Friday, December 20, 2013

Please Fund Our Aaron Rodgers Kickstarter Project

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Joe Friday Would Be Proud

Yesterday, Josh Sitton caused a stir with some of his inflammatory comments about the Detroit Lions. In my opinion, these statements are about as inflammatory as a wet book of matches. This is just one more example of “the media” taking someone’s comments, comments stemming from a much larger conversation, out of context and rearranging them in such a way as to condemn the subject. Taken out of context, *maybe* these comments are somewhat inciting, but added to full the discussion Josh had on the radio program, they may not be. Robert and I obtained the full transcript from Josh’s discussion, and we thought it would be important to share with you to provide you, our loyal four readers, with the full picture. Hopefully, this allows you a more to draw more informed conclusions on whether this should be considered bulletin board material.

Radio personality A: “You’ve got to make the trip to Detroit on Thursday, Josh. Are you looking forward to your trip across Lake Michigan?”

Josh Sitton: “Lake Michigan? Well, I’m a fisherman, so I like lakes. You know what is an impressive lake? Lake Superior. It is the largest of the Great Lakes, and the largest lake by volume in North America. As far as surface area, it is the largest in the world. I gotta get up there and catch some take trout sometime.”

Radio personality B: “Interesting. What else do you know about bodies of water, Josh?”

Josh Sitton: “Umm, you know, I also know a fair amount about rivers. The Nile is obviously the longest river in the world, but the Amazon, which is the second longest, has a much larger waterflow. As far as the U.S., many people think the Mississippi is the longest, but it’s actually the Missouri River that holds that title and is a tributary of the Mississippi.”

Radio personality B: “Did you know Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, and the time you played on Thanksgiving was in 2011?”

Josh Sitton: “Yes, I did know that. It was November 24th, 2011. Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday of November in the U.S. but it is the second Monday of October in Canada. Pretty interesting, no? My favorite Thanksgiving dish is stuffing, and the 2nd is pumpkin pie with homemade whip cream.”

Radio personality C: “You’re playing Detroit on Thanksgiving. What can you tell us about Detroit?”

Josh Sitton: “Detroit is commonly known as ‘The Motor City’ due to its history as being the center of the American automobile industry. Its inception began with Henry Ford’s creation of Ford Motor Company in 1903. Detroit is also known as, ‘Motown’ which is a combination of the words, ‘motor’ and ‘town’ and is a style of soul music that has its origins in Detroit. Berry Gordy formed Motown Records and had some amazing artists signed to his label, such as: Diana Ross & the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5 and Marvin Gaye. Just really great tunes.”

Radio Personality B: “Man, I love Stevie Wonder. Now, Josh, what’re your thoughts on Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone?”

Josh Sitton: “Well, I can’t speak to his specific clavicle, but all clavicles run between the scapula, or shoulder blade, and the sternum, or chest. Fractures usually occur when someone falls on an extended arm or on their shoulder, which I believe is what occurred in Aaron’s case. Speaking of falls, Angel Falls, in Venezuela, is the highest waterfall in the world. Just another little fact for you guys.”

Radio personality A: “You seem to have a lot of facts stored in that head of yours. Any other facts you can share?”

Josh Sitton: “Like about waterfalls?”

Radio personality A: “Not necessarily about waterfalls or water in general, just any facts…”

Editor’s note: Now here is where Josh begins his initial discussion of Jim Schwartz and the Lions’ defense.

Radio Personality A: “So you think if Aaron Rodgers were playing, the Lions would try to take out Aaron Rodgers?”

Editor’s note: This portion of the discussion is where the certain quoted remarks in question were made. Remarks that were shared across the interwebs and *might* possibly, *maybe* be considered inflammatory. Unfortunately, these were the only remarks that everyone heard, thus, not allowing for the full picture. The conversation continues below.

Radio Personality B: “Yeah, I think everyone would agree that, probably pretty factual.”

Josh Sitton: “Yeah, I really like facts. Just random ones such as: Jim Carrey chipped his tooth many years prior, but he had the cap removed to play Lloyd Christmas in ‘Dumb and Dumber’. Also, despite Harry and Lloyd’s assertion, the Rocky Mountains were created due to tectonic shifts and are made up of metamorphic rock, and are, in fact, quite rocky.”

Radio Personality C: “Well, thanks a lot for your time, Josh, this may get edited down due to time constraints.”

Josh Sitton: “I understand that. Speaking of time, kickoff is at 11:30 Central Standard Time. Did you know that 20 states and 4 Canadian Provinces observe Central Standard in part or in whole? Just another fact for you fellas.”

So, dear reader, after hearing the statements in the proper context, you are better allowed to make your own judgments on Josh Sitton’s comments.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Holding Out for a Hero (The Matt Flynn Tribute, Part 2)

Blast this video as loud as you can. The lyrics will match up with the song. Part 1 can be found here.

Where has Aaron Rodgers gone
With the season on the line?
Can a castoff quarterback
keep playoff hopes alive?
Will you be our green knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night we toss and we turn and we dream of destiny

WE NEED A HERO! (Matt Flynn!)
We’re holding on for a hero for Thanksgiving’s fight
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 for Thanksgiving’s fight
He’s gotta be sure, and it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life… larger than life

Sometime midday Thursday
On that crummy Ford Field
I’ll be reaching toward my big screen
To give you the courage that you need
With Lacy as the thunder, will you provide the heat
To be our superman and beat that loser team?

WE NEED A HERO! (Matt Flynn!)
We’re holding on for a hero for Thanksgiving’s fight
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 for Thanksgiving’s fight
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 for Thanksgiving’s fight

Across the lake somewhere deep in Michigan
Close to where 8 Mile was filmed
You can bet that Lombardi will be watching over you
Through the crowd and the noise and the turf
Let them feel your approach
With a fire in your blood! With a fire in your blood! With a fire in your blood! With a fire in your blood!
With a fire in your…RAWR!!! KILL!!!

WE NEED A HERO! (Matt Flynn!)
We’re holding on for a hero for Thanksgiving’s fight
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 for Thanksgiving’s fight
He’s gotta be sure, and it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life

Monday, November 4, 2013

Great and Possibly Not-So-Great Rivalries

This morning, as I was staring at the leaves in my front yard, a yard that I had just raked yesterday, I started thinking about rivalries. Rivalries like the one I was currently engaged in with my neighbor's maple tree. Unfortunately, the maple tree won this round, but the thing about rivalries is that they are not decided by a single battle, they play out over time, each side taking victories and defeats. Unfortunately, the ranking got a little congested at number two, however, number one was never in doubt.

379) Cowboys vs. Washington D.C. football club (this one is funny)
296) Packers vs. Vikings (only one side views this as a rivalry, the other side thinks it's cute)

2oo.) Nirvana vs. Pearl Jam
2nn.) Switzerland vs. no one
2mm.) Superman vs. Luthor
2ll.) Donner Party vs. mountains
2kk.) Al Czervik vs. Judge Smails
2jj.) Michigan vs. Ohio State
2ii.) Me vs. bratwurst & sauerkraut
2hh.) My dog vs. rabbits
2gg.) Internet vs. productivity (if you're reading this, the internet has won)
2ff.) Jonas Salk vs. polio
2ee.) Kirk vs. Khan
2dd.) Union vs. Confederacy
2cc.) Coke vs. Pepsi
2bb.) Jerry vs. Newman
2aa.) Marie Antoinette vs. guillotine (this may not have been a rivalry, more of a single battle)
2z.) VHS vs. Betamax
2y.) Tallahassee, Rick Grimes, Shaun & Ed vs. zombies
2x.) Celtics vs. Lakers (Bring back the short shorts)
2w.) Mac vs. PC
2v.) Brett Favre vs. Warren Sapp, John Randle, Brian Urlacher (this would have been fair if the latter had all been on the same team)
2u.) The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones
2t.) Democrats vs. Republicans
2s.) Lance Easley vs. reality
2r.) Wile E. Coyote vs. Road Runner
2q.) Montagues vs. Capulets
2p.) MacGyver vs. Murdoc
2o.) Mario vs. Bowser
2n.) Don Quixote vs. windmills
2m.) Hatfields vs. McCoys
2l.) Homer vs. Flanders
2k.) Rommel vs. Patton
2j.) George & Marty McFly vs. Biff Tannen
2i.) Moses vs. Ramesses II
2h.) Manchester United vs. Liverpool
2g.) Batman vs. Joker
2f.) Miller Lite vs. Itself (This is the height of advertising, truly a must watch.)
2e.) Ghandi vs. British Empire
2d.) Fried vs. fresh curds
2c.) Nikola Tesla vs. Thomas Edison
2b.) Galactic Empire vs. Rebel Alliance
2a.) Red Sox vs. Yankees

Now that you've seen some of the lesser rivalries in history, you know what it is number one.

1) Packers vs. Bears

Go, Pack, go.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Friday, October 4, 2013

22 Reasons the Lions Haven't Won in Wisconsin in 22 Years

We all know the Lions haven’t won in Wisconsin in 22 years. Robert and I are trying to figure out why.
  1. Cheese is Lions’ kryptonite. It weakens them and will ultimately kill them if they are exposed to it for a long enough period of time.
  2. Matt Millen.
  3. Barry Sanders’ early retirement.
  4. Brett Favre.
  5. Aaron Rodgers.
  6. …even Matt Flynn.
  7. The long flight over Lake Michigan induces terrible and debilitating jet lag. 
  8. Robert’s double-jointed knuckle hexing.
  9. Matt Millen.
  10. I once saw a sticker where Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes fame, not Johnson) was micturating on a Ford insignia. That must have something to do with it.
  11. It’s incredibly difficult to leave the lovely city of Detroit. Once you are there, you never want to go anywhere else. Seriously, beautiful.
  12. The Appleton nightlife causes curfew issues. It has for me.
  13. Seriously, though, Matt Millen.
  14. Lions’ natural habitat is not frozen tundra. They prefer the savannah and grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa, or in captivity in Ford Field.
  15. Because...aliens?
  16. The palpable intimidation of playing in the greatest sports arena in the world.
  17. The palpable intimidation of playing in front of the greatest fans in the world.
  18. Detroit may have invented the actual tailgate, but Packers’ fans perfected its use. Witnessing parking lots full of their invention being used against them is just too brutal to see.
  19. The Lions’ intense desire to be in the record books for something, even if it is futility. Any publicity is good publicity.
  20. “I don’t know why either, guys.” 
  21. Well, you see, when one team scores more points than the other, that team is going to win. The Packers have scored more points than the Lions. This is a classic Maddenism, and would seem to me to be an accurate assessment as to why the Lions can’t win.
  22. They’re the Lions and always will be. I think this might be the correct answer.
If    If you’ve got any ideas about why the Lions constantly fail in Wisconsin, please let us know.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Don’t Hate. I Was a Just a Boy.

Two weeks ago, my mother delivered five plastic tubs containing items from my childhood that she had been holding onto for one reason or another. As she explained, the remodeling of her basement had inspired her to get rid of a lot of the things in storage. I could do with the items as I pleased, she told me.

I spent half a day going through those tubs, discovering things I literally had not seen in twenty years. There were school projects, books that I never read, and clothes galore that maybe my future little Greenfield would enjoy wearing if only for the photo opportunity before I donated the item.

The fifth and final tub I opened was filled with sports equipment, including my triple-threat cleats (I used them for soccer, baseball and football), two original Laser Tag guns and sensors in very good condition, some uniforms and these vintage children’s Chicago Bears slippers.

I owned Bears slippers? Really?
I took them out and held them in my hands. Were these really mine? I’ve been a Packer fan my whole life, or at least as far back as I remember. And now, I’m a Packer Ranter for crying out loud. Needless to say, I was highly confused and slightly agitated. This couldn’t be! It was then I became disoriented and passed out.

When I awoke, I felt the wetness. That’s because before my spell I had poured a pint of Guinness, set it next to me and subsequently knocked it over. While I was cleaning the carpet, it all came back to me. Yes, these were my slippers at one point. I can’t remember where I had gotten them, but I do know that I enjoyed wearing them. In fact, they were my favorite slippers for at least one winter of my youth.

It made sense, at least practically speaking. With plastic bottoms, they were durable enough to be worn outside, and stitched with warm, blue yarn, they were comfortable enough to be worn to bed. It didn’t have anything to do with the team, I told myself. Sure, Walter Payton was great and all, but it was still the archrival team’s logo sewn on there. Maybe I didn’t know about the rivalry?

In the end, I think I deserve a lot of credit. Why? Well, these Bears slippers indicated that I was presented with CHOICES as a child. And in the end, I chose the Packers, and that has made all the difference.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2013 Secret Team Concussion Protocol Test Memos

The Ranter was anonymously sent some internal NFL memos that we would like to share with you.


September 1, 2013

To: All NFL Referees

From: NFL Injury Protocol and Player Safety Department

Re: 2013 Secret Team Concussion Protocol Test

As you are well aware, the NFL truly values the safety of its players, and in our continued efforts to ensure that all players are evaluated per NFL concussion protocols, we will be instituting a secret testing program for the 2013 season. We will be using this test to determine if teams correctly follow all procedures for a player who may have suffered an in-game concussion.

You, as an NFL referee, will have a key role in instituting this testing program. We are asking you to decline from interfering on questionable plays where player A suffers a blow to their head delivered by a player B. If no penalty is called on player B, it forces player A’s team to evaluate and determine whether player A should be removed from the game due to concussion symptoms. Unfortunately, A penalty on player B’s team would give an unfair advantage to player A’s team in determining if a concussion has occurred due an illegal hit. For the purpose of this test, we would like them to arrive at this decision on their own without outside influences such as penalties called by you, the referee.

It is imperative that you do not throw a penalty flag on player B who delivered the blow.

One team has been selected for this year’s protocol test, the Green Bay Packers. Please refrain from penalizing Green Bay’s opponents if, and when, they may hit Packers’ players’ heads in an illegal manner. We will handle any illegal hits through our player fine system.

This test will further the safety of our league and protect all our players today, and in the future.


September 25, 2013

To: All NFL Referees

From: NFL Injury Protocol and Player Safety Department

Re: 2013 Secret Season Team Concussion Protocol Test – UPDATE

We would like to provide you with an update on the ongoing Team Concussion Protocol Test. We are pleased to announce that it has been successful through the first three weeks of the season.

The information we have gathered has been incredibly valuable, and the Green Bay Packers have followed the Concussion Protocols to the letter of the rule book. In two instances, Green Bay players, Eddie Lacy and Jermichael Finely were struck in an illegal manner, but no penalty flags were thrown. This allowed the review team to monitor the actions of the Packers as they dealt with these potential concussion situations. Both players were determined to have concussions from these illegal hits, and Green Bay proceeded to adhere to the policies on player concussions.

Subsequently, in the Washington game in which Eddie Lacy was concussed, the same player who illegally hit Eddie Lacy, also illegally hit Green Bay running back, James Starks, by leading with his head. The Washington player suffered a concussion, but again, no flag was thrown for the illegal hit. This allowed us to also monitor Washington and their adherence to the concussion policies, as well.

We thank you for your continued participation in the 2013 Secret Team Concussion Protocol Test. And remember, player safety is paramount.


Interesting, no? Well, I think these memos clear up the issue as to why no penalties were called on the plays when Lacy and Finley were struck illegally. It’s all in the interest of player safety.

Friday, September 13, 2013

For Sale – One Aaron Rodgers Jersey

What you see here is a gently worn #12 jersey size 50 with stitched letters and numbering. Although it has Reebok tagging and feels every bit authentic, I believe it to be a knock off (albeit a very nice one).

Here’s the deal: I’ve had enough of this thing. This was my first jersey I ever purchased. Before this, I had never considered myself a “jersey guy”, but when a co-worker talked me into going in on a group discount, I caved and I never felt quite right wearing it. That’s probably because I believe it to be cursed by a Wiccan Bears’ fan living in China.

You see, this jersey has been worn JUST THREE TIMES.

1)  11/1/09 – Packers lost 38-26 to the Vikings
2)  1/15/11 – Packers lost 37-20 to the Giants
3)  9/8/13 – Packers lost 34-28 to the 49ers

That’s right. I wore it three times and was subsequently the cause of both a devastating loss and severe emotional damage to Packer nation each and every time, with last weekend's loss cementing this decision. No other cause for these losses can be ascertained without attributing them to wild speculation or superstitious nonsense. These losses were on me, and I accept that.

However, I would like to emphasize that just because the jersey is clearly cursed for me does NOT mean it will be cursed for you. In fact, it may have the exact opposite effect and result in a string of championships as long as the jersey remains wearable! Or, more likely, it will simply provide you with that traditional game-day flair that will make your football viewing that much more enjoyable. It just needs to be worn by someone who would appreciate wearing it. Again, I’m just not a jersey guy and I can’t stand having cursed items in my closet. #Petpeeve

And to sweeten the dealio even more, I will DONATE all the money to charity (after shipping charges). This is not a joke – I will send you a screen capture of the charity receipt and post it on this site. (Right now, I am thinking the MAAC Fund due to Rodgers’ public support of the organization.) So, you’ll not only receive a great jersey, you’re helping support a great cause. It’s a win-win-win with more epic win upside if you wearing the jersey does in fact result in Super Bowl wins.

Please, I invite you to send your best offer to packerranter at yahoo dot com, below in the comments, or on our Facebook page, etc. and I will get back to you.

Would also consider trades for well-preserved/packaged specialty meats or cheeses, or for a generous spin through your tailgate libations at Throwback Weekend. We’ll be there, BTW.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hillside's Hamstring Helper

You. You there. Step right up and take a gander at what I have to offer you. This item right here will change your life...for the better, my friend, for very much the better.

Son...son, come back here. I can tell you're a man of substance and character who wants some facts before he opens his wallet.

Are you tired of strains, pulls, twinges, tics, twitches, tears, rips...explosions? Do you dislike sharp, dull, throbbing, stabbing, or intermittent pain? Are your thighs so massive and full of rippling muscles that your epidermis is stretched beyond it's limits? Do you wake up in the morning with your legs feeling tired, sore, jelly-like, tingling, or even like they are being stabbed by invisible ninjas?

Whoa, whoa, whoa...okay, okay, sir, come back. Sir, come back. Please. I can see now, that you know your ninjas. "Invisible ninjas" is, indeed, redundant. You are correct.

But I digress, young man. Do any of these symptoms affect you, or your loved ones, or acquaintances, or possibly teammates? Or more specifically, yours and the many hamstrings you may care about?

They do? I thought they may. Then you need to solve your problems with this.

What is it, you ask? This, my friend, is what I have come to call, "Hillside's Hamstring Helper". I have traveled the globe talking to doctors, trainers, shamans, healers, medicine men, massage therapists, soccer moms....and even butchers about the infamous and often misunderstood hamstring. I have taken their wisdom and their warnings and combined their various methods of hamstring care, mending, and protection into this vial right here.

Son, this little bottle of liquid will cure, heal, repair, pamper, guard, treat, and even armor your valuable Bicep Femoris, Semitendinosus, and Semimembranosus. You will be virtually impenetrable in the posterior section of your upper legs.

How much is it? Weeeeell, you just have to think about how much you would be willing to pay for invincibility in your hamstrings? A thousand dollars? Five hundred dollars? Ha! I'm going to practically give this away to you for the low, low price of ninety-nine, ninety-nine.

What? You're leaving? All that I just told you, and you are still walking away? I can see you are a tough customer, but toughness won't keep those hammies of yours safe. You're gonna want, nay, you're gonna need Hillside's Hamstring Helper.

Okay, okay, son. Tell you what. You give me ninety-nine, ninety-nine, and I will throw in another bottle of Hillside's Hamstring Helper absolutely free. No charge whatsoever.

You can't beat that deal anywhere, my friend. Not anywhere.

That's what I thought. I knew you were smart man and a fierce competitor. A man who cares about himself, but also cares about his compatriots, his teammates.

You won't regret this purchase, young man. This product is guaranteed, or your money back, and I give you my word, as a Packers' fan, that it will work.

Oh? I didn't mention that I was a Packers' supporter? Well, I guess it just slipped my mind. Shucks, I was just so busy trying to help you out, son. Nevertheless, I will not forget, and neither will you, that those two vials will be the best purchase you ever made.

You take care now, my friend.

Oh, you're welcome.

...Oh, son? You wouldn't happen to be a Packers' supporter, as well, would you?

You are? Well, is there any chance you would want to drop my card off at 1265 Lombardi sometime? I'd be much obliged, and it might help us all out.

No, thank you, son, and take care of those hammies. Go, Pack.

Annie's Analysis

In an effort to cheer up, talk off the ledge, and/or calm the rage of some Packers' fans after a loss, I thought I would get some in-depth analysis of the week's game from everyone's favorite ginger, orphan, Packer fan, Annie. I think sometimes a little positivity could go a long way toward saving someone from trying to drown themselves in their Cheerios following a defeat. It always helps to remember that, because of science, the sun will, in fact, come out tomorrow.

In an effort to be fair-and-balanced, heh, I may do a similar piece after each win to satisfy the doom-and-gloomers who can't be happy with a victory. We're all about representing ALL Packers' fans here at The Ranter. I think I may call it "Eeyore's Examination".

Here's the sunshine:
  • Aaron Rodgers looked in mid-season form despite the hand-wringing that he may not have gotten enough preseason action. Yeah, preseason.
  • A screen pass. An honest to goodness screen pass. Brilliant.
  • Okay, it's not game-related, but on cloo Network, Mondays are #MacGyverMondays. Nothing but wall-to-wall episodes of Angus MacGyver's exploits for Pete Thorton and the Phoenix Foundation. I'm watching it right now.
  • A healthy Jordy Nelson who just made big plays. The toe-drag catch gave me goosebumps. Truly a beautiful thing. Follow the green and gold brick road because there's no place like home.
  • Where did the 49ers make their hay? The middle of the field. And while Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin may have made enough hay to feed every warhorse, nag, and cow in Westeros, the Packers were missing Morgan Burnett and Casey Hayward who both happen to play in the middle of the field.
  • Hey, at least the run was stopped.
  • I had an amazing wild-rice bratwurst during the game. Then I had another.
  • The Packers went on the road, in the first game, against arguably the best team in football, turned the ball over twice, were the victims of the refs handing the 49ers another down which led to a touchdown, and still only lost by six points. If you can't see the positive in that, I think you should just crawl deeper into the cave you dwell in with your precious and keep playing riddles in the dark.
  • Clay Matthews was all over the field...maybe slightly too all over the field...but outside of the momentary lapse of reason, he looked like the dominant defender he is. He was fired up, and I think he is single-handely trying to shed the "soft" label.
  • The next game is at Lambeau Field. That is an incredibly positive thing. Plus, the Packers get to get right against the Washington Team Who Shall Not Be Named. (Seriously, how the !#$% do they still have the name that they do? Come on, NFL.)
  • Despite making errors, that directly affected the game, Jermichael Finley and Eddie Lacy both came back and made plays. You gotta have a short memory.
  • What were talking about?
  • Cheer up. You got to watch the best game of the week, and it is football season again.
  • No injuries. No injuries. No injuries.
  • The Lions and Bears are in first place, and there is nothing more fun than knocking those teams out of first place...unless maybe it's the Vikings, but that won't be a problem this year.
Keep your head up and out of your Cheerios, folks.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Increased Regulations for Packers’ Children’s Bike Ride Must Be Implemented NOW

It’s one of the greatest traditions in all of sports, and one the biggest injury risks I can think of. As many of you know, since the Lombardi era, Packers players have been riding children’s bikes to practice. Since the Lombardi era, Packers players have also been risking their careers on the hopes of thin metal rod likely manufactured overseas.

All bikes have a weight capacity. On 26” bikes, for instance, the average weight limit is 250 pounds. Did you know the weight limit of Trek bikes is only 275 pounds? This begins to question the general common sense of some of pairings of player and bike.

Let’s imagine a scenario when little Jane VandeHey, a 3rd grader from Highlands Elementary in Appleton, brings her Dora the Explorer bike to training camp with one goal in mind – that her favorite player, Josh Sitton, will ride it during practice. There’s only one problem:  Jane VandeHey is 42 pounds, and Josh Sitton is well over 3 bills. Well, being the good sport that he is, Josh gladly obliges the young girl’s request and sits on her bike – WHICH IMMEDIATELY CRUSHES UNDER THE WEIGHT OF AN NFL LINEMAN!

The bike rods contort awkwardly from the immense pressure, sending a spear-like aluminum rod straight through Josh’s thigh, ruining his career. The chain is jolted off the sprocket and flies through the air off into the crowd like a metal flying death, striking the Grand Poobah of the Pewaukee Packer Backers in the jugular. Women and children scream at the horror. Josh Sitton holds his leg, wailing in agony, while unsuspecting paramedics get the unexpected call.

It’s Josh’s fault and it’s little Jane VandeHey’s fault. In fact, it’s all of our faults for not recognizing that, generally speaking, human giants should not ride atop bikes adorn with cartoons. From now on, I want these bike rides regulated by the natural pairing of a bike’s and player’s size. Backs, Receivers, Kickers, Speedsters, Gunners, Streakers, Blasters, and those under 225, congrats, you have free reign on everything from BMX to Treks. Offensive and Defensive lineman, stick to the mountain bikes. And everyone in between, just use common sense. I think you’ll agree that we’ve had enough preseason injuries.

In the interest of safety, if not in the interest of coolness, maybe some of the players might consider riding one of these:

If you look at the specifications, this bike-thingy is rated up to 880 lbs. That means BJ Raji (337) and Ryan Pickett (338) could ride comfortably, and more importantly, safely, and still have enough structural soundness to give DuJuan Harris (203) a lift.

Not to cause further alarm, but in addition to the weight specs of bicycles, there is also an ever-present risk of head injury from biking accidents. According to the Center for Head Injury Services, 85% of head injuries while biking could be prevented by wearing a helmet. Helmets are standard issue for all NFL players. In fact, as you may or may not know, they are actually required to wear them.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Free Playboy Was Nice. This Season Will Be Better.

In 7th grade, Matt Nackers had a big reveal for the 12-year-old boys at the lunch table – whilst checking box scores in the paper the night before, he found an ad for free trial of Playboy television. All you had to do was call your cable company, mention the ad and Playboy would be yours during for 24 glorious hours starting TONIGHT.

The thought of scrambled TV on forbidden Channel 99 coming in crystal clear was a thought too amazing to fathom. (This was pre-Internet, people, so those born before 1987 might actually understand the reference.) And therefore, as immature middle-school boys, we geeked out for a good 2-3 minutes before re-conversing.

“This will NEVER work!” someone said.
“Oh, but it already HAS…,” Matt reassured them. “I called last night and pretended to be my dad. They TOTALLY BOUGHT IT!”

Another milder, yet equally intense geek out. It was settled: each of us would follow in Matt’s pioneering footsteps and have a childhood fantasy come true.

My conversation went something like: “Hello, I’m calling about this (sweet) deal for free Playboy I saw in the paper / Haha, of course I’m over 18! / Great, so it’s all settled then? / You also have a nice day. / YES!”

I waited on pins and needs as my parents went to bed to sneak downstairs and turn on the TV. It fricken worked. Unreal. The only thing I could compare that initial moment to is this scene in Animal House:

OK, so the free trial turned out to be a much tamer/stranger version I what I was hoping for, including a rather lengthy, unexpected montage of LaToya Jackson dancing around and some weird interviews with a non-attractive swinger group. Even then, I was like, “Really?” It actually got boring and I went to bed. But STILL, I had gotten away with it and it’s all we could talk about the next day at school. “Yeah, that one lady did look like Matt’s mom!” LOLOLOLOL.

I know what you’re saying: “Great anecdote, Robert. It was mildly amusing and perhaps little too long, but what the hell does this have to do with the Packers?” Well, kind reader, as the post title suggests, that was nice, but I believe this season will be much better.

Truth be told: I’m insanely optimistic heading into each season – this is true for most of my teams. Hell, I even thought the Bucks could put something together. But I see a lot that gives me reason to feel this way.

I see a secondary filled with competition and players ready to assume leadership roles.

I see a dynamic running game brewing unlike anything I can remember.

I see key guys on defense returning from injury and fresh talent that will get newfound pressure on the QB.
I see a three talented wideouts and a tight end who would not shock anyone by having Pro Bowl years.

I see the premier NFL quarterback at the top of his game who hears your lofty expectations and throws them back in your face, saying, “YOU KNOW NOT WHAT I EXPECT OF MYSELF!”

Most of all, I see a team with a collective chip on its shoulder and some unfinished business that it is more than capable of closing out with glorious proficiency.

Get on the wagon, Packer fans, because despite the doubters, I for one believe it’s going to be one sweet ride in 2013. In fact, I’d go as far as saying this season will be at LEAST ten times better than a late 80’s LaToya Jackson in a nightie.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Can You Hear That?

As I was running with my dog this morning, I had to stop, one, because she needed to take care of some business, and, two, because I heard a sound that I had never heard before. As I stood there listening, my dog staring at me with her head cocked to the side, I could only assume this sound had slowly built to a crescendo over the past couple of weeks, and I had simply failed to notice it being preoccupied with other things.

Letting the sound wash over me, I tried to find a way to characterize the sound. It was at the same time, deafening, yet soothing. Startling, yet exceedingly comforting.

I raised my arms, tilted my head back and closed my eyes, simply enjoying the noise and the feeling of peace it brought me. I have no idea how long I stood there listening, but after some time, I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. Oblivious to anything around me other than this glorious, auditory outburst I was experiencing, I had failed to realize a man and woman had been asking me for some time what I was looking at.

“Looking at? I’m not looking at anything.” I smiled.”I’m listening.”

The couple looked at each other, puzzled looks on their faces.

“What are you listening too? We don’t hear anything.”

Now it was my turn to look puzzled.

“You can’t hear that? Seriously?”

“No, we don’t. Hear what?”

‘That sound. That amazing, fantastically beautiful, sound. Listen. Can you hear it now?”

“Ummm…no. Are you okay?”

‘Am I okay? I’m ecstatic. You really can’t hear it? It’s how I imagine the tails of 1,000 unicorns’ swishing with Led Zepplin, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles playing live in the background would sound.”

The couple slowly backed away. Puzzlement had now turned to concern, for themselves or for me, I couldn’t tell.

“Okay, well, you have a nice day with your unicorns.”

‘Thank you. I really hope you can eventually hear it because it really is wonderful.”

I continued my run, a wide smile on my face, the sound echoing in my ears. I began to notice that others along my route didn’t seem to share my elation much like the couple I had talked to. Was this true? Was I the only one that was able to hear it? I began to ask people I passed. “Do you hear it?” or “Can you hear that sound?” No one could, and they all seemed to shy away from me when I asked. Maybe they were scared to admit it and admit how great it made them feel. Or maybe they were just scared of me and my slightly deranged look, sporting my bedhead and covered in sweat. Regardless, not one person I passed was able to hear this sound.

So, I now ask you, do you hear it? I have to know. Listen closely. Can you hear that? It’s brilliant. It’s magnificent. If you try harder, maybe you can. Just concentrate. Now?

No? …seriously? You can’t hear it?

It’s the sound of not one single Packer fan complaining about Jermichael Finley. If you can’t hear it, then I feel sorry for you because it’s truly one of the best things I’ve heard (or not heard) in a long time.

Go get ‘em, 88.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Packer Post Record Profit, But what Does that Mean?

By Jordan Webb

The Green Bay Packers recently released their profit margin for the 2013 fiscal year, and the news is good. Damn good. A record $54.3 million dollar profit has the Pack in a good position for the future.

Normally, a profit-based press release wouldn’t be a big deal (some big-wig hotshot CEO would just take the profit and laugh all the way to the bank).

However, things are a lot different for the Packers, thanks to the ownership structure of the organization, which is the best in football (and possibly major league sports).
So what does a record profit mean?

It’s pretty simple: the Packers are the only professional sports entity that is largely publicly owned. This means anyone can own a share of the Packers with enough money.

This includes die-hard cheeseheads, your grandma who leaves you stock in her will, or just the Average Joe with football picks hoping to be a part of the experience. More than 100,000 people have shares in the company, which s about the population of Green Bay, Wisconsin itself.

This unique ownership structure is the primary reason that Green Bay has remained a small market team and stayed in Wisconsin for so long. This structure also means that all revenue generated stays in the Packers organization, and it can’t be used in other unsavory ways, such as funding a CEO’s trips to Brazil to visit a mistress.

While the team does have an elected representative who in the form of a president of the organizations (and a seven-member board of executive directors) it is refreshing to see the level of transparency and democracy present in the Packers’ ownership structure.  
So, this means we can live the dream of getting paid to be the fan of an NFL team? Not quite. Hopefully Sheboygan's Donny Wozowski, who has held Packers season tickets since 1978, doesn’t have a betting strategy that involves a check in the mail.

Sorry Donny, it isn’t coming. While a shareholder himself may not actually receive any bonus for a vacation in Jamaica, the profit generated by the team still helps Packers fans in many different ways.

Because of the small-market nature of the team and the tendency of the organization to refuse or minimize their endorsements, the Pack needs every dollar it can get to pay off debts and construction costs for renovations and improvements to Lambeau Field.

The highest priority at the field right now is a new Atrium, which is slated to be completed in 2015. Revenues are also used to help pay Packers employees, since the team doesn’t claim any tax money or funds from the state of Wisconsin.

Essentially, the Packers’ profits and the overall revenue they generate is the only source of income for the organization, so it must be spent carefully and wisely. In addition, the team makes a sizeable donation to the Packers foundation every year, which is dedicated to increasing the health, safety and longevity of the players.   

Furthering its cause and company without the use of public tax money, the Green Bay Packers are a testament to the dedication and work ethic of middle America, and proof that you don’t need to be a greedy, penny-pinching executive to make smart business decisions and benefit the community.

Packers shareholders and the elected board of directors are dedicated to leaving the organization better than when they received it, and while it’s hard the surpass the glory of Vince Lombardi and two Super Bowls, the current administration is certainly challenging that.

And you don’t have to be a cheesehead to see that.

Stadium Noise Battle Rages, And Why the Packers Think it's Funny

By Parker Jones
So get this: Seattle and Kansas City are engaged in a heated, nasty feud over whose fan base can get the loudest. Apparently, fan groups representing both the Seahawks and Chiefs are petitioning the Guinness Book of Records for the right to hold title of “loudest NFL fans.”

Apparently, this is a really big deal for both teams.

But why would two fan bases desperately try and prove that they have the higher exertion of air during games? Why would they really care? I’ll tell you why: Because they have to win something. And when that something isn’t on the field, you look for whatever you can get.

It’s actually kind of sad, isn't it? Can you see Packers fans getting all worked up over this? Nope. That’s because Packers fans have better things to do than worry about appearing alongside the fat-twins-on-motorcycles and guy-with-the-longest-mustache in the Guinness Book of Records.

You know, things like “win championships.”

I guess when you actually win world championships, and have unmatched success, and come from the original NFL, and have the best fans in the league, artificial screaming seems a little childish. Damn, I guess we don’t have that noise record. But allow us to show you our (record) 13 titles.

You know, you would think football fans would care about…oh, I don’t know…winning games, fighting for division crowns, clinching home field advantage, creating an imprint on the NFL. The last time I checked, trying to claim the Guinness Book of Records’ highest decibel meter doesn’t equate to success.

Of course, I am sure Kansas City will fail to win this showdown of loud fan bases given the fact they typically fail at everything else. Sure, Aaron Rodgers dazzles Lambeau with his pinpoint accuracy and his Bart Starr-esque leadership. But Kansas City had Matt Cassel, so, uh, he’s a quarterback too. Hell, KC’s best QB in the last 20 years was Joe Montana, the on-his-last-legs Joe.

Not that Seattle can exactly yell insults at the Chiefs considering how “successful” its franchise has been. But all this makes for a great visual: All those slicker-and-poncho-wearing, coffee-drinking fans who buy Seattle Seahawks tickets trudging through the non-stop rain, past the Space Needle, past the flying fish at Pikes Fish Market, elbowing their way into the stadium so they can try and set the noise record.

I guess when you actually win world championships and have unmatched success, certain pursuits seem pointless. We Packers fans look on with bemusement and complete indifference.

Congratulations on your noise record, Seahawks fans (yes, I have the Chiefs losing). We’ll just have to settle for our 13 championships.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Drama at the Atrium

It’s 8 a.m. on a Friday but the Atrium is already occupied with a healthy contingent of Packer fans from all over the world, who are about to embark on one of the daily tours of Lambeau Field. The extremely popular one-hour tours are not only filled with rich stories of players and championships past but they also offer a small glimpse into the behind-the-scenes activity of one of the greatest professional sports organization in the world.

In what can only be described as divine coincidence, Head Coach Mike McCarthy and General Manager Ted Thompson walk by the awestruck fans on their way to a meeting. They are clearly in the midst of an important conversation, but Mike and Ted are more than happy to offer these good fans pleasantries.

“Good morning,” Mike says as he shakes a young girl’s hand.
“Hi Coach McCarthy!” she eagerly replies.
“So you’re taking the tour today?” Ted asks the crowd.
“Well, have a great time. We’re sure glad you could stop by,” Ted tells them.

Mike and Ted wave their goodbyes and head to an area reserved for personnel. There's an outside chance they visit Bovada sportsbook for the latest odds. But just as they are almost out of view, someone from the crowd yells out, “Thanks for cutting Bishop, Thompson!”

Ted stops.

“Forget about it,” Mike tells him quietly.
“No, it’s fine, Mike,” Ted assures him.

Sarcastic comments like these are a daily occurrence for the GM, even from – sometimes especially from – Packer fans. While he would never admit how truly annoying they can be, it’s clear Ted would prefer to get to work instead of having to explain himself to another so-called diehard fan. But being a Packers’ figurehead carries with it the inherent duties of acting an organizational steward and answering these types of concerns. Simply put, as a GM, you don’t lose your cool and up to this point in his career, Ted Thompson has been about the coolest cucumber in the bunch. And true to form, Ted politely turns around and engages the crowd with professional courtesy.

A middle-aged man, Darryl Wischnewski of Sheboygan, wearing a Desmond Bishop jersey and a pair Velcro-strapped Reeboks steps forward. Although he tries his best to conceal his disgust for the GM, Darryl’s clenched fists and tightened brow clearly tell the story.

“He was the best linebacker we had!” Darryl exclaims.
“Desmond is a great player and a real professional, and we were sad to see him go,” Ted tells him.
“You are the worst GM in the world! You let go of all our best players only to see them have career years at other places! The Vikings are probably going to win the Super Bowl this year! What is wrong with you!? Why do you hate Packer fans so much!?” Darryl screams.

Ted waits for him to calm down, but it only gets worse. Tears begin to form and the man soon breaks down, right there in the middle of the Atrium among thirty Packer fans and the team’s coach and GM. All football decisions aside, this is a sad situation. Ted walks over to comfort the emotional wreck of a man, putting his hand on his shoulder. Darryl looks up at Ted’s eyes. He wants to cry; instead he erupts.

“I HATE YOU!!!” Darryl screams out. Like everyone else, Ted is taken aback. He takes a deep breath and a moment to compose before launching into the man with a rejuvenated, fierce conviction.

Ted: Have you ever played professional sports, son?
Darryl: No sir.
Ted: Ever asked a teammate to trust you and put your trust in them?
Darryl: No sir.
Ted: Ever ran a football organization?
Darryl: No sir.
Ted: We make decisions, son. We make decisions or the franchise fails. It’s that simple.
Darryl: But you said “Desmond was a great player.”
Ted: Yes, I recall what –
Darryl: You said “He is a real professional, and we were sad to let him go.”
Ted: I know what I said. I don’t have to have it repeated back to me like a damn –
Darryl: Then why did you release Bishop!? It wasn’t because of his hamstring. It wasn’t it because of his contract. You released Desmond Bishop because you hate the Packers, don’t you!? DON’T YOU!?
Ted: You want answers?
Darryl: I think I’m entitled to them.
Ted: You want answers?
Darryl: I want the truth!
Ted: You can’t handle the truth!!

And nobody moves.

Ted: Son, we operate an organization that wins championships. And those championships have to be orchestrated by men with BALLS. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, little girl? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Bishop and curse management. You have that luxury. You have that luxury of not knowing what I know: that Bishop’s release, while tragic, wins games. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you. Wins games.”

A moment passes while this sinks in.

“You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at tailgates, you want me running the Packers. You need me there.”

Now, proudly, Ted continues.

“We use words like franchise, salary cap, development. We use these words as the backbone to a career spent building something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who revels under the very blanket of success I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer you just said ‘thank you’ and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a water bottle and hydrate my players. Either way, I don’t give a DAMN what you think you’re entitled to!”

Silence. From everyone. The crowd is frozen, as it Mike. Ted is strangely at peace. Darryl musters a final thought.

Darryl: I believe I wet myself. Yes, yes I did. Dang.
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