in 21 days: Up yours, Jules Verne.
  • On December 3rd, Herbert Hoover announced that Americans had regained faith in the American economy: I've heard a couple presidents say that recently, the more things change...
  • Popeye the Sailor Man first appeared: Spinach shortages worldwide were reported.
  • That mustached bastard Stalin booted out Leon Trotsky: Soviet Collectivism was born. "I'll trade you one Lenin rookie card, for three Great Breakthrough cards" Not that kind of collectivism? Oh.
Perhaps the greatest of all events that occurred in 1929, other than Bob Newhart being born of course, is the first demonstration of the COLOR TV! That's right, H.E. Ives broadcast color images between New York and Washington. The rest, as they say is history, and Sunday afternoons have never been the same...well, maybe it took a few years for Sundays to change, but you get my point.

Therefore, to me at least, Sunday's throwback jersey will not only commemorate the first Packers championship, but also the beauty and glory that is the color TV. The color TV that allows me to watch the Packers in green and gold.

....of course it won't really matter, since Robert and I will be at the game watching in living color. So Sunday, enjoy your color TVs, and be glad you're seeing navy, yellow, and brown and not shades of black and white.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Douche United (2009-10)

A team is a group of individuals working together.

Tango and Cash, for instance, were just a couple of supercops who liked to work alone; one had a refined style and the other was a little rough around the edges. When they were forced to work together, they were able to accomplish some pretty amazing things, including but not limited to, escaping a maximum security prison and taking down a criminal mastermind.

My point is that these were no ordinary tandems – they were great. That’s because great teams are comprised of those with complimentary abilities (sometimes opposite) who combine forces to achieve a common goal. Just think of the incredibleness illustrated in seemingly polar opposite duos such as Gimli and Legolas (dwarf/elf), Kid ‘n Play (little hair/tall hair) or Hall and Oates (mustachioed/non-mustachioed). Another good example is C3PO and R2D2; a tall, uppitty robot with legs and a British accent paired with a short ‘n stubby robot with rollers who only communicated through beeps and whistles. By themselves pretty forgettable, but together… a part of history.

So what happened to Favre and Childress? On paper you have a couple of guys who look different, talk different and definitely have differing abilities. One would think that their combined powers would leave them dominating for years, but Childress was fired and Favre is having a horrible year.

For the purposes of academia, I turned to Dr. Google where I immediately discovered the root problem. As you can see, a simple query of each man’s name into the search engine reveals major overlapping themes: they are both idiot jerk douches.

Science tells us that when there are too many like qualities, you cannot achieve harmony. It’s the perfect recipe that results in chaos or useless, homogeneous matter. Just look at New Coke or the Olsen twins. Chalk it up to a failed experiment.

R.I.P. Douche United

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's Thanksgiving....Remember What That Is?

This doesn’t really have anything to do with the Packers other than I’m asking for a Packers scarf for Christmas...

What? Are you surprised at my Christmas list, sir? Strong men also wear scarves... strong men also wear scarves.
So... this isn’t even really about Christmas, only tangentially, I just needed a Packer tie-in. Rather this is about Thanksgiving kicking Christmas’ ass back to December where it damn well belongs. A month ago, I was at the Home Despot, and I saw a giant Christmas display. Over the past month, I kept seeing more and more Christmas displays everywhere I went.

This disgusts me.

Thanksgiving, you have gotten soft. You have let elves and fat-men in red snowsuits creep into your lands. Turkey is no longer worshipped as the majestic poultry it is; it now plays second-fiddle to a piece of candy shaped like a hook...for shame. The coniferous trees, lights, and bulbs that are so arrogantly displayed everywhere, have weakened your resolve and made you sickly and fragile. Christmas has wandered without penalty or retribution all the way into mid-October, but still you rest on your fattened backside. You are based on two things that America loves, football and overeating, yet you cannot turn this to your favor, and Christmas continues to roundly defeat you at every turn. You have failed miserably at protecting your most devout followers from greedy invaders from The North Pole, mall gift-wrapping kiosks, and back-alley tree lots. While your people worship false idols, you do nothing. Thanksgiving, you have allowed the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys to stain your hallowed reputation, and now you have invited the Bengals to openly ridicule you on a national stage. Your glorious bounty of potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pies, and turkey are mocked and scorned as being an antiquated diversion for people to endure while they secretly long to be buying gifts and hanging mistletoe. This is unacceptable.

If I didn’t love you so much, Thanksgiving, I would forsake you and wander away, vowing never to eat myself to sleep again.

But there is hope for you, Thanksgiving. It is time for you to nut-up, or shut-up. You need to grip the carving knife with both hands, hold it to Santa’s throat, and slowly walk Christmas’ ass back to Black Friday…at the earliest. You must purge the awful football that is played, you must put an end to people hanging Christmas lights immediately following their Thanksgiving feasts, and you must put an end to Carols on the radio before YOU decide it is time. It’s quite possible that someday you could force Christmas back to mid-December, but you need to win a battle before you can win a war, so for now, Black Friday it must be.

The time has come, Thanksgiving, to take November back, make it it yours again, and get back to being the kick-ass holiday that you are.

Now where the hell is that Christmas list...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hillside's Journal: November 21st, 2010...

I'm not a loud, flashy, overbearing fan.

I know what you're saying, "Dude, you and your buddy have a blog, and a strange one, about the team, and you refer to it as 'The Ranter'. Not overbearing? Riiiight." Okay, point taken, but I meant more in the sense that I don't own a ton of Packer clothing, I don't have a jersey, never have, I don't have a giant Packer sticker on my El Camino, I don't have an enormous Packer flag in my back yard, I don't go out of my way to find opposing fans to talk trash to (they seem to find me), and I respect that people may cheer for other teams, as pointless as that may be for them. I've got a small wind sock on the deck, a 2007 NFC North Champs t-shirt covered in paint stains, a beat-up hat, and an 8x10 Greg Jennings autographed photo on my desk courtesy of Robert and Friend of the Ranter, John Johnson. That's about it...oh, and I may have a Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood t-shirt somewhere...okay, okay, fine. I may talk some minor trash on Twitter, but I just figure that since no opposing fans follow The Ranter on Twitter, I'm just entertaining other Packer fans...or at least we're trying to entertain them.

Some cynics out there would claim that I'm embarrassed or even scared to get all Packered up because I live in Minneapolis. I assure you, my friends, that is not the case at all, it's just not my M.O. Plus, in true Ranter-style I tend to spend too much money on beer and food to have any left for other stuff, I set my priorities and stick to them. I've lived in Minnesota for quite a few years now, and I've heard it and seen it all. One thing I've heard from Vikings fans is, "Why do you live here? You're a traitor." Or from Wisconsinites, "How do you put up with all those Viking ass-clowns?" Well, usually I have a good time laughing at the absurdity.

Well, I've decided that that may change this weekend. Why? I'm not really sure, maybe I've seen a few too many purple Favre jerseys, or maybe I've heard a few too many Vikings bloggers refer to Packer fans as "hillbillies" (which is a freaking joke because I've been to rural Minnesota...), or maybe I just had one too many fingers of Scotch tonight. Regardless of what set me off, I plan on adorning myself with every piece of Packer paraphernalia I own, and I may go find some more on Saturday afternoon to be even more annoying to Vikes fans. Then, Sunday, I'm going to the Mall of Ametrodome Field or whatever that dump is called this week. Yep, that's right, I'm going wander the wasteland of violet tailgaters, find a ticket, and attend the game. I plan on being loud and extremely obnoxious too...and I plan on rolling solo.

Having shared this plan of action with a good friend (one who is, in fact, a Viking fan), I was vehemently warned against it. "I wouldn't do it, Frank." "The crowd is brutal." 'The meathead quotient is incredibly high." "There is nothing Vikings fans hate more than a Packer fan...especially a loud one." "At the very least, you're going to get beer thrown at you." "Seriously, man, I know you after a couple tall-boys; you're going to get your ass kicked." "It might be bad for you, like pummeled to a pulp bad."

I contemplated his warnings, knowing he was well-intentioned, but I only responded with THIS.
These fans are afraid of me. I have seen their true face.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Movie Review - A Fan for All Seasons

The folks at Flicker Flacker films were kind enough to send me a preview screener of “A Fan for All Seasons.” In just a shade over an hour, this enjoyable film from Emmy winner Aaron Lubarsky documents Minnesota Vikings diehard fans over the course of the ’05-06 season. To refresh your memory, this was last year Culpepper was the Vikings’ QB and also the year of the Love Boat scandal. (I have to say, that alone brought back some fantastic memories.)

“Please, please, please let the Vikings win,” is the first line of the film, spoken by guy with the most camera time, Jesse. We see him glued to his chair in the basement, intense on the game while his family is elsewhere – they know not to bother him gameday. This scenario may sound familiar to many sports fans, but what separates Jesse (and the other subjects of the films) is that his entire life seems to revolve around the Vikings. Whether he’s traveling eight hours to see his team lose, backing up on the highway to retrieve a flag or as the co-host of his weekly Vikings cable access show, “Testosterone Live,” Jesse’s finger is more than just on the pulse of the team; I’m pretty sure he actually bleeds purple.

The film also follows the stories of other fans, whose life experiences along the way brought them closer to the Vikings. One of these is Vikings’ macot Ragnar, who claims to be the “only human mascot.” Ragnar, who is actually an Assistant Dean of Students and a recovering addict, tells his students not to lie to him or else (re: picture of him on the wall as wild, intense mascot persona at the Dome) and he even tries to counsel fans before a game he believes may have a drinking problem.

In what can only be described as the Super Bowl of their season, the Vikings play the Packers in week seven. Before the game, we get some perspective of the gravity of the rivalry and to further intensify things, the 1-4 Vikings’ season is on the line. Throughout the game, the film cuts between various fans and you get the feeling that this one game means more than anyone could ever know. Their desperation becomes so palpable that I actually found myself rooting for them – not because I want to the Vikings to win, but I somehow wanted their dedication as fans rewarded. And then it happens – the Vikings win 23-20. The reaction thereafter lies somewhere between exuberance and enlightenment. In an outpouring of emotion, there are tears of joy around and families finally come together unlike anything we’ve seen or expect until this point.

But if that game brought out the best in these fans, there are several points where the worst comes out as well – mostly by Jesse (who stereotypes Packer fans as toothless, backwoods rednecks). The irony is that he is the only person in the film who comes across as small-minded. With an accent straight out of the movie Fargo, he seems more than happy to share his bigoted perspectives on life. Like how he quit pursuing becoming a pastor because you couldn’t drink on Sundays, or equating those who don’t like sports to homosexuals, or even contemplating missing the birth of his child to attend draft day. But this is part of the package that can come with an obsessed fan, and part of the total picture Lubarsky paints for us. Sure, diehard fans may be obnoxious, crazy and irrational at times, but chances are your team has them, too.

To learn more or to purchase the film, visit their website.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I've Made Some Lists

I watched High Fidelity for about the 100th time recently, and it inspired me to come up with some top 5 lists.  If you haven't seen the movie or read the book, it's revolves around a record store owner and his failed relationships. He drinks heavily, sits around his store with his two employees nerding-out about music, insults customers, and makes top 5 lists about everything. I like to imagine this is what it would be like to work at the Packer Pro Shop, sitting around and nerding-out talking about the Packers, ALL. DAY. However, I know the reality is that the staff at the Pro Shop are incredibly helpful and would never insult "middle-aged square guy" who is looking for a pink Favre jersey for his daughter. "Do you even know your daughter?!? There's no WAY she wants that jersey!" This is something they would never say...even if they should.

On to the lists....

Top Five Things to do During the Bye Week
  1. Wish it wasn't the bye week
  2. Cheer against the Vikings
  3. Cheer against the Bears
  4. Sleep through Sunday because who cares, really?
  5. Lament the fact that my homerism essentially makes my fantasy team worthless this week
Top Five Current Packer Celebrations (obviously this excludes the Lambeau Leap, as this is the greatest celebration in all of sports) :
  1. The Predator
  2. The Handshake
  3. The Samurai
  4. The Title Belt (yep, I said it)
  5. The Raji Finger Flick
Top Five Quotes from Jonathan Ke Quan also known as Shortround and Data:
  1. "Hey, lady! You call him Dr. Jones!"
  2. "Hey I've got a great idea you guys! Slick shoes!"
  3. "No time for love, Dr. Jones!"
  4. "Pinchers of Peril... saved by my Pinchers of Peril!"
  5. "I'm very little! You cheat very big!"
Top Five Tailgate Foods:
  1. Bratwurst
  2. Sauerkraut
  3. Buns
  4. Onions
  5. More Bratwurst
Top Five Packers Dream Jobs:
  1. Supreme Overlord and Ruler of Lambeau Field and Surrounding Parking Lots
  2. QB 1
  3. Packers Pro Shop Buyer - so I could get the Pro Shop to carry Don Hutson jerseys
  4. McCarthy's Play Sheet Laminator - so I could actually see how many toss plays are designed for John Kuhn
  5. Longsnapper....sorry, Brett Goode, I'm coming for you!
Top Five Things About Thanksgiving:
  1. Grandma's Pumpkin Pie with real whipped cream
  2. Eating until you sleep, waking up, doing it again
  3. Football, football, football
  4. Stuffing, lots of stuffing
  5. Cranberries, not the band, although I do like band too
Top Five All-Time Packers Special Teamers
  1. Tracy White
  2. Tracy White
  3. Tracy White's biceps
  4. Tracy White
  5. Anyone else on special teams when Tracy White was playing, Tracy White makes everyone better
Top Five NFL Teams (My Power Rankings)
  1. Green Bay Packers
  2. Everyone else...okay, so there's only two in this list
Top Five Things That Get Packer Fans Talking....or Arguing:
  1. Ted Thompson
  2. A Loss
  3. Ted Thompson
  4. The Greatness of Charles Woodson
  5. Seeing the Big "G"...anywhere, anytime.
If you're bored, drop some of your own lists in the comments...and enjoy the Bye Week.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sad Panda Needs a Hug?

In light of this weekend’s game against the trainwreck of team not from MN, I thought I’d do my best Brian Carriveau impression with a twist. I plopped around the Cowboys blogs and such in hopes of tapping into their collective pulse and what I found made me LOL. They are definitely a sad organization in more ways than one.

And here we go!

On, we learn the Cowboys promoted Bryan McCann from the practice squad to return kicks. Apparently McCann can run the 40 in 4.32 “against the wind.” “Baked Potato Soup” comments that this new kicker is good, because “we have to return a LOT of kicks.”

Indeed, BPS, indeed. LOL.

Venture over to and you’ll first notice their slogan, “The Dallas Cowboys are America’s Team.” Sure. Whatever. Then, you’ll notice this less-than-optimistic post: “Not going to win many more this season. Season is over. Wade should not finish the night as the head coach. Defense was outcoached on MNF. Don’t really care if Romo takes another snap as a cowboy. Bring in a winner for next year.”

I’m sure Jerry will get right on that.

On the Cowboys blog through ESPN, one scout suggests a secret weapon may utilize Sunday. “Where the Cowboys also had some success against the Packers last season was the slot blitz with Orlando Scandrick.” Really? I don’t remember this at all, so I’ll have to take his word for it. So Packers, you know, be sure to keep their Scandrick at bay… or else I guess.

I’m pretty sure the Fox affiliate for Dallas Fort-Worth may have just conceded the season weeks ago. Their most recent story is that Romo broke his collarbone “Monday night”. LOL.

In addition to the already horrible season, tells us Dallas has released their top two picks (both 3rd rounders) from the 2009 draft: Jason Williams and Robert Brewster. If you recall, the Cowboys traded their first round pick for Roy Williams and then traded down from their second round. Could you ever imagine Ted giving up on two 3rd round picks after just one year? I mean, we finally just released Mike Montgomery after five years – and he was a 6th round pick! Ouch, Cowboys, ouch.

The quotes a poll as to who will take over for Wade Phillips after this year. The results are as follows:

Jon Gruden — 3/2
Bill Cowher — 5/2
Jason Garrett — 4/1
Wade Phillips — 50/1
Any other coach — 1/1

But the real gem is the quote that follows. “We should all find comfort in the fact that “any other coach” is the leading candidate to replace Wade. Something has to be done to turn this team around and getting rid of the pathetic head coach is a great start.”

In a poll on the Dallas morning news with almost 1500 votes, 40% believe the Cowboys will win two games or less this year. Another 40% believe that can win 3-4. LOL if you’re lucky. In the comments after the poll, Abilene shows he feels pretty strongly about his apathy for the team: “When all things are truly considered, who really cares? I used to be a frequent blogger hoping that these opinions would be heard. They are not even seen by those that make decisions. Whether the Cowboys ever win again, this once proud franchise has been demoralized and become a source of ridicule around the league… Upon further review, I really don't care.”

Concur, Abilene. You (and the Vikings) are the butt of 95% of all jokes around the league.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Packers Are Sitton Pretty

I recently had a conversation with Packers' super-stud guard, Josh Sitton.  I have provided you lucky Ranter readers with a transcript of said conversation below:


Nothing, nothing, man. Oooh, it IS you....I didn't mean to stare. I just really appreciate what you're doing for the Packers.  You're playing fantastic football right now, and you're a rock on a line that struggled at times last season.

"Oh, okay. Thanks, man. We're trying hard."

I think right now you're probably the best lineman in the NFC North. You've played well against some great defensive linemen, and you've flat-out dominated them.

"Well, thanks, dude. It's really a team effort."

You're being too modest, guy. You're playing at a Pro Bowl level, you know that right?....Ummm, you don't really come off as a nasty lineman in normal conversation, you know that?"


No, no, I know...I was just saying you seem pretty mild-mannered otherwise from what I can tell. It's just surprising because you look like you're trying to bury guys six feet under the turf when you're playing.

"Oh, sorry. Yeah, I didn't mean to yell, I just get fired up thinking about crushing D-tackles."

That's freaking AWESOME! I get fired up by that same sort of thing!! Linemen never get enough recognition. Dude, can I buy you a PBR Tallboy sometime?"

"WHAT?!?! I drink Guinness...lots of them."

Oh yeah? Oh, sure, whatever, man. I just wanted to say thank you for doing all the dirty work that you guys never get credit for. Man, I just really respect your game, and the high level you're playing at.

"Thanks, man. I appreciate it."

Hey, ummmm...this might sound weird, but I'm writing this play about a wealthy cattle racher's son who falls in love with a homely saloon wench. You ever think about acting? With your look, you know the beard and the hair, I think you'd make a great "Cowboy #2" who is drinking suds and playing cards in the tavern...


Me too, Josh.  Me too.  Good luck on Sunday.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Be Prepared For When You Hear "Go Pack!"

Outside the friendly confines of Wisconsin, the Packer fan’s natural habitat, it is less common to encounter a Packer fan, than say when one is roaming the streets of Appleton. (While less common, the Packer fan’s habitat still extends further than any other NFL fan’s, I have anecdotal evidence of this, but also quantitative data in the sheer number of Packer bars around the world, estimated to be at 15,000 and counting) Upon discovering a fellow Packer in the wild, the customary greeting is, “Go Pack.” Nothing more is needed, or expected. Both individuals can go happily and proudly on their merry ways, knowing there are kindred spirits wandering the wilderness outside of the Motherland.

I live as close to a Packer fan’s home territory as possible, and I encounter some every now and then in my day-to-day activities. While the greeting is common knowledge, the response and acknowledgement to said greeting is open to interpretation and creativity. I came to realize this when a woman rollerbladed by me the other day, and yelled, “Go Pack!”. She sped off like Greg Jennings before I could acknowledge her. I realized I was caught off guard, and I vowed to be prepared when I come across a Packer fan in the wild again. After serious brainstorming, well, actually it was more of a light drizzle than a storm, I’ve come up with some suggestions for you to use when responding to a heartfelt, "Go Pack!":

The Raji: Notice how when Raji makes a big play he extends his arms and flicks his fingers calling for love from the fans? This is an excellent way to respond when someone gives you a, “Go Pack!”

The Slow Nod: Calm, confident…toeing the line of arrogance. You’ll look smooth with this Go Pack response.

The Shooter McGavin: This is for the highly excitable Packer fan. Upon hearing, “Go Pack!” you draw your six-shooters and start firing away at everything in sight.

The Dual Flex: This is for the intense Packer fan, I can see Robert using this one after 15 Red Bulls and 6 brats…Lift up both arms, and simply flex your biceps…this can be accompanied by a guttural, “RAAAAWR” if one is so inclined.

The Belt: You know it, you love it (or hate it), you just strap on Rodgers’s Title Belt, and nothing else needs to be done.

The Matrix: When Neo is “beginning to believe” he does this fantastic swinging of his arms, stops, looks at Mr. Smith, and beckons him to bring it on. This Go Pack reaction is a favorite of sci-fi and kung fu fanatics.

The Undertaker: This is perfect for when you and a fellow Packer fan are surrounded by enemies. You hear a "Go Pack!" and slowly draw your thumb across your neck while glaring at your opposition. Intimidation factor: HIGH

Of course another perfectly acceptable response to a "Go Pack!" is to just look your fellow Packer fan in the eye, and scream "Go Pack!" right back at them. The preceding are all good options, but I'm going to let you behind the curtain and tell you what my go to response to a "Go Pack!" will be moving forward.

The Bender: Don't you forget about me! Pop in your sweet diamond earring, raise your fist in the air, and just walk away.

Got any other ideas? Leave them in the Comments.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pat's Spat

The spirits walk among us – oh yes. Some are good, some are evil and others just wander in a sad existence because they don’t know they’re dead. You may not believe, and that’s just fine, but try telling that to the 41% of people who claim to have had a ghostly encounter or the gifted few who can actually communicate with them.

Most spirits move to the afterlife as seamlessly as bacon does from the pan into the gullet. But once in a while, something upsets them and they return to resolve unfinished business. Such was the case Sunday, when the ghost of Pat Morita surfaced on defense, swept Brett Favre’s legs and prevented his miracle comeback against the Packers.

I know this because last Saturday night/Sunday morning at 3am, a group of paranormal investigators that I found via craigslist and I visited Lambeau Field in hopes of conjuring said Hollywood icon. You see, Morita was a huge Packer fan and coincidentally, there have been numerous reports of a small, warrior-like man practicing Crane kicks on the roof and waxing cars in the parking lot at night. If this were in fact the ghost of Pat Morita, we were hoping his spirit would help settle a bet whether Chuck Norris reportedly turned down the role of John Kreese because he did not want to portray a character that reinforced a negative stereotype of martial arts. If there was time, we’d probably ask what God’s like and stuff, too.

Wearing some makeshift karate robes and Danielsan bandanas, we set up nightvision cameras and motion sensors around the stadium and walked around with voice recorders, asking questions in hopes of collecting some EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon). We received nothing but white noise until a certain sensitive subject was mentioned. “Porkchop”, our medium with limited precog abilities (who also makes one helluva Braunschweiger spread btw), suddenly spoke up. “Quiet noob, he’s here!” he told me. We looked around…nothing. “Now, Robert! Make haste with your inquiries.”

I pulled out my note card with the Norris question, but something compelled me to ask another. “Pat, do you regret appearing alongside Brett Favre in Reggie’s Prayer?” I asked. Then, as clear as the moon was full, we heard the word “Re-venge…” And with that, all of our equipment went dead as if unplugged. It was so loud and distinct and otherwordly that Clint, our tech specialist, freaked out into the night and we have not heard from him since.

That was all we captured. All of Sunday and throughout the game, I pondered the night’s previous events. If finally became clear to me on the very last Vikings’ play of the game when Favre dropped back and fell to the ground missing out on the chance to hit his open receiver in the end zone to win the game. Think I’m kidding? Replay clearly shows (at 6:15) that Favre simply fell, as though he was on the receiving end of a leg sweep from an unseen entity. Was this the ghost of Pat Morita taking revenge against his former favorite player on his favorite team going to their arch nemesis? Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Talking Trash with Vikings Gab

It's that time of the season again, Vikings week. As such, I did a little back and forth with Adam over at Vikings Gab. He valiantly tried to defend his team, but in the end, it's always difficult to defend the Vikings. My responses are in green and his are in violet.
Well, it is that time once again Packer Ranter, when gravity itself could cease to exist and the only concern Vikings and Packers fans would have is how it will affect Sunday Night’s game. So, while my team is struggling to play up to their potential and your team is struggling to find 45 healthy guys to play football, it is time to start another round of trash talk. I have to wonder if you are hesitant about doing so, however, as every time we have done this segment to date your team has been on the losing end. If you were a superstitious person, I would completely understand your hesitance to even respond.
I am indeed superstitious, but I am well aware of the small corner of the cosmos that I inhabit, and I understand that nothing I do has any effect on the Packers. That said, I have sacrificed 2 chickens and done an interpretive dance just to be sure that karmic balance is reached. You’re correct in pointing out the Packers have been ravaged by injuries, but this week should see Clay Matthews and Ryan Pickett back, both who are immeasurably important to our defense, one against the run and one against the pass. Hopefully, this helps against AP and Brent. Speaking of injuries, are you excited about the Lito Sheppard era beginning in earnest in Minnesota? I gotta say, I am.
Sacrificed two chickens? I thought stuff like that was every day practice in Wisconsin. I wonder if Matthews and Pickett will be anywhere close to 100% to provide that much needed help. With scummy weather in line for Sunday Night this game could very well be decided on the ground, and we all know who is superior in that department. The one guy that worries me most in the ground game on your team is Marshawn Ly- oh, wait, never mind. Lito has played well for us so far, with the exception being last week, but luckily we are getting Chris Cook back to knock him down a notch on the depth chart. Solid running, solid defensive line play, and solid tackling is a formula for victory in this one, and all those things are something the Vikings are superior to the Packers in. Don’t worry about the cold weather though, we’ve kept the third place seat warm for you and you’ll be sitting in it on Monday.
Actually, Robert lives in WI, I live in Minneapolis. I tossed the chicken carcasses at Mall Of America Field (MOA Field? Seriously?) for good measure yesterday. You can probably still go pick them up if you’re looking for something to eat tonight. Meh, Matthews at 75% is more than enough to dominate your tackles, and Ryan Pickett shouldn’t have much trouble with…which one of your centers is starting Sunday? Oh never mind, it’s BJ Raji at nose tackle against your no-name center, and Pickett going against…Anthony Herrera, wow. Throw in Cullen Jenkins and the Packers have 982 lbs on the D-line, but sure, keep thinking you will be able to run all day. Brandon Jackson is no worse or better than Marshawn Lynch, so why mortgage the future with a midseason trade? I mean, I get why the Vikings did it, you’re desperate, but to throw away draft picks just isn’t sustainable, which Zygmunt will realize in the coming (read: next) years. Chris Cook going on a bum wheel against Greg Jennings…or any Packer receiver? I’ll take that walking away. You’re playing the cold weather card? I think I can hear the creaking in Favre’s joints from here, hopefully his texting hand is alright after the game. Ray Edwards is pretty much the only pressure you MIGHT get on Rodgers because Jared Allen has never had success against Chad Clifton. One question I have: does Ray Edwards practice all these cheap shots, or is he just inherently a dirty player?
I just don’t want you to get your hopes up, especially when it comes to the passing game. After all, the Vikings have been responsible for Drew Brees, Chad Henne, and Tony Romo having their lowest passing totals of the season. If Rodgers goes into a wet and sloppy Sunday Night game thinking he’ll be able to pass all over the Vikings, then he’s got another thing coming. And you KNOW Jackson isn’t running for 100 yards against us. With Percy Harvin, Randy Moss, and Adrian Peterson on the field, the Vikings should be able to put up enough points to beat Crosby’s four field goals. I’m not too high on our offensive line, but considering we have given up less sacks and our ground game is leap years better than yours… I think we’ll do just fine. Oh, and when Rodgers is running around like a chicken with his head cut off, just remember that karma has a way of reminding people why not to throw chicken carcasses at public buildings. Normally, however, karma is able to get that message to people by the time they graduate from junior high.
I’ll take any chicken running around with his head cut off that has 12 rushing TDs in two and a half seasons. Also, that chicken with a head cut off running around means Brandon Jackson doesn’t have to rush for 100 yards for the Packers to be successful. I believe it’s referred to as a mobile QB, which Favre can only be called if you’re referring to his ability to send dong shots on the fly with his cell. What was the Vikings record in those games where they held Brees, Henne, and Romo to their lowest passing totals? 1 and 3? Seems like odds I’d take. The Vikes got the best of the Packers last year at Lambeau, Robert and I witnessed it first hand, but things always change. You have a confidence that far exceeds your coaches ability, and the Packers have talent that far exceeds their mediocre record. The universe will be balanced out Sunday night, my Junior High Eastern Philosophy Course taught me that. As far as public buildings go, will Mall of America Field be left standing as a museum honoring the Vikings’ futility after they have moved to L.A.? If so, I’d probably go wander around those beautiful cement concourses for an hour or two. Packers 30 Vikings 21.
If you're in the mood, run over to Vikings Gab and talk a little trash yourself. Go Pack!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Take a Deep Breath....

Of course I have concerns about the Packers, but I’m more worried about our fans right now. I haven’t seen this much freaking out since my cousin tried to get his dog to wear a a Santa hat during Christmas ’04. The dog would not stop running around, squealing like someone was branding him with a hot poker. He stopped eating for a week and has since become incredibly skittish about being touched on the head.

It’s a long season, Packer fans. We’re going to need you cheering for these last ten games and with a little luck, perhaps some more. To help you cope with these panic attacks, I’ve compiled a list of symptoms that may help you decide if you are in fact having a panic attack and if so, how you can cope.

Common Symptoms of Panic Attack

• Raging heartbeat, like you’re seeing new NFL spokesperson Marisa Miller for the first time
• Feeling as though you 'can't get enough air’ as if BJ Raji himself were sitting on your chest
• Terror almost paralyzing like watching Hoarders. Seriously, have you seen that show? Shock and awe, man.
• Nervous, shaking, stress probably stemming from a Mason Crosby game-winning FG attempt. Actually nevermind - that’s everyone.
• Feeling of dread as though Clay Matthews mistook you for an opposing quarterback
• Lightheadedness or nausea, like when you polish off a case of Mad Dog 20/20 to impress a babe and then fall over as you finally approach her
• Trembling, sweating and shaking as though you’re in a stagnant line to use the urinal after shotgunning those beers in the parking lot. Was it really worth it?
• General fear, fright, afraid, anxious like going against Ted Thompson in a staring contest
• Hot flashes, or sudden chills like getting a December gust of wind in the face at Lambeau
• 'Pins and needles' tingling like sitting on your hands for an hour and then standing up
• Fearful that you're going to go crazy or are about to die. Well, if that’s the case you should probably see a doctor. The Ranter probably won’t be able to help.

But people – to get over panic attacks, you have to face your fears. If you stop watching and attending Packer games, the football odds are against you - there’s a real danger of becoming a recluse. You could wind up self medicating on cheese curds and living through your avatar, a feisty warrior fairy named Gorgathina who’s into hunting ligers and threeways.

There is hope.

A great man once said knowing is half the battle, and I just dropped some knowledge bombs above. Now I want you to drink a Mountain Dew, Red Bull or caffeinated drink of your choice. Caffeine is a known stimulant that makes you feel on top of the world. Finally, you’re going to rebuild your Packer pride by watching watch some highlights of Clay Matthews here. Feeling good now, aren’t you, now that you remember what a great organization we have? In fact, bookmark it and watch it any time you’re feeling an attack coming on.

This systematic approach to dealing with Packer-related panic attacks should give you, our fans, peace of mind and keep you as safe as Ted’s draft picks for the rest of the year. Good luck, people.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Did Hawkeye Steal That Jeep?

Where's the jeep?

I hate looking for stuff. I don’t like misplacing things and getting HULK-like mad while trying to sort through where I may have left it. I don’t like shopping which is essentially looking for stuff and then having to spend money on it when you find it. I absolutely hated “Where’s Waldo”. Just point me to Waldo, and tell the story as to why he’s constantly in these crazy situations…I’m guessing psychedelics have a lot to do with it. Look at what he’s wearing, no one in their right mind would wear those glasses? Wait a minute...

Lately, I feel like every Monday I’m stuck trying to look for the positives in the previous day’s Packer game. This is getting tiring, frustrating, and frankly, I’m sick of it. That said, I’m giving it one final shot.

After Sunday’s game the only thing I could think about was the injuries…the severity of them and the sheer number of them. The injuries Sunday reminded me of Korea three miles from the front (Damn, I love that movie. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading, watch, and return; I’ll wait.). Okay, so you get it, Packers =Mobile Army Surgical Hospital right now. Unfortunately, it is without the hijinks, hilarity, booze, fornication, and Hawkeye Pierce. Basically, it’s just the shitty parts: the injuries, the wounds, and the general malaise. In an effort to further make this comparison and to lighten up the atmosphere at 1 Ranter Place, Rantersville, United Republic of Rant, I thought I would find some M*A*S*H quotes. Then I realized that I had to go look for them…aaaaand I'm back to being pissed off, so I just used one of the top my head that seemed most applicable:

“What kind of team is this? Everyone is dropping like dead flies.”

Okay, that’s depressing, and like I said, I was here to find and rip the positives out of the open chest cavity of a depressing loss. Here goes: the Packers backups played well. That’s pretty simple and pretty positive. Desmond Bishop, Andrew Quarless, and Mike Neal stepped in and played solid games, Bishop being at the top of that group. If the goal of building your team is to have capable backups in the event your starters go down, then the Packers are in a good spot. Now, the problem Sunday is that the M*A*S*H filled up waaaaay faster than anyone could have been prepared for. At this point, we have to hope that reinforcements are on the way and the patients are healing quickly.

Just to be safe, we can also hope that in the future when McCarthy says, “I think it's important we go over the three basic principles: organization, discipline, and team work.” Someone steps up like Dr. Oliver Harmon Jones and says: “Excuse me, but do you mind if we limber up first?”
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