2020 PS-3

Packers 26 Buccaneers 31

Matt Lefleur should be struck about the head and shoulders with a rubber hose several times.  You’ve got a little over 2 minutes left in the game, 3rd and goal, you don’t make it (Aaron should’ve run and could’ve probably made it in, he’s faster than Jason Pierre-Pau), and you kick a field goal instead of running it? A.J. Dillon was running into the line and dragging Bucs with him gaining 7 yards!  But no, you kick a field goal and give the ball to Tom Brady, who’s an expert at killing the clock.

Welcome to the NFL’s most hallowed ground Marquez Valdes-Scantling!  Am I talking about Lambeau Field?  No, I’m talking about the circle of being trusted by Aaron Rodgers!  Aaron is a “trust” quarterback.  He has to be able to trust that you’ll be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there.  When he throws that long bomb, you have to be under it.  When you have that timing, you have his trust.  I have been a fan of MVS for a while now.  His route running and his hands have been maddening to watch.  He doesn’t cause interceptions, mostly because he’s outrun the coverage, but the misses have been heartbreaking.  Not so this past Sunday.

The Bucs won, but didn’t deserve to.  The Refs handed the game to them.  I’m not saying the fix was in but imagine the NFL heads thinking, “Hmmm, the Old War Horse against the Young Gun, but wait! There’s more.  We’ll have the game in the Old War Horse’s home stadium!  It’s never been done before!”  How else would you explain a no-call on a P.I. late in the second quarter that resulted in a pick that resulted in a TD for Tampa?  What, Alan Lazard doesn’t flop like the Tampa guy did in the 4th quarter and it’s still not a foul?  Also that was a ticky-tack P.I. call in the 4th.  Yes he had his jersey, he let go, and then the guy flopped, our guy was the only thing holding him upright!  I don’t want to get into conspiracy theories though.  Tampa took advantage of our mistake, and we didn’t on 3 of theirs.  That last drive we had should have been a TD, plain and simple. 

I do have a problem with the “NFC Trophy Presentation.”  Remember back in 2011, when we got presented the trophy after knocking off the Bears?  Do you remember where we were?  We were in the Visitor’s Locker Room at Soldier field!  Looking at the Instagram photos, it looks like Tampa was on the field at Lambeau.  I feel some kinda way about that!  I hope Mark Murphy called the league office! 

The Packers won this game in every statistical way except for score.  We had the most yards, Time of Possession, turnovers, etc.  Closing the deal is where we fell short. 

Our defense played well, we were at the point of attack as far as the run went.  Mike Pettine has made great strides over the season in run defense.  I hope this continues next season.  The Packers did fire special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga after two seasons.  That’s what happens when you don’t include your punter in tackling drills and your scheme makes Tavon Austin’s speed a non-factor.

Aaron Rodgers has been to Five NFC Championship games.  He’s 1-4.  Every time around this year, we keep hearing that the Packers have “wasted Aaron Rodgers talent” and talking head bemoan that the Packers by virtue of being a small market team are somehow limiting Aaron’s right to be among the elite.  I would argue Aaron IS elite, and why aren’t other players flocking to Green Bay to play with him?  Aaron was feeling down and wasn’t clear about where his future is on Sunday at the postgame wrap up.  He kinda poured cold water on that with Pat McAfee the next day.  He made noises like he will definitely be back in Green Bay next season.  Matt and Brian better re-sign and reload and be loaded for Bear (Vikings and Lions, too) because Aaron is going to want another shot at whoever is staring at them across the field!

 Hopefully, Covid will be a memory and I will be back in Green Bay for a game next season.  If you haven’t ever been to Lambeau, GO.  It is truly the cathedral of the NFL.  I enjoy going to Green Bay more than any other venue I’ve been to, I’ve even been to Canton, and I’ll still pick Green Bay!  I’ll be wearing my Green, cheering for my team and shouting,
Go Pack Go!
(Ken Hill)

 Just Sayin'

Well, not exactly the ending I was hoping for. I am sure we all agree on that. Personally, I think the play calling for much of the game was poor, at best. At one point, they got down to about 1
st and goal at the 6-yard line. And they got a FG. Score a TD and add 4 points. (31-27). Remember when they tried the 2-point conversion? Kick it and add 1 point. (31-28). Towards the end of the game, 1st and goal from the 8-yard line. And they got a FG. Score a TD and add 4 points. (32-31). Now that is not to say they would have won the game, but there was 9 points left out there on the field to be had by the Packers if there had been some better play calling, IMO. Heck, it looked like AR12 could have run that last one in himself on the 3rd down.

And the defense was sloppy. Letting the Buccaneers convert on several 3rd and long situations. And then let them score a TD with ONE second left in the first half. That was pathetic. How about the long TD pass when Kevin King was looking back just about the whole time when he was trying to stay up with the WR. I am no pro athlete, but even I know you cannot run as fast when you are looking back behind you. And if the WR makes a slight move in his route, how would you know? You are looking the other way. I put that down to bad defensive coaching. I could go on some more, but I refrain.

That is enough about that debacle. As I guess most of us have heard, the NFL salary cap will actually go DOWN for next year. From what I have seen, the NFL and the Players Associaton have agreed on a cap for 2021 of $175M. That is about a $23M CUT from the cap this year. There are liable to be MANY changes on the Packers roster when training camp 2021 begins. At the website Spotrac, they have the Packers at -$27M as of right now. That means they are $27M OVER the projected salary cap of next year. That would mean letting some current players go. Even some players they want to keep. Kenny Clark and David Bakhtiari did receive new contract during the season. I have read one place that the Packers made Aaron Jones an offer, but he turned it down. Jamaal Williams, Corey Linsley and Kevin King are also among the players with contracts that are ending in the next few weeks. And with the much lower cap, the Packers cannot keep everyone. Jones will be in line for a much bigger raise than Green Bay can afford. The Jaguars have the 1st draft choice (Trevor Lawrence) and $70M available cap space. They can draft the QB at one, have him on a rookie salary for 3 or 4 years and add lots of pieces to improve.

Another change that I would not be at all surprised to see is for Aaron Rodgers to ask for a trade. And if he did, could you blame him at all? Since the Packers handed him the reins, the GMs in charge have NOT drafted him help at wide receiver in the first round. Not one year. They draft defense heavily year after year and still cannot stop an offense that is just above average. Much less a good one. AR12 has already said back after the draft that he could see himself ending his career with another team. And after seeing what Tom Brady has done and the Buccaneers signing pieces to help him out, like I said, could you blame him for wanting out? Here is what Rodgers said after the game: "[There are] a lot of guys' futures that are uncertain," Rodgers told reporters, "myself included. That's what's sad about it most ... getting this far. Obviously there's going to be an end to it at some point, whether we make it past this one or not. Just the uncertainties, (it) is tough, and the finality of it." This is from NFL.com: The Packers, by contrast, appeared to be telling Rodgers something much different in April: We do things our way, and we're already looking past this era -- but hey, if you want to up your game to an even more ethereal level and carry the guys we've already got as far as they can possibly go, have at it! 

I just think the roster next year has the chance to look as different as it has in years… 
Just Sayin’ 
(Biker Jimmy)


 The day started out with 80 fans joining me for the big game.  We were short our friends 117 Nick Papala, 120 Neil Petersen, and 123 Kraig Pringle who got a wild hair and drove to Green Bay so they could enjoy the game there.  We welcomed 4 new members to our wild and crazy crew—613 Connor Parson, 614 Mark Hadley, 615 Haley Kirsch, and 616 Joshua East.  We look forward to getting to know you better both at the picnic on July 31st and next season.

We gave away some great door prizes.  Spare Time and Budweiser donated some tee shirts and ball caps as well.  437 Dan Heltness, 292 Joe Valitchka, and 572 Craig Phillips all chose Budweiser tee shirts as well as Packer shirts when their numbers were drawn.  413 Megan Afshar will be donning a knit shirt and a Bud cap. 243 Kaci White is keeping her toes warm with fuzzy socks and 525 Leslie Fleming will be covering ears with a great stocking cap along with a bud tee shirt.  280 Sue Valitchka chose a pack of masks and a Bud tee.  458 Susan Sabin chose work gloves, and 611Cat Resendez got tumblers.  242 Christina Harrison chose a snuggly throw and 221 Barb Gambrell chose a great umbrella.

We also completed 2 $1 boards and 1 50₵ board for our pool.  Winners of the $1 pools were 275 John Ellinger, 220 Jimmy Smith, 242 Christina Harrison, 542 Kathie Mervyn, 105 Lunda Wieloch, 149 Travis Wieloch, 611 Cat Resendez, and 365 Clifford Stiles.  50₵ board winners were 242 Christina Harrison, 365 Clifford Stiles, 516 Jackie Boyd, and 589 Kathy McGrew.  Congratulations you lucky folks!

The 4-part trivia question was correctly answered by yours truly, 328 Marge Bramlett.  I was the recipient of a $25 gift card provided by our friends and sponsors at Spare Time.  Thank you!

The Packers’ season and the Greenville Packer Backers’ season ended sooner than we would have chosen.  We did jump and cheer, hug and high-five, but in the end, it wasn’t meant to be…As is tradition, GPB gathered end of season prizes in the hopes that they are distributed during the Super Bowl.  That didn’t work out this year. We did award the prizes, every member was eligible, but you must be present to win. It was winner’s choice and the first number drawn was 537 Wayne Boyd.  He went home with a great Packer corn hole game.  612 Jon Smiley chose a shirt, 525 Leslie Fleming took the $50 gift card compliments of Spare Time.  614 (new member) Mark Hadley chose the potluck carrier, 554 Tyler Cormier wanted the insulated tumbler, and 591 Steve Young chose the hoodie.  The final prize went to 608 Jerry Collins who is taking home a great leather purse to give to someone special (I really can’t imagine Jerry carrying it).

Although our season is over for this year, it has been a great one.  I enjoyed getting to know you and cheering and carrying on with you. I am confident that next year is going to be even better.  I hope this COVID stuff is a thing of the past when time for our picnic in July rolls around.  And by now you should know that I care for everybody in our group, but that I love my Packers through thick and thin.  Stay safe
Marge 328

 Your Turn

Thank you to everyone that came down to Spare-Time this season to be with the best bunch of Packer Fans in the world.  It meant a lot to me and my family to see you each week.  To those that “opted  out” for this season, I understand your reasons and hope that the 2021 season can bring us all back together.

But we are not done for the season.  As is our tradition, the Year End Edition will come out right around the Superbowl.  My writers, Ken, Kraig, Jimmy & Bill have worked hard each week bringing you a unique and personal perspective of each game.  Marge did a marvelous job of staying on top of the “club news”, Barb racked her brain to challenge yours in the Trivia and Heather, the newest member to the “Bits” staff, gets excited when she can Shout Out each week. 

But now, the last issue is yours.  It’s time for your thoughts and opinions, Packer story, favorite memory or your Packer or club pictures.  Now is the time to show the rest of the club what you think.

 Don’t worry about length (I have put one liner’s in past Year End issues). 

Got some pictures, send them in!  Don’t worry about being afraid of your writing ability. None of us are professional writers, we have learned to write from the heart; if you do that, it will be perfect.  The only thing I ask is that it is Family Friendly and Packer Positive. 

Please send in your article and any Packer or GPB pictures you took throughout the season  to our email listed below by next Wednesday, Feb 3rd  I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.  Thanks for a memorable (if not one game short) season and after the dark cloud has been lifted, remember that forever, we will...
Bleed Green & GOLD My Friends!  
(Packer John)


My Fellow Packer Backers, this has been a hard year in so many ways and I know this is not how we wanted the season to end. When times are hard I feel like we need to Celebrate the happy moments even more! So with that let's give 3 Very Happy Birthday Shout Outs to:

John Stewart on February 3rd
Julie Pringle (Craig's Wife) on February 6th and 
Linda Wieloch on February 7th!  (Whose biggest birthday wish almost happened.) 

I wish you all a Healthy and Happy off season! Here's hoping that things will be a lot better by then!! 

We hope to do more with Shout-Outs, including off-season Shout-Outs with possibly a prize  or two along the way.  But we need your input and info.  You all have a birthday, graduation, anniversaries,  and other mile-stone in your life.  Please send your Shout-outs to me at: heatherbailey80@gmail.com

(Heather Bailey)