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 Bloggingtheboys.com, 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 Cowboyblog.com 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, Cowboysgab.com 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 Landryhat.com 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:

"WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU STARING AT?"

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?"

"WHAT?!?! I'M NASTY AS HELL WHEN I'M ON THE FIELD."

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...

"A COWBOY?!?! YOU WANT ME TO PLAY A COWBOY?!?! NO. WAY. I HATE COWBOYS."

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

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