23

July

Packers have had the Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair of Quarterbacks in Last 17 Seasons

Aaron Rodgers has held the championship belt as the NFL’s best QB since 2010. Brett Favre held it from 1995-98.

Next time you complain about Aaron Rodgers holding the ball too long or grimace at the memory of a Brett Favre interception, remember this: The Packers have had the best quarterback in the NFL for seven of the past 17 seasons.

That’s the conclusion Grantland’s Bill Barnwell reached, anyway, after a comprehensive study breaking down the NFL QB championship belt holder since 1959.

Yes, Barnwell’s findings are subjective, but even if his logic is a little flawed, it’s still damn impressive just how good the quarterback play has been in Green Bay over the last 17 seasons.

Barnwell goes on to highlight how a quarterback’s reign at the top typically doesn’t last very long. No QB has spent more than four seasons with the QB championship belt. Rodgers has been the best since 2010. He’ll turn 30 this season and the next crop of young quarterbacks are rapidly advancing as top contenders to take his title.

Of course, if Rodgers’ reign does end, it doesn’t mean he’ll turn into a jobber. There’s nothing wrong with being the Intercontinental Champ or even a tag team title holder. Rodgers would still be more than capable of winning the cage match known as the Super Bowl and bringing another team championship belt back to Green Bay.

Kurt Warner ended Favre’s four-season reign from 1995-98. Favre, Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana and Petyon Manning were the only QBs to wear the belt for four straight seasons.

Yes, I’m still going to holler at my TV when Rodgers ignores a wide open receiver underneath and heaves a pass 50 yards downfield that falls incomplete. I’ll still curse some of Favre’s silly interceptions and his divorce from the Packers.

But deep down, I’ll know that the Packers have been lucky enough to have both the Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair of quarterbacks over the last 17 seasons. Two all-time greats. Two memorable characters. Two world champions.

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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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26

February

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

Sundays are rough without football, especially after how the Packers season ended.

I love Sundays, but I love Sundays more when football is on. Football makes you forget about your hangover from Saturday night and the fact that you have to go back to work on Monday. Football also makes you feel less guilty for lazing around on the couch all day, eating food that raises your cholesterol and swearing at your TV.

Now we’re stuck with the NBA, NHL, MLB and golf on Sunday for the foreseeable future. I like all of those sports, but none of them makes a Sunday like football. Those other sports are for the other six days of the week.

Sunday is for football.

To kill the time on these offseason Sundays, I’m going to publish Surviving Sunday: Packers New, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived.

It’ll be a regular notebook-style column that opens with a random thought or rant (like the one you’re reading now), followed by some quick opinions on a couple of key issues related to the Packers that I didn’t have a chance to cover with a full post during the week. From there, I’ll include links to must-read/must-see stories, videos and blog posts from the previous week and a preview of possible Packers storylines for the upcoming week. I’ll close each Surviving Sunday with a few words on a subject unrelated to the Packers.

I hope you enjoy reading Surviving Sunday as much as I enjoy putting it together. Anything to get in a little football on Sunday, right?

Scott Wells, Bryan Bulaga and the NFL Combine

  • Ted Thompson needs to sign Scott Wells. Unless Wells is asking for the moon because he wants his comeuppance after the Packers were mean to him early in his career, Thompson needs to make this one work. Wells is an upper-echelon center. If there’s one thing that occasionally rattles Aaron Rodgers (or any QB), it’s pressure up the middle. Wells does a good job of setting the Packers pass protection and keeping those interior pass rushers out of No. 12′s face. For what the Packers need him to do, he’s worth a 3-year deal in the $17-20 million range.
25

October

Week 8 Packers Stock Report: Crosby and Jennings Rising, Walden and Low Blows Falling

Aaron Rodgers has been rising all season and has the Packers 7-0 heading into their bye week.

It was my niece’s baptism on Sunday, so I watched the Packers beat the Vikings with my parents and my brother’s family — all Vikings fans. It was a rough first half, and my parents would not stop trash talking. You know you take this silly game of football far too seriously when you start getting annoyed with your parent’s trash talk.

Anyway, at halftime my dad decided to go deer hunting and my brother went on a hike with his wife. Even though their team was beating the Super Bowl champs 17-13, they said the hell with it and went and did other things.

Those are Vikings fans in a nutshell.

On to the Week 8 stock report:

Rising

Aaron Rodgers
No further explanation needed. Just look at the box score. Then the season stats.

Mason Crosby
Crosby hasn’t missed a field goal since clanking one off the upright in week 13 last season. He’s made 21 straight since, and nailed a 58-yarder on Sunday that would’ve been good from much longer.

Greg Jennings
Jennings seems like an ideal fit for the steady category every week, but I think it’s time he’s elevated to rising. No. 85 is sometimes undervalued because he’s not a WR that routinely makes highlight-reel catches, does a dance, then demands more passes from his QB. He has three games over 100 yards receiving this season and only one below 80. Welcome to the rising category, Mr. Jennings.

Steady

Charles Woodson
Yeah, he’s not what he used to be in coverage, but didn’t you get a sense early in Sunday’s game that he had at least one interception in him against the rookie?

Clay Matthews
He has sacks in his last two games and looks like his motor is revving up again. We could see him in the rising category before long (Side note: Matthews was flagged for a horrible roughing the passer call on Sunday. The NFL needs to quit making a mockery of the game and address these ridiculous roughing calls now instead of after the season).

Scott Wells
I haven’t re-watched Sunday’s game, but I’m putting Wells in the steady category because I don’t remember the name of Vikings DT Kevin Williams being called often. I’m guessing that when I do re-watch the game, Wells will be a big reason why Williams was quiet, especially on the Packers final drive.

10

July

The Final Chapter: The Complete History of Green Bay Packers in Professional Wrestling: List of All Packers With Wrestling Connections

Clay Matthews raises Edge's hand after a match on WWE Smackdown.

We continue our “Sunday Storytime” with chapter 4 in a series examining the history of the NFL, the Green Bay Packers and professional wrestling. This is the final chapter in the series. The introduction to the series can be read here. Chapter 1 can be read hereand Chapter 2  can be read here. Chapter 3 can be read here.

The final chapter in our look at the connection between the Green Bay Packers, the NFL and professional wrestling is a database of wrestlers with ties to the Packers. I know I am probably missing some names, so if you know of anyone that I omitted, let me know in the comments section and I’ll add them.

With the lockout (hopefully) ending this week, you probably won’t have to put up with any more pro wrestling posts from me. I had a lot of fun putting this series together and I hope at least a few of you found something a little worthwhile in each chapter.

A friend of mine manages a popular Minnesota Timberwolves blog and is posting about his return to distance running as the NBA lockout drags on. I also recently started running and probably could have put together some amusing posts about my struggles for this site. But seriously, would you rather read about me — a 240-pound blogger trying not to die of a heart attack while running a mile — or Dick the Bruiser?

I’d take Dick the Bruiser every time.

Pro Wrestlers With Connections to the Packers

Vern Gagne
Gagne was a 16-time world heavyweight champion and owner/promoter of the American Wrestling Association (AWA) based in Minneapolis. Gagne never actually played for the Packers, but tried out and was cut during training camp. To help himself get over with wrestling fans in the Wisconsin and Green Bay regions, Gagne would often bill himself as a former Green Bay Packer.

Lex Luger
Luger (real name Larry Pfohl) is a former member of the famous Four Horseman stable and the groundbreaking NWO. Luger spent the entire 1982 season on the Packers injured reserve and was released before the start of the 1983 season.

26

June

The Complete History of Green Bay Packers in Professional Wrestling: Chapter 2 — Kevin Greene, Steve McMichael and the 4 Horsemen

The legendary Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Kevin Greene.

We continue our “Sunday Storytime” with chapter 2 in a series examining the history of the NFL, the Green Bay Packers and professional wrestling. The introduction to the series can be read here. Chapter 1 can be read here.

Watching Kevin Greene sack quarterbacks was sort of like watching a pale, blond-haired Tasmanian Devil chase Bugs Bunny. Of course the main difference was Greene often caught the quarterbacks he chased. Taz typically ended up getting an anvil dropped on his head.

Greene played with the type of energy and attitude some may have considered reckless if he wasn’t so damn good. His mouth moved almost as fast as his legs. He flung his body around without fear of injury. And you could usually find him before the game high-fiving the mascot, kissing his wife or banging his head against something.

Greene brings that same energy to the Packers as a linebackers coach. Who can forget Greene’s “It’s Time” speech to Clay Matthews moments before Matthews forced a key fumble early in the fourth quarter in Super Bowl XLV?

Given Greene’s personality, it’s easy to see how Greene ended up in professional wrestling.

Teaming with McMichael
Greene made his in-ring debut for WCW at the Great American Bash on June 16, 1996. His first angle involved former Chicago Bear and Green Bay Packer Steve McMichael, McMichael’s real-life wife Debra Marshall, the legendary “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen.

Flair was hitting on Marshall, and naturally, McMichael was mad. McMichael brought in Greene to team up against Flair and his longtime partner in the Horsemen, Arn Anderson. The stage was set for the gridiron greats to meet the squared circle legends in a make believe fight to the finish. (Note: Marshall eventually divorced McMichael and became the real-life wife of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.)

WCW was extremely popular in the South, especially in the Carolinas. Since Greene played for the Carolina Panthers at the time, bringing him in to team with McMichael seemed like a good fit. The actual match was nothing memorable, but the swerve at the end led to a blip in wrestling history that angered many passionate (geeky) wrestling fans like me.