The NFL is my favorite pastime. As I write, I'm looking at my basement wall which is littered with signed pictures of Greg Jennings, Aaron Rodgers, Ray Nitschke, Jim Taylor, Paul Hornung, Willie Davis, Sir Charles Woodson, Brett Favre's kid-like joy post his TD pass to Bad-Moon Rison, Andre Rison's step into the XXXI end zone, Clay Matthews holding up the football after his strip of AP and return for a TD, Desmond Howard and his kickoff return for a TD in the XXXI Super Bowl, Bart Starr's Ice Bowl dive, Willie Wood, Herb Adderley, Dave Robinson, Ahman Green, and Desmond Bishop. I've even got the BJ Raji TRUMP CARD moment autographed above the desk in my basement. To my left, their are autographed Nick Collins, James Lofton, Edgar Bennett, Paul Hornung, Brett Favre, Charles Woodson, Paul Hornung, and Bart Starr. With the exception of Ahman Green and James Lofton, all won Super Bowls in Green Bay. All in different eras. Sure, each had a MVP QB, but the reason each was a Champion was because of defense.
Prior to seeing what Brian Carriveau accurately called the "FAIL MARY" - I thought I was watching a Championship Defense. While most pundits would fairly question the current status of the Packers offense, I viewed the "FAIL MARY" game this way: The 2012 Green Bay Packers went into a hostile environment and won. Not with offense, but with sublime defense. Since Mike "The Irishman" McCarthy took over the Packers coaching staff in 2006, the Packers have won 3 games in which they scored less than 16 points. They beat the Viqueens 9-7 in a December battle in 2006. They won twice in the 2010 season; a 9-0 victory in New York over the Jets and 10-3 over the Bears on January 2nd. The Seattle game should have been #4. It should have brought a sense of security to Packers fans. A vibe that even when the NFL's MVP isn't playing top notch football, the Packers can still win on the road against a quality NFC opponent.
Then came the play.
I thought about canceling the NFL Ticket. But, I enjoy Packers football too much. I swore I would not watch another non-Packers game with replacement referees. When the agreement between the NFL and the Refs came to fruition, I gave myself a one-game boycott. I didn't tune in on Thursday Night. But as my Dad said, "Scott, you are only hurting myself. The NFL doesn't care whether you watched or not." With the refs back, I'll buzz into some football today. I won't devote my Sunday to it, but I'll be aware as to the happenings.
As an amateur yet heavily interested NFL historian, I enjoy looking into the riches of previous generations. I believe Peter King to be the most knowledgeable living NFL Historian. ***Side note: It's no wonder that he agrees that Don Hutson is the BEST NFL PLAYER EVER. He's the Babe Ruth of the NFL. And, no one cares. Also, Peter, please vote LeRoy Butler into the NFL HOF. He changed the way safety was played. Butler deserves a bust for the the opposite reason that Andre Reed, Tim Brown and Cris Carter haven't received theirs. While Reed, Brown and Carter were all statistically similar and made similar impacts for their respective teams, Butler was an innovator. Butler was nearly the first ever to get to 40 interceptions and 20 sacks. He was great against the run. He played CB in the slot. He played strong safety. He played free safety. He was the inventor of the Lambeau Leap. He was ALL-DECADE in the 90's. He was a Super Bowl Champion. It'd be a great day for Packers fans if Dave Robinson, Ron Wolf and LeRoy Butler were all enshrined. Won't happen. But, a man can dream.***
As I went for a run through the Mile-High air yesterday, I kept thinking about Peter King's twitter response post the "FAIL MARY." It inspired me to get close to the computer. But, I backed away. As I sipped a 21st Amendment "BREW FREE OR DIE IPA" - I thought longer about whether I could bring myself to write. Mentally, I kept thinking, "Man, I'm going to devote 90 minutes to writing about Koko B. Ware and his bird Freddie and the WWF back into the 80's. Isn't that what I witnessed?" While the Badgers were melting down and Texas was setting up an epic WVU v Texas battle in Austin next week, I was enjoying a Crazy Mountain Pale Ale. I convinced myself that I was going to wake up on Sunday and drown myself in Cafe Bustelo. Loaded on Bustelo, I'd write. I'd at least re-post what Peter King wrote on Twitter. So, here goes.
Mark it down, G-Force. Peter King, arguably the greatest living historian of the NFL, wrote this:
"One of the great disgraces in NFL history."
Perfectly worded. Everyone agrees. While we all agree, Peter King would know. G-Force, we were robbed.
Throughout his fairly short time in the NFL, Roger Goodell has been mightily challenged. Throughout, he handled himself with class. He was a professional. He was personable. He was both a leader and a face for the NFL. But, on the occasion in which the NFL suddenly became bad reality TV, Roger ran. He was nowhere to be seen. He acted as a clown. Instead of putting his face - front and center - he put forth a bogus memo that was absolutely appalling to anyone who has football intellect. He signed the agreement with the Refs and wouldn't acknowledge that the Monday Night fiasco had anything to do with it. And, then, like a clown, he sent a foolish e-mail to the fans. It furthered with feeling of insult.
But, somehow, Peter King's comment made me feel justified. Book it. "One of the great disgraces in NFL history." Yet, unrecognized by the NFL's Leader. Shameful.
This week - it's the Saints. The Saints at 0-3. The Packers at 1-2. Must win for both. Expect Aaron Rodgers to return to his MVP form. Expect the Packers to put points on the board. Expect Clay Matthews to be the Claymaker again today. 2 sacks for Clay.
Packers 38. Saints 23.
If you're going to Lambeau today, be louder than ever. Scream with anger, if you must. But, be faithful to Packers. We need this one today. Or the prospects of the 2012 NFL Season will be bleak.
Sorry for the lack of a game breakdown. I'll do better next week. I promise.
Thank you, Peter King. And yes, it was "One of the great disgraces in NFL history."
Go Pack Go.