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Pufall is obviously the best writer at the Journal Sentinel

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by TOPackerFan, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

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    With respect to respect, Pack doesn't get any
    Posted: July 20, 2005


    Richard Pufall
    E-MAIL | ARCHIVE


    Rodney Dangerfield has come back to life. He has taken the form of a professional football team in the NFL's smallest city. He is green and gold and disrespected all over.

    Such is life for the Green Bay Dangerfields, er, Packers . . .

    The Packers are the three-time defending NFC North champions. And yet, they get no respect. You see, no one cares about division championships. It might sell a few T-shirts, but it's like being fourth runner-up in a beauty contest. You might turn a few heads, but you won't grab a heart. Love comes when you win the big one.

    And now - at least in the inexact world of sports prognostication - things seem to have gotten much worse in Titletown. Most of the so-called experts have been saying that today's Packers, vintage 2005, aren't even up to the task of winning a measly division title.

    Read any newspaper or magazine, browse any Web site, tune into sports talk radio, or click to any cable channel and what do you hear? What do you see? Vikings, Vikings, Vikings, Vikings, Vikings.

    Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper hopes that Nate Burleson and No. 1 draft choice Troy Williamson can fill the void left by Randy Moss.

    The kindest thing you might read or hear about Green Bay is something like this: "With Brett Favre at quarterback the Packers always have a chance to win."

    The Vikings have been anointed as favorites to win the NFC North for reasons founded in hard, cold fact.

    First, there was Exhibit A, that ugly episode at Lambeau Field on Jan. 9. The Packers, for just the second time in their storied history, lost a home playoff game when the Vikings embarrassed them, 31-17. Green Bay had defeated Minnesota twice during the season, but the Vikings - to be sure - won the game that mattered most.

    A year ago when the Packers and Vikings looked in a mirror they saw each other. Both teams had great offenses with superb quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. If the Packers had an edge, it was on the offensive line.

    And both teams took the same approach to defense. They played it poorly.

    But the Vikings and their fans believe they have added the right pieces to complete their defensive puzzle. Linebackers Sam Cowart and Napoleon Harris have been added to the mix along with defensive tackle Pat Williams, safety Darren Sharper, cornerback Fred Smoot and defensive end Erasmus James, selected from Wisconsin with Minnesota's second first-round draft choice.

    That's an impressive haul. And certainly Minnesota's defense will be better. But like Green Bay's, it couldn't get worse.

    The addition of Sharper is curious indeed. After the Packers punted Sharper the Vikings were quick to make what they hope is a fair catch. Plagued by injury for much of last season, Sharper was part of the problem in Green Bay. Now he's considered part of the answer in Minnesota. The Vikings, you can bet, are counting on a healthy Sharper to step on the field with a fire in his belly when he faces his old teammates.

    But it is odd. The Packers were considered to have one the more anemic defenses in the NFL. And yet, the Vikings came to Green Bay for a transfusion of talent. What's up with that?

    Both teams are trying to cope with losses on offense. The Packers lost starting guards Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera. The Vikings are without running back Onterrio Smith, who was suspended for a year for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. And wide receiver Randy Moss was traded to Oakland after repeated violations of Minnesota's unwritten code of good conduct.

    If - and that if looms large - wide receiver Javon Walker ends his holdout and returns to the Packers, the Vikings would appear to be the bigger losers on offense.

    Without Moss the Vikings will be more presentable at formal dinner parties and the team picture wears a happier face.

    But when the chin straps are snapped Mr. Moss will be missed by Minnesota's offense, particularly quarterback Daunte Culpepper. Minnesota's spin doctors are telling us that Nate Burleson is a competent short-term solution while No. 1 draft choice Troy Williamson hones his abundant skills.

    But Burleson isn't Moss and Williamson is a rookie. Advantage Packers.

    Make no mistake, Green Bay's defense remains a work in progress. It's wonderful to have the high-octane intensity of the new defensive coordinator, Jim Bates. But Bates, like any other coach, needs a little talent to work with. Green Bay's coaches - Bates among them - contend that the talent was always there, but it was misguided and poorly prepared by the past defensive regime.

    This we will have to see to believe. Talking never won a football game.

    So until Green Bay's defense starts stopping opposing offenses on a consistent basis, few will believe it can. And that's the biggest reason the experts believe that the Packers won't keep step with the Vikings in the NFC North.

    When a team loses a first-round playoff game by 14 points at home, the national media turns away. When you lose by two touchdowns at home there's only one explanation. The other team was better.

    The "experts" are giving Green Bay no respect so the Packers will have to earn anything they get. Most gurus see the Packers in an irreparable no-can-do dilemma. In this NFC North crop, they say, the Vikings are the cream.

    But just for grins, let's go ahead and play the season anyway.
     
  2. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

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    Yeah, TOP...I like his writing as well. Christl just seems to have a stick up his *** too often. Pufall can be critical, but is not a jerk in doing so.
     
  3. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

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    McGinn is the absolute worst.
     
  4. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

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    Yo, TOP, check your PM. Wanna touch bases with you on TC.
     
  5. PWT36

    PWT36 Cheesehead

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    Yes, the Packers will play the NFL season for 84 th time, And will prove all the sports writers and their negative opinions of the Packers wrong as stated by Richard Pufall of JS in his column. Also prove wrong much of which has been posted on various Packer Forums by many fans of Vikings, Bears, lions Etc. and Packer fans who I refer to as Doom & Gloomers. We optimistic Packer Fans look forward to each new NFL season with anticipation. We do not have blind faith, but have hope. Look what the experts predicted for the San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers before the '04 season. We have seen too many times when the Experts were dead wrong about NFL teams. If you wish to write off the '05 season for the Packers before training camp begins, that is you right.I haven't & I don't think the majority of knowledgeable Packer fans have either. Only after the real games begin, will answers start to be known, before then it strictly opinion and guesses.
     
  6. jdlax

    jdlax Cheesehead

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    I love this line: "But just for grins, let's go ahead and play the season anyway."
     
  7. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

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    But it is odd. The Packers were considered to have one the more anemic defenses in the NFL. And yet, the Vikings came to Green Bay for a transfusion of talent. What's up with that?

    This is my favourite line.
     
  8. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Re: Pufall is obviously the best writer at the Journal Senti

     
  9. ArizonaPackerFan

    ArizonaPackerFan Cheesehead

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    In an earlier article a few months ago he predicted the outcome of every game for the upcoming season, and I think he predicted 12-4 for the Packers this year.

    I hope he's right.

    I also hope that all the experts who think the Vikings are Super Bowl contenders this year are the same ones who jumped on the SeaHawks bandwagon last season before they ended up 9-7.

    I see a lot of similarities between all the good things being said about the Vikings this year that I read last year about the Seahawks when they signed free agents like Grant Wistrom.
     
  10. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

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    I've said this before and I'll say it again, I would not trade every player the Queens added this offseason for Randy Moss. There is no other player in the league who changes a defensive gameplan like him and the Queens will miss him a lot more than people think. I also want to see what kind of QB Dainty is without Moss to throw to.
     
  11. Bobby Roberts

    Bobby Roberts Cheesehead

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    It's the same old pile of crap from the national sports media's canned 'analysis'. If a team doesn't make a big splash in acquiring FAs, then they've done a terrible job in the offseason.

    GB didn't sign any big name FAs, plus lost 2 starting OGs and Sharper. Obviously no one on the roster could fill those voids, but a backup and a rookie can fill the void from Moss.

    Don't forget that these analysts are considered to be great predictors if they guess get 50% of the winners each week.

    Time to play the season and I hope that GB can make the 'analysts' eat their words again.
     

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