Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Brett's 200th

Packers 45 - Rams 17

I'm not sure what our defense is all about. It's perplexing, to say the least. On one hand, we had two defensive touchdowns (should've been three, but one of the idiot refs decided to redefine the phrase "forward progress was stopped" and prematurely blew the whistle on a failed fake field goal by the Rams late in the third quarter, as we were in the process of returning it toward the end zone). On the other hand, we just can't seem to stop the medium and big plays. I like us against the run -- we've certainly improved since the loss to the Bears (Grady matters!) -- but our secondary is really hot and cold. Not a fan of playing five (or eight, or ten) yards off the line or of blitzing without covering the middle... but that's nothing I haven't said before. I just don't know what we're going to do with that in Philly next week.

This is usually the point when I have to smack myself. Who am I to bitch?! The Packers do things that other teams in the league can only dream of. We have the best quarterback in the NFL. We can run and pass the ball successfully. Our O-line is solid -- Brett has been sacked only five times this year. And we crushed them! Right? So shut up! Right?

It's just that I yearn for so much more. Brett Favre just started his 200th straight regular season game. I think it's safe to say he's closer to the end of his run than he is to the beginning. I want to squeeze every remaining memory out of this era. I'm entitled to pout when the rest of the team doesn't play like they feel the same way. If the entire defense did, I think they'd not only have two TDs per game, but they'd push the opposing team back an average of five yards per play.

Really: Is that so much to ask?

Yesterday was all about Brett (Governor Doyle declared it Brett Favre Day in Wisconsin), but he was unselfishly willing to share the limelight. Six different Packers scored touchdowns, and rookie Ahmad Carroll and Ahman stand-in Najeh Davenport both had amazing games. It was exciting to watch, of course. We never trailed. Annoyingly, the Rams kept coming back to within 11 points, but in the end Brett's Day was the Packers' night.

BTW, the passing TDs streak continues, and Brett has now thrown at least 20 TDs in 11 seasons -- that's one more than Marino.

I really should stop bitching....

Monday, November 22, 2004

Separated at Birth?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Cardiac Pack '04

Packers 16 - Texans 13

Okay, that's two weeks in a row with a narrow, last-second, three-point victory. The score didn't run up nearly as high in this one as I thought it would. Brett had a couple of interceptions, which always hurt, but he also continued his games-with-a-passing-TD streak to 35. He also has now thrown as many TDs in his career as there are days in a year!

The INTs were actually not as harmful as penalties were on our offense, though, and we also had more trouble in third-and-long situations. Those two went hand-in-hand a couple of times tonight, which led to the high stress on my heart. I still think officiating in the NFL is getting worse, but we also had some stupid holds on 1st downs that basically ended up stopping our momentum. We can't afford that on offense.

For all my complaints about our defense in previous weeks, I think ours did relatively well against this Texans offense. They got some big plays on us, but Al Harris was a superstar again, and I still love Grady -- he had some fun out there tonight! Na'il Diggs also had a good game. On offense, we lost Ahman with bruised ribs on the first play of the game. Newcomer Walter Williams jumped in at Back, along with Fisher. For a moment, it looked like Williams might be the breakout star, but then we heard he left the game -- turns out he left with an injury. Fisher had little luck, so (oh, darn!) we were forced to go into our passing game. We were down by 10 at the half and no one scored in the third quarter, so every series became more and more urgent for us Packers fans. The fourth quarter was ours.

Adding to the stress, though, was the fact that we had a great opportunity for a classic Favre march with less than two minutes left in the first half... and went three-and-out... and then let Houston score 3 more in the last minute! When we were all tied up and started with the ball with 2:00 on the scoreboard in the 4th, though, we were resolute and methodical. The chambers of my heart started working overtime when Brett completed a long pass to double-D with about 6 seconds left in the game and then didn't realize that the clock hadn't stopped, since Driver's forward progress had been stopped in-bounds. Luckily, we called Time Out at :02 and got Longwell out on the field. Then came the worst slow-motion, heart-wrenching moment of the game, when the snap came out a bit dirty and it looked like Ryan's 46-yard kick was headed right. About fifty-three seconds later (in my head), it started curving ever-so-slowly in to the left and it ended up just grazing the inside of the right upright about six feet above the bottom bar -- you could see the ball's shadow on the upright on the slo-mo replay (which seemed to go faster than the kick looked to me in real time!).

Winning this way is amazing. The rush of adrenaline -- combined with the need to stifle one's shouts of victory/relief into a pillow thanks to sleeping children in the rooms above -- is simply inexplicable. (Any more Monster Burgers for me and it'll also be inadvisable!) Had Longwell not made either of those last-second game-winners, I wonder whether I would have made it through overtime... but with Brett at the helm, I think Packers fans would have had much more reason to be optimistic than the fans of Minnesota or Houston.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

SPAM of the Day

In my gmail account today:
From: Activations Depar.
Subject: The Coolest Deal of the Summer is here!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Eddie loves me.
© 2004 Andy Stoffels

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Monday, November 15, 2004

First Place!

Packers 34 - Vikings 31

Now if we could only stop the other team from scoring...! Within 93 seconds near the end of this game, the Vikings erased a 14-point defecit to tie the game. Luckily, they left enough time on the clock for us to do something. Brett Favre did his thing and we won because of it. We did get lucky, though, too. A fumbled kickoff return could really have gone either way, but it went to us. That allowed Brett time to haul off a big rainbow to Fisher (who had a pretty good game all around) to get us in field goal range, and the rest is history.

Overall, it was just a great football fan's football game. It was fairly even in the first several series -- Packers TD, Vikings TD, Packers punt, Vikings punt -- but then we really started to outplay them. We scored 17 points in the 2nd quarter and held them to a field goal. In the second half, we came out playing our game, but didn't score at all in the third quarter. Unfortunately, in the fourth, we started getting a little too comfortable and falling back into a quasi-prevent defense. We were good at stuffing the run, but that led to forcing them into a passing game, and our defenders weren't up to the task as well as they should have been.

In the end, a win is a win, and this was a helluva' fun game to watch (apart from some profanity-filled moments in the last half of the last quarter). I thought Al Harris had another noteworthy day (although -- again -- he wasn't totally mistake-free), and Green ran extremely well without fumbling. I still worry, though, about third-and-long and fourth-and-long plays... especially when we blitz and it gets picked up. There still seem to be too many plays reminiscent of 4th-and-26 in every game this year. It may just be that wound hasn't healed yet. If we can continue to stuff Grady Jackson into the run holes, though, and then improve all of our backers' play, we will really be much harder to stop. Those are not insignificant "ifs," though.

Best of all, this win puts us -- at least temporarily -- into first place outright in the North division. We have the same record as Minnesota, but we beat 'em. The Bears and Lions are both just one game out, so it's tight. It feels good, though, after a 1-4 start. Four wins in a row almost makes those four consecutive losses tolerable. I guess we'll see as the season plays itself out.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Am I Gellin'?


Now stop asking.

And, for god's sake, stop rhyming "gellin'" with Magellan. It really just couldn't be less creative. Or more annoying.

Friday, November 12, 2004


Just two more politically-charged articles and then I'll stop for a while -- I need a break. (Maybe I'll go down to Cancun for, oh, four years or so.)
  1. Thomas L. Friedman wrote an article for The New York Times a couple of weeks ago entitled "Two Nations Under God." My parents read it over in France and mentioned it to me when they returned last week, so I looked it up. I think it nutshells what this election was really all about. I found a you-don't-have-to-register-to-read-it version here.
  2. More in the Jon Stewart in '08 vein: Stewart was on CNN's "Crossfire" a few weeks back, and he talked about how spin is all we get now. The election, in fact, was won (and lost) thanks to spin, not real issues. It's someone's take on an issue that matters now, and, in Stewart's words, it's "hurting America." Case in point: Look who our President is, hello. Anyway, I've already shared this with lots of people, but here is the transcript from that show. It's worth a read.
All right, enough avoision. I'll be better now, I promise.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Why Living in England Would Be Better than Living Here, Reason #412
© 2004 Andy Stoffels