In the words of Jon Anderson, co-founder of the 1968 English rock band, Yes, “One down, one to go, another town and one more show…”
Coach’s goals for The Coach Clarahanson Show!!! each week are to educate the audience about professional football in the United States of America, force you to expel a vocal laugh or snort even when you are trying to be discrete, and maybe even scare you a little. That’s a full show. So here goes…
“Sure, what the hell, give me the light beer.”
“No kidding…you guys did the Seattle game last week? Never woulda guessed that.”
“G stuffed a blunt in his jock and now he can’t find it!”
“Uh… no -- I don’t see anything wrong with your helmet. Keep playin.”
“Erin’s here today. THAT’s why I brought such a big towel.”
“This is my secret signal to Geronimo.”
“Really, Troy? You think Michael Irvin ate lots of powdered doughnuts?”
"Yeah, “Davante says I’m a real pro. I take my time, I maintain eye contact, and I swallow.”
“It’s not unsportsmanlike conduct if it’s true! Prescott had tits! I read it last week.”
“Stop picking on Dean. He’s sensitive about his dorky inbred FIB-genes face. You can make fun of him when he’s not around. And to answer your question: No, he was not Ferris Buehler’s best friend.”
Turning Japanese I think I’m turning Japanese I really think so...
“Oh, no, Jared -- we’re not letting you off that easy. It’s your turn to be ‘It’ for the prisoner game. I got him, Lane, hurry up with that thing!”
You lose, Dickhead. 48.5 million people saw it. WE are America’s team. Suck on that.
Create a seam here - X's & O's about the game or a scheme
For reasons predicted/explained in plain English by Coach last week in a “Happy 83rd birthday, Bart!” salute, the Pack recreated the 1966 NFL Championship win over the Cowboys. Props to Mike McCarthy who is now 10-7 in the Post Season, one win more than Vince Lombardi’s 9-1 (OK, let’s get serious, 10-7 is nowhere close to 9-1, but it’s 10 wins nonetheless).
The box scores and fast starts were amazingly similar between the two games. In 1966 the Pack jumped out to a 14-0 lead and this year we were up 21-3 before they knew what happened. Get your highlighter out, the fast start theme is going to come up again as we discuss the Atlanta Falcons a bit later.
Both times the Pack closed with 13 points in the second half to seal the game. The biggest difference with this year was the 18-point defensive collapse in the 4th Quarter.
There are a few non-players that we need to recognize for their contributions to the win…
The first is Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Tom explained in great detail how the Packers could not possibly beat the Cowboys. Thank you, Tom, for your insight, keep up the good work!
We also need to recognize Fox NFL commentators Joe Buck and Troy Aikman for their contributions to the game. They are seen here explaining how the Cowboys should have won and how they could have won if they had played better. Oh, and how the Cowboys should have won at Lambeau in the 2014 Playoffs. Thanks for the insight guys, keep up the good work.
Finally, we need to recognize the role that Tony Romo played. He volunteered to stay on the bench for the entire game. He could have come in and dropped the hold for an extra point or field goal, but he knew the Cowboys were fully capable of losing without his contributions. After the game Rodgers sought out Romo and according to unnamed source, Donna Brazile, Aaron graciously consoled Tony saying “Glad you’re feeling better and good luck in Chicago next year. Please say ‘Hi’ to Josh Sitton for me when you get there.”
As for the game itself, the entire national media has been all over every nuance and detail of Rodgers’ “made-up” last play. No, he didn’t make it up! Yes he did! We practiced it! Blah, blah, blah. But, clearly the difference was Rodgers as the typical Capers 4th quarter defensive collapse almost cost us the game. Seemingly, the only defense we played was merely distracting the Cowboys, like a gnat that flies around your head on a hot summer night, but you ignore it so as not to distract your lady friend who you are convinced is getting just drunk enough to do that thing you’ve been hinting at. But I digress...
Jason Garrett had his hands full with problems concerning his own defense, as he is seen here imploring NFL Side Judge Jeff Bergman to get Cowboy’s Safety #38 Jeff Heath to stop rearranging his package. It was reported later that Capers actually paid Heath seven dollars to stand as close as possible to Garrett during the 4th Qtr and act in a lewd and lascivious way. Good on you, Dom! We should get you a spot on the salary cap team!
So those were the keys to victory, as Coach sees them anyway. To save you time, here is a condensed version of the impactful few plays in the game, with complementary insightful commentary, that really made a difference on Sunday.
WTF – The Coach’s take on a bad ref call or a bad play call or the like
Well, it was pretty darn clear that Roger Goodell summoned the referees from Dallas games of the 1990s on Sunday. It was like playing basketball at the Y with that loud, really tan, sweaty guy in the sleeveless cutoff shirt that grabs your arm when you run by him on a pick, and shoves you when you’re in the air for a rebound, and hacks you when you shoot and then says “no foul, no foul,” but then screams bloody murder when you cleanly block his shot. Davante Adams had his jersey pulled OFF OF HIS SHOULDER PAD early in the game with no call, and he was mauled again late in the 2nd Qtr on a 3rd down deep in our own territory. It was complete BS. There were also numerous blatant holds on Clay Matthews that did not get called – none worse than the one preventing a 3rd down sack of Dak Prescott in the first half that eventually ended up in them scoring. I could go on and on, but you saw them all, too. So, in addition to my strongly worded letter to Rodger Goodell regarding the need for instant replay for Pass Interference (as justified again on Sunday), I will also sternly suggest that the best referee crews be awarded playoff games, not individual referees. I’m not sure that will help, but I will feel better after I bitch (see also, Skip Bayless … Click on Link if you can stomach his delusions of Cowboys grandeur).
After spending a few short hours exploring the Arlington, TX indoor football arena called “AT&T Stadium” but more commonly referred to in jest as "Jerry World," several Green Bay Packers players reportedly discovered a ton of insanely F'd-up shit in the Cowboys complex last Saturday afternoon; including a functioning crematorium, a creepy boys choir, and a gallery filled with nude sculptures of former Dallas players. "This place is just wrong," said Packers cornerback Damarious Randall, adding that tight end Richard Rodgers stumbled across an armory packed with ammunition and assault rifles as well as a concrete bunker lit by a single bare bulb and containing only a portrait of Jerry Jones on one wall. "I really wanted to check out the brand-new weight room, but all I could find was this dungeon thing filled with all this crazy bondage gear, like ball gags and stuff, but like, really small. For small people." And although he was purportedly disturbed by the stadium's sub-basement chamber in which Andy Warhol's Blow Job was playing on loop, Packers linebacker Julius Peppers said he was most sickened after discovering a glass display case containing the exquisitely preserved corpses of former Dallas quarterbacks Danny White and Gary Hogeboom.
The Bears Still Suck - the Coach has proof
If you frequent NFL.com like most freedom-loving Americans, you might have seen the “Top 2017 Unrestricted Free Agents” list. Bears wide receiver, Alshon Jeffry was on that list ... in fact, near the very top of that list. Besides being the only Alshon that Coach has ever encountered, he’s a big, fast receiver with quick twitch in his wiggle, and arguably the Bears’ most talented player. …and his contract is about to run out.
As players were cleaning out their lockers in Chicago (an annual Bears tradition that takes place the day after the final game of the regular season each year), a local sports reporter asked Jeffry what he thought his future was with the Bears. Alshon’s verbatim quote was “I guarantee we’re gonna win the Super Bowl next year.” The contingent of reporters in the locker room overtly chuckled under their breath at the nonsensical response, and some Bears players were noticeably annoyed by it. But think about it… if it wasn't for the preseason, the Bears could never accumulate 8 wins in one year. So what does all this mean? Well, Bears fans, clearly Alshon Jeffry is going to pull a Jared Cook and play for a different team next year – one that has a likely path to winning the Super Bowl, even if it costs him millions to do so. Burn you Bears bastards, burn.
Udder stuff – commentary from the Badger Underground
Why ruin this montage with words?
We’re gonna kick you’re a$$ - predictions for the next game
Remember when the Badgers lost the men’s basketball championship game a coupla years ago to Duke (a team they lost to earlier in the year) after beating the vaunted, undefeated team from Kentucky in the Final Four? I hope the veteran leadership in the Packers locker room does not allow a similar letdown in Atlanta after beating the #1 seeded Dallas. Like last week, the numbers are against us. Let’s look at Atlanta and the Pack over “the streak.” The numbers below are the average offensive and defensive scores by quarter for the Packers over the last 8 games: the final 6-game regular season streak and the 2 playoff wins. The Falcons numbers are similar for their last 6 regular season games and their playoff win.
On average the Pack has been up by a touchdown at halftime (15.6 to 8.6) and outscored the other guys by a two field goals in the second half to win by almost 13 points on average. One big concern though is that at the end of each half we give up points, particularly in the 4th quarter (but you know this already because you’ve been reading Coach’s weekly wisdom). The Falcons start even faster and are usually up 22.3 to 10.3 at the half, and it is essentially “game over” at that point. They outscore the opponents a little in the second half and win by over two touchdowns. Ouch, scary.
The third box contains the offensive points scored by quarter for both teams. (The Packers gave up 19.5 pts per game and the Falcons gave up 20.4 pts per game; so, even though defense wins championships, for fun let’s ignore that and compare offenses). If we compare offenses by quarter and use that to predict this Sunday’s NFC Championship game, the Falcons will be up by a TD at the half, and the Pack will close that to about 4 in the second half…wow, in a “math works” moment, the current wagering line is 4.5 points.
Does that mathematical analysis make sense when looking at the film? Well, when preparing for this week’s opponent, we scouted the Battle of the Birds last Saturday and here are a few of the key plays from the Falcons victory over the Seahawks, with insightful and colorful commentary, of course (Click on Link).
So how will be beat the Dirty Birds?
First by observing it looks like a blatant copy of the Icky Shuffle. (Look up Falcons Dirty Birds and Bengals Icky Woods if you are confused.) Give them credit. The Dirty Birds got the NFL to officially adopt the No-Fun-League motto when end-zone celebrations were banned (see also, Washington Redskins “Fun Bunch”).
No. 2 AR will start fast and we will run up the score first. This is even more imperative than against Dallas, and it will behoove us to take at least a 10-point lead into halftime. Coach thinks Atlanta blew their home-field-advantage wad last week when fans from the metro area actually showed up for, and cheered at, a Falcons game. They can’t physically sustain that 2 weeks in a row, so an early Packers lead will quiet the crowd and you will undoubtedly hear spontaneous GO PACK GO chants from the heavier set people in the stands midway through the 3rd quarter.
No. 3 We will be +1 on turnovers. Amazingly to Coach, we won a road playoff game in Dallas and we were even on turnovers. This week no drops on D, please.
No 4 We will score on either Defense or Special Teams. Micah Hyde has been playing at an all pro level recently and has 4 picks in the last 6 games, and he’s been a stud on punt returns. This is it, he’s going to the house in this game. Hey, why not make one of those interceptions a Pick 6?
No 5 Matt Ryan is over rated and should not to be feared. Any half-ass QB can put up gaudy numbers in a dome, in which he played 10 games this year (plus 2 additional near-laboratory environment conditions in games at Carolina and Tampa Bay). “Can you say anything worth noting for the game about Matt Ryan, Coach?” Well, for one thing, he looks a lot like a stormtrooper from Spaceballs, so that’s pretty neat.
And, although his past performance in playoff games against us is no guarantee of future results, it sure is fun to reminisce, eh? (Click on Link – and enjoy!) Most importantly – and the strongest evidence worth citing, a quarterback with Ryan in his name has never won, or even appeared in, a Super Bowl. So our victory this Sunday is a lock. It’s science.
No 6 The Big Legume actually schemes to stop the run (not). Coach officially gives up on Capers trying to stop anyone’s run game (or passing game for that matter). We will need the turnovers from Method Number 3 above in order to...
JB – Packer players you forgot about, but stories you’ll remember about them
After the 1995 season, Eugene Robinson signed with the Packers to replace George “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” Teague at Free Safety. In the 1996 season, Robinson recorded 55 tackles and led Green Bay with eight interceptions. And, of course, the Packers went on to win Super Bowl XXXI 35–21, over his hometown team, the New England Patriots -- earning Robinson his first and only championship ring.
Then again, after the 1997 season, Robinson and the Packers went to Super Bowl XXXII, however they lost 31–24, to the Denver Broncos in the Elway-helicopter game. You might recall, when trailing 24–17 in the third quarter, Robinson intercepted a pass from John Elway in the end zone, preventing Denver from building a bigger lead and setting up a touchdown on Green Bay's ensuing drive to tie the game. (He also recorded an interception of Steve Young that set up a touchdown in the Packers 23–10 win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game a week prior.) During Super Bowl XXXII, Robinson not only declared to his teammates that the Broncos were like the Colts (the worst team in football that year, but who defeated the Packers 41–38 in week 12), he also declared, "This team is not better than us; they're not even good!" His 2-year contract with was up at the end of the 1997 season and GM Ron Wolf let Eugene walk as Ron did not want to risk paying a high salary to a guy in the twilight of his career. Do you recall who replaced Robinson at Free Safety in 1998 (hint: it is dripping with irony)?
Upon departing the Packers, Robinson joined the Atlanta Falcons in 1998. During the season, Robinson recorded 46 tackles, two fumble recoveries, four interceptions, and one touchdown return, earning his third career Pro Bowl selection. After making a game-saving play in the NFC Championship game (breaking up an otherwise certain winning touchdown to Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss), Robinson made it back to the Super Bowl (the Falcons' first and only appearance) for the third year in a row, and again faced the Broncos.
The night prior to Super Bowl XXXIII, Robinson was arrested by an undercover police officer for soliciting a prostitute -- which, by all standards of normalcy, negates any and all of his professional achievements on the field. Also dripping with irony, earlier that same day, Robinson received the Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award, given annually to a player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community. After the arrest Robinson agreed to return the award, which further proved he was a man of high integrity and deserving of the award after all (by Liberals’ standards of normalcy).
The next day, without much sleep the night before (due to the prostitution incident and a reasonably pissed wife), Robinson gave up an 80-yard touchdown reception to Broncos receiver Rod Smith, providing the Broncos a 17-3 lead over the Falcons. Later, in the 4th Qtr, he missed a tackle on Denver running back Terrell Davis that enabled Davis to break a long run to the Atlanta 10-yard line. The Atlanta Falcons ended up losing the game 34-19, and Robinson was widely denounced by the press and fans for the previous night's incident. That’s a shame.
So, I know what you’re thinking…
“Yeah, we’re here looking for a new patient of yours, uh, ‘Nelson, …Jordy’ – what room is he in?”
[The wheels on the bus go round and round, …]
“Time to get this Nick Perry manikin back to Kohls.”
“No, Morgan, I have never been to Ferguson. Please stop asking me that.”
“There’s something messed up with my Fitbit. Wait, are you listening to… children’s music?”
“There you go. That’s for you.”
“Man I hope the eggs don’t fall out again.”
“…and Morgan was like, ‘Man, you ever been to Ferguson?’ and Gordy got all panicky again.”
“People of Earth, I come in peace.”
“OMG! Here comes Coach Clarahanson!”
Create a seam here - X's & O's about the game or a scheme
You had your doubts, but we killed the Giants (Click on Link) as Coach predicted, although 38-13 was a little bit bigger margin than Coach’s 31-24 forecast. So let’s review Coach’s reasons why we’d win and see how they worked out…
Prognostication No. 1 The rookies are going to have a good game on D and make some real contributions… Result? Achieved! The whole D stepped up, the old guys and the young guys
Much has been made of the Halftime-Hail-Mary, but coach thinks the game turned on a play a few minutes earlier. Despite our lack of offense, the Giants were at their end of the field and only up 6-0 when the oldest guy on our team sacked Mr. E. Manning at the 8 on 3rd down. The ensuing short punt was returned to the Giants 38 by Micah Hyde and a few plays later Davante Adams was in the end zone. From 7-6 the Packers never looked back.
Young guys stepping up for the big game? Jake Ryan, LaDarius Gunter and yes even Damarious Randall all had one of the best games of their short careers. Gunter pretty well shut down Nautical Capitaine Odell and – not to be outdone, Jake Ryan was not only his reliable self in run defense, but he also had 3 passes defended, including one to the dangerous “Boats-n-Ho’s” Beckham. Some cred goes to our favorite legume, too, as Capers started double-teaming Odell Beckham as we figured out how to shut down their deadly 1st quarter crossing routes. Nice that Mr. McCarthy recognized how well crossing routes worked for THEM, and then used our decoy, Cook, to open up the middle for US in the 2nd half. Don’t get me wrong, MM had some real bonehead maneuvers in the game (see WTF), but helping Rodgers take advantage of what the Giants were giving him (crossing routes) was excellent!
CMIII had one of the more spectacular plays of the game when he dislodged the ball from Giants players twice on one play; first the strip sack of Eli and then a heads up play to re-arrange the DNA of Paul Perkins when he picked up the fumbled ball. As part of the de-cleating of the RB, the ball came loose again and Clay recovered. Coach agrees with with Clay and is frustrated that he only got credit for one fumble on the official score sheet. Damarious added a pick in the endzone during garbage time, that he almost turned into a Pick-6, but Ha Ha tripped him at the Packers 29 because he thought it would make sense to follow Julius Peppers example from the 2014 NFC Championship in Seattle and not let a DB score. Admit it, you were screaming at him to kneel down after he picked it, weren’t you? Yeah, me too.
Prognostication No. 2 Micah Hyde is going to take a punt return to the house --- he’s overdue… Result? “Sort of” Special Teams played their best game of the year overall. Both Schum and Crosby did an outstanding job kicking the ball and Janis did a fantastic job on punt coverage, holding a pro-bowl returner to 3 yards in punt returns. Perhaps more importantly both Hyde and Janis did a great job on returns, putting the Pack in great field position. Let’s face it, we’re better off saving the kick return for 6 for the game in Dallas.
Prognostication No. 3 ….is well… No. 12, nuf sed… Result? “Jekyl/Hyde”
When it’s all said and done AR had a fantastic game overall, but what happened during the first 27 minutes? The first 5 drives had only 20 plays and resulted in 5 punts. We are lucky the D and Special Teams held the NYFG to 6 points during that time. As you already know, the next 8 drives resulted 6 scores for 38 points and a blowout win. All Coach can say is: “Fantastic, but if we start that slowly in Dallas we’re toast.” The slow start included the “buddy pass” to Nelson which resulted in a drop and two broken ribs. Fortunately, Cobb, Adams, Cook and Underwear League star Geronimo Allisonwonderland had great games to offset the loss of Jordy. By the way, if Jordy didn’t juggle that dart, he wouldn’t have got hurt. Just sayin.
Prognostication No 4 We’re playing at Lambeau during the Prime Slot of the entire Wild Card Weekend. Coach will be there; you will be there and 82,000 other rabid Packer fans will pull the team to victory. …Result? “absolutely kick ass crowd”
The crowd was perfectly lubricated and prepared for the big game and Coach is really proud of all of you! A personal favorite is the guy holding the “Bears Still Suck” sign at a playoff game against the Giants (which was directed toward a guy in Bears gear who left early because he got cold).
Last year the visiting team won all 4 Wild Card games; this year, the home team won all 4 Wild Card games. Coach politely points out that the better team usually wins and you have a cranial/rectal inversion if you think it’s a Home/Away issue. As Coach has been trying to teach you, scoring more points than the other team is good – and if you look at the Point Differential from the regular season, the team with the higher differential won 75% of the games last weekend. (And the one that went the other way was the Raiders, who lost their starting QB and home field advantage over weeks 16 & 17. With Derek Carr they arguably would have killed the Texans like General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Look it up.) In fact, Coach has looked over the last 10 years of playoffs and the higher Point Differential team wins roughly 75% of the games in the playoffs, and the exceptions tend to be very explainable (examples: Denver with fantastic shut-down D last year or Raiders with Carr injury this year).
Using Point Differential to predict, it looks like all 4 home teams should win in the Divisional Round, and the closest game would be the Steelers @ Chiefs. We have some work to do this weekend, as the Cowboys had a substantially better regular season point differential of 115 vs. our 44 points. But when you factor in that 25% of the time the Point Differential underdog wins, congrats to New England, Kansas City, Atlanta, and GREEN BAY, baby!
WTF – The Coach’s take on a bad ref call or a bad play call or the like
Don’t do it … don’t do it … oh no, he’s gonna do it. Crap he did it. Mr. Terriblegamemanagement himself characteristically did the exact opposite of the thing you are supposed to do in a critical game situation. Up by 8 and on offense, but the Giants defense just got 2 convincing stops on less than one yard to gain, and we’re on OUR side of the 50-yard line. Shitforbrains goes for it. WTF, man? I feel like I can just cut-and-paste the same F’ing paragraph from WTF every other week. So, (obvious) it was stupid to go for it ... sure, easy to say now with hindsight knowing the Giants scored a TD 2 plays later after we turned the ball over on downs. But let’s, for the sake of argument, give Eminem the benefit of the doubt … I can appreciate not wanting to show fear after being soundly beaten (except for the actual score) for most of the game. So, if you’re gonna go for it on 4th and short, at LEAST select a high % play. The only play that DIDN’T work every time they tried it was running Monty off tackle left and off tackle right. Three of them to the right plus 1 of them to the left before the 4th down play yielded a net -2 yards. Why the hell would you call that damn play again when you HAVE to get a whole yard? It makes no sense, other than Marshal McCarthy being so stubborn about his play calling that he needs to get his ass handed to him until he abandons ship with his tail between his legs (finally). I liked that Mike McMathers put Aaron under Center for the call (provides the “Will they run or will they pass?” uncertainty), but (as you probably were hoping as I was at the time) you should use play action when they have the 8 defenders in the box and then bootleg out with a safety-valve or TE button-hook option. After all, ARod is the best player in the league … why take the ball out of his hands? I think maybe MM woke up to this fact, as demonstrated later by the critical 3rd & 1 rollout pass to Adams with 7 min left in game (2 plays later, same rollout right pass to Ripper, 2 plays after that Ripper punched it in to make it 38 pts). By Coach’s count, McCarthy is 1 for 6 on 4th and short in critical game situations, and I’m pretty sure I blacked even more out of my memory that will be revealed at some future point in time under the hypnotic care of my psychiatrist.
Ever notice that our pathetic NFC Norris Division foes disproportionately tend to pick up our cast-off players? Minnesota famously picked up Greg Jennings and Ryan Longwell when we let them walk because they were past their prime (and turned from choir boys into mouthy prima donnas). Then last year the Queens grabbed our practice squad reject, Charles Johnson (who happened to beat out their 1st round draft pick WR from this year, Laquon Treadwell). And remember when the Deetroit Lions picked up Bill Schroeder? We really paid for that (not). Now they signed our beloved, recently departed poster boy for the walking wounded, Jared Abbrederis. How so? Well, this is the time of year when NFL teams begin signing players to non-guaranteed “futures” contracts, essentially giving them a chance to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster during the spring (and for a crack at Maria Bartiromo). The Lions announced Abbrederis and eight other players from their practice squad signed futures deals on Monday: Tight ends Khari Lee and Kennard Backman (yep, drafted by Ted in 2015 and cut this year), running back Mike James, linebacker Steve Longa, wide receiver Andrew Turzilli, safety Charles Washington and offensive linemen Mike Rotheram (yep, Packers UFA that Ted released) and Brandon Thomas. Anyways, that’s what shitty teams do when good teams are playing football in January.
In other news, last Saturday before the start of the wild-card playoff round, the NFL quietly deemed Seattle a NFL sanctuary city, meaning that the home team Seahawks would not be flagged for flagrant rules violations. After their game, Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said "That explains a lot." Purportedly, the Falcons have filed a request with Commissioner Roger Goodell for similar status in Atlanta. Goodell agreed to make a ruling prior to their game this Saturday, but also indicated he would not disclose what the ruling is, stating "...oh, I think it will be obvious by the end of the game."
Bears Still Suck - the Coach has proof
In an effort to provide much-needed psychotherapy services and professional support to local Chicago communities, the NFL officially unveiled a new counseling center Thursday for Bears fans struggling to cope with devastating blowouts and losing seasons. “With this new facility, which is open 24 hours a day, fans will be able to come in and talk through feelings of severe depression, anxiety, grief, anger, and hopelessness with our highly trained staff in a supportive, confidential setting,” said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, noting that patients have the option of speaking to therapists one-on-one or joining a group session to help them come to terms with a disastrous Bears performance. “Of course, the center is not just for those suffering in the immediate aftermath of a particularly difficult or traumatic loss. Patients may also receive care when the team is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the front office offers a new contract to an under-performing player, or any other such issue arises within the Bears organization that causes significant emotional pain and mental anguish. Our message to depressed or suicidal Bears fans is clear: You are not alone, and help is here.” Aiello went on to say that while the NFL chose to place its flagship counseling center in the city of greatest need, plans are in place to soon open similar facilities in Jacksonville and Cleveland.
Udder stuff – commentary from the Badger Underground
This week marks one of the toughest weeks for college football fans. The bowls and playoff games have wrapped up and most likely, your team did not hoist the national championship trophy at the podium. We have no more games to look forward to. The final rankings are in, along with pre-season rankings for next year. Wisconsin finished #9 in both EOY polls, one slot ahead of Michigan. How deserving, given that Wisconsin won its bowl game and Michigan lost theirs – thanks in part to Jabril Peppers faking a hamstring injury on the eve of their game vs. Florida State. So as to not make the connection too obvious, Peppers waited a couple of weeks to announce his entry into the NFL draft. The Weasels star tight end, aptly named Butt, was not so lucky. He was fixing to declare, but tore his ACL or MCL in QTR 2 of the Orange Bowl. We will see him in Camp Randall next year.
Not faking injuries, contributing to their team’s bowl win and coming out a year early for Wisconsin were TJ Watt and Ryan Ramczyk. Good moves for both as their draft projections likely could not go any higher. Watt has already experienced two knee surgeries and Ramczyk underwent hip surgery in the last week. There would be plenty to lose with any season-ending injuries during their senior seasons.
As you know, we think using rankings to decide playoff teams is a crock. Nevertheless, it looks like the voters did OK in picking the top two teams (see also, the BCS). They looked like the cream of the crop compared to #3 through about #12. These next-tier teams look to be relatively evenly matched. With that in mind, here is the O-Fish-L Badger Underground end of year ranking:
1. Clemson - They won on a last second TD and a fantastic comeback against Bama. One cannot argue with that!
2. Alabama - They are a strong team and lost fair and square on the field. One cannot argue with that.
3. Tied – Bucky, Ohio State, Weasels, Penn State, Sooners, Pine Trees, U-Dub, University of Spoiled Children.
11. Notre Dame – Why not? They won 4 games and are perennially over ranked.
12+. Thank you for your participation!
Looking ahead to next year’s schedule, Wisconsin is taking the U-Dub approach to scheduling non-conference games and faces Lane Kiffin’s FL Atlantic team in week 2. A road game at BYU highlights the non-conference schedule. Conference play features Iowa & Michigan at Camp Randall during the November whitetail rut. Kickoff for the Michigan game likely gets moved to 3pm, allowing ample time to fell that 10-point buck opening morning of gun season (unless you have a niece that plans her wedding day then because, remarkably, the reception hall was available that day), rehydrate with a couple of homebrews, do a few laps parading your buck through downtown Mad Town and from bar to bar with the tailgate down, recall with fellow patrons the first and last time you let a friend improperly tie down your deer and transport it to the registration station, issue advice to fellow hunters who have not yet tagged out, rekindle your buzz with a couple more homebrews and settle in for a Wisconsin ass-kicking of Michigan.
BU staff expects Wisconsin to go into Indy undefeated and ranked in the top 5.
We’re gonna kick you’re a$$ - predictions for the next game
The divisional round, where the men are separated from the boys (insert your own personal favorite Penn State joke here). The Cowboys will try to prove that they’re the big boys of the conference, but will be relying on rookies to take them to the promised land. The Dakota Prescott story is remarkable. Kudos to the young lad for overcoming so much to get to the NFL, and now being one of the best quarterbacks in the league. His late-round selection is similar to the Tom Brady rags-to-riches tale, but “Dak” also had the additional challenges of having to overcome fleeting fame at a young age when he became a washed up childhood actor, and then subsequent criticism for portraying a sex-starved vixen when trying to make a comeback on the silver screen, before finally becoming the first NFL player to openly admit s/he had a sex change operation to become a man. That takes balls (…and where do they get them from? Cadavers? Gross.) Of course, the media attention to this topic has been a bit overwhelming, but Dak just takes it in stride. Said Prescott, “Uh, I’m kinda used to it by now. It doesn’t really phase me anymore. I switch gears every once in a while when I’m feeling lonely or confused – like I might wear a pink scarf or something, and sometimes I miss my tits, but overall it’s been pretty great.” Prescott then added, “I know I can overcome the challenges I face on the field. Ever since Dan Marino took me under his wing, I knew I could have success in the NFL. I’ll always be grateful to him and to Mr. Winkie for making it possible.” (Click on Link) It’s hard to argue with Dak’s success.
Well, the stats are against us, but we have karma and number 12. As you can see below, we are 3-4 vs. the Cowboys in the playoffs, and in 6 of the games the home team won. BUT, the very first game in the series was a 34-27 win by the dominant Lombardi Packers over the ascending Landry Cowboys. We owe it to ourselves to go to Jerry-World and “bookend” tie the all-time Playoff series at 4-4. In all games, Regular Season and Playoffs, the series is tied 17-17-0, with an average score of 22.6 for the Pack vs. 22.3 for the Cowboys. This game will give us the chance to pull ahead 18-17 and widen the score gap.
Of course, all the statistics and history are fun and we can look at that next week after we beat the Cowboys. What worries Coach going into this game is that our Defense will have to play very differently against Dallas than against the NYFG. Against NY we frequently had 6 players in the box and two safeties with man coverage underneath. Against the Cowgirls, look for us to play some 3-4 (yes actually 3 DL on the field) and maybe some 4-2 nickel D. We have to stop the run first and take our chances with Dak hitting Dez on big plays.
So here goes, this is why the Pack is gonna beat Dallas:
No.1 To celebrate Bart’s Birthday. Happy Birthday to the only QB with 5 NFL Championships and the highest post season winning percentage of all time. Bart Starr, an avid reader of The Coach Clarahanson Show!!!, turned 83 on January 9th of this year. Bart, our best wishes to you on your continuing battle with health issues. In honor of you, Coach predicts a recreation of the first Playoff game score 50 years ago at the Cotton Bowl; Packers 34, Cowboys 27. What the heck, the Cotton Bowl this year was played at Jerry-World … it’s a circle of life thing.
No. 2 AR will start fast and we will score first. Well, everybody else is sayin it. Why can’t I?
No. 3 We will be +1 on turnovers. There might be only 1 turnover in this game, and it likely will have a big impact on the game.
No 4 We will score on either Defense or Special Teams. Good thing Micah saved it.
No 5 The Big Legume actually schemes to stop the run (study the tale of John Jurkovic and run-defense from the 1995 NFC Championship Game below)
JB – Packer players you forgot about, but stories you’ll remember about them
Playing the Cowboys in Dallas in a playoff game, Coach can’t help but think of Jurko, John Jukovic!
"One of those great stories," said Packers coach Mike Holmgren…
Jurko came to the Pack in 1991 as a free agent from Eastern Illinoise via the Dolphins and made his way from the practice squad to the starting line-up. He played with the Pack throughout the ’95 season and then was replaced by Santana Dotson for the ’96 Season. A dumpy looking guy who was a run stuffer and a fan favorite in Green Bay because he looked like a guy from the bar downtown or the assembly line, and he was funny, too.
Playing with Reggie White, Gilbert Brown and Sean Jones as the DL for Fritz Shurmur’s 4-3 scheme, Jurko was a pretty good run stuffer and a part of the 1995 No. 4 scoring defense. They gave up 19.9 points per game and we can only wish that we were that good this year. The team was improving each year under Holmgren, but the Niner’s and the Cowboys were the royalty of the NFC and had to by slain. The Packers were the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, beat Atlanta at home and then went to Candlestick as underdogs where they completely handled SF 27-17. Coach and Badger Underground were at that game and bumped into Jurko in the hotel the night before kickoff. I said to him (slightly heavily inebriated) “Give ’em hell tomorrow, Jurko!” and he replied with a wink, “We’re gonna ‘try’….” We could tell by the look in his eyes that the Packers had supreme confidence they would win, and they did convincingly. Then they went on to Dallas for the NFC Championship game where Brett got off to a slow start. (Paying attention here Aaron?)
The Packers were containing Emmitt Smith, in no small part due to Jurko, and we led 27-24 at the end of the 3rd Quarter. Alas, Jurko took a cheap-shot by Jay Novacek and he was replaced by Darius Holland who got run over the rest of the game. Final score Cowboys 34, Packers 27.
Coach eventually had the chance to discuss the game and the cheap-shot with Jurko at Kam’s Bar in Champaign where Jurko was doing the Bear’s pregame show in 2002. (He is originally from the Chicago area, so returning to that area makes sense, as he somewhat immune to how awful it is to live and work down there.) Jurko completely agreed that his presence would have made a difference at the end when Emmitt ran wild. I know what you’re thinking… “Coach, what the hell were you doing in Champaign, Illinois?” Well, the Bear’s played at Memorial Stadium in Champaign for the 2002 Season while Solider Field was being destroyed to put in the spaceship thing they have now. Coach thoroughly enjoyed watching the Pack destroy the Bears 34-21 on MNF there.
Today Jurko is a talking head on Chicago Sports Talk radio (and pretty good at it): “I love what I do. To me, it’s like going down to the corner pub when I was 19 and talked sports (note: the drinking age was 21). Now they pay me an inordinate amount of money. I’m blessed to be making more money than I did in my first four years in the NFL, I just wish I could announce for the Packers instead.”
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Ok, with commercials out of the way, let’s start the Division Champs victory lap with some insider footage that Coach was able to capture in Detroit…
“Look in the way back. The doctor said those lesions on my throat are from, uh, second-hand smoke in college.”
“That’s right, hug the pirate.”
“A-ha…you got me, Mike – that’s a good one. I almost thought I was really fired for a second there!”
“Well I got me a fine wife I got me an ole fiddle, when the sun’s comin up I got cakes on the griddle…”
“Scotch, scotch, scotch, I love scotch.”
“Oh boy. Tummy not feeling good … Eyeball ... getting ... too big for helmet.”
“No, it’s Kenny... ‘Kenny Clark.’ I’ve been here since like July. Really, you’ve never seen me?”
“Slap that tea bag, Carey! Seriously, I can’t feel a thing!”
“What the heck did Bakhti give me? My eyeball feels way too big right now.”
“C’mon … throw one right to me … I triple dog dare you!”
“Hey, Mickey, help a brother out and turn that position dial on my back from ‘Safety’ to ‘Corner’ for me, thanks.”
“So, can I count on you then? For less than the cost of a cup of coffee each day, you'll be helping to spare the lives of helpless animals in rescue shelters.”
“Pssssst. Hey, how do you, like, keep catching the ball all the time?”
“Hey Nick, Dvante said you can keep his glove.”
“Where is everybody? Hell-lo-ohhh! Guys? This IS a noon game, right?”
“Dude, I’ve been here for like 6 hours already.”
“Help me up! Whoa. Did I just piss my pants? What the?... my fingers are like … hot dogs or something.”
“I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay...”
“…just the ladies now! The Bears still suck, the Bears still suck, the Bears still suck, the Bears still suck...”
“That’s right. Hug the pirate.”
Create a seam here - X's & O's about the game or a scheme
Well, we did it! Six straight wins to finish the 2016 season at 10-6 and win the NFC North for the fifth time in six years and “get in the tournament” for the 9th time in 10 years under Mike McCarthy.
By now you’ve wasted several hours at work watching the video and reading all the articles about AR’s prediction we would “run the table,” his league leading 40 TD’s and possible MVP award. You’ve read about Jordy Nelson’s 1,257 yards receiving and league leading 14 TD’s (yes, Jordy deserves “comeback player of the year”). So what specifically worked well for us in Detroit? Well, for both teams really, what worked well was white running backs. In something that hasn’t been witnessed since Neil Young sang about the Ohio National Guard gunning down 4 students at Kent State, two opposing professional football teams started white running backs in the same prime time game, in America. In the 2017 New Year’s Day inaugural “CNN Whitelash” Bowl, the Lions started RB Zach “Zit-Head” Zenner, whilst the Packers started Aaron “the Red Pirate” Ripkowski. That's not to say whites are better than blacks, I'm just saying they both worked well, and they both happen to be white. Nothing more. Step off.
It’s uncertain which back actually performed better, but two things appear likely: (1) Ripkowski could kick Zenner’s ass and drink him under the table; and (2) Jim Caldwell, like most Wisconsinites and Michiganders, voted for Donald Trump.
So, the problem? Well, ehhhhh, we have no defense (and there is no help on the horizon). Detroit was running very effectively in the first half when the game score was very close, and it looked like we were in trouble. In the second half, we scored quickly to go up to a 17-14 lead, which caused Detroit to panic and they abandoned the run game. At that point, the big Legume’s Defense sort of worked “OK” and we hung on for the victory (just).
Not to blame it all on Capers, after we ran up the score s'more, the Schum shank redemption punt (more on that later) gave Detroit a short field and they closed the gap to 24-31…and then MM showed his usual “situational football prowess” at the end. Rather than kneel three times and run out the clock we ran a play, Spriggs got hurt, which stopped the clock. The clock stoppage forced another Schum shot, which incredibly gave the Lions one more chance at tying the game. Of course, you'll remind me that it should never have even been THAT close in the first place because earlier in the game our beloved Claymaker also dropped a sure pick-6 that went through his hands and hit him right between the 5 and the 2. ...and the Lions continued that drive which ended in their second TD, which makes CM3's drop a 14-point swing in the game. Not to pin it all on Matthews, Coach notes that it was well explained during the game by 2-time Super Bowl loser and NBC commentator, Chris Collinsworthless, how poorly the Packers have done on pass defense all year (especially long passes down the right sideline). You won’t like to hear this, but we finished dead last, #32, el numero sucko (en Español), in passing yards attained by the opposition at 8.1 yards per attempt. That’s an incredible number; every time the opposition even attempted a pass, whether it hit the dirt or pay-dirt, they averaged 8.1 yards. All of the aforementioned nonsense is how you lose playoff games, kiddos. Although, when asked about it, Mike McCarthy said he would look at the film and they would get that cleaned up. Whew!, huh? And you were worried.
WTF – The Coach’s take on a bad ref call or a bad play call or the like
Schum’s punt near the end of the game was worse than Mariah Carey's botched New Year’s Rockin Eve performance
(Click on Link). After Micah Hyde’s timely pick of Stafford late in the 4th Q to thwart a touchdown threat, Schum’s kick only went about 8-yards before it went out of bounds – thereby enabling a 35-yard hail mary-ish pass by Stafford THAT WORKED. WTF, Schum, you’re a PUNTER … punt the damn ball. I realize you wuz trying to kick it outta bounds on purpose, but chripes hey I coulda kicked it farder den dat. Fortunately, Richard Rodgers didn’t pull a Brandon Bostick on the ensuing onside kick by the Lions. He’s been a real thorn in their side late in games at Ford Field. Speaking of Ford Field… Did you catch the numerous NBC tribute cutaways to Lions owner, Martha Firestone Ford? Nice name. I wonder if she knows Betsy Whirlpool Kenmore, or Edna Kitchenaide Magic-Bullet.
In case you missed it, 2 idiots dangled by wires above the crowd at US Bank stadium Sunday during the Vikings final game of the 2016 season. They claimed to be protesting the Dakota oil pipeline by encouraging US Bank patrons to divest their investments. Aside from that not making any sense whatsoever (even multi-millionaire Bernie Sanders couldn’t figure out that symbolism), this stunt underlines the ineptitude of NFL security. What if these dingbats had Walter White's cache of ricin powder to sprinkle onto the crowd or, worse, ashes from Prince's urn? Coach doubts Roger Goodell will assume any culpability or punish the parties guilty of reckless incompetence; rather, the commissioner will likely focus on what constitutes an end zone "celebration" worthy of a 15-yard penalty and accompanying post-game fine. When asked for comment about one of the protesters wearing his #4 jersey, former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre said "I didn't know there was an 'i' in ole. I like Dakota, though ... it's one of the nicer places to visit in Arizona. I throw footballs to my dog but he never catches them. Also, my sister cooks meth in the bathtub. Copper socks."
In college football, Alabama head coach Nick Saban fired his Offensive Coordinator, Lane "Mustafa" Kiffen, only days before their appearance in the national championship game. In this unprecedented move, Saban cited lackluster production from Kiffen’s so-called “Cat” offense in their VICTORY over the University of Washington (that's right -- they won, and he got fired). Some suspect there was a tiff between these two former-NFL coaches and the firing was merely a preemptive PR move to oblige the wealthy Crimson Tide boosters in the event that 'Bama loses the championship game to an impressively mighty Clemson football team. Moreover, those same critics suggested that Saban uncharacteristically panicked when he released this video of the heated staff meeting when Kiffen was let go: Kiffen Firing (Click on Link)
The Bears Still Suck – the Coach has proof
Here's a shocker: the Bears lost ... again. In this, the worst year of their long, storied existence, da Bears lost a whopping 13 games -- the most ever for them. Oblivious head coach, John Fox, stated he believes the Bears are on the ascent and are within a year or two of winning it all. By "ascent" and "winning it all" one can only presume Fox is referring to the number 1 overall draft pick. They ARE within eyeshot of that.
In his season's-end press conference, Fox remarked "I think this organization and this team is poised to deliver exactly what Bears fans now expect. And I think I've proven that I'm just the man to do it." Oddly, John Fox then broke into song (Click on Link). When reached for comment, Bears senior executive Barry Dingle confirmed that Fox was not fired, saying “Well, we were going to, but he already told you guys he wasn’t fired so we would look pretty stupid right now if we did fire him, wouldn’t we? And we are NOT going to look stupid if we can help it. Let me assure you that none of our stupidity is pre-planned ahead of time...it's just too difficult to predict, and it would be foolish to pretend to be smarter than the future. YOU'RE a stupid-head, not me. ...not me.”
Udder stuff – commentary from the Badger Underground
You’ve read the positive spins put on Wisconsin’s 8-point win vs. the mighty, un-defeated #12 WMU Broncos…we held them well below their season scoring average, blah, blah, blah. That’s BS. Wisconsin was well on their way to blowing WMU out of the building, jumping to an early 14-0 lead, looking like men against boys. As WMU adjusted their defense, loading the box to stop Wisconsin’s run between the tackles against their all-MAC girlymen, did Paul Chryst counter as suggested here a week ago or like he has in every game against opponents ranging from Ohio State to Purdue by passing or running plays to the outside? To the contrary, we saw Paul Chryst go into his Mike McCarthy 4th quarter prevent offense, to compliment the Dom Capers 2DL prevent defense which was in place from WMU’s opening possession. The whole Cotton Bowl summary could have landed in this week's Weekly Taco Feature!
Instead of the 40-point margin projected here a week ago and which should have been the case, we found ourselves in a grinder. On offense, the most frequent play was Corey Clement up the middle left or Corey Clement up the middle right for gains of 1, 2, 0 or 8 times for negative yards. It was like watching Mike McCarthy call three straight Eddie Lacy runs into the strong side of the Seattle Seahawks defense following the Morgan Burnett pick in the NFC Championship game. That type of play calling went on for the remaining three quarters of the Cotton Bowl, often resulting in 3rd & long situations. Fortunately, Troy Fumagalli’s career day and WMU’s neglecting to cover him bailed Wisconsin out of the poorest play calling of the Paul Chryst era, which includes his time as OC under Barry Alvarez & Brett Bile enima. Was he haunted by the Penn State debacle or by the 2-point conversion pass called against TCU in the Rose Bowl? We saw very little of Dare Ogunbowale other than on a couple of third down plays. He is a defensive coordinator’s nightmare. He is also far more likely than Corey Clement to bounce the run outside when he sees the middle stuffed. He is also an outstanding receiver out of the backfield.
Defensively, Wisconsin’s 3-4 defense was highly successful throughout the season, excluding the Penn State game where a depleted DL got worn down and Figaro & Jamerson lost their heads. Prior to that, Wisconsin’s three-man front regularly stuffed the run, tied up OL's and freed up lanes for Watt, Cichy and Biegel to harass QB’s & RB’s in their backfield. Even following Cichy’s season-ending injury, Watt & Biegel feasted.
The 2DL prevent defense employed vs WMU severely limited the effectiveness of Watt & Biegel. More importantly, WMU ran the ball at our undersized line, clicking off 3-5 yards per carry, eating clock and keeping our offense off the field. It was a defense schemed as if we were facing Drew Brees and it didn’t vary.
On both sides of the ball, the approach was to not-lose. Coming off the most embarrassing loss of any in recent years and playing against a lesser opponent, you should be taking it out on them and making a statement while doing so. We did that on the first two drives and had WMU where we wanted them, only to beg them to get back into the game and hang around where very bad things often happen. Chryst met with 40 (count 'em, 40!) high school coaches in Texas the week leading up to the Cotton Bowl. That was an awesome opportunity for recruiting, but one wonders if the boring play calls and mundane TV interviews that he doled out really helped recruiting or hurt it.
To the untrained eye, the Cotton Bowl game looked like a typical Badgers game. The difference was that WMU was not the caliber of LSU, Nebraska, Iowa or Northwestern. Don’t let that #12 ranking deceive you. Those wins were comparable to Wisconsin beating Rutgers every week and squeaking by Nortwestern early in the season as they were replacing starters lost to graduation. All that said, if you would have told me 4 months ago that the Badgers would end up 11-3 and win the Cotton Bowl, I'd have thought "It's going to be a great season!" So, good on you, Paul, Cotton feels pretty good -- but you better win the Rose Bowl next year, bitch.
We're gonna kick you’re a$$ - predictions for the next game
We beat the Giants 23-16 at Lambeau back in October, but both teams have changed a lot since then. The Giants do not have a scary offense, they finished the regular season ranked 26th in offensive production at 19.4 pts/gm. True, Eli can get hot and he did lead the Giants offense in two playoff wins at Lambeau in 2007 & 2011, but Coach is not overly worried about Eli. What scares Coach is the Defense of the Giants. The table below contains some key defensive statistics for the 12 playoff teams, with the Packers and the Giants highlighted (Coach thinks you’re relatively smart because you read The Coach Clarahanson Show!!! and, therefore, you’ll be able to adequately figure out which ones are AFC and which ones are NFC). The Giants finished the 2016 Season ranked #2 in points allowed, #2 in opponent’s passer rating and #2 in opponent yards per rush allowed. So, on average, you can’t run far, you can’t pass well, and you can’t score much against the Giants. They average giving up only 17.8 points per game.
Another observation, the top seeds in both the AFC & NFC have Top 10 scoring defenses (that is aside from Atlanta, who we would see in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs if Day-twah can get past Tacoma).
Just an aside, the big Legume has been quoted several times that the most important statistic to him is opponent’s passer rating. We are ranked 26th in this statistic, so, if this is truly a “you get what you emphasize” league, then Coach Capers, why are we giving up so much in the passing game? Brian Billick was asked about this stat a few years ago and he laughed out loud and said “who cares about that (poop)”. Of course, Billick was the Head Coach of one of the best defenses of all time, the 2001 Super Bowl winning Ravens.
So what makes the Giants so good on D?
One consequence of running the Base 4-3 most of the time is that they will have much more beef on the field than the Packers will. As mentioned previously on numerous occasions, on paper we have a 3-4-4 Defense, but we line up in 2-4-5 on more than 50% of the plays, so we will be 12 pounds lighter, per man, than the Giants will be on D. That might not mean much in the first half, but it helps explain why we struggle containing the run, which causes us to bring up D-Backs, which causes us to give up passing yardage. It's science.
Vince is no doubt rolling in his grave, as the basics of football have not changed since the beginning; stop the run, make the other team one-dimensional and then control the ball. On the outside chance that Capers "retires" after this season, Coach is starting a GoFundMe for a “Hire Wade” billboard to be posted in front of Kohler Lodge.
"So what are you saying, Coach, are we gonna lose?" Fear not, young lad, for we will beat the Giants by a touchdown and with a score very similar that of the Detroit game. The so-called experts are saying Green Bay got the toughest draw having to play the red-hot Vagiants. Well, we’ll see. Coach thinks the biggest challenge should be overcoming our rash of injuries, whomever the opponent. But, I ask, could our injuries be a blessing in disguise? What if, instead of Randall / Rollins (a.k.a. Kant / Kuvr), Dr. Gunter and Mr. Hyde blanketed the wide outs using their lanky wing spans and beef (sounds like English pub fare). And Burnett then gets moved to cover the slot #3 receiver or TE, leaving Ha Ha C-D and Kentrell Brice to lay some wood on anyone daring to cross the middle. I LIKE IT! No doubt Eli Manning will be selling out his receivers on quick crossing routes to avoid getting hit in the pocket (see also, big brother Peyton’s go-to move). So, if we hit Odell, Victor and Sterling with a baseball bat every time they reach for the ball, they will get alligator arms pretty quick. Mmm, mmm, that is some crispy duck!
On our side, ever notice that the more Geronimo Allison plays, the fewer drops that Dvante Adams has and the faster that Randall Cobb heals? Just sayin. Coach is still PO’d about the recent 3 TD drops by Adams. That could cost AR the MVP (should be 43 TD's this year). The award should not go to Brady, since he missed 4 games and has by far had the weakest defensive competition of any QB in the league. Matt Ryan played half his games in a dome at home, one more in a dome on the road vs NO, and at least two other games in laboratory conditions at Tampon Bay & Carolina. I have a bias against QB’s who rack up stats in a dome. AR, on the other hand, has put up a huge chunk of his recent yards outside in sub-freezing temps at Lambeau, Philly, and Shitcago. He will be a big reason for our success (duh, I know, "You really went out on a limb there, Coach"), but I digress... on the flipside (which is the entire point of this paragraph), the dropsies by the New York Football Giants could be their downfall -- far worse than the Packers, the Giants receivers led the league in drops this year. But let’s recognize that Eli usually rises to the occasion and, to be charitable, that we have a pedestrian Defense. Let’s say that the Giants will score 24 points, which is what we give up on average.
So Coach is calling it 31-24 Pack! "But 31 on Offense coach? That’s a full two touchdowns more than the Giants give up on average!" Yes, son, Coach realizes that, and here's how...
No. 1 The rookies (now considered full-fledged "1st year players" because they all got significant minutes during the reg season and learned how to work through NFL adversity) are going to have a good game on D and make some real contributions (a.k.a. turnovers!).
No. 2 Micah Hyde is going to take a punt return to the house --- he’s overdue (or substitute Randall Cobb in here if Hyde plays many snaps on D at corner).
No. 3 ….is well… No. 12, ‘nuf sed
No 4 We’re playing at Lambeau during the Prime Slot of the entire Wild Card Weekend. Coach will be there, you will be there, and 82,000 other rabid Packer fans will be there to pull the team to victory. (that's me on the left)
JB – Packer players you forgot about, but stories you’ll remember about them
Sureway was a low budget grocery store that faded out of Wisconsin existence in the early 90’s along with other “original grocers” like A&P and Red Owl. I think Piggly Wiggly is probably the only major vintage grocery store chain that is still around since the advent of Walmart, Woodman’s and other big box grocers. So why give a shit? I’ll tell you why… It was an imfamous Packer that brought down the underdog Sureway franchise, and I still haven’t gotten over it!
Ron Wolf’s first draft as Packers GM was only 3 years after neon Deion Sanders came out of Florida State and took the NFL by storm. Recall that Sanders, as the #5 overall selection in the 1989 draft, had more impact on the game than any other single player including fellow draft classmates taken before him: Barry Sanders (no relation), Troy Aikman (no expression), Derrick Thomas (no speedometer), and Tony Manderich (no talent). So in 1992, it was of little surprise when new Packers GM Ron Wolf eagerly used his #5 overall pick to select the dynamic defensive back who succeeded Deion at FSU and was touted by then head coach Bobby Bowdon as a BETTER overall player than Deion, Terrell Buckley. T-Buck’s college resume was impressive: a two-year starter at Florida State that left as the school's all-time leader in interceptions (21) and interception return yards (501 … an NCAA record), and tied school records for touchdowns off interception returns (four) and punt returns (three). He was named first-team All-American and won the Jim Thorpe Award (given to the nation's top cornerback), and finished 7th in the Heisman voting. Not too shabby. So what’s not to like? Well, for starters, the guy was as dumb as a box of rocks. Maybe dumber. When asked on draft day what he thought of being taken by Green Bay, Buckley said “All’s I know about Green Bay is that it’s somewhere east of Chicago.” True story.
In his rookie season playing against Cincinnati, Buckley set what remains a current record as the youngest player to return a punt for a touchdown in NFL history (21 years, 105 days). Whoopdeeshit, as that was his last punt return for a touchdown ever. For most of Buckley’s career, he spent his time telling people how great he was, but rarely backing it up on the field. Sort of like a Jim Rome that can play sports. …and when he did play well, he’d already spent so much time yapping about himself that nobody wanted to give him credit. In fact, Buckley is the only player with 50+ interceptions to never make a Pro Bowl. He had at least one interception in 13 consecutive seasons. But alas, no one cares. One of his biggest untruths was his claim when he entered the league that he never gave up a touchdown pass in college. The dude was a legend in his own mind. I was just happy that the Packers drafted Craig Newsome in 1995 to replace T-Buck, and Coach got to watch Newsome pick up a fumble in San Fran and run it into the end zone when we beat the 49ers to play in Dallas for the NFC Championship. And, of course, the following year when we won it all in 1996, Buckley was in Miami (ha ha).
That said, in the 2001 AFC Championship Game he played for the Patriots against the Pittsburgh Steelers and had an interception in their win, and then he got a Super Bowl ring 2 weeks later against the Rams.
So, back to Sureway… as a 1st round draft pick rookie, T-Buck was asked by many local businesses to partake in their ads. Buckley commented to large market media sources and other NFL players that being an advertising spokesperson in Green Bay was a joke. Little money, lack of “diversity” (ok, maybe) in marketing professionals, etc. So when Buckley did his Sureway grocery store commercial, I was shocked. He didn’t need the money, and he apparently thought it was a joke, so why did he bother to do it? The best I can figure is that he did it for more attention or for commercials “practice.” We’ve all seen some pretty lame commercials with Packers players – let’s face it, anybody with TV advertising talent is not seeking the Green Bay market … but T-Buck was AWFUL. Remember those rubber mats in the front of automatic doors … you know, you step on them or push the cart on them, and a toggle switch depresses so that the door opens… well, Buckley was standing on/near one during his commercial for Sureway and the damn door kept opening and closing at odd times as he fumbled through his 4 lines. It was like Buzz Lightyear jumping up and down at the entrance to Al's Toy Barn. By far, the worst TV commercial I have ever seen. I honestly think he is illiterate and was asked to read some cue cards. It was as if the producer was afraid to tell Buckley he was incapable of doing a commercial so they just took whatever they had recorded and played it on TV. To be fair, though, there weren’t many good commercials made by white producers using black actors on TV in 1992 (Click on Link, but brace yourself for 90's shame).
Presently, Terrell Buckley is the cornerbacks coach at Louisville and, in a strange twist, he actually looks like a short Michael Jordon (without the pointy ears). That’s weird. Make no mistake, though, Buckley has nowhere near the smarts of Air Jordon. In this poorly assembled propaganda / introduction video (Click on Link) set to the western-movies tune The Ecstasy of Gold, you’ll see that coach Buckley is hard-pressed to complete a intelligible sentence yet manages to explain to the moron host that his best attribute is a short memory and that he is privileged to be on Bobby Petrino’s staff because Petrino likes to run up the score on overmatched opponents. What a dipshit. All’s he knows about Louisville is that it’s somewhere east of Cincinnati.
"Coach" is the insightful collective brain and funny bone of a few legendary Packer fans who provide everything you need to know (and what Packers beat writers often plagiarize) about the Green & Gold, plus a weekly guest appearance by The Badger Underground.