10

December

Questioning fan etiquette: To boo or not to boo?

During the Lambeau Leap, it's entirely acceptable to cheer. But when is it acceptable to boo? Or is it?

During the Lambeau Leap, it’s entirely acceptable to cheer. But when is it acceptable to boo? Or is it?

By paying the price of admission, it’s certainly every fan’s right to boo or express their displeasure as long as it’s within reason. There’s no debate there.

But by tabbing the “Boo Birds” as a Lame Call, I dove into a debate ignited by Sunday’s rare booing at Lambeau Field during the game between the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons.

Booing is fine. To each his own. If you paid for a ticket and wish to make good on the investment by booing, that’s your decision.

But in my opinion, when you’re at a game in support of a team, there are just a few things that need to be considered and a few rules to follow.

1) Be loud when you should be loud: 

When your team is on defense, it’s entirely acceptable and encouraged to be loud. You can’t intercept a pass or sack the quarterback, but, in the case of Lambeau Field in the winter, you can team up with the cold weather and make things difficult for the opposing team.

2) Be quiet when you should be quiet: 

When your team has the ball–especially in a key situation–you should sit on your hands, put your vuvuzela away and hold your breath. When your quarterback has his arms to his side and palms to the ground, motioning for the crowd to be quiet, he’s not reenacting “Angels in the Outfield.” He wants you to be quiet.

3) Adhere to any team specific cheers or chants:

If you’re in the student section at a Wisconsin Badger football game, you’re going to jump around. If you’re at a Florida St. game, then you’ll participate in the ridiculously cool Seminole chop and chant. Sing your “Fly, Eagles, Fly” song in Philadelphia, or jam out to Ke$ha before kickoff at Lambeau Field when “the place about to blow.” And I pray that you all know the last one was a joke, by the way.

If you want “your team” to have a homefield advantage, do whatever you can to create/maintain said advantage.

Here’s where there’s a little grey area.

20

November

Does Anybody Care About Greg Jennings Returning to Lambeau?

Vikings WR Greg Jennings returns to Green Bay to play the Packers on Sunday.

Remember back when former Packers WR Greg Jennings was questioning the leadership of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and generally acting like an ass after signing a fat new deal with the Minnesota Vikings?

A lot of Packers fans circled Nov. 24 on their calendars. That was the day Jennings and the Vikings were coming to Lambeau Field and the first opportunity Packers fans would have to let the boos reign down on the former Packers standout.

Now that Nov. 24 is almost here, does anyone even remember Greg Jennings and that his return to Lambeau is almost upon us?

I’m going to the game Sunday, and I completely forgot that it’s Jennings’ return until I randomly thought of it earlier this evening. At this point, Jennings isn’t relevant enough to warrant booing.

A lot has happened to the Packers since Jennings contracted diarrhea of the mouth. Half the team — including Rodgers — is injured and the season is close to falling off a cliff. Packers fans just want their team to win a game and probably care less about booing Jennings.

Jennings also hasn’t done anything in Minnesota. He looks like just another past his prime WR who was given a giant contract and won’t come anywhere close to fulfilling the investment.

I’d rather save my energy for cheering the Packers than boo Jennings.

Oh, I’m sure Jennings will hear it when he trots out on Sunday, but the catcalls won’t be nearly as loud as what they would have been had the Packers hosted the Vikings in week one.

Greg Jennings: Standout wide receiver and Super Bowl champion in Green Bay. Mr. Irrelevant in Minnesota.

 

 

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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18

October

How will McCarthy Scheme Around Packers Injuries?

The steam is rising off of the head of Packers coach Mike McCarthy as his brain schemes ways around the loss of Randall Cobb and others.

There’s at least one person in Green Bay happy about all the injuries the Packers have suffered this season: The CEO of whichever electric utility provides power to the head coach’s office at Lambeau Field.

The lights will be on at all hours in the coming weeks as Mike McCarthy puts his mad scientist skills to work and tries to compensate for the loss of Randall Cobb, a hobbled James Jones and a slew of other injuries that threaten to disrupt the Packers offense.

If you haven’t already, read this post from Matt Bowen at Bleacher Report about how the Packers have rebuilt their running game and could incorporate more big formations and multiple tight end looks to make up for the loss of Cobb and others.

It’s a great read and makes a ton of sense, but then again, so do a lot of schematic type of things when they’re written on paper. Once the game starts and the bodies start flying, sometimes the game plan that seemed so innovative on Thursday is proven to be worthless after the first quarter of the actual game.

I have no doubt that McCarthy will incorporate a few formations and looks that maybe we haven’t seen out of the Packers recently. It’s one thing to come out with some unique looks. It’s another to use those looks to create mismatches and put players like Jarrett Boykin or Brandon Bostick — players who might be seeing a much bigger role after barely playing so far — in a position to succeed.

No matter what McCarthy comes up with, he’ll be hard-pressed to make it work unless Eddie Lacy and the running game keeps rolling. Assuming Lacy keeps doing what he’s been doing, does McCarthy have the patience to use the running game to set up his shot plays in the passing game?

McCarthy has always used the passing game to set up running plays. That mindset might have to change a little bit, at least for now.

We saw the impact an effective ground attack had in the win over the Ravens. Does the 64-yard TD to Jordy Nelson happen if Lacy hadn’t been rolling and the defense didn’t actually take the play-action fake seriously? Probably not.

14

September

Cory’s Corner: Rodgers’ shoulder chip has been activated

Aaron Rodgers will have the chip on his shoulder when the Packers host Washington on Sunday.

Aaron Rodgers will have the chip on his shoulder when the Packers host Washington on Sunday.

If you want to see fireworks and an Aaron Rodgers light show, then get ready for Sunday afternoon.

The Packers are coming off a disappointing loss in San Francisco that saw Rodgers get bear hugged as the final seconds ticked away. The NFL’s best quarterback never got a chance to unleash a 42-yard seed to give the Packers a huge season-opening upset win.

Now Rodgers has had to face questions this week about closing out and winning tight games from his local media. That chip that tends to resurface when his play is questioned made appearance. He then quickly shot back, “You can win them, you execute on both sides of the ball.”

That was a warranted question. But now the Redskins have to face Rodgers’ wrath. This is a guy you do not want to torque the wrong way.

If Rodgers can get peeved at a Packers fan for calling him short, it surely won’t take much to stoke his motivational fires in Week 2.

Let’s take a quick peek at last year. After “losing”14-12 in the famed Fail Mary game, Rodgers responded with 319 yards and four TDs vs. New Orleans. After losing a heartbreaker in Indy, he threw a 338-yard, six-TD gem at Houston.

His whole career is dripping with disappointment that has led to personal inspiration, which has turned him into a Pro Bowl perfectionist.

The Redskins are going to try to stop Rodgers. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will throw the kitchen sink at him perhaps by sending London Fletcher and Brian Orakpo on blitzes to disrupt his timing. That stuff works on guys like Christian Ponder or Josh Freeman but not Rodgers.

Coming into this season, the Packers weren’t even the third best team in the NFC by many analysts. Now Rodgers is on a crusade to prove that his team isn’t just adequate but superior enough to push San Francisco and Seattle for a spot in the Super Bowl.

However, that can’t happen unless the Packers earn its 21st win in 22 tries at Lambeau Field. I hate classifying games as “must wins” but if the Packers come up short on Sunday there is a chance they could be staring at 0-3 before the bye with a tough trip to Cincinnati to face the much-improved Bengals.

31

January

Green Bay Packers WR Donald Driver Announces Retirement

Donald Driver

Packers WR Donald Driver is retiring after 14 seasons.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver announced on ESPN Radio Thursday morning that he is retiring after 14 memorable seasons.

The Packers have scheduled an official retirement ceremony for Wednesday, Feb. 6, in the Lambeau Field Atrium. Fans can attend and tickets will be available at the Packers ticket office starting Friday.

Driver is the Packers all-time leader in receptions (743), receiving yards (19,137), 1,000-yard receiving seasons (7), 50-catch seasons (9), consecutive games with a catch (133), receptions at Lambeau Field (363) and receiving yards at Lambeau Field (5,000).

What else is there to say about Driver? He was one of my favorite Packers of all time and will be remembered as one of the greatest Packers ever.

Leave your favorite Driver memories in the comments section and let’s spend today remembering No. 80 for everything he’s done for the Green and Gold.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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27

January

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

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Sundays with Packers football are over for a long time. In fact, there is no football at all this Sunday (the pro bowl doesn’t count), so it’s time to resurrect Surviving Sunday. As long as I have time and as long as I remember, I’ll try and do a Surviving Sunday every week to muse about some sort of topic and recap the week in Packers news ad other nonsense.

This week, I want to talk about the atmosphere at Lambeau Field.

At the end of this column about the Packers being too soft to join the NFL’s elite, Bob McGinn takes a dig at Packers fans:

And the crowds at Lambeau Field have started to remind me of those staid assemblages at the University of Michigan. It’s the place to be seen and all that, but it has been a long time since a visiting coach or player went on and on about how difficult it was to hear and play in Green Bay.

Nowhere is it written that the Packers shall contend for if not win the Super Bowl every year, but some fans sure seem to think it is.

So, McGinn thinks Packers fans are just as soft as the players. I’m not sure how he can reach that conclusion while sitting far above the unwashed masses in the press box, but I respect his opinion.

I don’t think Packers fans have gone soft, but I’ve only been attending games at football’s Holy Grail for about six years. Perhaps those of you that have been going to Lambeau your whole lives do, in fact, see a quieter and more finicky type of fan occupying the metal bleachers. I know I sometimes wonder if I’m at a cold-weather version of Mardi Gras or a football game while at Lambeau, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.

McGinn thinks teams don’t “fear” playing at Lambeau any more. Where do NFL teams fear playing these days? Seattle? Maybe. The Metrodome? Perhaps because of the noise. Soldier Field? Only because the bad turf might lead to a torn ACL?

Most NFL players are millionaires. They travel first class, stay in the finest hotels, eat meals catered by world-class chefs, and have team employees handle all of their equipment and other miscellaneous things. Why would anyone in that situation “fear” going on the road. It sounds like something to look forward to!

23

December

Keys to the Game: Green Bay Packers vs. Tennessee Titans

Chris Johnson and Tramon Williams

The Packers need to bear down on Johnson this Sunday and keep him from running free

I’m going to depart a bit from the usual Key Matchups format because the Tennessee Titans are an unfamiliar opponent of the Green Bay Packers and also due to the injuries on both sides.

We will return to our regularly scheduled “Key Matchups” next week when the Packers visit the Minnesota Vikings to round out the 2012 regular season.  For this week, it’s more of a “What to Watch For”.

Titans Running Back Chris Johnson

Johnson gets hidden, sometimes even forgotten, in Tennessee because they are one of the smaller markets.  And let’s be honest, the Titans have been very forgettable the past four seasons.  But 1,200 yards and five touchdowns is nothing to overlook this week for the Packers.

Johnson had a 94 yard touchdown run in Tennessee’s Monday night’s dismantling of the New York Jets.  With that run, Johnson set a new NFL record with six career touchdown runs over 80 yards.

He’s still a very good running back and clearly has the ability to break a long run at any time.  Green Bay struggled to contain another great running back three weeks ago when Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had a long scoring run and ran wild all day.

It’s asking a lot of any defense to contain a top back, but Green Bay has had recent success defending the run and can again this week.  It comes down to the one-one-one matchups at the line, specifically with Ryan Pickett and BJ Raji.  Each played very well last week against Chicago and Matt Forte.

Tennessee’s offensive line grades out better than does the Bears’ but with top wide receiver Kendall Wright out this week, the Titans won’t have as many options in the passing game. Green Bay may be able to focus more on loading up the box, as they say.

If all else fails, just tackle.  The Packers have had more than their fair share of tackling issues over the past two seasons and it cost them in the Vikings game.  Fortunately it didn’t cost them the game, but in a close contest, a missed tackle can be the one play that prevents them from getting the “W”.