2017 Week 18 YEE

Packers 11 Lyins 35

If you’re (really?) looking for a review of the final game at Detroit, look elsewhere because I won’t waste any breath or space on that joke that deserves to be forgotten. Much like the disaster that was the 2017 season.
I will say that I’m glad the coaches and organization evidently came to their senses in their approach to the game and our roster moving forward, despite the nonsense they fed us about “winning the game”…“for the fans.”
I’ve been as negative as any in my recent musings, and frankly, I’m sick of hearing myself bitch about this season. Let’s shift back into optimistic (Kool Aid?) mode. After all, it is a Happy New Year in so many ways, full of promise, hopes, and dreams…including the future of the Green Bay Packers.
Of course, the best news is that many of the inmates are no longer running the asylum.
Axes have fallen. They needed to, in the biggest way. Ted Thompson has been shelved into a figurehead position, Dom Capers and the defensive line and linebackers coaches have finally and mercifully been jettisoned. Edgar Bennett and Alex Van Pelt have been sacked as the leading offensive coaches. Happy Trails to all of them! They will all be fine and like flying cats, will most assuredly land on their respective feet… How did McCarthy survive the bloodbath? “Only the Shadow (Mark Murphy?) knows.” Maybe he will go on to be a very successful football coach… The Packers knocked it out of the park by signing DaVante Adams to his monster deal. Had to happen. Now, Jordy and Randall Cobb need to restructure their deals, or the team should strongly consider cutting them both. Claymaker needs to do the same. With the shakeup in the organization, now is not the time to be hamstrung by misguided loyalties. Now is the time to act decisively to position the team for multiple Super Bowl runs. In other words, take the coldblooded approach of Belichek and New England…There are a number of free agent moves to make in order to immediately strengthen the team. There are also decisions to make with existing players. In short, the team needs to say goodbye to Morgan Burnett, Davon House, Richard Rodgers, Jeff Janis, and Demetri Goodson. The team needs to once again say hello to Ahmad Brooks, Jahri Evans, and long snapper extraordinaire, Brett Goode.
The team needs to find a real backup QB in free agency as well. There may have been flashes, but Hundley was a disaster and has proven (at least to me) that he is not the answer. Don’t waste a draft pick, the league is full of veteran retread former starters that have shown the capability to win NFL games. I am optimistic for the 2018 season. We still have a nucleus of talent led by perhaps the GOAT at quarterback. We have a new front office and coaching staff. We are bound to be better in free agency. We have the 14th pick in the draft for seven rounds. Minnesota is an issue, but Detroit is still Detroit and duh Bears still suck… Cue it up, Annie: ♪♫♪The sun will come up… tomorrow♪♫♪ Happy New Year, and 
Go, Pack, GO!!!
(Kraig Pringle)

Just Sayin’

I don’t usually use His name in this context, but Thank God that the NFL season is over. Well, for me anyway. I might tune in here and there during the playoffs, maybe not. After Rodgers went down, everyone who follows the NFL got to see what a “real genius” (cue the Budweiser commercial) Ted Thompson has been lately. The only reason we have Aaron Rodgers on the roster is that he dropped to #24 in the draft in 2005. No way would Thompson have traded up to get him.
He probably would have traded down to get more picks and we would have spent the last 12 years with no Super Bowl trying to figure out why the undrafted free agent QB never worked out. To his credit, he has drafted some good talent, Jordy Nelson, BJ Raji, Clay Matthews, David Bakhtiara, Mike Daniels, and others. He has also spent some 1st round picks of Justin Harrell, Derrick Sherrod and Datone Jones. Too often he has spent high draft picks on players that have had to switch positions. I know the draft is a crap shoot, but lately, Thompson is missing more than he hits, and the talent level of the roster has tanked. Then, the Defensive Coordinator gets the players and doesn’t know how to use them. Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde were decent players when they played for Green Bay. They were allowed to leave since they weren’t top players. Both of them were instant stars and Pro Bowl players for their new teams. Capers has been quoted that he would not move players around to compensate for injuries. Well, thankfully, Capers will not be the DC next year for the Packers. Time will tell who the replacement will be and if the team sticks with the 3-4 defense or returns to the 4-3. Two other defensive coaches are gone as well. OK, so we have moved on from Dom Capers.
I hate to see people lose their job, but if I sucked at my job as bad as Capers has, I would have been fired a long time ago. Also, we are now looking for a new GM since Thompson is transitioning to a new role. By the time you are reading this, we may have one set.

Now, let’s look at the offense. I understood when McCarthy initially wanted to stick with Brett Hundley when Rodgers went down. After all, he had Hundley for 3 years. Common sense says that Hundley should have been able to do a decent job after his second start. But common sense says that the head coach would have made some adjustments in the game plans to fit Hundley’s skills. McCarthy made very little changes in the game plan. And the end result was that the offense stunk, and Hundley was just plain terrible.
McCarthy has also let go 2 of the offensive coaches. It’s my opinion, as long as Thompson was GM, then Mr. Wizard felt like TT had his back. And after all, MM got the 1 year contract extension during the season. BAM, Thompson is no longer GM, and coaches get fired all the time with years left on their contract. So I am thinking that while MM might not exactly be on the hot seat, maybe he feels it starting to warm up a bit. I have read several times over the last 2 or 3 years about how the Packers offense is predictable. Even watching games on TV, analysts say things like “it’s like the defense is in the huddle” the way they diagnose plays. Mr. Wizard needs to come up with some new spells. Other remarks that seem to be repeated by the media is that the Packers need to get WRs to stretch the field. I ask, what good is it to have fast WRs if the coach will not play them? This whole team has become complacent and needs a fire lit under their butts. Maybe the offseason so far has ignited something.
Roster changes for next year are sure to be eye-opening to some degree. The team cannot carry 3 receivers taking $34M in cap space. So between Nelson & Cobb, one, or both may not be on the roster next season. At the very least, one of them is going to need to take a pay cut. Since we appear to have some pretty good RBs now, maybe Cobb could be released and Montgomery could take his place. Clay Matthews should take a cut as well. Ways to do this is a contract extension, more guaranteed money with lower annual pay. This saves face from being cut and reduces the cap hit. Morgan Burnett’s contract is set to expire also. We may have seen the last of him. Other players that might be moving on are Trevor Davis, Jeff Janis, Josh Hawkins, Jahri Evans, Kyler Fackrell and both TEs, Richard Rodgers. And Lance Kendricks. It appears the new WR coach is coming from the Colts organization. Former OC Joe Philbin is returning in some capacity. If one of the defensive positional coaches is promoted to DC, will there be any significant changes? Already, it’s been one of the most interesting off seasons in Green Bay that we have seen in a long, long time. Hang on, this could be a fun ride till TC starts… 
Just Sayin 
(Jimmy Smith)

The Chief’s / GPB Report

Well, we had one opportunity to utilize our huggin’ and high fivin’ skills as 44 Packer Backers met at Chief’s for our final game of the season. Door prizes went to 331 Sue Sabin with a koozie, 120 Neil Petersen who chose a car charger, 452 Diana Kopelson has a car flag, and 328 Marge Bramlett got a butane lighter. 474 Jim Comensoli and 342 Chris Gossett have wallets and key chains. 290 Don Jordan and 324 Larry Schilz will be sipping from their coffee mugs, 372 Sara Warpinski will be utilizing her new spoon rest, and 156 Phil Bender will be keeping warm with his new habanero grinder. Staying warm was also on the minds of 323 Celie Schilz who chose a blanket, 220 Jimmy Smith got socks, and 398 Bill Demuth, 373 Candice Curran, and 132 Sharon Schulz took gloves. Winners of the dollar pool were 369 Don Dandelske (2), 372 Sara Warpinski, and 373 Candice Curran. 131 Gerald Schulz and 342 Chris Gossett correctly answered the questions for the trivia contests and won $25 gift cards from our friends at Chief’s. Special end-of season prizes went home with 372 Sara Warpinski who chose the Packer cooler, 445 Sharon Dandelske who now owns a serving tray, and 156 Phil Bender got grilling tongs. 341 Kathie Gossett will travel with her Packer neck pillow, and 452 Diana Kopelson will have toasty toes in her Packer slippers.
A good sign of things to come is 15 members renewed for next season, plus I am happy to report one new member to our family, let’s all give a big Packer welcome to member: 503 Steve Sabin. Our season ended sooner than we would have preferred, but there are times when things just don’t go our way. But we love our Pack through thick and thin and this year was pretty thin. Next year has to be better!
Always courageous,

Marge 328

More Marge 328

Why am I a member of the Greenville Packer Backers Club? Why do I show up at Chief’s every game day when I could watch the game at home? Simple…for the camaraderie! When I joined the club several years ago, we were meeting at the Corner Pocket. The place was jam packed and I didn’t know a soul. But that didn’t matter. All fans were welcomed. Then came the move to Friar’s and finally Chief’s. I had joined the “office” staff and began learning the names of those welcoming faces I had come to recognize.
It’s our members who make our club what it is. We need to continue being that fun group who welcomed me all those years ago. Take a step out of your comfort zone to meet our new members and make them feel at home. That’s what will bring in more members and grow our base even more. That way I will have even more folks to hug and high five as we get back in the scoring and winning mode next year. 
Be courageous! 
Marge 328


Okay, so why don’t I feel better? I mean I finally got my wish and then some. Ted’s gone (sort of), Capers is out, Edgar Bennett is gone as O.C., Van Pelt is gone as QB coach, and Mike Trgovac is out as Dline coach. So, we’ve cleaned house a lot. So why don’t I feel better? I don’t fear change. I clearly see the need for change. Look back at when Aaron came on board. Did I have misgivings? Yes, he had been good in preseason games and effective in relief of Brett, but we had no inkling of what he would do when the team and its fortunes would be on HIS shoulders. But Brett, given his age wasn’t going to last, besides, he had retired. I was saddened when it happened, but was looking forward to what “the kid” could do. He struggled the first season, but came on strong ever since.
I guess I’m uneasy. There’s no clear line of succession when you do this. Just promoting from within isn’t working. Edgar Bennett shouldn’t have been promoted past RB coach. I think the WR position suffered from his coaching and the offense clearly was overwhelmed this season under him.
So where do we go from here? We trust that Mark hasn’t just been sitting in his office smiling and thinking about his “Titletown Park” development. I still don’t know where I’m going to park now that the Kmart’s gone. He was pretty clear he wasn’t going to be doing just an internal search, despite Eliot Wolf being clearly thought of as a logical choice. He’s Ron Wolf’s son. Ron brought in Brett, Mike Holmgren, and Reggie White. Eliot did have his interview this week, for those of you who are fans. Packers wire reports that Russ Ball, Player finance director is also a front-runner. Apparently he was most responsible for re-signing Adams and Linsley. True to his word, Murphy has made inquiries throughout the league. He has asked Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie for an interview, he’s also asked the Vikings if he can interview the assistant GM. Reggie was assured by the Raiders that his role wouldn’t be diminished by Gruden’s arrival, so he declined and the Vikings rebuffed our request.
Vic Fangio is expected to be interviewed for DC. Vic was a DC under Capers when he was a head coach. He’s the current DC for Duh Bears and apparently is also interviewing for their Head Coaching job, but hopefully he’s tired of sucking. Vic’s had one of the top 10 Defenses 5 of the last 7 seasons. Darren Perry, the safeties coach is also interviewing for the job. That may bode well for our poor secondary play. There’s also a rumor that Joe Philbin may be coming back as OC. McCarthy and Joe switched up play calling duties a few seasons ago and Joe left to become the Dolphin HC. He was demoted back to OC/Assistant Coach after a couple of disappointing seasons. The Packers are probably waiting to get the GM in the door before all of these hirings occur, and the offseason is fast approaching!
I work in the Nuclear Field and we have a term for what I’m feeling. I have a Questioning Attitude. It’s a type of confident unease; you’re confident in your abilities, but not sure what you’re going to find. I’m confident in Mark (I don’t think he’s been sitting in his office smiling), but I’m not sure what we’ll have at the end of this process. But I’m confident that this September, I’ll be freaking out my doctor bleeding Green and Gold, and hoarse Sunday afternoon from screaming
(Ken Hill)

Ice Bowl 1967

During the week leading up to the 1967 NFC Championship, which became known as the ICE BOWL, I was lucky enough to buy an end zone ticket from a co-worker for $10. It was predicted to be a cold day, but nothing like I experienced. Most of the game was in Green Bay's favor until Don Meredith and the Cowboys rallied to take the lead and I was sure that all was lost. I did miss a lot of the game in the men's restroom trying to warm up. I bought coffee, but it quickly froze. The last Green Bay drive late in the 4th quarter gave the feel that Green Bay was destined to win as they were making unbelievable plays. Starr's quarterback play for the final touchdown was immediately in front of me, and the view from my end zone seat is one that I'll never forget. I was also at the 1965 Championship game when the Packers beat the Browns. 
There was a heavy snow storm that day and I missed the start of the game, as my Dad was driving to Green Bay to go to the game with me and was late because of the snow. We missed the opening touchdown from Starr to Dowler, but the rest of the game was great, as both Hornung and Taylor rushed for over 100 yards for the win and Jim Brown was held to about 50 yards. It was Jim Brown's last NFL game. I worked at a paper mill in Green Bay starting in 1962 and a co-worker was Wuert Engelman, a running back for the Packers from 1930-33. Wuert was a millwright in the maintenance crew after playing for the Packers and had many interesting and unbelievable stories that I thoroughly enjoyed about him playing in the old City Stadium (like having to hurdle over a passed out drunk on the 5 yard line on his way to a TD). I believe it was a very different and in many ways a tougher game back then. I used to enjoy the old Packer band (#104 Loren Wolf was a member) and the Golden Girl cheerleaders. They gave a very local flavor to the game.
Jim Gray 329

My dad, Dale Warpinski’s Ice Bowl experience:I THOUGHT I WOULD TAKE THIS TIME TO SHARE MY PERSONAL STORY OF THE 1967 ICE BOWL-PACKER-DALLAS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME...It was a cold, -45 degree below zero day in Green Bay, Wi. on December 31, 1967. My folks and another couple went to the game. I was 16 years old and was a vendor at the game selling peanuts. I talked my dad into letting me drive the Ford Falcon Convertible to the stadium with my brother. We got there and, "AS KNOW IT ALL KIDS", we put the convertible top down. It was so cold the fans never took off their gloves or took their hands out of their pocket....so I only sold 2 bags of peanuts the whole 1st quarter. I went back to my boss and told him NO MORE! I had lost touch with my brother and figured he found a place to sit and watch the game also. I went and found a seat to sit.....It just happened to be between some Dallas fans. It was so Bitter bone chilling cold, I can remember it like it was yesterday. The Dallas guys sat me between their ladies and had me drink a nip from their flask. I watched the rest of that iconic game with them. We watched Bart Starr sneak the ball in behind Kramer and Bowman to score and take the lead. A couple of plays later, after Dallas failed to score....GREEN BAY WON THE GAME!!!!.
I with thousands of other fans stormed the field. A bunch of us started to tear down the Goal Post in the North End Zone. If you watch some of the old post game films....there I am atop the goal post rocking it to bring it down. There was a picture of this in the Packer Hall of Fame. We took the 10 foot long piece of the goal post across the street to the Shell station and they cut it up in pieces for us. I still have a small treasured piece of that goal post for memory!! I went back to the car to drive home and tried to put the convertible top up and guess what?? It wouldn't go up and the car wouldn't start. That's what happens in -45 degree weather in the Frozen Tundra. 
With some help from fans and a gas station attendant we got the car started, but could not get the top up. My dad, God Rest his sole, was so mad about the Falcon's convertible top!! My mom still resides in Green Bay, 83 years young, still says that the only reason Dad didn't beat the living daylights out of me was because the Packers won that day!! I was grounded though. Anyway that's my recollection of my experience of the Ice Bowl of 1967 and hope some of you have fond memories also.
Dale & Sara Warpinski 372

Go PackGo!

Just want to extend our thanks to you, Linda and the rest of the crew who make the Packer games at Chiefs special. Chris and I have enjoyed being a member of the club for the last 5 years and the many friends we have met. We are looking forward to "retirement" and being close to the kids and grandbaby. No matter where we hang our hats we will always be Packer fans to the end. (No worries...won't turn into an AZ fan). Again wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year. 
Go Pack Go!!!!!!
Chris 342 & Kathie 341 Gossett

Great Expectations!

Ugh, 7-9 was not the season I expected. But at least we beat the Bears twice! And do not forget about those sweet victories against Seattle and Dallas. Actually after the Dallas game, the Packers were 4-1 and I really thought we were setting up for a nice playoff run towards that elusive 14th NFL Championship.
In fact, I had tickets to the Carolina game near the end of the season which was going to help decide home field advantage during the playoffs for the Pack! Obviously, expectations changed when Aaron Rodgers went down early in the Minnesota game the next week. I admit it was rough to watch the entire games during the next weeks – especially the 0-23 Baltimore loss. But I still tuned into every game thinking the Packers could win this one! Perhaps that was too optimistic (no doubt fueled by our last 20+ years of Packers success), but I certainly was not ready to write-off the season yet. I was going to Charlotte to cheer on the Packers against Carolina no matter what, but it sure was nice to get the news that #12 Aaron Rodgers would be back to lead the team that day. Look at our family picture (myself with wife Ella, and sons Jacob & Robert) going into the stadium that day. We were so happy and confident that the Packers would win this game and stay in the playoff hunt! 
Alas, that didn’t happen. But it was a fun and exciting game to watch with plenty of other Green and Gold fans in the upper deck seats. As we trudged down the exit ramps of the stadium after the game, GO-PACK-GO chants repeatedly perked up the crowd. We all knew the Packers were just effectively eliminated from the playoffs this year, but for me the cheers represented the never-ending support we Packer fans have for the team. And the expectations that the team will be back next year for another run at glory.
Great Expectations!

Bill Demuth #398

Beyond the Brat

Over the past 20 years or so, I have tailgated in Green Bay before over 50 Packer games. We’ve tailgated outside the Resch Center, in the parking lot of Ray Nitschke Field and at a used car dealer. We’ve tailgated in balmy temperatures and sub-freezing weather; in the snow and in the rain. But nothing beats a clear, crisp Fall day in the main lot at Lambeau Field. The sights, the smells, the camaraderie – nothing compares. Of course, the main lot also means you are tailgating in the big leagues. Some cheap hot dogs and a package of chocolate chip cookies from the Piggly Wiggly just won’t cut it. You had better bring your “A” game. Here are a couple of my favorite game day recipes.

Chipotle Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

16 medium sized shrimp, peeled and
deveined, tails still on
Salt and pepper
2 tbl olive oil
2 tbl of adobo sauce from a can of
chipotles in adobo
8 slices of bacon, cut in half width wise
1 clove of garlic
1 cup of brown sugar
1 tbl Worchestershire sauce
1 tbl soy sauce
¼ cup Jack Daniels or your favorite
Juice of one lime

* In a large bowl, toss the shrimp, olive oil, salt and adobo sauce 
* Lay a seasoned shrimp in the middle of one of the 16 strips of bacon and wrap the shrimp leaving the tail hanging out. Repeat with the other 15 shrimp.
* Heat a large skillet with one tablespoon of olive oil and place the shrimp in the skillet. Cook until the shrimp firm up and the bacon is golden brown, 7-8 minutes – turning about every two minutes.
* While the shrimp are cooking, heat a small skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and toast the garlic. Add the brown sugar, Worchestershire and soy sauce and dissolve. Remove from heat, pour in whiskey and ignite. Return to heat until alcohol burns off.
* Add lime juice to the sauce and pour over the cooked shrimp and serve.
* We use toothpicks and just take the shrimp right from the skillet.

Chili Marinated Flank Steak

1 ¼ cups red wine vinegar
¾ cup olive oil
½ cup chili powder
1/3 cup garlic powder
1/3 cup paprika
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 red onion chopped
3 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 2-pound flank steak

Whisk the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend (it will be thick). Mix in the onions, bay leaves and herbs. Place steak in a gallon zip lock bag, pour in marinade, seal and refrigerate one to two days. There is enough marinade for two steaks.
When ready place steak on barbeque and grill for 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice steak diagonally and serve. Great by itself or serve with caramelized onions wrapped in a large tortilla shell.
Don 369 & Sharon 445 Dandelske


First of all, let me thank my staff at Packer Backer Bits (Kraig, Ken Jimmy, Barbara and now Marge) for doing a tremendous job each week putting out a great newsletter.  Then there is the “Office” girls (Linda, Marge, Jamie & Chris) for taking care of business each game day.  To those (Barb, Don, Sharon, Jimmy, Karn) that took the time to help set up and pack up each Gameday, your efforts did not go unnoticed.  A special thanks goes to Johnny and the staff at Chief’s for not only the great service and food but giving us the gift cards each week plus mid and end of season prizes.  The new owner, Matt, has already made some positive changes at Chief’s and by new season, Chief’s will look like a brand new place.  And last but not least, to everyone that contributed to this final edition (Kraig, Ken, Jimmy, Marge Chris & Kathie, Sara, Jim, Bill, Don & Linda frotaking the pictures); I consider it an honor to be here on page 6.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled news-letter...
To quote a line from the Grateful Dead… ♫♪♫what a looooong strange trip it’s beennnn♫♪.  A trip that started off with the National Anthem debacle, where one player refused to stand because of police brutality, ended up being a cause for anyone with a cause and with the help of the media, became a NFL embarrassment, one the NFL never recovered from.  A trip that was derailed with a broken collarbone.  A trip that ended with the first time in 8 years, Packer Fans having Sunday’s off in January.  It was also only the third time in the Favre/Rodgers era the Packers posted a losing season.  A trip where the axe was wildly swinging after the season ended with only Mike’s position safe with a one year extension.

Some say we got what we wished for, with Ted stepping down as GM while Dom and others were shown the door.  We now need to have faith in guys named Brian Gutekunst (GM) and reportedly Mike Pettine as our new defense coordinator.  The GM hire also caused Eliot Wolf (Ron’s boy) and Alonzo Hightower to move on to Cleveland. There are also rumors that Edgar Bennett (Offense coordinator) is leaving and the return of Joe Philbin but as of today Packers.com does not confirm these rumors.  Any way you look at it, like Chief’s, the Packers will have a whole new look in 2018; time will tell if the new and improved Packers will be a better version than the one that left 2017 in the dust.
The offense, without Air-ron looked lost.  Ty Montgomery struggled as a RB and with the emergence of Williams and Jones will the Ty experiment finally be put to rest?  Davante Adams got a contract extension which puts Randall Cobb as the possible odd man out if Ty is back as a receiver.  The other questions on offense are any tight ends safe and what will become of Jeff Janis who is now a free agent?
The defense, despite what people say about Capers was not all that bad.  When Mike Daniels was in the lineup, we had a stout run defense.  Now some say we had “More” injuries than other teams but this is not completely true.  I counted almost 10 teams whose IR list this year was longer than ours.  What hurt us (other than Air-ron on the list) was the depth of lost at key positions.  Lost for the season was 4 Cornerbacks, a Safety and 2 linebackers. Add to this players like Burnett, House and Goodson (all free agents) were listed as injured almost every week.  This caused walk-on players to be forced into starting roles; some may not even make the team next year.

Next year will be different for our club as well.  I have not had a chance to analyze the responses but the general theme is most are willing to have bigger but fewer prizes but not willing to increase dues.  I like the idea of having a meeting in the near future to discuss that plus ways to get more people involved and ways to inform other Packer Fans we are alive and well at Chief’s.  I love this club, I love the people and feel, like our beloved Packers, we will be back better and stronger.  I know this because… duh… I will always 
Bleed Green My Friends.  
Packer John