Sunday, November 29, 2015

Reflections On Starr, Favre, Loss To Bears

For 90% of WI the only other team that matters is the hated Bears! GB has been playing them since Ft Snelling was the biggest thing at the confluence of MN and Mississippi rivers. Lots of Packer Fans had high hopes to even the million game series ... but not to be. The Strib article is like the girl the guy never noticed feeling all puffed up because he got dumped by the class vixen for most WI fans ... I'm different, I live here and have for nearly 40 years.

Seeing the two SB winning HOF QBs on the field at the half and the other on the field in a losing effort was less than perfect, and fortunately and unfortunately, GB fans have had so much success that many are definitely spoiled. Even storied Chicago only has one Lombardi ... and McMahon doesn't' really have the stature of Favre or Starr in the QB ranks.

The "can't score in the red-zone" goes back to the end of last year -- had we been able to do so, there would nearly certainly have been another trophy in GB. Had Seattle been able to do so after they beat us, it would be in Seattle.

I thought the issue was Rogers mobility at end of last year. Now, as an old O lineman, I blame the O-line losing the battle frequently, and almost never moving the opposing D back down the field -- but there is no doubt there is also a receiver - Rodgers issue or issues.

IMHO, fans need to appreciate how high the level of competition is in the NFL and how truly impressive it is to win ANY Superbowls, let alone back to back or numbers over a lot of years. If you have ANY weakness in the NFL, it WILL be exploited -- and that is how it should be. One might THINK that Vikings fans and their newspapers would get that REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY well ( note the FOUR REALLYS) ... but apparently not!

The Lombardi / Starr Pack was one of the historical great dominant teams -- and because they were the first in the SB era, they hold a special place and always will. Dallas, SF, Steelers and now the Patriots are certainly in that class and likely better (more dominance in tougher era). Neither the Favre Pack nor the Rodgers Pack has reached that level -- but naturally, fans can always hope -- and struggles like the last 5 weeks show that it will take a MIRACLE at this point for this team to make it to the top this year. 

Naturally, the pure fan part of me really hopes for a miracle -- maybe it is named Jeff Janis? He has had a couple of major runbacks and a few routes that looked good. Being a Packer Fan means never giving up! 

My memory is too good to get way carried away with wistfulness for Favre. Yeah, I loved the "gunslinger" ... but part of it is was that I expected that as he aged, he would mature and force in a low percentage pass ONLY on downs where it made sense -- 3rd downs when not in FG range, rather than first play from scrimmage in OT in a divisional playoff! 

Had Favre been able to tame the interception demon, GB would likely have beaten Denver in the 2nd SB ( he threw one that put Denver in position to go ahead, which they did), and who knows what else ... the Eagles game in 2002 was nearly as bad as last years Seattle game. **ALL** they needed to do was stop THE 4TH AND 26! ... a play so infamous it has it's own Wikipedia page! ... stop that and Favre never has to go out and throw the infamous 1st down duck in OT! 

That is the past. What the heck they need to do in the PRESENT is the greatest mystery of my football fandom. Ever since Favre, the Pack has always had a potent pass attack ... heck, they put up massive numbers against Detroit in 2012 with Matt Flynn playing rather than Rodgers -- in fact, he holds the single game passing record for the team with 480! It seemed that you could plug darned near any receiver into the Green Bay system and passing yards were pretty much a GIVEN! 

Until now ... broken routes, worst number of dropped passes in the league, INCREDIBLE ... "looked good in practice" seems to be the mantra since the first 3 games of the year. The O went bad in SF, and they have been basically bad (compared to normal FOR THEM) since. 

I suppose I could keep writing, but I doubt I'm shedding any light on anything even in my own mind. 

It is STILL great to be a Packer Fan ... there are really no other teams with anything like the history of the Pack, and the last nearly quarter century since Favre arrived has been pretty darned good as well. It is a DAMNED SHAME that GB couldn't punch it in from the 8 yard line and win that game with Starr and Favre in attendance, but it is what it is. Being grateful for what **IS** an often difficult but very worthy lesson! 

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