2016 Week 21 - YEE

Packers 21 Phal-cons 44

By now, we all know about the game and don’t want to relive bad memories, so I want to take the time right up front to say thanks to the people who helped make the Greenville Packer Backers THE best club outside of Lambeau Field. First is
to Marge, Linda & Christina who made the office tick like a well oiled machine, we would be “Nowhere” without them.  Next is the wait staff, Leerch, Sara and the others that kept us fed and well hydrated during the game.  Of course there is John & Casey and Chief’s itself for not only giving us a place to meet but sponsoring the Trivia contest each week and throwing in a couple of extra gift cards throughout the year.  A special thanks for my staff at this newsletter, Kraig, Ken, Jimmy & Barbara.  I think they have reached a new level this year and I look forward to an even better next year.  Lastly, to all of you for making MY Packer gameday always something special.

What a great year even if it didn't end the way we wanted.  Went to 3 games including our annual trip to Lambeau Field… met some great people from our club… and even came home with some great door prizes!  Can't wait until next year so we can do it all over again…
Go Pack Go!  Kathie & Chris Gossett

I was fortunate (?) to get a ticket to see GB go down in flames in Atlanta last weekend.  They were never in the game, it was a long ride home.  I will say this for the Falcon fans, though - they were good sports.  Didn't see any of the Packer fans there (and there were thousands) getting a hard time from any of their fans.  Contrast that to the bunch of horses a***** I saw and heard when we took our beating at Charlotte last year, it was like night and day.  I'll be pulling for Atlanta in the Super Bowl.   I won't be able to make Chiefs for SB Sunday, I'll be in Vegas as is my custom for that weekend.  See you next September
~ Russ Larson 

Just Sayin'

As I have stated before, I have been a Packers fan since I was 10 years old. That’s over 50 years. And with my license plate having PACKERS on it, I can’t hide it either. Having said that, I also don’t have to watch my team get beat down. So during the Atlanta game, after the second half kickoff led to a 3 and out, I switched channels. I would rather watch Jack Reacher beat down the bad guys rather than watch my team receive the beat down. I kept up with the score online, so if it got back close, I would have come back to the game. The local radio sports talk guy was saying this week that he heard the Packers talking about all of their injuries 3 days before the game. He said they were making excuses and that they had essentially given up. I disagree. The depletion of the secondary was critical and probably no team could have overcome the multitude of injuries similar to what the Packers had this season. After the Packers started 4-6, I was hoping maybe they could finish 4-2 and maybe avoid a losing season. Then Rodgers comes out with the “run the table” comment and lo and behold, they did just that to close out the regular season. The Giants came to Lambeau and the Packers kept it going. They went to Dallas and kept it going a little longer. Then they had to go to Atlanta. The magic show, with the smoke & mirrors defense, was finally exposed to reality. Our defense was bad and Atlanta exposed it as such. Over the last two decades plus, Green Bay has had a pretty good run.The down side of that is that with 2 HOF Quarterbacks, the Packers have only 2 Super Bowls to show for it. That is pathetic. I  think it is time for a change at GM. I know that usually a GM wants his own coach at the helm. If the Packers promoted from within, most likely, MM would remain coach. And with that, they could keep the continuity. I know we gripe about MM, but he has to "play with the hand he is dealt." And currently, TT is the dealer. And he is NOT an elite dealer. The head coach has 3 phases of the game to deal with every game day, Offense, Defense and Special Teams. In that line of thinking, the GM has 3 phases as well. He has the Roster, Free Agency and the Draft. Just as a coach needs all 3 phases of the game to win, a GM needs to use all 3 phases of his own. I think McCarthy does a pretty good job with the hand he gets. Thompson just doesn’t do his best at giving MM a competitive hand. He practically ignores Free Agency, except on rare occasions. And his drafting is shaky in the early rounds for the most part. There have been so many 1st round choices that have not panned out. Thompson says he doesn’t go into the draft to target a position, but to pick the best available player on his board. How has that worked out? He will pick a highly rated player and then ask him to switch positions. Nick Perry, DE, asked to switch to OLB, is an example. And then he goes sign a multitude of undrafted players. Many of those make the team every year. That makes us continually one of the  youngest rosters in the league. And has been the case this year, these are young men, who are not ready for the roles that are dumped onto them when we have our yearly rash of injuries. Even Aikman brought up the year-after-year injury plague and made comment that something needs to be done. So maybe the Strength & Conditioning coach needs a bit of scrutiny too. Another hot topic is Dom Capers. Well, from what I read, he will be back next year. And even if he was indeed fired, who is available that would be an improvement? I know a coach can’t do his job if he doesn’t have the players he needs. Could you tune-up your car if all you had were 4 quarts of oil and 2 screwdrivers? No. So how can Capers do his job if all of his tools are in the toolbox (on the bench) and inaccessible? The problem I have is that he stated during the season that he would not change his schemes to try to make up for slower players. THAT IS CRAP!! It seems to me that that would be one of the first things a DC would do. Work the schemes to fit a players’ talent. From what I can gather, the Packers will be approximately $36M under the cap going into the offseason. That may sound  like a lot, but there are quite a few Free Agents coming up. Among them, are Jared Cook, Eddie Lacy, Nick Perry, T.J. Lang, Julius Peppers, Datone Jones and Micah Hyde. For cap reasons, I suspect Julius Peppers will not be back, unless he agrees to a  really low contract. I read a few weeks ago that the Raiders might be looking at Jones. I think he will get offers for more than the Packers will want to pay for his services. Lang says he would like to remain a Packer. But we know how Thompson feels about players reaching 30 years old, which Lang is about to hit. (Think Josh Sitton). So, since he made All Pro, and is getting “old”, he may not be back either. I think Lacy will be re-signed, if the money is reasonable. Personally, I think Jared Cook and Micah Hyde should be towards the top of the list to resign if they don’t price themselves out of range. I also am thinking we have seen Sam Shields play his last game in a Packer uniform. As I understand, he was still having concussion symptoms as the season came to a close. And who knows, Maybe Thompson will take a quick trip to Africa before Free Agency starts, contract malaria, be out of his mind, and actually do  something like, I don’t know, sign a free agent, maybe a top cornerback. NAH, I dare not hope.
All in all, it was a good season. But as a fan, I am just tired of getting so close, so often, and watching that that Super Bowl dream fade into the last nightmare of the football season… Just Sayin’
(Jimmy Smith)

The Chief’s / GPB Report

Good turnout for our club (125) and a not so good turnout for the game.  Still, plenty of prizes and fun to be had. 21 door prizes were handed out, some of the last time winners were: Hats were taken by 438 Karmell Smith, 346 Hilary Wind, 487 Kendall Freeman & 280 Sue Valitchka, Socks went to 485 Patti Sommerfeldt & 341 Kathie Gossett, 475 Jennifer Comensoli liked the Packer Ave sign, 221 Barbara Gambrell took the headphones, gloves were won by 345 Dave Halverson, a coffee mug to 369 Don Dandelske and the frosty mug to 292 Joe Valitchka, 463 Wayne Hansen took a blanket, while Packer plaques were won by 123 Kraig Pringle and 373 Candice Curran (the last prize of the year).
Winner of this week’s Trivia question and a $25 gift card from our friends at Chief’s Wings & firewater was: 445 Sharon Dandelske. In addition five special End of Season prizes were awarded. 452 Diana Kopelson a duffle bag, 282 Lynn Coleman the umbrella, 131 Gerald Schulz a $25 gift card from Chief’s, 342 Chris Gossett a soft-pack cooler & 328 Marge Bramlett the 6-pack sleeve cooler.
Two $1 boards and  one 50¢ pool this week. Winners on the $1 boards were: 101 Jamie Ware, 140 Erich Peschel, 106 Packer John, 360 Michael Coon, 369 Dan Dandelske, 445 Sharon Dandelske, 132 Sharon Schulz & 372 Sara Warpinski (twice) Winners on the 50¢ pool were: 219 Dan Blechl, 120 Neil Petersen, 369 Don Dandelske & 372 Sara Warpinski.
Five new members to report:
483 Lori Campbell
484 Sherri Odelvak
485 Patti Sommerfeldt
486 Joe Roamer
487 Kendall Freeman 
When the dust settled on 2016, we had 19 new members and a total of 93 members.  Going into the 2017 we already have 37 paid members.  A good start toward next years prizes. Sad to say, no more Packer football until August.  Keep in mind July 29th @ 1:00 for our annual Packer Picnic.  More information to follow as the date gets closer.  Until then, let us lick our wounds and always
(Packer John) 

Adieu 2016

Well, it’s “Wait ‘till next year!” time… again.  There is no reason to dredge up the particulars from the nightmare NFC Championship in Atlanta. We all saw it, felt it, and have been reminded of it, over and over and over… I will say this:  With the final score (44-21) came one surprising, yet unfortunate, question: How did we hold them to 44? Overall consolation:  At least there was no suspense, no mind-boggling freakish turn of events to snatch it away at the last minute.  Personal consolation: I’m sooo glad I didn’t drop $600 for Konnor and me to go to this game…
Confession of a “true” football fan:  I don’t care about this Super Bowl.  I’ll watch, but only out of habit and a feeling of football-civic duty.  And to keep my Man Card in good standing and working order. Since I despise New England and all its organization represents, I will be cheering for the 21st-Century version of the Dirty Birds.
This week, Bakhtiari summed up the season in one word: Failure.  I’m sure most of us would agree.  But no one, whether or not they bleed green, can deny the incredible run the Packers went on from the (4-6) start!  History has yet to adequately label it, and maybe won’t since it ultimately came up short, but I’m betting over time, it will earn a proper moniker when we refer to it in years to come (maybe simply “The Run” or “The Rodgers”?).
It reminds me of my many years coaching the numerous little league, travel ball, football, basketball, and soccer teams, boys and girls alike.  Of course, winning is and was important, and we have a packed trophy case to commemorate the dozens of titles and honors we’ve racked up.  Very proud, we won a lot!  But every time I look in the case, what emerges is the best part of it all:  The memories of the players and of The Ride.  Those are what resonate, what bring a smile to my face and often a tear to my eye.  Just like the Packers, all games matter.  For all of us. Your games are your life.  I’ve come to understand that every game you play is, and will ultimately be, one of the biggest games of your life…
So, I will try my best moving forward to focus on The Ride the Packers took us on this season. About the best it can get without a St. Vince Trophy.  Regardless of the end, we are Packers fans.

None of us are going anywhere, good, bad, or ugly.  No real Pack fan, anyway, and certainly no one who bleeds green enough to read this column!
A turn for the better, some personal growth, has unexpectedly come from this run, this ending.  My selfimposed subjugation (slavery?) to the endless and cumbersome superstitions I carry like Jacob Marley’s chains has been lifted. I stuck to them faithfully and obediently, only for them to prove to be mere myths. It didn’t matter if I wore the same underwear, picked my ass with my left hand, or carried out the same routine, etc. They still lost. As such, I am now free! We now know that Ted Thompson will return. We also know they’re saying they will be more active in free agency. Rodgers couldn’t have been more clear in his declaration that “we need to retool.” This is his version of putting billboards up throughout the Green Bay community, screaming for help.  I know I am personally willing and able to go on a march to Titletown to rally for Packers Fan’s Lives Matter…
We also know McCarthy is back.  I believe this is the right decision.  I think. Overall, the playoff performances over the years have been a major disappointment.  This season was a mixed bag, with the terrible start and the embarrassing ending framing The Run.  Obviously, injuries were a killer.  Like literally half the starters were gone at times this season.  Shields’ loss was to the defense what Jordy’s was to the offense last season.  Not Mikey Mack’s fault.  However, I still question in-game management and adjustments at times.  Too often.  Such as the three or four plays in the Atlanta game that may have gone the other way if we just threw that little red flag on the turf… The various mock drafts have me a little alarmed, since as a junkie I can’t get enough of such nonsense.  Several have us taking RB Christian McCaffrey from Stanford.  A dynamic player, no doubt. But we have like a dozen positions of greater need, particularly with the emergence of Ty Montgomery, who is changing jersey numbers and will continue in the backfield. CBs, OLs, DLs, edge rushers are the obvious issues…
This draft is supposedly “deep with cornerbacks.”  That’s great news!  The problem is, no truly elite corner will be there by the time the Packers pick. Maybe get a stud or two in free agency, since we apparently have the money, and use later rounds to get deeper there as well.  It will be interesting to see which, if any, of our own free agents we keep.  Have we seen the last of guys like Nick Perry and TJ Lang? As for our GPB club, as always, want to thank and congratulate Packer John and Linda, Marge, and Christine, the Three Amigas I will officially christen “The ‘Backerettes” for their tireless dedication and devotion to the club. All of us have such a better time and experience during the season and during the games at Chiefs, and it’s because of your efforts. I’m not sure you’re appreciated enough, but for what it’s worth,  Thank You
To the writers of this humble yet groundbreaking periodical, great work.  Again.  I know personally that you put much time and effort, including your hearts and souls, into your columns as well as your overall Packer fandom. Hopefully, you’ve found the process as therapeutic and cathartic as I have…
This just in!  The Final P.S.: After further review (of course, the Bears still suck), I want to proclaim that effective immediately, I am going on hiatus as a writer for these ‘Bits. Call it a leave of absence. My “sabbatical.”  After all, it’s past time for some fresh, new voices to come forward.  You may not know it, but you are definitely out there.  There is plenty of depth on our roster. We can all agree: This offseason, we need to
Go, Pack, GO!!
(Kraig Pringle)