Friday, September 30, 2011

Why I Was Secretly Happy the Broncos Won the Super Bowl (And my thoughts on this week's game)

Looking back on that Packers team of the 90's is always a great time for me. Favre hitting Sharpe every other play for a first down. Edgar Bennett trucking his way through the line. Dorsey Levins working his way upfield. When Desmond Howard ran that kick back in Super Bowl XXXI, it was cathartic for me. Remember, I became a fan in the middle of the worst decade the Packers ever had; the 1980s. To see the team I loved reach the pinnacle of football was awesome. To be there in the pub with my family watching on projector screens, it was a top 5 moment in my life to that point.

Fast forward one year. It was January 1998. I was 21 years old living in Oregon with my parents and working as a bellman in a Portland hotel. I'd met the girl of my dreams and was enjoying the peak of the Packers '90s run. And as a bellman I had a little cash to spend. My aunt lived in Vegas and so I decided I would do a parlay on the Super Bowl, just to add to the fun. My parlay was this: Packers win the Coin Toss, Over in the first quarter, over in the 2nd quarter, over in the first half, over in the 3rd quarter, over in the 4th quarter, over for the game and of course the Packers to win straight up. That's an 8 way parlay folks. 100 to 1 odds. So I called my aunt a couple of days before the game. My sweet loving Aunt Sally, God rest her soul. I told her I wanted to bet $100 and told her what to bet it on. If the ticket came in it would be a cool 10 grand. I was sure that it would be a high scoring game so I thought I had a fair shot.

Game time comes. The Packers win the toss. Sweet! That's one. Of course the game was just as high scoring as I had thought it would be, but the Packers just weren't controlling the game the way they should. Then Eugene Robinson picked off Elway. Favre led the team right down the field. The game was tied and the tide had been turned. The Packers would win and cover. I was sure. It was about this time I got a call. From my Aunt. I found out that she had not been able to get to a sports book to place my bet. I was devastated. 10 grand out there that should have been mine. When Terrell Davis scored the winning touchdown, deep down I was relieved. Instead of costing me $10,000, my Aunt Sally saved me $100. And I can still smile on that day because of it.

Moving on to the Broncos game this Sunday, a lot of people think this game against the Broncos is a trap game. I agree. Von Miller and Elvis Dumerville will provide a fierce pass rush. That means the running game will have to have success for the offense to flow. Ryan Grant is out and James Starks showed no decisiveness against the Bears. That must change against the Broncos. I also have a concern about the passing game. I'm starting to feel that Rodgers is focusing on Jennings and Finley too often. They have been the target of 43% of Rodgers attempts and have 44% of the Packers receptions. I really think targets need to even up between the Packers receivers for the passing game to keep producing at the rate it has (Yes I know Rodgers is one of two QBs to have a 100+ QB rating over the first three weeks. I'd just like to see it stay that way).

As far as the defense, I was happy to hear that Nick Collins' fusion went well. I'm sad that he's out for the rest of the year but at the same time I hope that he considers his long term quality of life before he thinks about playing football again. Morgan Burnett played very well in Collin's absence last week. Hopefully with another week playing with the ones Charlie Peprah will be more prepared to actually cover people and tackle. I still see this as a fairly easy Packers victory, 31-17 sounds about right for a score.

P.S. Only 2 more weeks to #throwbackweekend!

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