Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Silver Lining

So I wasn’t actually able to watch the game Monday night, and this is a great disappointment, because as a former denizen of Chicago, IL (or Pervertsville, ILL, as I like to say) I have watched sixty-three Packer-Bear showdowns on enemy territory (at home or in the vile temple of BEARphomet itself, Soldier Field) before I moved to De Pere in ’93, and I hope to see at least that many here in the bosom of Packerland before I am shuffled off to the big Meat-Packing Plant in the Sky. But I didn’t have a choice.

I knew the evening was trouble when I came home from the paper mill and I saw that the big screen I bought with my settlement money was gone. I admit that I was pissed off, because I was willing to put up with missing a finger and losing my favorite ring when I had a great big TV to watch the Packers on, but when I came home from work yesterday I didn’t have any TV at all and still only nine digits. Well, I knew exactly what happened, even before my wife told me – my son Ronny stole it.

See, Ronny has a troubled childhood. He was born in Chicago and lived there until he was fifteen, at which point we moved to here to De Pere. And I confess that he developed an affection for the Bears. I guess deep down inside I thought that if I never put it into words, if I never confronted him about it, it didn’t really exist. But it did, and so when he started school in Wisconsin he didn’t get along well with the other kids. He started spending summers in Door County, hobnobbing with transplanted drug addicts and Bears fans, and after that he was a lost cause. I love him, though, even if he is a colossal f#ck up who ruined my life, and so I still let him live at home.

The upshot to letting him live at home is that his daughter Annie lives with us. Annie is the smartest little girl you have ever seen, clever and kind-hearted and beautiful and innocent and lovely and angelic, and it is a real joy to raise her, since my son can’t be trusted to do it, and she just loves living with Nana and Papa. She will never wind up dancing at Beansnappers like her mother, if I have anything to say to it. Even if I am moldering in my grave I will heave my corpse out of the earth and shamble as the walking dead to block the door of Beansnappers. “Over my dead body,” I will moan.

So what does this have to do with the game, you might ask? Lony, you didn’t even see it, you might say. True, true. But look at it this way: My son Ronny is a f#ck-up. Only word that captures his every nuance. Still, that f#ck-up managed to produce Annie, the greatest gift this Packer Backer has ever received. And if that layabout long-haired loser son of mine can make a smart little girl like that, then surely even a sad sack of dingleBEARies can overcome the NFL odds and pull off some decent football once in a while. And if a smart little kid like Annie can overcome all the adversity that has so far plagued her short life to get five or six stickers EVERY WEEK in her kindergarten class, then clearly a team with such skill and grace as the Packers can correct what is obviously just an aberration, the universe factoring the remainder of the awe-inspiring calculus that created this season’s roster. I believe. Do you?

~Lony Olec

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Grandma Loretta's Game Analysis

I woke up this morning eager to find out my Grandma Loretta's take on the Packers/Bears game last night.  She's usually got a pretty good view on all things Packers....and life in general as well.  As Slater says, she's a hip, hip, lady.

Now Loretta's a very level-headed fan. Doesn't get too high, doesn't get too low.  Doesn't overreact and start screaming, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" or "We're going to the Super Bowl!"

Well, I found a voicemail, an email, a tweet, a Facebook update, a fax, a letter, a telegram, a pony express delivery, and a cave painting from Grandma Loretta.  Did I mention she's an excellent communicator?

Each just said, "If you keep beating yourself like that, you'll go blind."

Huh, that's smartest thing I've heard yet...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pregame Prep Talk

TROY: Hello everybody, I’m actor Troy Maclure, star of such Monday Night Football pregame shows as “Hank Williams: Beard of Truth” and “What Will Madden Say?”

But today I’d like to talk with you about rivalries. In the past, the only way to avoid to madness of a Packer-Bear rivalry was to drive to Canada and bask in the beauty of mother nature. But that’s all changed now. Thanks to years of ineptitude on Chicago’s part, even top NFL handicappers have been avoiding this game.

I’d like to introduce Dr. Nick Riveria.

DR. NICK: Hi everybody! Troy, would you like to watch the game and enjoy it, too?

TROY: I sure would, but won’t I have to pay outrageous street prices for a bag of grass that the stoners probably laced with LSD?

DR. NICK: Not anymore! All thanks to Clay Matthews. With six sacks already and a Bears offensive line with more voids than William Perry’s teeth, Matthews has the potential to continue making NFL history tonight!

TROY: Wow, Clay Matthews really delivers!

DR. NICK: That’s right! And be sure to watch Jay Cutler demonstrate that crying on Monday Night Football will not get you nominated for an Emmy.

TROY: As I said in the Erotic Adventures of Ron Jaworski, “I can’t wait to get me somma that!”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It Really Ties the Room Together

Should be plenty of these around on Tuesday morning. Please browse and take your pick. Orders will be taken directly by Soldier Field staff members.

The one below is just for the Vikings fans. It's more their style:




PS - The Bears Still Suck

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Caption Contest #5

Here's an interesting Bills fan we found in honor of this weekend's matchup. Rumor has it, it is Brian Brohm's uncle. That has not been confirmed yet. Post a funny, clever comment below and you could win an official Tracy White Certificate of Excellence with your name. Only your first submission received today will be considered. Good luck and Go Pack!!

Previous weekly winners include Rich Ward, ukpackersfan and JerseyAl (twice).
Update - Scheme Factory's first comment wins this week. Well played, sir! Email packerranter@yahoo.com to collect your certificate.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Congrats, John Kuhn. You're Moving Up the Rankings.

I was going to write something about how the Packers special teams played better than they have in years, but Jersey Al had me covered. In truth, I almost feel bad for the Eagles, they have no idea what they have done to themselves. The curse is real, and the curse is powerful…ask Mike Stock. Therefore, I decided why not write a little on my new 17th favorite Packer. (My rankings below #10 fluctuate weekly, daily, and hourly.) Congrats John Kuhn, you’ve moved into the top 20.

If I had a dollar for every touchdown that John Kuhn has scored for the Packers, I’d have, well…I’d have $7.00. Not exactly a windfall, but I’m still extremely excited to see what he’s going to bring to the table for the Packers this year with the injury to Ryan Grant.

The real issue is not the $7.00, I mean $7.00 buys a beer, which is always cool with me. Rather, it’s the initial investment into Kuhn that pays out the $7.00 that’s the impressive part. It’s tiny. He has 18 career rushing attempts…on those attempts he has scored 3 TDs. That means every 6th time he touches the ball, the Packers get 6 points. Kuhn is an even more dangerous scoring threat when he catches the ball; he has 4 TDs on 14 career receptions. He just scores TDs whenever the hell he touches the ball. This is a guy I can get behind.

Let’s be honest, though, Kuhn’s scoring proficiency is not THAT important to me or to the Packers for that matter. The real reason that I can’t wait for Kuhn’s increased role in the Packers offense is the fact that Kuhn has a one-syllable last name that is designed to be screamed out loud at the top of your lungs for an extended period of time. It’s fun in your living room, and it’s fun in the stadium: "KUUUUUUHN!" Plus, it will invariably lead to your idiotic, Bears fan brother-in-law or someone similar stopping, looking around, and asking, “Why are they booing? I thought the Packers just scored.”
“No, we did, it’s John KUUUUHN who scored. It’s pronounced Koon*.”
Puzzled look…“Why don’t they like him?”
“No, it’s not that they don't like...” {Sigh} “Apparently he hates cheese, bratwurst, and beer.”
“Is that right?”
“Yep.”

Anyway, moving past the idiocy of Bears fans, here’s a little glimpse into my Sunday existence moving forward, as I’m sure it will be for many others:


Don’t believe me? Watch this clip, and tell me you didn’t have a strong desire to stand up and yell, “KUUUUUUHN!” Can you say it? Can you say you don't want stand up and scream? That’s what I thought.

Wait, Kirk does yell, "KUUUUUHN!!!" right?....Yeah, I'm pretty sure he does.

*Note: The Packers even say it's pronounced this way, check his bio. Hilarious.

Monday, September 13, 2010

D-OH!

My buddy Dave is a die-hard Lions fan who’s been living with his girlfriend Darcy in Chicago for a few years. On Sunday during the Bears game, Dave had planned to jump off a 250 downtown watertower with a parachute that read “The Bears Still Suck” during the game. I just got the email – he (epic) failed.

This does not surprise me. Dave is a wild thrillseeker (cars, motorcycles, explosions, swingers parties, spicy foods), but just not a very good one. To enhance the experience of his extreme endeavors, he takes drugs (another addiction) and it’s because of this that things usually go wrong.

According to his master plan, this was going to be a standard “hop and pop” off the tower and into his dropzone – a nearby parking lot at Northwestern Law School that Darcy found on Google maps and figured would be fairly empty on gameday. Apparently, he climbed the tower with relative ease (it only took four Pink Floyd songs on his iShuffle, although one song was a 15-min. live version of “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”). Feeling good and powerful and literally atop the world, he popped more mushrooms. This turned out to be a bad idea.

While he was checking his chute one last time, a quarter mile above the streets, his vision got really blurry. He became overwhelmed by the situation and began hyperventilating. He tried to harness his Chi by standing on one leg and meditating but something broke his concentration – the sudden and intense roar of the crowd from Soldier Field. Well, Dave fell over and slid right off the side of that f#cking water tower. As he flailed around like a wounded duck, instinct took over and he pulled the chute and passed out. No joke.

Dave said he was awakened by a “wrecking ball to the chest/face”. He had plowed into a chimney in Cicero, five miles from the tower. Dave learned via his helmet cam that his arms tangled in a way that perfectly positioned his elliptical canopy to catch the wind and propel him at speeds of over 50 mph west through the city. Elliptical canopies, apparently, are used in highly competitive cross-country parachuting.

The email was sent by Darcy, who says Dave is currently in the hospital. Handcuffed to the bed. Seeking legal recommendations.

The roar of the crowd? The Calvin Johnson touchdown being overturned.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Time to Send a Message

There comes a time in every warrior’s life when they stand alone on the brink of battle. Thoughts race through his or her mind: “Am I ready?” “Can I do this?” “Will I survive?” “Is my boomstick loaded?” In the end, these questions mean nothing, as the warrior will engage…because that is what they are trained to do.

The Green Bay Packers stand on this brink. They are on a ridge overlooking the battlefield, and they are surveying their bloodthirsty enemies. The prognostificationizers say that their victory is imminent. I like that, but if that is the case, they need emerge from this battle and send a message like all warriors send after victory. That message needs to be clear, concise, and easy for the knuckle-draggers to understand.

I’ve thought long and hard about a message that all will understand…then it came to me while watching Ghostbusters II…specifically the parts with Vigo the Carpathian, Vigo the Cruel, Vigo the Torturer, Vigo the Despised, Vigo the Unholy, and also Vigo the Butch. In the Middle Ages, armies would put the heads of their fallen foes on spikes and display them for all their enemies to see. I see no reason why this can’t be the message that the Packers send:


Think of the photo-ops for the kids before games. People will be lining up in droves to see The Message. Each week it will grow by 4 to 5 spikes until the Super Bowl…with any luck this display of overt power will scare the AFC team from even showing up. (Every good warrior knows battle should only be a last resort when all other means have been exhausted)

They are the Packers, and you are like the buzzing of flies to them.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tracy White Certificate of Excellence


We at the Packer Ranter are always looking for new ways to honor our beloved former special teams superhero. After his (unfortunately/ridiculously stupid) release, Franklin and I brainstormed several options and chose two rather large endeavors that while immensely challenging, would potentially appease Tracy and all his gloriousness.

My biopic Tracy White screenplay is currently under review at several major studios and despite the board of directors best attempts to avoid him, Franklin has been passionately lobbying for a Tracy White statue outside the Atrium by Lombardi. In the meantime, we’ve created the Tracy White Certificate of Excellence via a noble suggestion on the Twitters (thanks Midwestfan).

These will be given out to those rare Packer fans who possess extraordinary qualities that we believe would make Tracy proud – caption contest winners and other great feats to be determined by the Packer Ranter Tracy White Subcommittee.

Good luck to all throughout the season. May the eye of the Tracy be with you.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Caption Contest #4

We could not resist the urge to post this gem of everyone's favorite motivator and LB coach, Kevin Greene. Should be another good one. Special thanks to Midwestfan for sending it to us.


Only first submissions received today will be considered. No cash prize this time around, BUT I am designing an original "Tracy White Certificate of Excellent" for the winner! Good luck!
Previous weekly winners include Rich Ward, ukpackersfan and JerseyAl (no, you don't have to be a Tweeter to win).
Update: Jersey Al gets it again. One of the greatest movie lines ever, reinterpreted for one of the greatest guys of all time. It just works so well. His TWCE is in (e)mail.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Meet Your Neigbor

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 folks Robert and I read on a daily basis and you should too if you call yourself a fan.

Up next: Jayme Joers, die hard Packer fan, USC Trojan Fan, and Manchester United Supporter, from Random Musings on the World of Sports. In addition to her blog, Jayme is a contributor at BrentFavre.com, and a moderator at CheeseheadTV.com. Jayme crushed these questions much like Alex, Brian, and Aaron before her. It appears the Packers blogosphere is in good hands...as I'm sure you already knew.

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? There’s always a glass of water next to my bed. I’m one of those middle of the night water drinkers. But he probably wouldn’t want it as he tends to like new things, not old (veteran) water. Therefore he’d have to settle with some Mad Housewife wine. Its delicious, has a great name and almost always in my fridge.

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) Does Journey count as a hair band? Cause they’re my favorite 80s band. And as someone who now has a long distance love affair with the packers, I think Faithfully was written for us. If Journey does not count as a hair band, then start counting them!

3) Which cheddar is beddar: mild, medium, or sharp? Subquestion: How the hell does California think they can make cheese? Sharp. Best, best, BEST grilled cheese sandwich is sharp cheddar on sourdough. California – once my home for some years – thinks it can make cheese because it thinks it can do anything regardless or not if it’s true.

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? Does it make me weird if the only Stallone movie I have ever seen is Copland? And let me just say, that I do not think Sheriff Heflin would make the Packers.

5) Ty Webb or Jeffrey Lebowski? That rug really tied the room together.

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? I’m not sure if I’d want to live in that world. Would there be no ice cream or puppy dogs in this world too? Just take away all the good things. Anyways….I’m a very persuasive person. I would travel the land, much like Johnny Appleseed, and tell people of the magical day the Packers held Barry Sanders to negative one yards in a play off game (I’m assuming that the Lions still exist in this world as only good things have been taken away). If that doesn’t convince people then they don’t deserve to exist and I would banish them.

7) Don Hutson basically invented the receiver position, what's your favorite invention: the Cheesehead, the truck-bed tailgate, or the Green Bay Sweep? Tailgate. I don’t eat meat, but is there anything better than drinking outside? And at a sporting event? No. There’s not.

Some bonus questions as I'm sure inquiring minds want to know:

8) Who has better hair, you or Clay Matthews? That’s a tough one. We both have the golden locks that only the sun directly over USC can provide. I’m going to have to go with Clay. He doesn’t seem to get helmet/hat hair. And I do. Side note, while searching for pictures of Clay’s hair, I found an awesome picture, that I attached, cause I think its quite a gem.


9) What do you miss most about Wisconsin, other than the obvious of being able to watch the Packers on TV without ordering Sunday Ticket or going to a bar? (as transplant myself, I actually enjoy the necessity of going to a bar to watch the game on Sunday every now and then) I can’t think of just one thing that I miss the most so here’s my list: 1. Lake Michigan, 2. How drinking at anytime during the day is acceptable. 3. My sister. 4. Cheese Curds. 5. Bob Uecker.

Another side note. When I lived in San Francisco, we found this great sports bar called Old Pros in Palo Alto. The Owner/Manager loved the packers and always made sure that I had sound for the Packers games. He also gave me great drink specials and got me Ronnie Lott’s tickets to the SF/GB game that year. I liked that bar. Like I said, I am very persuasive.

10) A rumor was recently brought to our attention on the latest episode of Cheesehead Radio. The rumor insinuates that Robert and I are actually two nerdy teenagers blogging from our parents' basements. While I assure you this is not the case... and both of us do quite well with the ladies, thank you very much, we have data (largely anecdotal, but some quantitative) that indicates that some of our readers could use a little help in this department. What does it take to sweep a highly knowledgeable Packer fan off her feet.... other than raspberry kamis and PBR, of course? One of the most romantic things that ever happened to me: in 06 the Packers were playing the Vikings in a night game. The same night a man I was seeing was flying into Chicago and needed me to pick him up at the airport. It was toward the beginning of our relationship and he was not a big sports fan. We listened to the game on the radio for the drive home and arrived back at my place as GB was driving down field late in the game. Trying not to be a freak, I started to get ready to get out of the car, even though I didn’t think I’d make it up the stairs before the game ended. He put his arm out and said, “let’s wait and see what happens. Don’t want you to miss this.” I melted.

Excellent answers, Jayme.  And, no it doesn't make you weird that you haven't seen any Sly Stallone movies other than Copland. However, I would suggest taking this long holiday weekend and watching "Rocky 1-6" and "Rambo 1-4"...that should get you up to speed. For extra credit, check out "Over the Top", the 3rd best arm-wrestling movie of all time.

The old man said, "Take any rug in the house."

Thanks, Jayme.
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