Archive for the ‘Packers fans’ Category

Saturday morning began just like any other day in my house.  An infant and toddler were ready for Mom and Dad to wake up so they let the world know by screaming at the top of their lungs. This day was different though, soon I’d be hitting the road for Milwaukee. Breakfast was a little better on this particular morning than it is on most days. After rushing to get the car packed, I started my trip to Wisconsin.

It was a fairly uneventful drive that lasted a little over 7 hours. As soon as I arrive at my friend’s house, who was home on leave visiting family, the drinking started. Nothing too crazy because tomorrow was the big day, just enough to take the edge off. Some people in the house were trying all their layers on and going through a test run outside. Saturday night’s temperature was nothing compared to what we would actually experience up North at Green Bay.

We woke up nice and early on Sunday morning since we had to be out of the door at 9:30 am. Tailgating isn’t an option at Lambeau field, it is mandatory.  After the two hour drive to Green Bay, we started to get all of our layers on to finally face the cold. Let me tell you, it was fucking cold. Easily, it was the coldest weather I ever experienced. There was no way this weather wasn’t going to affect the players. GLOVES were a necessity! I planned on taking a lot of pictures, but there was no way I was going to take my gloves off to use my smart phone. If you listened to the podcast, you heard that my phone was not even working under these conditions.

Handwarmers were stuffed in gloves, down pockets, in shoes and anywhere else you’d like to keep nice and toasty. After a couple of hours of tailgating we headed into the most famous stadium in football, Lambeau field, and it was glorious. Any football fan, whether they like the Pack or not, need to experience everything that Lambeau has to offer. It’s like they just dropped a stadium in the middle of a little town, with houses across the street and right next to the stadium. No matter how big football gets, Green Bay will always be the same ol town.

Aerial shot of Lambeau field on Sunday

The fans are incredible, quite possibly the safest/best place to go if you’re an opposing fan. Packers fans pride themselves on being respectful, ESPECIALLY inside of the Mecca that is Lambeau. I saw a large turnout of Niners fans, but 90% of the reaction from Packers fans was friendly. Of course, there are some young & immature fans who like to yell things at opposing team fans but they were far and few.  If their parents were present, I’m sure they would have put their Packer kin into check.

The view from our seats was incredible, even more impressive since I purchased the tickets 4 days before the game.

View from our seats

View from our seats

The entire game we were screaming, drinking, freezing and just having a good time. It felt like the crowd was in the game the whole time until Phil Dawson’s final kick sailed through the uprights. It was weird because none of us felt drunk in that weather. I mean look what was happening to the beers, THE INSANITY PEOPLE!

Frozen beer

Frozen beer

So you had to drink fast, which apparently my friend was not doing! Also, if you spilt any drinks on yourself it would immediately frost making you look like Frosty the Snowman shot his load all over you.

I'm on the right purely disappointed with my party fouls

I’m on the right purely disappointed with my party fouls

The atmosphere and experience made up for the result of the game. It was a tough loss, and we just didn’t make enough plays to win the game. Some shaky play-calling by Mike McCarthy, which also led to some drives ending early or not being able to punch it in the endzone for six. I think we all felt that we were going to win the game, the Niners weren’t impressing anybody. Kaepernick just taking off out of the pocket was the difference in the game.  He had a couple of long runs out of the pocket in crucial situations that led to the Niners staying on the field and putting up points. Before the game if you told me the Niners were only going to score 23, I would think we were going to win the game.

My prediction for the game was 27-24 Packers, but our redzone woes decided to follow us to 2014. Partly due to the plays being called, it seems like we abandon Eddie Lacy every time we get in the red zone. If we are inside the 10 yard line, Eddie Lacy needs to be out there. We should at least give him one shot if not two at getting in the endzone. After the game we looked at stats and saw that Lacy had 80 yards and we were all surprised. That was a tough ass 80 yards that Eddie Lacy ran for against a good defense on a frigid day. I think his longest carry was 8 yards so he was just out there grinding like he always does. Having Lacy on the field in goalline situations makes the defense at least have to account for him and hopefully open up the passing lanes a little bit. I actually enjoyed the games McCarthy called for Quarterbacks not named Aaron this year.

Each game Aaron Rodgers was out McCarthy had to find a way to get his QBs in rhythm while maintaining a heavy dose of Lacy/Starks. Some of the games Flynn started we came out of the gates throwing the ball, little WR screens and intermediate passes just to get in a flow. Sunday, he decides to come out with three running plays. I’m ok with that, but when the 3rd down run is to John Kuhn that’s when I have a problem. Just keep Lacy in there and pound it up the gut on 3rd and 2 instead of trying to catch the Niners off guard with Kuhn. McCarthy would make a similar move later in the game when he tried to go up the middle with Randall Cobb on a goalline possession. This is the kind of stuff that really bothers me with MM. Also, when he has Aaron Rodgers he feels the need that he has to keep passing no matter if the running game is working or not. That is probably part of the reason our redzone scoring was so low. Abandoning the run and trying to pass every time you get inside the 20 is going to be a little difficult when there isn’t that much open field.

The Packers missed out on what could have been a couple of huge turnovers in the game. The first was a fumble that MD Jennings was unable to secure, and the second was a dropped interception by Hyde that could have potentially won the game on the final drive. I just watched it, and got sick to my stomach.

Probably an interception if they’re playing in San Fran instead

Oh man this gif just keeps going, wow every time I watch it I keep thinking he is going to catch the ball. What a heartbreaker, he could have taken it to the house and then everybody would be putting the blame on Kaepernick instead of praising him for his heroics. I don’t even want to talk anymore as this gif keeps going and ruining my day. Ultimately, the Packers were playing with house money and were lucky to make it into the playoffs…..right? No, these are professional football players their goal isn’t to make it to the playoffs and lose. They want those rings, and this team really thought they had something special. I will always remember this season because of Aaron Rodgers’ injury, what could have been with Rodgers/Lacy, the wild coaster ride games, the birth of the Cardiac Pack, and going to Lambeau field. Look out NFL in 2014, the Pack will be back.

Randall “Stiltz”

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Illegal Formation

San Diego Vs Kansas City

Kansas City knows what Bolts fans have been saying all year and that is they win all the games against good opponents and lose the games they should win. By that logic, Kansas City benches their starters and the Chargers almost blow their chance to get in the playoffs! But seriously, the Chiefs had this game and it all slipped away. A lot of talk today about the illegal formation by the Chargers that was never called. Refs miss calls, but I’m sure there are a lot of angry Steelers fans out there because of this.

San Francisco Vs Arizona

Great game capped off by this sick catch by Quinton Patton with 22 seconds left to set up the game winning field goal for San Fran.

Amazing catch by Patton

Dallas Vs Philly

A game that Dallas controlled for the most point, only to succumb to turnovers…….again. Costly turnovers in the first half by players not named Romo(Murray and Witten)allowed Philly to have a nice lead going into halftime. Both of those turnovers went straight into Philly’s defenders hands, is there a team with worse luck than the Cowboys (Don’t answer that Cleveland). I loved the way DeMarco has run the ball the entire year, he did not want to go home last night. DeMarchoo choo Murray everybody:

DeMarchoo Choo Murray

You knew this game was going to come down to the wire no matter what because the football gods love messing with Cowboys fans, Orton pulls a Romo with a game ending interception. Hats off to Dallas who played a hell of a game. Great offense all year, terrible defense. Expect Kiffin to be fired and for Dallas to return to it’s 3-4 ways next year.

Do the Romo **da da da da da da da da da da**

Green Bay Vs Chicago

Longest rivalry in the NFL lived up to its billing. Everything just seems to be going the Packers way as of late, including the craziest touchdown of the year.

One of the oddest TDs you’ll ever see

Rodgers was able to shake off some early miscues and make one of the biggest passes of his career. All out blitz by the Bears on 4th and 8, Rodgers is able to elude Peppers thanks to a solid chip block by Kuhn and hit a wide open Cobb for the game winning TD. I don’t know if Rodgers will get enough credit for this throw, he is scrambling to his left and throws an off balance 50 yarder to Cobb. Questionable call of the day goes to Mike McCarthy for electing not to go for two early in the 4th, a call that almost came back to haunt the Packers.

THAAAAA COBBBBBBBLEEEERR IS BACK

Welcome back Randall

Randall Cobb said after the game he saw the safety was flat footed and knew he had him beat deep so he threw his hand in the air right away. Even though Cobb has been out 10 weeks and Rodgers 7, the chemistry is still strong with this duo. Packers fans will remember this play for a loooooooong time, I couldn’t believe my eyes when there was a wide open Randall Cobb streaking down the field. Glad to see my son Randall isn’t cursed either.

Last but not least, it was Tony Gonzalez’s final game in the NFL.

Thank you Tony!

Not the season he came back for, but he still gave it his all like a true professional. There is no doubt that he could have played another three years with this kind of productivity, the guy is a machine. Tony finished his 17th year with 83 rec 859 yds 8 TDs

Career Stats:

1325 Rec 15,127 yds 111 TDs

For a Tight End to finish in the TOP 6 for all of these categories is just insane. Tony will be missed, one of the greatest of all time.

2nd ALL TIME IN RECEPTIONS BEHIND JERRY RICE

5th ALL TIME IN RECEPTION YARDS

6th ALL TIME IN RECEIVING TDs

Christmas week for the Packers/Bears rivalry

Matt Flynn be like

Bears be like

….the day after Christmas

Aaron Rodgers will start this Sunday against the Bears for the division title.

The Champ is back.

Bears fans rejoice

Christmas came early for Packers fans following a heartbreaking loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at home. Not only were the Detroit Lions defeated by the Giants, but the Bears were embarrassed on National TV by an Eagles team that didn’t need to win. Now the North will be decided by the oldest rivalry in the NFL, Packers at the Bears. We all know the Starks control the North, and one team actually dresses a Stark.

This has been a wild two months in the NFC North. The Packers at 5-2 couldn’t win a game the entire month of November without Rodgers. At 5-6-1, their playoff hopes were slipping away. That’s right when the Packers turned into the cardiac kids and had two comeback victories against the Falcons and Cowboys. This latest game was another saga in the dramatic comeback games for the Packers; however they fell short with poor time management.  Matt Flynn had a very similar game when he came into play for Rodgers against the Patriots in 2010. Flynn had horrendous clock management at the game which lead to the Packers not having an opportunity to score. The parallels from these two teams are kinda eerie.

The Lions, one of the most talented teams in the league, had everything to lose. Not only did the Packers not have Rodgers, but Jay Cutler was injured too. The Lions proved once again they weren’t ready.  Too many turnovers, sloppy play and untimely penalties lead to their demise. Now the two teams that controlled their own destiny….still control their own destiny thanks to the Lions losing.

The Bears have to be happy to be in the position to win the division as well. Their defense has just been awful this year. It is hard to watch this Bears team, since they are a polar opposite of previous teams.  However, they are still hanging around thanks to the deficiencies in the division. Now they have an opportunity to sweep their rivals this week and take claim to the division.

The big question now is whether Aaron Rodgers will play in this game or not. It’s hard to imagine Rodgers not suiting up for this game, but in the end the Packers are going to make the best decision for their future as a team.  The Packers would be the tougher out in the playoffs in my opinion. The Bears have a nice offense, but every NFC playoff team would be salivating to play that defense.

Whether the Packers or Bears win the NFC North, the winner will be the #4 seed. That means there is a potential of a Bears/Packers vs Niners game if the playoffs started today. I think Packers fans would love a little redemption against a 49ers team that has had the Packers numbers these last couple of years. The 4 seed would host the wildcard game and that would put the home team at a nice advantage seeing as all the potential wildcards aren’t cold weather teams. So whether it is New Orleans, Arizona, San Francisco, or Carolina the Packers/Bears would have the advantage. This week a lot of the pundits will say how bad the NFC North is and how nobody is trying to win it, but I think the Packers can make a run with AR12 behind center.

 

Randall “Stiltz”

 

Growing up a Packers fan I really didn’t know how lucky I was until this season, 2013!  My earliest memories of watching the Packers involve witnessing one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Brett Favre, sling it all over the field. Success happened quickly when Favre was under center, but we couldn’t get over the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of people give fans shit for referring to their favorite team as we, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. The Fans invest a lot into the team and without the fans there is no NFL or professional sports for that matter. Anyway, the Packers would eventually make it to the Superbowl and win it when I was just 11.  I remember to this day how excited I was that entire playoff run. I’ll also remember the feeling of disappointment the following year when we fell short to the Denver Broncos.

What will stick with me the most during the Packers 1996 season, was my Dad’s reaction. When the Packers knocked out the Panthers to advance to the Superbowl I remember my Dad beginning to tear up as I jumped around in excitement. Life as a Packers fan to me was easy because we were winning, we had a great QB, a great coach, and one of the best defenders of all time. What I didn’t have to go through was the long drought of mediocrity in Green Bay that my Dad endured as a fan. My generation was spoiled and lucky to be born into Packers fandom.  Favre always kept the Packers as a playoff contender with Superbowl potential. Even as Coaches rotated in/out the Packers stayed relevant with Favre as the driving force.

We all knew Favre couldn’t play forever but he was our ironman. He never missed a game as a Packer and we never thought we’d see him suited up in anything besides Green and Gold.  When Aaron Rodgers was drafted, the clock unofficially started for Favre’s career in Green Bay. Even after a successful 2007 season, that saw the Packers fall short against the Giants at home in the NFC Championship game, the team was committed to Rodgers. Favre’s indecisiveness off the field on whether or not he was coming back the following year had run out. Nobody was happy, Rodgers handled the situation with class and let his play do the talking.

Aaron Rodgers went on to become the best quarterback in the NFL in just a 4 year span. During this run he led the Packers to a Superbowl, won the Superbowl MVP(something Favre didn’t accomplish) and regular season MVP. The 2008 season was a bust, but Rodgers still threw for over 4,000 yards as a rookie. The 2009 season was when the ghost of Favre came back to haunt the Packers. Actually, it was the real Favre in a purple costume torching the Packers and getting some redemption of his own. The Packers would go on to make the playoffs that year and be involved in quite a shootout against the Cardinals. I remember watching the game in Afghanistan, and riding a roller coaster of emotions. The Packers would eventually lose after a fumble bounced off Rodgers foot and returned for a TD.

The 2010 season, Rodgers third as a starter, would be his chance to exercise the demons against Favre’s Vikings. It would also be the year that Rodgers put himself on the map as a legitimate superstar. His play in the playoffs and Superbowl was a joy to watch. That Superbowl was different, I now understood how hard it was for a team to make it this far. I found myself sitting still on the chair following a game clinching interception, just letting it all soak in. My first reaction was to call my dad and we just sat there in amazement on the phone.

2011 was something special. The Packers offense was unstoppable and it all started with Aaron Rodgers. They didn’t have a running game and the defense was subpar but was always good for a couple of turnovers a game. The Packers would always manage to get a double digit lead and get teams to start passing the ball which lead to turnovers. The Packers could not stop the run for the life of them that season, but it didn’t matter since they were always playing ahead. The Packers would go 13-0 heading into a matchup with the Chiefs. Surprisingly, I attended the Chiefs/Packers game that year and got to witness
the Packers get their first loss while being berated by the fans. The 2011 Packers were flawed, but Rodgers greatness was enough to overcome it all up until the playoffs. The playoffs are when your opponents are good enough to expose your flaws. You have to be a well-rounded team in order to make it to the Superbowl.  The Packers knew how bad their defense was so they used their first five picks on defensive players.

2012’s Packers team had the same issues. The Packers still lacked a running game and their defense wasn’t playing much better. However, Rodgers was able to carry them to an 11-5 season and a divisional rematch against the Niners. The Packers defense was shredded on National Television and since they were one-dimensional, Rodgers never stood a chance against that defense
. In the offseason the Packers finally decided to address their needs at running back by drafting Eddie Lacy in the second round, and Jonathan Franklin in the fourth. Eddie Lacy has turned out to be everything and more for the Packers.

The 2013 Packers were an extremely fun team to watch with a two-headed monster on Offense. Aaron Rodgers throwing the rock and Eddie Lacy being the workhorse. The defense was playing the best ball it had been in years, gang-tackling and playing with a high level of intensity. The Packers were starting to look like serious title contenders and then it all came crashing down on the night of November 4th. Coincidentally the same day my son was born. As I stood in the Hospital holding my
son, telling him about the Packers, Rodgers was getting thrown to the ground and going back to the locker room.

There were injuries in previous seasons but the quarterback has never missed a significant amount of time. Favre played QB for the Packers for 16 years and never missed a game. Aaron Rodgers had missed a game here and there but nothing too detrimental to the season. Rodgers has been sidelined for 7 weeks with no return in sight. The man that was able to cover up all of the Packers flaws was now gone and the rest of the team was left to fend for themselves. Suddenly, the defense which was ranked in the top 10 fell to the bottom of the rankings. How were they supposed to stop anybody when they were spending so much time out on the field. The Rodgers/Lacy combo had the Packers winning the time of possession game. Now they are having to deal with three and out after three and out. A franchise that had 3 total QB’s start since 1992, suddenly had 3 in two weeks. Packers’ fans finally got a taste of what a majority of other teams’ fans had to live through during those past 21 years. Inconsistency at the quarterback position is tough to watch, and it makes you feel hopeless as a fan.

Nobody will give Packers’ fans pity, but we can now say that we understand your pain. I know one thing, my generation has been extremely spoiled and lucky to have two potential Hall of Fame QBs at the helm. Without Rodgers, the Packers didn’t win a game the entire month of November. When they beat Atlanta, I can honestly say I forgot how good it felt to win.  I can only hope that Rodgers plays a long career so my children can witness a great quarterback like I did when I was young.  If that means holding him out the rest of the year, then that’s ok with me. However, this was one of the hottest teams in the league in Week 7 and there is no limit to what this team could accomplish with Rodgers in the lineup. Whether Rodgers comes back this year or next, we should all just be grateful that Rodgers is the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. Two Superbowls in the 29 years I’ve been alive is a lot to be thankful for!

Randall “Stiltz”