I wanted to remind you that we'll have to wait until pick #32 in the 1st Round before we make our initial selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. Ever since my good mate, Vargas, & I conjured a plan to someday open a restaurant called the "Irish Mexican" - I've based my NFL Draft Party around Irish & Mexican goodies. Well, and maybe a lil' Zyr Vodka. Looks like this year, I'll have to stack the plate of nachos a little higher. And, potentially, I'll have to buy an extra 4-pack of canned Guinness.
Damn, it feels good to be a Cheesehead! Yes, we're Super Bowl Champions. As proud supporters, yes, we the G-Force are Super Bowl Champions! Beauty! While the CBA & impending lockout is a total buzzkill, it's not enough to thwart the continued excitement that the final 6 weeks of the 2010 NFL Season brought to life. XLV FOREVER!
I got my Super Bowl goodies in the mail from the Packers Pro Shop. When I pulled out my XLV Flag, I couldn't help but run around the house. Wrapped in the flag, I belted out "Olè, Olè, Olè, Olè...Olè, Olè!" I couldn't help myself. It was instinctive! Purely natural.
Cheers to Ted Thompson. Have to like the AJ Hawk signing. Hawk & Bishop will be manning the middle of our defense for the next 4 years. Together, they had great continuity. They were teammates. They complimented each other. They were in lock-step. Unified.
Speaking of such camaraderie, in case you missed it, I wanted to share a Twitter conversation between Clay Matthews & Aaron Rodgers:
Rodgers writes to Matthews: were u the big man on campus dropping clawledge and looking for designs for ur next tribal tattoo??
Matthews replies: When r we gonna take out ur SB MVP camaro n look for cougars!? I just got a new barbed wire tat around my ankle!! #clawledge
Rodgers responds: when u stop dousing ur hair with water 5 times a game on the sideline just so u can do that hair flip u love to do
Matthews comes back with: Chicks dig the flip. And so does Suave!! :) Is it true ur dating Mila Kunis!? Ur so Hollywood bro!! #MVP
Rodgers writes: if by dating u mean met for the first time the other night, then yes. Uve changed bro. Ur so socal now. sorry I forgot that guys like u stay at the 4 seasons
Matthews jabs: You've changed... I want my old friend back!!
Camaraderie. Teammates. Locker room leaders. Youthful. Playful. Together - forever. Our Offensive MVP & Defensive MVP = Littering a conversation with fun sarcasm. Further evidence of their relationship is revealed as Matthews talks about hanging out with Rodgers' brother at sporting events. Additionally, it appears as though Twitter shows that Rodgers has relationships with Matthews' brothers. Making the relationship even thicker is the fact that Matthews' brothers seem to have brotherhood with Rodgers' brothers as they exchange messages back & forth. Clearly, the relationship between Rodgers & Matthews is deeply rooted. Bring out the Belt!
I believe that team camaraderie is partially the reason that Thompson signed Hawk. In some ways, Hawk defines the Packers of 2010. The consummate team player. Early in the year, he was buried on the depth chart. He never complained. He was the subject trade rumors. He never said anything negative about the organization. He played thru pain. As the captain of the defense, he engineered a terrific defensive performance throughout the 2010 NFL Season.
Oh, and via twitter, the Claymaker had something to say about this as well: Happy 2 see AJ Hawk inked a new 5 yr deal w/ the PACK! I still have better hair!! #longhairdontcare #suave
Barnett, on the other hand, challenged the Packers organization publicly. He negatively responded to Aaron Rodgers' comments prior to the Super Bowl as well. At least partially, I imagine this played a part in Thompson's decision making. Barnett has played his last down in Green & Gold. At this stage, I'd trade him for a 5th or 6th round pick. Though I doubt we'll even get that.
If you haven't watched the replay of the 2nd Quarter of the Packers at Atlanta playoff game in the last week, what are you waiting for? Live that moment again. As I reflect on games that I've gone to in my life & think about the most fun Quarters that I've attended, a quick look at my top 5 would be:
5.) 4th Quarter: Dallas @ Green Bay in Week 13. I was sitting in section 22 - approximately 40 rows from the field. I was with my Mom, my brother Bob & my sister, Marni. The Cowboys had been the thorn in the Packers side throughout the 90's. Leading 24-10, the Cowboys started driving as Troy Aikman hit Michael Irvin on a deep ball. Jerry Jones walked out of the tunnel & onto the field. Wearing a trench coat, he enthusiastically applauded along the Cowboys sideline. Emmitt Smith punched it into the end zone to cut the score to 7. Then the Packers went to work. Favre to Freeman for 6. Levens pounded away as he marched near 200 yards rushing. Pounding through defenders, Levens was Dorsey the Horsey! Levens punched it in to give the Packers a 21 point lead. The party was finished when Darren Sharper picked up a fumble & danced into the end zone. 21 fourth quarter points & Mac was blaring "Mama don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys" through the loud speakers at Lambeau!
4.) 1st Quarter: San Francisco @ Green Bay in the 1996 NFC Divisional Playoffs. In the freezing rain, I was sitting in Section 22 with my brother Chad, approximately 9 rows from the field. After the Packers forced a Steve Young offense into a 3 & out, Desmond Howard returns the punt 71 yards for a TD. Again, Young walks onto the field. Another defensive stop. Another huge Howard punt return leads to a Brett Favre to Andre Rison TD. 14-0 Packers. An injured Young gets replaced by Elvis Grbac. This set the tone for the entire 1996 playoffs. It confirmed that the '96 Regular Season was not a fluke. We were, indeed, the best team in the NFL. Convincingly so.
3.) 2nd Quarter: Green Bay @ Atlanta in the 2010 NFC Divisional Playoffs. I was sitting upper deck with my brother, Bob, & my brother-in-law, Paul. Trailing 7-0, the Packers were driving. Just over 3 minutes into the 2nd Quarter, Rodgers hits Nelson to equalize! A special teams blunder makes it 14-7 Atlanta. Then the nearly unparalleled excitement begins. Kuhn gets the Packers even after he bulls his way into the end zone from a yard out. On this play, the "Freezer" was born! Then Chuckie gets a big sack to force 3rd and long to slow Atlanta as the Falcons entered the Red Zone. The following play, T-Mon kills the drive by baiting Matt Ryan into a bad pass. The MVP goes back to work. 5 times in the 2nd Quarter, Rodgers connects with passes of at least 20 yards. Punctuated with a tremendous TD pass to James Jones in the corner of the end zone. Then, on the final play of the Quarter, it's T-Mon to close the half. Ecstasy! I can't get enough of Joe Buck's call of that play. Seriously sensational!
2.) 1st Quarter: Pittsburgh vs. Green Bay in Super Bowl XLV. I was sitting 21 rows from the field with my Mom, Dad, and my brother, Chad. Obviously, there was a bit of uncertainty as to how the Packers would fare against the veteran Steelers roster. While I believed the Packers were the better team, seeing is believing. Rodgers hits Jordy for 6. Howard Green applies the pressure. Nintendo Nick grabs the pick. And the return. 14-0 Packers. It was SUPER!
1.) 3rd Quarter: New England vs Green Bay in Super Bowl XXXI. Sitting with my Uncle Pat approximately 25 rows from the field, the Packers entered the 3rd Quarter with a solid 27-14 lead. Early in the quarter, it was back & forth. The Packers were driving and looking to take a 3-score lead, which in essence, would have ended the game. On 4th & 1, Holmgren called a questionable run with Dorsey Levens to the outside of the field. Levens was stopped. The Patriots responded. Nerves were at an all-time high. Obviously, I'd never tasted a Packers Super Bowl Title before. I did not know what it felt like to be a Champion. After Curtis Martin cut the Packers lead to 27-21, Desmond Howard goes 99 yards for a Packers TD. Favre hits Chmura for a 2-point conversion & the lead was 14. After the Packers kicked off, it was vintage Reggie White. As the Packers faithful shouted "Reggie, Reggie" with wholehearted passion, the Minister of Defense responded. Dominating Max Lane on 3 straight plays, he sacked Drew Bledsoe twice. At this point, we knew the Packers would win Super Bowl XXXI. For the 1st time, I'd felt the Super Sensation. While the first 12 minutes of the quarter were nail biting material, the final 3 minutes were the ultimate. It was celebration time!
Continue to revel in the notion of Super Bowl XLV. Hopefully, the CBA will be agreed upon in the next week or so. If so, I'll have a post on the current state of the Packers union & how I'd approach the offseason. If it doesn't happen, I'll continue to slowly put together draft thoughts as the draft is now less than 2 months away.
Go Pack Go!