Sunday, February 02, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday and Catching Up with the Packers

It's both Super Bowl Sunday AND Groundhog Day. What could this alignment of fantastic football and furry forecasters possibly mean? Apparently, to the horror of many (especially in the Midwest), Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and thus, this incredibly long winter will be even longer by six more weeks (OK, it's still a calendar thing, I realize, but you get the point...I hope). The good news is that Phil has, according to some sources, only been correct approximately 39% of the time. So, we have that going for us...the rodent could be wrong.

But what does Phil have to say about the Super Bowl later today? Not much. Seeing or not seeing his shadow doesn't correlate with the Broncos or Seahawks winning or losing so we're still on our own in terms of picking that one. Duh.

Depending upon who you're looking at, the oddsmakers have Denver slotted as 2.5-point favorites over Seattle. It's the NFL's number one offense against the number one defense. In most cases, so they say, defense wins championships. Oddsmakers seem to think otherwise in this case, given the presence of record five-time league MVP, Peyton Manning, at QB. (He received that fifth MVP award last evening, by the way.)

What's our take? Do you really need any more analysis than has already been out there for the last two weeks? No. So, using the Punxsutawney Phil method of prognostication, I emerged from my burrow, went outside into the 11-degree temperature, and saw my shadow. I was scared and ran back inside. But I digress. What I think the shadow thing meant was that (wait for it!) the Seattle Seahawks will emerge the winner today. I like the defense, I like Russell Wilson's ability at quarterback. Plus the fact that there are four or five former University of Wisconsin Badgers (Go Badgers!) on the Seattle squad, while RB Monte Ball is the lone Badger on the Broncos. So, keeping within the same general theme of rodent-based predictions, more Badgers equals a win for the Seahawks. Let's say 34-31.

Packers News Bits
Photo by Associated Press
The first news worth sharing is, of course, that rookie RB sensation, Eddie Lacy, won the coveted Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award Saturday evening at the NFL Honors ceremony at Radio City Music Hall. Lacy led all rookie running backs with 1,178 rushing yards. Lacy received 35 of the possible 50 votes.

According to an article by Tom Silverstein in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lacy becomes only the second player in Packers history to win rookie of the year honors, joining running back John Brockington, who won the award in 1971. Lacy broke Brockington's franchise rookie records for carries (284) and rushing yards and tied him for most 100-yard rushing games (four).

"Lacy, who also broke Samkon Gado's franchise rookie record (six) for rushing touchdowns with 11, said he never really thought about winning the rookie award because it just isn't the way he operates."

Lacy brought a dimension to the Packers' offense that had been sorely lacking in recent years. His pounding running style and ability to break tackles enabled the offense to be multi-dimensional and keep defenses guessing. If Lacy stays healthy, he can be a significant factor in the Packers' offense for years to come. (Let us pray...)

The honors for Packers members didn't stop there. QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Randall Cobb won the GMC Never say Never Moment of the Year. As if you didn't know, that moment was the moment that the two connected on a last-minute scramble TD pass that beat Da Bearz for the NFC North Division Championship. Ah, yes...another moment of triumph over our opponents to the south. Never gets old, does it, Packer fans?

Here's the presentation of that award for you.

For some of us Packer fans, however, one of the biggest slights of the night was the award to San Diego QB Philip Rivers as "Comeback Player of the Year." Really? Really? What did Rivers get over...himself???

Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly was certainly the Comeback Player of the Year. After being out of football for about three years, he resurrected himself and his career to not only make the squad but to be an integral part of the Packers' defense once again. You get our award, Johnny. You deserve it far more than Rivers.

That's about all we have time for at the moment, Packer fans. Even though we aren't in today's game, in a way, we are. There's that thing called The Lombardi Trophy after all. And it wouldn't be called that had not one Vince Lombardi been the coach of the greatest dynasty at the time in the smallest town in major sports, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Go Pack Go!!!