Can anybody beat Green Bay?

A big talker in the sports world during the next month, particularly the NFL, will be whether the Green Bay Packers will finish the season undefeated and win back to back Superbowls.  Currently, the green and gold have won 17 straight, which is almost unheard of  in this day and age of parity in the league.

As a big fan of the NFL, I am somewhat puzzled by this win streak of the Packers. Sure they are a very good team and by far, the best team in the NFL but I would not classify them as a dominating, unbeatable team. It is hard to believe that they have won that many in a row.  Aaron Rodgers is having an unbelievable season and if you’re a fantasy football player and have him as your qb, well you are sitting pretty good my friend!  He has so many weapons to throw the ball to.  Concentrate on stopping a Greg Jennings and one of three other receivers can burn you.  It is one of the most balanced passing attacks I have ever seen at any level in football.

Having said those things,  the Packers have some weaknesses on both offense and defense.  I think their run game is very average at best.  Of course when you have that kind of a passing game, why run the ball anyways? But there will come a time, probably in the playoffs, when the Packers will be forced to run the ball.  Can the Packers make that adjustment?  Who knows.  But having a good balanced attack is usually critical in winning big games.

I am not overly impressed with their defense either. They give up many yards and are ranked near the bottom of the league in total defense. However, what makes their defense so unique is their ability to force turnovers. As great as the offense is for the Packers, their ability to force turnovers and convert those turnovers into points separate the Packers from the rest of the teams in the league. That in itself  explains  why they are so tough to beat.

Another huge factor in their success is the coaching staff which is among  the best in the NFL. Their ability to make adjustments during a game is outstanding.  I don’t think they get enough credit for the job they do.

I know a lot of people will think I am crazy but it would not be a bad thing for the Packers to lose a game before the playoffs begin. Being undefeated and heading into the playoffs will put a lot of pressure on the team.  The playoffs always have a lot of upsets and some team would just love to be known as the team that stopped the streak, especially if it came in the playoffs at Lambeau field or in the Superbowl. But are there any teams out there who can do that? I honestly don’t believe so.  I don’t see any team in either conference who can beat the Packers. But then again, this is the NFL and anything can happen on any given day.  The team is due to slip up sooner or later. Will it come as a crushing blow in the playoffs? Hopefully for Packer fans, it will come during the remaining weeks of the regular season.

 

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2011 Turkey of the Year award

Thanksgiving is normally a time of year when our thoughts are about spending time with family, eating a lot of food and worrying about beating the crowd on black Friday.  Sure those thoughts are important to me, but I also tend to think about those celebrities or groups of people who quite frankly are turkeys. You know, those politicians who have brain freezes at debates or cannot remember how many states there are. Or those athletes who make fools of themselves in some way.  It is impossible for a year to go by without that happening! And then there are those normal, everyday misinformed, narrow-minded people who feel they can change policy by having protests at various public places. This year was full of turkeys and for the first time ever, a certain group of  individuals will have to share the award as opposed to other years when I picked out just one individual. So without any further delay, let me give you some people or groups who got heavy consideration for the award before I announce the winner.

1. Anthony Weiner-  Not only is this guy a turkey, he is an idiot. Sending out links with pictures of your private parts is rather foolish especially when you are a politician.  And we elect idiots like that? That is rather scary!!

2. Vince Young- Why Vince Young was being considered you ask? Do you remember that comment  he made about the Eagles being a dream team last summer? The last time I checked, the Beagles are 3-6 and it would take a miracle for them to make the playoffs. Yea, some dream team!!!

3. Kim Kardashian- Dear Kim, maybe your next husband will last 90 days before you dump him!

4. The runner-up.  The Occupy Wall Street protesters- I don’t have a problem with people protesting and expressing their views, hey it’s the American way but these people just need to go away and shut up please!! We get that you are part of the 99 percent but if you don’t like capitalism, just move out of the country and get lost.  And what is up with the violence? This group has no clear direction and are just wasting taxpayers money with their occupation.

And the big winner for 2011 goes to the NBA player’s union and owners for the continued lockout and possible cancellation of the season. So many problems in society is attributed to greed and this is a prime example. The NBA was a booming business last season and interest in the league was at levels never seen before. Now a bunch of millionaire and billionaire people can’t figure out how to share a certain amount revenue or change the systems because they are just concerned about their own well-being and not the total picture.

But wait, there is some controversy, Billy Hunter, the president of the player’s union just called me and does not want to split the prize with the owners. He wants a 53 percent share of the prize. So the award will have to go to ligation before I hand out the award.

Honorable mention goes out to Rick Perry, Jerry Sandusky (a huge favorite for next year’s award), Jim Tressel, Steve Williams and Charlie Sheen

Penn State made the right decision

The Penn State scandal has certainly dominated the headlines and many people are offering their opinions on whether it was the right move to fire Joe Paterno and the president.  Many feel it was the right course of action while others feel it was taken a little too quickly without a full-fledged investigation.  As much as I admired Paterno, it was the correct decision.

As a I wrote in my last blog, just hours before Paterno was fired, it is sad that a coach of his caliber has to be involved in this type of scandal. He ran a good program for so many years and certainly is one of the all time top icons in the sport. Seeing him get fired over this is painful to see but it had to be done. I strongly believe that Paterno knew what was going on and did not act strongly enough.  For instance, after the allegation by the graduate assistant in 2002,  the assistant coach, who being accused of the child abuse, was still allowed to have access to the locker room. Why was there not a red flag on this man after the allegations? Paterno should have banned him from any access to the locker room and any facility until a complete investigation took place. And certainly a phone call to the police should have been made. If I was in Paterno’s shoes, that is the least, I would have done. Those allegations are very serious and Paterno should have acted more swiftly.  After this alleged incident of the child in the shower, the assistant coach was accused of other acts of child abuse.  A prompt phone call to the police could have prevented further damage.

While I feel bad for Paterno, I feel much worse for the children involved in this scandal. Not enough is said about the real victims in this case. Child abuse a serious problem in this country and this just another example of it happening in a high-profile setting, similar to what happened with the Catholic church sex abuse scandal.

Passing the responsible of reporting this crime on to someone else is not morally right. You have a responsibility of reporting any crime you see to the police. But unfortunately, Paterno failed to do this and it costed him his job. Not exactly the way he wanted to go out but he should have done more in a very serious situation.

The sad saga of Joe Paterno

Whenever you think about the top figures in college football, the name Joe Paterno has to be on everyone’s short list. The man is a sports legend and might be one of the greatest coaches of all time at any level.  His trademark ugly glasses and funny voice have been a symbol of college football for many decades.  To see this scandal force him to resign is a truly sad way for a legend to exit his sport.

I have never really been a huge fan of Joe Pa but I admire his passion for coaching and his no-nonsense style.  This guy was as old school as you can get. I have often wondered if he even owns a cell phone for crying out loud!! He probably doesn’t have a clue as to what an iPhone is.  But Paterno knew how to coach and it was his life. I will never forget the interview he did with a reporter a few years ago.  He told the reporter that coaching football was his life. He didn’t want to retire. He had no hobbies like a lot of coaches who ride off into the sunset have. No fishing, no golf, no playing around with the garden. It was football period. Now it is all taken away after a scandal.

I don’t know all the details about this scandal and nobody really does at this point. More info will come out but I believe Paterno’s loyalty toward a long time friend may have led to his downfall. Did he do enough for allegedly knowing what was taking place.  I don’t know for sure. But sometimes a long time loyal bond with a friend can come back to haunt a person when honesty is needed the most. If he did know what was going on and tried to coverup his assistant’s crimes, then his legacy will be tarnished greatly. But how much he knew and the whole story behind is still to be determined. In the meantime, let the story play out and the facts come out before we condemn Mr. Paterno.