30

June

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

To survive this particular Sunday, I don’t want to write about Desmond Bishop officially signing with the Vikings, Aaron Rodgers getting shafted on the NFL top 100 list or Aaron Hernandez (allegedly) murdering a guy(s). Instead, let’s do a Packers hypothetical:

If Packers GM Ted Thompson calls you tomorrow, rattles off the names of two players, and says he absolutely has to cut one of  them and is calling you for advice, what would you tell him?

Here are the scenarios:

Tramon Williams or Casey Hayward?
I’d keep Hayward and cut Williams. Not an easy choice because I’m not as down on Williams as others, but I’ll take the young guy who isn’t as afraid of contact as Williams has been lately. Having young CBs like Sam Shields and Davon House on the roster would also help cushion the blow from losing Williams.

Mike Neal or Jerel Worthy?
One guy is prone to injuries, the other is actually injured. I’m keeping Neal and cutting Worthy. Neal has showed flashes of being really damn good when he hasn’t been in the trainer’s room. Worthy didn’t show me much last season when he was healthy — not enough explosiveness. I know Worthy is young and defensive linemen need time to develop, but based on what I’ve seen so far, I like a healthy Neal over a healthy Worthy.

Jermichael Finley or James Jones?
Now this is a tough one. I want to say I’d cut Finley and keep Jones, but for some reason, Finley still strikes fear into other teams. You still see coverage shifted to account for No. 88 even though he hasn’t been what I’d consider a playmaker in his career. He’s been a decent enough tight end, but not really a playmaker. Jones seemed expendable until he went nutso last season and I like his ability to go up and catch a jump ball every now and then. I also value a good wide receiver over a one-dimensional tight end, so I’d cut Finley. I might live to regret that decision, though. It’s a tough one.

Adam Czech, Jersey Al, Kris Burke, Chad Toporski, Thomas Hobbes, Jason Perone or Marcus Eversoll?

7

November

Hurricane Sandy Can’t Dampen Packers spirit.

Hurricane Sandy - Packers fan“Sandy, the aurora is rising behind us.
The pier lights our carnival life forever…

- Bruce Springsteen

There was no aurora rising behind Hurricane Sandy and I, rather it was merely a dark gloomy sky, darker than I had ever seen in my neighborhood. There were no porch lights or street lights interrupting the view of the NJ sky. There was also not a star to be seen, just cloudy eerie darkness…

The power went out at 7:15PM on Monday.  My wife and mother-in-law (who we had convinced to stay with us to ride out the storm) were most disappointed that they would be missing Dancing With the Stars. What can I say?

It was my good fortune to have purchased a generator a few weeks earlier. Not because I was Nostradamus and had foreseen this storm coming, it’s just something I’ve always wanted to have for cases of emergency, tailgating, outdoor activities, etc.  After hurricane Irene, I promised myself I would buy one, yet it took more than a year before I finally did so.

The weekend before Sandy’s arrival was spent in preparation. After having brought in all the deck furniture and anything else that could have become a flying projectile, I cracked open the still-in-the-box generator, did some minor assembly, prepared the engine and fired it up. Everything worked great, so I filled up the tank and went out and bought another five gallons of what would unbeknownst to me soon become like gold in NJ – gasoline.

Monday afternoon, I came home from work early, setup the generator outside, ran some extension cords in preparation and waited. When the power did go out, I sprang into action, starting up the generator and connected my sump pump, refrigerator, some lamps, a TV and kitchen appliances (coffemaker, toaster, etc.).  Initially, we even had cable TV and internet, but that didn’t last more than an hour.

One interesting thing that I realized: the DirectTV Satellite service I have (just to watch Packers games, basically), will always work as long as you have some form of power. So despite cable being out, we had TV, which proved to be an emotional Godsend.

Soon the strongest winds came. Trees bent in unnatural ways. I was sure I would lose my tree that had barely survived a nasty Halloween snow/ice storm a year ago. Unlike  Hurricane Irene, there wasn’t much rain. That was a big break for some local businesses and residents that had been flooded out by Irene. Some were just now getting fully back on their feet.