2018 Week 08

Packers 27 Rams 29

Before we get to the sorry deep (shit) state of the Packers, some necessary musings about football in the NFL in 2018. With all the political mess that has pervaded the league, the players, and the game on and off the field, people have steadily tuned out in startling numbers.
More games are blacked out, and it’s now routine to see empty seats in wide-angle shots of the games on TV. However, it isn’t only the political and social infusion at work destroying the game.
We’ve experienced first-hand, repeatedly, how the insane rules changes and their haphazard enforcement to date can suddenly turn wins into frustrating losses. Always seem to find and victimize the Packers. But on a much wider scale and sense, generally, the attempts at “pacification” of football have been a disaster.
To me, the worst part of this nasty cocktail of bad medicine is best illustrated by what has become a (virtually) every-play issue while watching the games with your closest 75 Packer friends. It’s gotten to the point that every time we score a touchdown, make a play, sack a QB, or break up a pass downfield, we must exercise the discipline to contain ourselves and…wait. It’s only been like 10 seconds, so look around closely…are there any random, late penalty flags? Is it gonna be “reviewed,” which should inspire confidence, but only amps up the anxiety since they routinely blow the call anyway? Like all of us, I miss the days when we could actually cheer and get excited on big plays, instead of this era of on-field litigation at each and every whistle. The flow, rhythm, and spirit of the game have been stripped by a bunch of lobbyists and lawyers, most of whom have never even played football beyond their backyard. The games are too often becoming difficult to watch, like a chore you don’t completely hate…

The coverage of the Rams game has been copious. We’ve all been saturated by the fine points of the loss and the drama that ensued, culminating in the addition-by-subtraction at the trade deadline. Initially, “Happy Trails” to Clinton-Dix. Ha-Ha, it was funny while it lasted, but the joke was ultimately on us. And “Aloha” to Montgomery, who Ty’d with several others for the worst disappointment in recent years. We may never really know if he took that kick return out of spite. It actually makes no difference. If he did, he had to go. If he didn’t, then (a) how did this moron get into Stanford? and (b) he has to go because anyone that dense is going to cost us more games down the road, and possibly cause Aaron to have a stroke. Now, Monty can “just try to make a play” elsewhere…
Every game has a handful of key plays which make the difference. It’s shortsighted to focus on one or two to lay blame for a win or loss. But I keep flashing back to the early (10-0) score and former Packer Sam Shields downing their punt at the approximately one-inch line. I say “approximate” because if we used the metric system, it would’ve been the one-millimeter line…With the exception of leaving some points on the field at that point, everything was flowing, going our way. When the refs spotted the ball, like everyone else who thought “Oh, darn,” I was thinking “Oh, shit!” But enter the always-present replay. I looked at Packer John and said “I think Shields stepped on the goal line…” A few other shots seemingly confirmed our suspicion. Of course, in this day and era of football, we waited for the challenge flag. And waited. And still waiting on that. No challenge, safety, (10-8) all of a sudden, and left with the feeling that McCarthy has to go as well. Over and over we scratch our heads…
I’m also personally tired of listening to the experts talk about what an “epic” and “great” game this was. Aren’t we all sick of being on the wrong end of all these so-called “Fantastic Finishes?” We should’ve bought stock in Alcoa years ago…

I’ve been saying for a few years now how sick I am of bitching and going negative when it comes to the Packers. I still am, only worse. This game gave us a familiar swing: Win and be alone in first place in the division, lose and be perhaps two scant weeks from the basement. A wasted effort by Pettine’s defense, Martinez, Alexander, and many others. Fact check: The NFC North is the only division in football where the team with the best QB doesn’t lead, and in fact are as close to the outhouse as the penthouse…
Mad Dog Radio this week: “We are sick and tired of opening every show with ‘What are the Packers Doing?’” And these guys aren’t even Packer fans! The week was a microcosm of the train wreck this franchise is right here and now. A frustrating and maddening loss to a great team we should have beaten. More mealy-mouthed nonsense in press conferences trying to explain or even rationalize “What the hell is going on out there!?” A trade deadline where the team did absolutely nothing to improve our chances in what’s been an ugly but still viable season. A quarterback who wears the anguish of knowing that there is no help on the way, who has to believe he’s swimming against the current of this organization…

With all that, let’s close on a few lighter points. First, does Alcoa even exist today? That should be a trivia question. Second, beware “winner take all” cornhole “tournaments” put on by shady figures who lurk in the far corners of Hall of Fame. Third, remember that despite all the drama and negativity, a win in Foxboro will erase much of the sentiment and pain expressed herein (at least temporarily). And fourth, 
Go, Pack, GO!!!
(Kraig Pringle)

Just Sayin’

What do you do with a player who doesn’t listen to what the coach says? Not an NFL Elite player, but a backup. Well, we know what happened to Brandon Bostick. As well as I understand, Ty Montgomery was told, by Mike McCarthy, to kneel in the endzone and NOT run the ball out. But he ran it out anyway. And had he not fumbled the ball away, there would be no discussion and I wouldn’t be typing this. But the fact is, he DID fumble. And with that, he fumbled away the chance to beat the Rams. So what would YOU do? Would you cut him? Would you support him? Just askin’. A couple of articles I have read this week gave this account of what was happening on the sidelines. This was from other Packers players. A short time earlier, Montgomery had been removed from the field. He didn’t like it and slammed his helmet to the ground. So said player thought that maybe Montgomery ran out of the endzone in defiance of McCarthy. Now only the coaching staff can decide if that is true. But if they think that is what happened, maybe it is time to move on from Montgomery, like right now. At this point, he can be replaced. However, McCarthy said in his press conference after the game that maybe Ty was just trying to make a play. But that could have been a statement to smooth things over till the situation is resolved. That could be something interesting in the next week or so, or even by the time you are reading this. (edit: well, after I got all this typed, the Packers traded Ty. We got a 7th round draft choice for him from the Ravens. Clinton-Dix to the REFskins for a 4th rounder.)
Now, having said all that, would you cut Rodgers if he threw a pick-six at the end of a game that caused a loss? It is a business and sometimes when you blatantly go against your boss’ orders, there are consequences. But it is afootball business, not the real world that most of us live in  and work in. I am glad I am a Machine Designer from Easley and not a head coach in Green Bay. I would let my emotions get too involved.

Judging by what the Rams’ offense has done thus far this season, Mike Pettine had our guys ready to play. If you look back at the last couple of drafts and the CB play of top draft picks, consider this. If Ted Thompson was considered a draft guru and drafted Kevin King, then what words come to mind when Brian Gutekunst is responsible for drafting Jaire Alexander? (And don’t be thinking that Ted Thompson would have drafted Alexander. He most likely would have traded out of that spot.) That young man is already playing like a veteran. It’s been a while since the Packers had a shutdown corner, but it appears we have one now. And most likely, if he continues to play well, Gutekunst will actually sign him to another contract instead of letting him walk like the other guy was famous for.
 Listening to the announcers during the game, the Rams OL is reportedly pretty good. Our defense played pretty well for most of the game. They had lapses and gave up some big plays, but overall, I think the defense is learning Pettine’s schemes and are much improved over the last few years.
The offense had their moments as well. There was some good rushing attack. We finally got some WR speed on the outside that McCarthy will actually put in the game. While Cobb and Allison were out, MVC and EQ got some valuable playing time with #12. And it appears they are earning his trust more each week. The OL was pretty good for the most part. The Rams actually had fewer sacks than our own defense.
The special teams unit is where they struggled the most. 2 plays that stand out were allowing the punt to be downed inside the 1 yard line, and the fake punt/pass for a first down. And then, our own punting was generally bad all day.
On to the Patriots. And barring injury to anyone, #12 should be the best QB on the field next Sunday night!!! 
Just Sayin’ 
(Jimmy Smith)

GPB Hall Of Fame Report

 After my return from St. Louis, it was wonderful to see about 52 of my Packer Backer faithful at Hall of Fame Sports Grill last Sunday afternoon.  Lots of cheering and high fivin’ through the first half, the second half not so much. 
Door prizes were enjoyed by 132 Gerald Schulz who chose car mats and 508 Norbert Bracke who will flaunt a trailer hitch cover. 475 Jennifer Comensoli will carry her “stuff” in the Packer duffel bag she chose. 221 Barbara Gambrell chose a clock and 468 Victor Fleifel chose a men’s watch.  474 Jim Comensoli will dine with Packer steak knives, 524 Seth Ray will keep things chilled with his new cooler, while 328 Marge Bramlett will keep dinner warm in her casserole carrier.  506 Sebas-tian Sharp will be playing dominoes.  453 Leon Stenzel chose a necklace and 120 Neil Petersen chose the “Up North” Pabst hat.
The bye week trivia contest winners were 221 Barbara Gambrell and 328 Marge Bramlett (the only two correct answers).  Each received a $25 gift certificate from Packers Pro Shop.  Sunday’s trivia contest winner and recipient of a $15 gift certificate from Hall of Fame Sports Grill was 127 Kent Sargent.
We were able to fill squares for both a $1 and a 50₵ pool this week.  Winners of the $1 pool were 221 Barbara Gambrell, 328 Marge Bramlett, 321 Sheila Chase, and 453 Leon Stenzel.   Tim, our guest from Wauwatosa, 140 Erich Peschel (2), and 474 Jim Comensoli were the winners of the 50₵ pool.
Sunday night will see our Packers facing the Patriots.  I hope to welcome many of you to the Hall of Fame Sports Grill to cheer our team on.  I know we will love, cheer, and support our Pack through the thick and the thin… Remember, always courageous  
(Marge 328)

Packers       vs.        Patriots

 I didn’t see the game this past Sunday, except for the first series.  I did listen to Wayne and Larry’s broadcast though.  Despite the decidedly pro-Packer slant it was plain that the Packers defense came to play.  It was also plain that the Packers offense had sharpened their point of attack as well.  So much so that the Packers led for the entirety of the first half against one of the most well rounded teams in the NFL. 
Ty Montgomery was traded today (it’s Tuesday) for a 2020 7th round pick.  This is how much the Packers were disgusted with his play.  He’s being traded for a 7th round pick in the draft AFTER next!  He swears up and down that he didn’t take it out because he was mad, he was 2 yards deep in the end zone and had what he thought was a returnable ball.  To be fair, he did get up to the 20 yard line and I haven’t seen any shots of a spotter telling him to stay in the end zone and take a knee despite coaches telling him to do just that. 
What I have a question about is, what happens if it hits the ground in the end zone?  Is it a dead ball and taken out to the 25?  Does Ty have to dive on it and kill the play, what if it hits the ground and caroms forward out of the end zone?  Catch the ball and look down, if there’s a solid white line in front of you, take a knee.

I don’t understand something about Football though.  If this is a “Win Now” league, why cut a safety who is among the best in the league because he’s only got 9 games left in a season for a a 4th round pick next year?!?!  Ha-Ha was a former 1st round pick. Can anyone name off the top of your head a 4th round pick who became a superstar?  Yes, we all know Brady was a 6th round pick.  Anybody else?  The “he’ll leave at the end of this season and we get a pick instead” doesn’t really wash with me.  This is like cutting Josh Sitton because he’s “injury prone” when a fact check shows he started every game the previous season.  Oh, and you send your safety to Washington who beat us earlier this season, who we could face in the playoffs and their defense just gets better!
Now, getting back to the matter at hand.  ESPN has been going out of their minds!  They’re for the most part a bunch of NY homers.  They root for the Yankees, ignore the Knicks and Nets, could care less about the Rangers, Islanders, and Mets, and there is great wailing and gnashing of teeth about the NJ Small-ants.  So of course, they’re like, “How great is it to be a Boston fan right now!?”  Unless you’re living under a rock, the Red Sox won the Worlds Series, their 4th in 15 years.  The second story on Monday morning was about the fumble. 
This Sunday night (Cue Faith Hill, I like her version better than Carrie Underwood), the Packers face the New England Patriots.  The question is, “Can the Packers maintain their focus and maintain their level of play that they displayed against LA?” 

My answer is “YES! We Can!”  Our record is 3-3-1, the Patsies are 5-2.  Break down our 3 losses.  We lost by 2 to the LAmbs because of Ty. (do you REALLY think Aaron couldn’t get us in field goal range the way the offense was humming last Sunday with what basically amounted to a home crowd?  Go Pack Go!  was the loudest cheer at the Coliseum.)  Mason got the yips BAD in Detroit, his misses were the margin of victory.  Our tie should have been a win except for Clay getting called for a bogus roughing.  But for those miscues we are 6-1.  I feel pretty good about our chances, even in the face of Tom Brady’s comments that Aaron would pass for 7,000 yards a year if Bellichick was coach.  Aaron would look terrible in Blue, and I’m not sure seeing Bill in a GB hoodie with the sleeves cut off would be an improvement.  Packers win a close one again just like in 2014! 
Go Pack Go!! 
(Ken Hill)