8

June

Packers Coach Mike McCarthy is Awesome

Packers coach Mike McCarthy is dedicated to his community work.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy is dedicated to his community work.

A lot of ink has been spilled and hot air bloviated this week about Brett Favre taking some of the blame for his split with the Packers and Greg Jennings possibly holding a grudge against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers after departing Green Bay for Minnesota.

Both of those topics merit further discussion. They also move the meter and bring out the passion — for better or worse — of Packers fans and media personalities.

Unfortunately, both of those stories broke around the same time Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wrote an excellent piece about Packers coach Mike McCarthy and his commitment to both his family and community outreach.

Push pause on all the thoughts that are running through your head about when Favre might finally have his number retired as a Packer, or whether Jennings will send Rodgers a Christmas card this year, and read Nickel’s story.

I get that we don’t truly know the coaches and players that we cheer for every Sunday, but I am pretty confident that McCarthy is a helluva guy and about as genuine as they come. I’m really proud that he’s the coach of the Packers.

I’ve always been impressed with McCarthy’s demeanor throughout the season. He’s never too high and never too low and always remains resolute while looking forward. You can tell he would rather talk about Justin Bieber’s fashion sense than answer questions about the Packers sometimes, but he’s always respectful and provides at least some level of insight.

It looks like many of those same characteristics carry through to McCarthy’s community work and family life. He may tick fans off by calling for a 50-yard bomb on 3rd and 1 or not running the ball as often as we’d like, but any coach will tick off fans with stuff like that on occasion.

I’ve already written too much about this topic. Stop reading this, and go read Nickel’s story. Keep up the good work, Mike.

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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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21

April

Last Day At Lambeau Premieres: Kris Burke’s Review

"Last Day At Lambeau" premiered on April 18 at the 2012 Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison, WI

It’s been nearly four years, but the memories came rushing back like they were yesterday.

That sums up what was going through my head while viewing “Last Day At Lambeau” at the Wisconsin Film Festival on April 18 at Monona Terrace in Madison. It’s a film I honestly have been looking forward to seeing since the first teaser hit the internet months ago.

To give a brief synopsis of the film, it documents the fall of Brett Favre through the eyes of a Packer fan. Director Michael Neelsen grew up in Wisconsin and was raised a Packer fan and idolized Favre like so many Wisconsin youth at the time. It’s this same personal attachment to Favre that the director had that makes the film so powerful.

The film truly had it all. At the beginning, brief highlights of Favre’s time as a Packer are shown and then the film delves right into Favre’s final game at Lambeau as a member of the Packers—the 2008 NFC Championship Game against the New York Giants.

We all know how that game ended. Favre’s final pass was intercepted and the Giants won the NFC title in overtime, slamming shut the doors on the Packers’ Cinderella season and Favre’s career in green and gold.

What the film showed at this point was something I never really considered, mainly due to my disgust (which still lingers to this day) over the loss: Cheesehead TV’s Brian Carriveau points out a photo surveying the field from behind Favre on that fateful play—every receiver had some kind of cushion as Favre dropped back….except the one he tried to throw to.

The film also raised a valid point many of us didn’t realize at the time, perhaps blinded by the good thoughts of Favre’s early career. Favre was becoming an increasingly bad quarterback in cold weather. With the NFC title game in sub-zero temperatures, perhaps it really shouldn’t be that surprising that the Packers lost.

We know what happens next. Any Packer fan old enough at the time remembers how the whole Favre retirement and then un-retirement saga played out in that spring and summer.