Misery in Minnesota

From Gale H, Packer fan in the Twin Cities:

Don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been enjoying football fan nirvana today, for sure.  I’m soaking this one in like I never did in ’96.  So many articles, videos and podcasts, so little time!

The next best thing to being in Green Bay has got to be living in the heart of enemy territory – getting to listen to all of the utterly defeated sour-puss Viking fans.  Today is for celebrating the win!  But, if you want some serious real entertainment, at some point you need to check out Paul Allen’s,  Dan “the common man” Cole’s and Dan Barreiro‘s radio shows today.   Along with the joy of the Packers Championship victory, I have some serious shadenfreude going on with the Vikings and their fans.  It’s just too good to not savor.  Not with all the history, recent and past.  Minnesota is in misery for sure.

Superbowl 31 was great in that we were finally back after 30 years.  But for me, this year has been probably the most gratifying for how so many ghosts of the past were erased.  The victories of this last year and now the Lombardi Trophy returning have absolutely erased some of the toughest losses and incidents over the last 40 years.

  • The Vikings were big back in the 70’s when Pat and I were kids.   I always remember the 5 or 6 kids who rooted for the Vikings that I just could not stand.  They were so arrogant and nasty with their comments about the Pack and we fans that stuck with the Pack.   It’s all gone!  The comment today from Dan Barreiro was, “They’ve [Packer fans] got everything.  We’ve got nothing!”  Witnessing the Vikings and Favre’s scheme fall twice to the Pack – to see total Viking embarrassment and literal destruction was just a part of the perfect season for me.
  • 4th and 26… Gone!  Pack defeated Philly twice and they move on in the playoffs.
  • 80’s Chicago and “The Fridge”…  Gone!  Defeated da Bears twice, once in the NFC Championship, with Raji on the fake up the middle, allowing Rodgers to run to the side.  “The Freezer” then makes makes the Pick 6.
  • Losing to the Falcons in the playoffs, AT Lambeau years ago…  Gone!  We defeated them soundly on their own turf.
  • 90’s Cowboys…   Gone!  Waxed the Cowboys in embarrassing fashion.  Coach gets fired.  The Green Bay Packers go on to hoist the Lombardi Trophy inside Jerry Jones’  “Death Star” – the functional equivalent of stealing the date he brought to his own dance.
  • Losing to the Giants in the 2007 Conference Championship game with Favre throwing a terrible interception….  Gone!   Flash ahead, Favre throws the same Championship-losing interception with the Vikings barely a year ago and the Pack beats the NFC rival Giants to the playoffs this year.

GO PACK!!!  The Lombardi Trophy is home!

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  • Kevin Roth

    I also noticed a lot of grumpy people at work here on Monday. Despair must be what all the Vikings fans here must be feeling. One of my coworkers even came over to taunt me about how horrible the Packers fans are for rubbing it in on the local talk radio shows, saying things such as “Vikings fans will never know the feeling we are experiencing right now”. I simply told her that she too can experience what it is like to have your team win the Super Bowl once the Vikings move to L.A. and she becomes a Packers fan!

    • ………and, don’t I feel vindicated after being chastised so much for claiming the Vikes and Bearse shot their wad (ie: treasure and picks). When it doesn’t work it hurts for years. You know what real disappointment is? Its a John Hadl trade, John Jefferson trade, Bruce Clark going to Canada, Holmgren leaving, Starr coaching, Mandarich, Bengtson coaching, Lofton in an elevator, a QB who won’t help his successor. The Packer Nation has experienced it all over lo these 90 or so years. We are now going to go through the agony of our success and lose some we really don’t want to but have to rake the garden as it were……!

    • Rick

      Great Come back.

      The SCORE in Chicago has been ready to jump off a cliff with bad mood Bears fans.

      Ity is so delightful to hear them all up in arms.

  • Great summary in this info. Loved it, and yes, all those ghosts seemed to be erased in one fell swoop. How about erasing the ghost of Michael Vick beating us in Lambeau in the playoffs for the very first time? I know teh facons were mentioned, but Vick was also part of that equation. And how about erasing the 1960 championship loss to the Eagles as well by beating Philly in their home stadium as well (in addition to the 4th and 26 debacle). Otherwise, all well said!!!

  • I never thought of those losses as being something the other teams did to us, as much as it being due to our own shortcomings. I didn’t see a lot of malice with the exception of Randy Moss and the Vikes back then. Most of those teams were just better than ours, or were healthier at that time. The 4th and 26 and Championship game we were out coached.(MM and his staff have gotten better). I don’t have hard feelings toward the other fans, possibly because I don’t live in Milwaukee any more. Either way the NFL is fair enough that no team is going to rule them all like the Yankees. Why not just share the love like the Black eyed Peas song. That said I do love to hate the Yankees(and the Raiders),oh well it was just a thought.

    • Kevin Roth

      For the record, Mike McCarthy was not with the Packers for the 4th and 26 debacle.

      • Worst loss I can remember, and needless. Sherman and his staff actually got worse after the 4th and 26. Give MM credit, he’s better and Capers is a godsend.

  • Monkeon

    Truth be told, we had a major lapse in the area of Defensive Coordinator between Fritz and Dom

    • Kevin Roth

      What about Bates? He was fantastic. I think if he had stuck around as defensive coordinator we wouldn’t have gone through such a dry spell on defense before we got Capers.

  • ScottS

    And continuing on to next year if the league schedules the Packers and the bears at Lambeau to open the season the bears could end up losing three out of their last four games to Green Bay. That would be so sweet.

  • Buffalo Jim

    Thanks Gale H. My sentiments exactly. Perfectly stated. And then the Metra roof fell in.

  • Scotto

    Have to say work was pretty decent on Monday. As a Packer fan living in the Cincinnati area..lots of band wagon Packer fans (more rooting against division rival Pittsburgh than rooting for GB..) but still…great time to be a Packer Fan!!!!!

    • Kevin Roth

      At least Cincinnati fans have it right – you NEVER root for a division rival! MANY Vikings fans here turned over and rooted for the Packers…I don’t get it.

  • Hoopla, Cam Newton! Very few run-first QBs make it big in the NFL because the O blocking schemes and D sets don’t allow for it. You get the unusual sometimes with a Vick or a Tarkenton, but the usual is a V Young or De Russell. Lombardi did it right with Hornung, they all should be made into runners and have the pass option once in a while. I’m thinking back a few years of that guy PIT had who couldn’t play QB and they tried to make him a RB and/or WR, just doesn’t work.

    • iccyfan

      Kordell Stewart really wasn’t that bad as a QB and Pittsburgh used him as a “slash” before he became their starting QB, not after. I read something recently about him and our QB Coach – Tom Clements. Evidently Clements tutored Kordell into a pro bowl…

      Being a proud Iowa State University alum, I despise Auburn’s Gene Chizek and therefore Cam Newton by association. I’m still hoping the NCAA can turn something up in the “pay to play” scandal that will result in Auburn having to forfeit the National Title! Even so, I’m not so quick to discount Cam Newton’s potential as a pro; I do NOT want to see him as a Viking!

    • You seem to think very highly of a guy who was beaten out at QB by the likes of Tommy Maddox, Chris Chandler, Rex Grosman, Jim Miller, and Mike Tomczak. He did go to the pro bowl one year, but I’m not sure it was at QB. Hell, I’ve made mistakes in the voting booth too. He threw more INTs than TDs; I thought he was lousy, but then thats me.

      • iccyfan

        OK – you made me look it up on profootballreference.com; he had a career 48-34 record as a starter and while his passing stats weren’t spectacular, he also rushed for ~3000 yards and ~40 TD’s. I don’t know where you got “think highly of the guy” from my comment “he really wasn’t that bad”. Even so, I can play your game – Stewart beat out Neil O’Donnell, who took the Steelers to a Superbowl. Not that Stewart really matters in a discussion of whether or not we’d like to see the Vikings get Cam Newton in the draft…I’m not in favor of it!

        • Rick

          Cam is in need of three years to develop with a good QB school being run by the drafting team. He has skills but has not been trained in a WC system. At this time that is not Minn.

          The news of the Packers losing a QB coach is far more interesting. Is he going to Dallas to work on Romo or are they making a QB change?

          • Rick

            Never mind I misread. We are losing th ereciever coach to be the asst head coach/receivers coach. Sounds like Romo is staying.

          • Steve Cheez

            That being the case, I’d love to see the Viqueens take Newton, set them back a few more years!

      • You made my point, iccy; he was a better WR or RB than QB IMO. Strange we disagree so much; I would love Cam going to MIN, ’cause of what they would have to invest in him at that position. Again, history tells me they, collectively, do not make franchise QBs and thats the position they all want to play. Yeah, O’Donnell was a great SB QB; so was Dilfer, Eli, McMahon, etc, etc, etc.

        • iccyfan

          I didn’t make your point in any way, shape or form. I know Cam Newton is raw and relies on athleticism, but similar young QB’s named Michael Vick and Daunte Culpepper (before the devastating knee injury) have given the Packers fits in the past.

          Much post-Super Bowl talk has started with, “once they got past the Eagles”. There’s a reason for that! Despite the fact the Packers beat the Eagles twice this year, people are scared to death of Vick and would much rather face the traditional QB’s like Ryan, Cutler and Roethlesberger. I’m with that group and hope Washington takes Newton before MN has a chance…

  • Deek

    Open letter to TT: Trade Matt Flynn and our 1st and 3rd draft choices to Cleveland for the number 6 pick. Should be able to find something of interest there.

    • iccyfan

      Even I think that’s too much to pay, and I’m a proponent of trading away some of our eight picks this year! Per the early expert Mock Drafts (yeh, I know), the run on OT’s will truely begin around selection #20, with New England and Chicago likely taking a pair off the board right in front of us. I’d love to see Ted trade up in front of those two for a future OT to pair with Bulaga. That pick could slide into Colledge’s LG spot for a year while Clifton finishes up his career and we’re in good shape for years to come! I like the 26 y/o Canadian kid from Baylor (Watkins?), but you don’t want to pay a king’s ransom for him. JMHO…

      • Rick

        This draft class is deep with Dline line men at DT and DE but light on quality OT and NTs. It takes 3 years for Olinemen to develop generally other then the top couple of players. I would prefer to see GB consider what we have and only draft Olinemen in the later rounds. I think Defense early. The quality is there at 32nd pick.

        Pickett is over 30, Jenkins may be able to be resigned maybe not ; what are you getting with Jolly when he comes back- is he game shape at all; Neal was hurt- will he stay healthy or is he a Harrell ; Green is a big body that gave depth but he can not zone blitz or drop in cover, We used him because he was a load to help give Raji breathers- is he really the guy we want on the line?;

        I guess I would see this as a BPA draft. Because of that Defense will have greater value where we are picking. Obviously just an opinion. I finished my top 750 Big board but I just don’t have the heart to look at updating my mock’s with the CBA being unknown and the rules on FA up in the air.

      • I agree completely, Rick, there is a reason why OL types slide to later rounds. Time to develop! A quick look at modern day HOFers (80s/90s) shows 7 OGs, 5 picked in the 1st round and includes Bruce Matthews who played every position on the OL including C. There are only 3 OTs with Munoz and Yary picked in the 1st. They are easier to find in later rounds and sure don’t cost as much while developing. Bruce Clark and Mandarich were 1sts, ugh! Cliffy was a second and Tausch a 7th. Gregg, Koch, and Kostelnik were 2nds and only Mark Koncar was a first; good luck Bulaga. The risk is just too high for me. Given the injury risk factor I’ll go quanity there rather than quality (assumption of quality) anytime.

        • Rick

          Great research LT.

          I agree in your thinking the problem in going to the NFL for an Offensive Linemen is strength and techniques used by the defense. No OLineman in college sees the consistant level of competition that they face when they get to the league. Three years of workout and training seem to get the best out of the player.

        • iccyfan

          How does it compare to other positions? How many HOF DT / DE players from the 80’s / 90’s were drafted in the first round? Bruce Clark was a DT, so I’m not sure why he’s included in a discussion of OT’s, unless he’s just an illustration of a wasted first rounder. If we want to discuss wasted first round picks used on DL, we don’t have to travel very far back (Justin Harrell, Jamal Reynolds). I’d submit the probability of a first-round OL draft bust is no higher than that for other positions (Ahmad Carroll anybody).

          I do agree TT will draft BPA but I’m hoping another line prospect falls to us…

          • Rick

            Ouch don’t say Carroll’s name to me, that one still hurts 🙂
            It almost put me off on all players from Arkansas for years.

  • Its my adherence to normal NFL drafting policy to use the first round for skill positions. The crowds don’t buy season tickets to see OTs, OGs and Cs. When you miss on one (obviously, at any position) its gut wrenching.

    • iccyfan

      While it probably seems like I just enjoy opposing you in all matters Packer, that’s really not the case. 🙂 You say you “agree completely” with Rick, who advocates taking a defensive lineman in the first, then come back and say you prefer taking a skill position player in the first! With no offense to Raji, Pickett and company, I don’t think of DL as skill positions, while I have come to regard OT as such.

      The “How the Packers were Built” article on the main page presents a startling blueprint for a team many of us think has “dynasty” potential. The season ending 53 consited of:
      5 First-Rounders, 7 Second-Rounders, 2 Third-Rounders, 2 Fourth-Rounders, 2 Fifth-Rounders, 6 Sixth-Rounders, 5 Seventh-Rounders, 18 Undrafted Free Agents, 2 Unrestricted Free Agents and 4 Waiver Claims.

      That’s crazy, in that 66% (35 of 53) of our squad comes from the ranks of the “unwanted” (sixth round and later)! There must be something to that “chip of the shoulder / hungry” theory!

      • You’re now taking stuff completely out of context just for the sake of arguement. I’ve lauded 1st round picks like Matthews and Raji as phenomanal. Franchise QBs, WRs and RB are USUALLY (OK?) picked in the first; geez…..!

      • Dan

        The chip on the shoulder theory also has something to do with coaching.

        Good coaches make the most of a players ability and hide their flaws.

        MM made Flynn look as good as Brady in the Patriots game.
        MM refused to let anyone in the organization make excuses. This results were personal responsibility and more hard work than we’ve seen in years.
        Kevin Greene found ways to take unwanted LBs and make them productive.
        Robinson has a history of coaching WRs to be very productive in the NFL. (Sorry to hear we lost him to Dallas).
        When Capers came in, the defense was a disaster. In 2010, the defense was a beast.

        On the flip side, in 2009 Campen left many of us questioning his coaching skills.
        Also, remember how bad that Kurt Schottenheimer was with the secondary.

        For example, most (if not all) football guys in Florida say Shields was a disaster in college. He had speed, but could be beat by anyone with a brain and mediocre college talent. The Packers coaches did something that few thought possible.

        • Rick

          Ding ding ding. Dan hit the nail on the head.

          TT brought in a “teaching” coaching staff. He knew MM was a QB friendly coach to team with a young guy and develop him. It has had it bumps- look at the offense two years ago. But now the Packers are adept at teaching basic principles and techniques because of the amount of youth on this team in addition to the off the street talent having to be brough tup to speed.

          This coaching staffs strengths are teaching. We may get out coached but the amount of “hard luck” ” didn’t get given anything” personalities really shows the heart of this team.

          • Rick

            #1 QB was unwanted and unloved coming out of High school. ( Rodgers )
            #1 Wr was dropped by Michigan as a recruit and scrambled to be the best in a smaller school ( Jennings )
            #2 WR was a small school guy 7th round that was not even going to make it thru the training camp. Went on to be a top player in Packer history (DD)
            #3 WR token white guy on a not so great college team that worked hard to do anything the team needed him to do ( Jordy Nelson)
            #1 RB – 6th round draft pick that ran hard but was buried on a depth chart with the Giants. One a few 1,200 rushers for 3years( Grant)
            #2 RB – 6th round kid that was hurt and had not played football in almost 2 years. Still learning but won’t quit running hard and trying to improve. ( Starks)
            #1 OLB so unloved in high school his own dad did not play him on defense. Had to walk on and make him self a top pick. ( CM III)
            #1 SS Grandfather was a general and ran a small african nation. Always told he is to small and to slow to play football in high school, to small and slow to play football in college, to small and to slow for the NFL. 5th rounder cut and picked up as FA
            Always said to have heart of a lion and never stops working and improving. ( Peprah)

            #1FS Great athlete but not heavily recruited. Went to a small school. Came out with a chip on shoulder to be the best. ( Nick Collins )

            Lets not forget the Undrafted Zombo, 7th round Brad Jones that worked there butts off to make the team. Or Erik Walden an off the street FA that decimated Cutler in the last season regular season game. All guys that are hungery to learn and work hard.

            #3 DB A kid that had to speed but no real head for the game. Had to deal with baby mama drama. Stepped up and took ownership of a situation and dealt with it. Was willing to learn and work hard and developed talents that he did not have in college ( Sam Shields)

            Sounds like a team with minimal silver spoon disease doesn’t it.
            Man I love this team !!

          • Rick

            Of I forgot to add.

            #2 DB UDFA that was only making the sticking team because of injuries in the secodary at camp so he played ST and hung in there and made team and became a starter. Now a top ranked DB in the NFL (Tramon Williams)

  • iccyfan

    LarryTex says: “Its my adherence to normal NFL drafting policy to use the first round for skill positions. The crowds don’t buy season tickets to see OTs, OGs and Cs.”

    Joe Fortenbaugh of the National Football Press has an article today where he studied the 318 first-round draft selections made over the past ten years. Frequency by position:

    #1 – Wide Receiver (40 first round selections);
    #2 – Defensive End (37)
    #3a – Offensive Tackle (34)
    #3b – Defensive Tackle (34)

    Only one “skill position” amongst the top four? Why aren’t NFL GM’s adhering to “Normal NFL Draft Policy” as defined by LarryTex? 🙂

    • Heh, heh, heh, thats good stuff. Since Pack is the only NFC champ repeater in about 15 years, (don’t know about AFC) maybe they’re making a big mistake.

    • Now, dammit, I feel stupid; why couldn’t I have said it that simply? 70% of the first rounders picked were skills. Darn, just what I was trying to say in the first place…….!

      • Rick

        In life you are paid depending on how irreplaceable you are. Same goes for the NFL.

        To find an Elite QB is a once in a few year occurance. Top pick for top money.

        To find a top #1 WR is tough. To find a big guy that can block on the line not as hard but to find one that can deal with the LT spot is.

        To find a beast DT or NT that can handle a double team snap after snap for 35-40 snaps per game and stay healthy or a pass rush DE threat off the edge is hard. There are only what 20 in the league, 10