Monday, November 14, 2011

The Birth of a Packers Fan

The Packers are about to start their game against the Vikings. But I'm not even listening to the pregame right now. I'm watching my son Hunter. He's in his Mason Crosby jersey because "He's the best kicker in the history of ever!" He's anxiously wearing the family cheesehead (all game long). He's got his Packers socks on so he can pull them to help the defense on big plays. He's asking me about why they named the stadium Lambeau and telling me how awesome it is that the Trophy is named after a Packers head coach.

I can't describe how happy it makes me to see him picking up so much about the game. He calls holding on every play (just like his daddy). He looks at the other team's secondary and calls out the open receivers. He wants them to go for it on every 4th and short. Someone got him the Packers team set of football cards and he looks at them constantly during the game. He asks me who my favorite Packer is, who my favorite coach is, who I loved watching that doesn't play anymore.

I know I can thank his Wii Madden football game for some of this. He plays a game or two a day, learning the plays and what the defense looks like. He goes for 2 at least once a game to keep the other team off balance. He lets his 7 year old sister Mackenzie play with him. She plays WR or RB and he does his best to keep her involved too.

As the game goes on, his game face goes on. He jumps up off the couch and runs with Randall Cobb as he returns a punt for a TD. Last year around this time Hunter would maybe make it through a quarter. In a really exciting game it would be a half. This year, after every Packers score Hunter reminds me of a promise I made to him around I think week 3. He had asked me if the Packers could go undefeated. I said, "Hunter...if the Packers go undefeated...I'll take you to the Superbowl." Of course I said it because I didn't think it was possible.The Packers seem determined to prove me wrong.

And I couldn't be happier.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Is This the Week the Trap Game is Actually a Trap Game?

I say it every week. "a lot of people think this game against the Broncos is a trap game. I agree." "The Packers are 7-0, so why am I worried?" If you listen to Cheesehead Radio (Hi Guys!) you heard me in the Throwback Weekend Party Line call telling the world I thought the Packers would win a close one 27-21. Now, I'm like Brian Carriveau. Every week the team proves me wrong I'm happy. But I keep saying it. "TRAP GAME!" And I'm saying it again this week.

If you watched their game two weeks ago, you saw the Jets tear the Chargers apart in the 2nd half with 17 unanswered points to win. Then you saw the Chiefs rip the Chargers heart out on Monday Night Football with an overtime victory. In that game, the Chargers had the ball on the KC 15 with 1 minute to go preparing to kick the winning field goal. The Chargers come into this game with a 4-3 record. Philip Rivers looks like he's just off this season. Antonio Gates is playing hurt. Ryan Mathews, Shaun Phillips, Malcom Floyd and Na'il Diggs are all at least questionable on the Chargers injury report. They are missing G Kris Dielman and DE Luis Castillo due to injury. So, why am I saying trap game once again?

First, the Chargers have not lost at home this season. I know there will be a ton of Packers fans in the stadium Sunday so I'm not as concerned about the home field advantage as I would be. Also, their wins at home are against the Chiefs, the Dolphins and the Vikings. Still, undefeated is undefeated and I can't discount the long flight and the time change as well.

Second, Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates scare me. Even with Gates battling a foot injury, he can be deadly if he gets covered by LBs. And Jackson is one of the better big WRs in the league. The Packers are giving up almost 300 passing yards per game (31st in the league). Two different QBs have gone for over 400 passing yards against the Packers defense. If this is the game Rivers gets going, he could be #3 with Jackson and Gates to throw to.

Finally, the Chargers are still tied for first in the AFC West even though the Chargers seem to get off to a slow start every year under Norv Turner. They know that a win against the Packers will get them to 5-3 and right back in the hunt for a playoff spot. Heck, they'd only be a game out of a bye week in the wide open AFC. In contrast the Packers are two games in the loss column ahead of the Lions and in control of their own destiny to earn home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

I'm sure you all think I'm crazy for thinking every game is a trap game. You're probably right. I'm hoping so at least. But I can't get a certain cliche about a wounded animal out of my head. Here's to hoping the Chargers don't lash out until after they've lost to the Packers.