Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Some Further Reality TV Ideas

I woke up from a dead sleep last night convinced I had a ton of better ideas for a Packers-based reality show than  ‘Cheeseheads’ that may be airing on TBS sometime in the future. Seriously? How long did it take to come up with that title? Probably about the same amount of time it takes for one of the meatheads on The Jersey Shore to get into a drunken brawl. My potential shows don’t even require talentless moneygrubbers to make a sex tape before being cast…I cannot confirm or deny this will be the case for the TBS show.
My shows:
 1) “Athletic Supporters” – 8 rookie equipment managers are followed through the Packers’ season, beginning with initial training and continuing through OTA’s, training camp, and the regular season. Cast members are given challenges and evaluated by grizzled veterans of the equipment manager trade. Packers’ players vote and gradually the Athletic Supporters are eliminated one by one. The winning Supporter gets a permanent job on the Packers equipment staff. “Athletic Supporters” has high potential for product placement and sponsorship by sporting goods companies; it should be easy to sell to a network.
 2) “Keeping Up With the Joneses” – This is the true story of three Packers picked to live in a house and have their lives taped. Find out what happens when the Joneses stop being polite and start getting real. Okay, there are probably trademark issues with using that as the intro, but it just sounds so cool…or at least it did 20 years ago. Not so much now. Also the title, which of course refers to trying equal and/or surpass your neighbor’s social status through the accumulation of material goods, is effectively ruined by the aforementioned amateur adult film star with no discernible talents reality show. Basic premise of this program is you put James Jones, Brad Jones, and recent draft pick Datone Jones in a house and film their exploits over the course of the season. This is pretty much cookie-cutter reality TV, but I’d rather watch this than having to suffer through Packers fans getting annihilated in Lambeau parking lots prior to games. Plus, Brad Jones plays the viola, so that’s cool.
 3) “Ball Buster” – This show would follow the exploits of Packers’ Vice President of Football Administration/Player Finance, Russ Ball. Mr. Ball stays very much out of the spotlight, so any glimpse behind the curtain into his work as the Wizard of 1265 would make for fascinating TV. He has a pretty broad scope of work with the Packers, including supervision of various departments. One of which being Equipment, so he could probably be added as a guest judge on “Athletic Supporters” at some point. Seeing how these departments function would be interesting to say the least, but the real drama would come when Mr. Ball is negotiating player contracts, hence the name of the program. Seriously, how exciting and informative would it be to see Russ negotiating with agents? I mean this guy just negotiated the biggest contract in NFL history. I think networks could make this program pay-per-view and charge whatever they wanted, and I would still watch it. Plus, the name is pretty cool.
4) “Top Chef: Tailgate” – I’m not sure Padma Lakshmi has ever been to Green Bay, but I can absolutely picture her and Tom Colicchio strolling the parking lots of Lambeau sampling chef contestants pre-game entrees. Various competitions could include creating tailgate beverages…mmmm, bloody Marys…appetizers, entrees, etc, etc. Picture this: contestants are provided a grill, a piece of beef and tongs and are tasked with a Quickfire Challenge of grilling up a tasty slab of beef before the guest judges make it to the front of the porta-potty line. Or this: each contestant must use an RV kitchen to create an entire tailgate spread for 30 people. Man, my mouth started watering just thinking of porkbelly sliders accompanied by a spicy horseradish bloody Mary. (I, of course, would be a weekly judge). The winner of Top Chef: Tailgate would be able to create one menu item featured at all Lambeau Field Concession stands and wpould take over Curly’s Pub and design and execute a gourmet quality menu for restaurant. It probably could use it.
 5) “Sausage Race” – This is obviously a hat-tip to the Sausage Races at Miller Park, however, this is actually a race. On a road. In cars. Shaped like sausages. Contestants begin the season in the Lambeau Field parking lot and race each other to the following week’s Packers’ game.  Picture Cannonball Run in Oscar Mayer Wienermobiles. Obviously, the safety of other drivers on the roads and highways would be put in jeopardy by this race. However, sometimes the best defense is a good offense, so if you see one of these Sausagemobiles flying by, feel free to spray them with ketchup and mustard, or throw cans of sauerkraut at them. All’s fair in love and sausage. Each race team would receive two tickets to that week’s game except the team who arrived last. They would be eliminated and forced to find their own way home sans sausage vehicle. The season’s winning Sausage team would be given a set of Packers’ season tickets and allowed to keep their Sausagemobile. I actually think I may remove myself from any sort of development credit on this program, so as to be eligible to participate. I’ve seen enough Vin Diesel to know I could win this.
 6) I have one more idea. Well, I have a bunch more ideas, but this one is more of my pet project than anything. Robert and I will probably execute it in my basement regardless of the potential to sell it to ESPN Reality (That’s probably going to be a thing at some point. You know it. I know it.) I’ve always thought that it would be highly entertaining to watch games with an alternate or additional commentary than that of the T.V. or radio. Robert and I would DVR a game and then rewatch part of it adding our own commentary on top of the TV announcers. If you’ve ever watched “Mystery Science Theater 3,000”, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I feel sorry for you, and you should close this and head here. The potential material is endless…think of the Fail Mary game and what could have been added to the bungling refs and Pete Carroll running onto the field like a crazed moron. I can’t tell if I’m more excited to see a finished “Packer Ranter Theatre 4,371” episode or to sit in my basement and drink beers and watch old Packer games with Robert. Like I said, pet project….
 If you have any other ideas for Packers reality T.V. shows, please share in the comments below. You will be given full producer credits.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Why Is Everyone Hating on Jerron McMillian?

By Ross Uglem

I love draft season. It’s fantastic stuff for a football nerd, and it’s the only time during the NFL season where who “wins” and “loses” is actually 100% debatable conjecture (just ask Viking fans–they wrap up the division title in late April every year). Armchair GMs hoot and holler and pundits toss out grades in 48 hours for an event that will take at least 3 seasons to truly evaluate.

The #1 pre-draft Packers-related story that kept bothering me was the insistence that safety was a top “need” for the Packers. Excuse me, Flo? Look, I understand if the Packers would have been able to come to an agreement with a Michael-Huff-type-guy on a short-term deal to allow the young safeties to get an extra year of development, but to take one high in the draft was about as good of an idea as another Spider-Man reboot starring that kid from Two and a Half Men.

See, the way that our friend Theodore runs this team is a strategy that he calls “draft and develop”. And one of the things that is fantastic about the way he scouts that bothers the hell out of the casual draftnik/Packers fan is that Ted doesn’t give a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on where you went to school, he just cares if you can play football. People assume because the SEC is the dominant conference in college football, it’s where all the good prospects come from. I like to call that “The Tale of the Mighty Chad Jackson and the Meager Greg Jennings”.


Top Players at Their Positions:

QB: Aaron Rodgers, Cal (Pac 12)
RB: Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma (Big 12)
WR: Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech (ACC)
TE: Jimmy Graham, The U Basketball Player (ACC)
OT: Joe Thomas, Wisconsin (Big 10)
Pass Rusher: Wisconsin, JJ Watt (Big 10)
DB: Darelle Revis, Pitt (Big East)

Top Players on Super Bowl XLV Championship Team:

QB: Aaron Rodgers, Cal (Pac 12)
WR: Greg Jennings, Western Michigan (MAC)
WR: Donald Driver, Alcorn State (SWAC)
OLB: Clay Matthews, USC (Pac 12)
DL: Cullen Jenkins, Central Michigan (MAC)
DB: Charles Woodson, Michigan (Big 10)
DB: Nick Collins, Bethune-Cookman (MEAC)

(What? No SEC? Good lord don’t let any Alabama fans see this!)

So I don’t know if it’s because Matt Elam went to Florida, or because Jerron McMillian went to Maine or both, but there is a lack of respect for him that I just don’t understand. McMillian has decent size as well as possessing outstanding measurables. Jerron ran a 4.56 40 and possesses a 36.5” vertical leap, while finishing second among all safeties in the 3-cone drill in the 2012 NFL Combine. He possesses a physical presence that does not exist with any of the other DBs on the roster, with the possible exception of Davon House.

You, nor Mel Kiper, nor Leon Sandcastle himself can explain to me why replacing a 24-year old prospect with a 22-year old prospect after watching him flash considerable potential as a ROOKIE (first-year player) would have made any sense at all. Not only did Jerron record 27 tackles and an interception in limited action, but he also would have made a game-clinching INT in the game-that-shall-not-be-named which was nullified by a phantom PI called on the 16 Million Dollar Man himself (Erik Walden).

Let me be very clear: Jerron McMillian was drafted by Teddy with the intention of being Morgan Burnett’s running mate for the foreseeable future. Ted doesn’t trade up for guys that he doesn’t feel are tremendous values and guys he wants to make significant impacts on this team. Moreover, Ted is a prideful man, and he’s not going to admit he made a mistake on McMillian by drafting his replacement in the subsequent player selection meeting.

I’m not saying that Jerron is going to end up being Nick Collins. Collins was a multiple time Pro Bowl participant who was a sure-fire Packers Hall of Famer before the catastrophic neck injury that ended his career. Besides, Collins had elite speed that allowed him to cover incredible amounts of ground as the “center fielder” whereas McMillian loves to mix it up down in the box (that’s what she said?). I will however, draw comparisons to their development.

Nick Collins was a widely questioned second-round pick in one of Teddy’s earlier drafts with the Packers. There was certainly a question as to why a kid projected anywhere from round 4 to round 6 out of Bethune-Cookman was being taken with the 51st overall pick. Collins had elite physical tools, but the level of competition he played against and the value of the pick was concerning (why not trade down if no one else has ever heard of Nick Collins or something called Bethune-Cookman?). McMillian is another small-school prospect with great physical tools that Ted made a “questionable” decision (trading up) on.

Did you know that Nick Collins only forced 8 turnovers over his first 3 seasons, including just 4 INTs? Did you know that in the subsequent 3 seasons he created 21 turnovers including 17 INTs? Did you know that Nick Collins made the most memorable defensive play of Super Bowl XLV? I’m going to guess you only knew one of those things.

The point is that if we want the Packers to win championship(s), the best-case scenario is that McMillian is an above-average starter at one of the safety positions. That way resources (draft picks) can be allocated where they haven’t already been used. Instead of taking a young safety to immediately replace him, we (I’m an owner of the team, damnit, I can say “we”) took Datone Jones and Eddie Lacy, body/skill types we didn’t have. It also allowed us to move down and select players who will provide depth at positions (RB, OL) where depth has been a sore spot.

Everyone quit hatin’ on Jerron and enjoy the ride. (drops mic)

You can follow Ross Uglem, aka “D3 Hack” on Twitter as @Rug_pHd12

Sunday, May 12, 2013

You want a toe? I can get you a toe.

Believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't wanna know about it, believe me. Hell, I can get you a toe by three o'clock this afternoon...with nail polish.

These #$%&ing amateurs...
Eddie Lacy has a toe. Eddie Lacy's toe is apparently more of a hot topic than anyone realized, whether it has green nail polish or not. I would have thought his 1,322 yards, 17 touchdowns and 6.5 yards per carry would be a better topic of discussion. Silly, Hillside.

With the news that Denver and Pittsburgh passed on Lacy because of a toe surgery before his 2012 season, his toe is now a concern...for some. Not me, and not the Green Bay Packers. It's also not a concern for Lacy or the doctor, Dr. E. Lyle Cain Jr., who performed the surgery, according to an article by Tyler Dunne.  This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had none, and this little piggy had bone fusion surgery that will not affect his big toe motion.

Are you worried that his fall to the second round, being drafted after other running backs when he was the highest rated player at his position, is an indication that his toe situation will derail his Packers' career? I wouldn't bother worrying if I were you. I had a chance this past week to speak with a couple guys that are very close to Eddie Lacy and very close to his big toe in particular. Here's what they said:

"Look, I've known and been working right next to BT (short for Big Toe) my whole life, I can tell you that he is an incredibly hard worker, and he will not let this little surgery stop him from working with ALL of us to help the Green Bay Packers win. He's been an inspiration to me, I've looked up to him. Both figurative and literally, I guess. {chuckles} Of course the turf toe injury hurt BT, but that's why he had the surgery, to make sure that it wouldn't affect him in the future. I watched the whole surgery, front row seat, there was no better group of medical professionals in my opinion, and with a name like E. Lyle Cain Jr. how can he not be a pro? It just sounds impressive. Everyone one of us here helped BT get back into shape, get back to the game. Look what we did last year, do you think we could have done that if BT wasn't ready or if he was affected by the surgery? No way. We're a team down here, and we pick each other up, but BT is so important to what we do that if he wasn't ready, we couldn't have done it. Period. You ask any of these guys, and they'll tell you, BT is the leader and makes it all go...and he's ready, man. He's ready."

-Craig Phalange II aka Eddie Lacy's 2nd toe

"I don't work with BT directly, but down here we function as a group. One weak link and, that's it, we're done. Shut down. Slow. Weak. In that sense, we have to know each guy's situation. Me, personally, I've got a reputation. I go down, and it means pain, and it means long recovery, and it could very well mean not returning to our previous levels of output. I mean, hell, I'm named after a Greek mythological hero whose only point of weakness is BT, he's got all our support, and those four guys next to him have really helped him after the surgery to get the front end of this team working again. 17 touchdowns and 6.5 yards a clip is proof of that. I can tell you that feet are often overlooked for knees or shoulders or heads in this game, but we're important too. BT is a big part of our success. We're ready as a team. If you have any doubt, just look at this cover of Sports Illustrated (pictured above). We came down hard on that poor guy, he didn't even know what was happening. Just stomped him after running over his buddy. Heh. I was talking to Andrew Metatarsal III right after that play, and he said he felt BAD about how we treated that guy. Heh. Andy's always got soft spot when we embarrass guys. Anyway, for those that doubt us, I just laugh and think, 'Wait 'til this season, man. Wait 'til this season.' "

-Bill Achilles aka Eddie Lacy's Achilles tendon

After hearing from Lacy, Lacy's doc, and Craig and Bill, I can't find any reason to believe why the Packers' 2nd round draft pick and BT won't prosper and thrive for the Green Bay Packers.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

15 Facts About the 2013 Green Bay Packers Draft Class

by Ross Uglem

  1. 1st round pick and UCLA DE Datone Jones is the first “Datone” to ever be listed on a Green Bay Packers roster. Also, the Vikings have never won a Super Bowl and the sky is blue.
  2. Datone was a history major at UCLA, and seems to have a grasp of both NFL and Packer history. While Jones' favorite NFL legend is Michael Strahan, he invoked the name of Reggie White as someone that he models his game after. "All I know is Reggie White played one way, and that was a maniacal effort and just a complete hunger. No matter who he lined up against, he wanted to dominate. And that's the player I want to carry myself after."
  3. 2nd round pick Alabama RB Eddie Lacy was widely expected to be the first tailback taken in this year’s draft until concerns about his health and conditioning allowed him to slide down to the 61st overall pick.
  4. One of Lacy’s more major concerns came from Super Bowl XLV runners-up Pittsburgh (like to slide that in whenever possible), who reported that his big toe had been “fused” and that they wouldn’t touch him with a “ten-foot pole”. This is ironic as a ten-foot pole would have been the only way anyone on Notre Dame’s defense could have touched him in the National Championship.
  5. Lacy’s nickname among his college teammates was “circle-button”. This, of course, refers to the button on Sony’s PlayStation controller that corresponds with Lacy’s signature spin move in either of their top-selling football titles, Madden or NCAA Football.
  6. 4th round selection Colorado LT David Bakhtiari is reportedly 50% Persian and 50% Icelandic. In related news, there’s been a 100% increase in use of spell-check by the local Wisconsin media.
  7. Bakhtiari’s older brother Eric, plays for the 49ers and has been a member of 6 NFL clubs.
  8. 4th round pick Cornell OL J.C. Tretter went to Cornell. Matt Birk went to Harvard. 
  9. Tretter started his collegiate career at tight end before moving over to left tackle. He, like Datone Jones, is lauded for having “good feet” because of their experience playing basketball. Tretter, who now stands at 6’4” and weighs 307 pounds, claims to have been a point guard. Tretter projects to the interior of the line in the pros, and given his intelligence, could factor in to the competition at center.
  10. Ted Thompson traded up to select UCLA RB Jonathan Franklin in the 4th round.  Franklin, projected by many to be one of the best 3 backs in the draft and a 2nd round talent, is known as “The Mayor” at UCLA. Franklin is also the school’s all-time leading rusher, has aspirations of being the mayor of Los Angeles, his hometown, and has personally guaranteed as much.
  11. 5th round selection CB Micah Hyde of Iowa, a high school QB, had 111 total TDs (65 passing) in four years playing in Fostoria, OH. Hyde is a solid tackling corner, becoming one of less than 70 Iowa players with 200 career tackles. His style of play may eventually result in a move to safety, which appears to be more of a position of need than CB for the Pack.
  12. DL Josh Boyd of Mississippi state was first discovered by the Packers while Defensive Line coach Mike Trgovac was scouting Fletcher Cox, the Philadelphia Eagles 1st round selection a year ago. Boyd figures to provide depth across the line, but his apparent lack of pass rush (1/2 sacks last season) has opened up the idea that Green Bay may want him to add weight and play NT.
  13. The Packers only 6th round selection, DE/OLB Nate Palmer, played at FCS level Illinois State, which also produced Super Bowl XXXI champion and fantastic goatee-wearing Green Bay Packer Mike Prior.
  14. The 7th round brought the selections of WRs Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey. While both players have desirable measurables (height/weight/speed/vertical), Johnson played against questionable competition in the NCAA’s Division II, and while attending Maryland Dorsey wore questionable uniforms.
  15. The Packers final selection, LB Sam Barrington was 2nd team all Big East at the University of South Florida. Sam Barrington had a better time in college in South Florida than you did.
You can follow Ross Uglem, aka “D3 Hack” on Twitter as @Rug_pHd12

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