Confessions of a Polluted Mindset - Bucking the Odds

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

 

Bucking the Odds:

Congrats to the Milwaukee Bucks!!! I wrote this article while watching the Bucks win an NBA Championship, so it's probably even more random than usual. It was pretty hard to focus on Packers thoughts. 

Anticipation...

Whether you want to reference Carly Simon or Dr. Frankenfurter, safe to say the anticipation is killing me. For training camp, that is. Well, what did you think I meant?

Camping out

When Polluted Mindset runs next Wednesday, the Packers will be hitting the field for the first practice of the 2021 NFL Season. One of my favorite things of every NFL season are the camp battles and how you develop favorites to root for (for most people, based solely on what you've read from the beat writers). It's a fun time of information gathering leading up to your 53-man roster prediction. 

Why Rodgers is pissed

Like pretty much everyone else, he wanted TJ Watt for the defense over Kevin King but learned to live with it. When King impacted the NFC Championship game in a major negative way last year, likely costing the Packers a trip to the Super Bowl, that was the last straw for Rodgers. Or maybe when they brought King back was the last straw. Regardless, that's my facetious story and I'm sticking with it.

Going mobile...

As I'm sure you know by now, the Packers will no longer distribute printed game tickets. Who will help the "sit down" Gold package crowd get into the stadium? But seriously, I've spent a lifetime saving ticket stubs to sporting events, concerts, etc and they are a source of great remembrances. What do I do now, take a screen shot of a mobile ticket and print it? Printing is so old school.

Brady > Rodgers

Well, in one aspect, anyway. If Rodgers really feels the Packers didn't go out and get better players for him (something I mostly disagree with), he could have done what Brady did for the Pats - continually take less money and make it a lot easier for the team to do so.

Top 5 things I can't wait to see:

The fear in defensive backs' eyes as AJ Dillon approaches. 
Rashan Gary becoming that "beast" of a player other teams have to game plan for.
Darnell Savage terrorizing opposing running backs and wide receivers.
Amari Rodgers taking one to the house.
Jaire Island

What's your five things? Let me know in the comments.
 

__________________________

"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  Follow Al on twitter at @JerseyalGBP

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Comments (75)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
PackEyedOptimist's picture

July 21, 2021 at 06:20 am

1. FINALLY getting to see our #1 draft pick play--AT ALL. Talk about anticipation!
2. Seeing if the new DC can make the best use of an extremely talented pass defense.
3. As always, seeing which bottom-of-the-roster guys shine (Hill, Gaither, Winfree, Braden, Newman, Scott, Uphoff, Gaines, etc.)
4. Dillon! Dillon! Dillon!
5. Amari Rodgers "just making plays."

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NickPerry's picture

July 21, 2021 at 06:47 am

I love this piece by Al every Wednesday, definitely one of my favorites...

Congrats to the Milwaukee Bucks...Fear the Deer!!!

I'm truly at the point where I DON'T CARE WHY RODGERS IS PISSED. You signed a contract which made you the highest paid player in the NFL. When you signed it you hadn't been playing your greatest football yet they still gave it to you. You have 3 years left on it yet the organization has bent over backwards trying to please you. Well, if it's REALLY about the people (Fans, Players, Coaches) as you stated on Sportscenter, then report to camp and honor the contract you signed FOR the people, (Fans, Players, Coaches). Play this year and we'll trade you next March!

5 things I can't wait to see....Well shit Al, you really took most of the best ones.

1) I CAN'T wait for the Aaron Jones & AJ Dillon show...And it will be a show. I predict over 2000 yards combines for the two of them. The Packers rushing offense will be Top 3 in the NFL this year. I'm even excited about Taylor and Hill. The Packers have a hell of a RB room.

2) Looking forward to see what Josiah Deguara will do in this offense. I'm hoping he's back and close to 100% by week one.

3) MLF Offense evolving into HIS offense... In 2019 it was a mix of MLF and Mike McCarthy's offense. In 2020 it started to move closer to his type of offense. The Packers started drafting players to fit his system and what he want's to do. Drafting Dillon, O-Linemen, Josiah Deguara, Amari Rodgers to name a few. In 2021 we'll see a much closer version of what MLF REALLY wants to do on offense. Gute and MLF have done an excellent job of getting the players MLF needed. NOW it's time to unleash the MLF offense, and NOT have Shanahan's name come up when describing it. IT'S LaFleur's offense, NOT Shanahan's!

4) Watching P. Smith, Z. Smith, Clark, and Gray with a occasional mix in of Keke Kingsley rushing the QB on 3rd and long. That is a pretty damn good front and one that will give opposing O-Lines fits.

5) Rodgers reporting to camp and just HONORING the damn contract he signed. Poor baby is only making $37,202,000.00 this year.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 22, 2021 at 12:32 am

AR will earn $22.35M in 2021, $850K of which is for incentives he earned for being dominant in 2020.

After the 2021 season, AR will have earned $125M in four seasons, or about $31.2M per year. [The $33.5M AAV was for new money, but he had two low paid years left on his contract. The $37.1M number you used is a fictitious number that exists only on some accountant's ledger.]

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Savage57's picture

July 22, 2021 at 06:02 am

Whether $22M or $31.2M, the point still stands.

Get your ass into camp and honor the damn contract you signed with an organization that showed you more loyalty and commitment (people, culture, history, bullshit notwithstanding) than you're showing.

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NickPerry's picture

July 23, 2021 at 06:19 am

Thanks TGR... I got mixed up...The CAP HIT is $37,202,000 million. At least according to Sportac.

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Guam's picture

July 21, 2021 at 07:05 am

I only have four things on my list (besides whether Rodgers shows up or not):
(1) What is DC J. Barry going to do differently with the defense.
(2) What 9/10 players make the offensive line.
(3) What five players make the WR group.
(4) Is the new vet (D. Campbell?) going to help the ILB group.

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porupack's picture

July 21, 2021 at 07:11 am

Looking forward to my wish list coming to be;
1) Myers takes over and ascends into a very strong starter on his way to another shining OL diamond. Stenovich and GB drafts drop another stellar OL of the conveyor belt from the the OL factory.

2) the pair of 'AJ' s

3) the defensive backfield led by Jaire, Amos, Savage and the intro of Stokes.

4) Tonyan deflates defenses 3rd down after 3rd down and doesn't reach 2020 stats because Devante surpasses his with Defenses trying to deal with BigBob.

5) MVS finally shutting up all the doubters and we feel sorry for Mason Crosby, with cameras catching him grudgingly going out to kicking extra points all year. He finally refuses at mid-season, so MLF starts going for 2 point conversions.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 21, 2021 at 08:12 am

Porupack,
Made me laugh!

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stockholder's picture

July 21, 2021 at 07:16 am

- Forget about putting out the Flames. Hang Rodger's now. Get him off this team. He's not worth the money anyway. Management never makes mistakes. Lets get rid of the old and in with the new. I get it. The damage is done. Rodger's is a Loser. I supported him long enough. Packer nation is split. Go Gutey. Your my new idol. I believe you can't do any wrong. No matter how many people got fired or resigned. You got Rodger's what he needed! We survived after the dynasty. Regardless how long it took. And the packers will survive after Rodgers. It's time to move on. How Long will it take before " THE REPAIR NOTICE" gets taken down?

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Packers0808's picture

July 21, 2021 at 07:24 am

Just one thing I would like to see is the team come together, let the past go and move forward!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 21, 2021 at 08:25 am

Not sure why so many fans are upset about the Packers trading Rodgers and unloading him. Seriously, how many Super Bowls has he won in 16 years? Exactly one SB and mainly because of the Packs strong defense, and Special Teams play. I am confident Jordan Love will at bare minimum equal the same number of SB's with the possibility he might succeed Rodgers SB victories.

Good riddance Rodger's!

I still want one of Denver's starting WR's, a starting DL, their starting TE, and their #1, and #2 next year. Since there are those on here who think Rodgers will play well till Bradys age than that should be a good trade for both sides.

Bye bye Rodgers! Don't let the door hit you on the way out...

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jurp's picture

July 21, 2021 at 09:01 am

Oddly, if you remember, we may have won the Super Bowl in 2010 because Jarrett effing Bush just happened to play the game of his career that day. Instead of looking lost on the field as usual, he channeled Herb Adderley and actually played more-than-competent defense for the first and only time as a Packer.

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jannes bjornson's picture

July 22, 2021 at 05:59 pm

To WIN the BIG GAME, everyone must contribute and make plays. No Herb Adderley comparisons need be made, why tarnish his reputation comparing a HOFr with a guy who decided to study film at least once in his life.

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jannes bjornson's picture

July 22, 2021 at 06:00 pm

.

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greengold's picture

July 21, 2021 at 08:54 pm

Totally agree, Knock. I’m disgusted by him a how he’s handled his shit. Aaron Rodgers getting Schefter to release another hot mess before the Bucks Game 6? Really??? It was only the most important game in 50 years... What a fucking load of crap.

On that trade note, I still think GB can get 3 R1s and more from DEN right now. A lot more. Maybe the team waits until the trade deadline... 3 R1s starts the conversation plus a significant player. DEN will pat at least that.

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BradHTX's picture

July 21, 2021 at 07:27 am

Al, I see you shiver with antici…

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JerseyAl's picture

July 21, 2021 at 08:32 am

...pation.

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BradHTX's picture

July 22, 2021 at 09:06 am

Thumbs up from everyone now picturing Jersey Al in a wig, make up and sequined corset. ;)

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dobber's picture

July 22, 2021 at 09:22 am

That might just be you, Brad.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 21, 2021 at 08:37 am

My top 5 list of what I'd like to see in training camp:

1. See one of Denvers starting WR's wearing a GBP jersey
2. One of Denvers top DLwearing a GBP jersey
3. Denvers Noah Fant a soon to be super star TE wearing a GBP jersey
4. Denver's #1 next year
5. Denver's #2 next year

Go GBP's!

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Minniman's picture

July 22, 2021 at 02:17 pm

Well, I’d be delighted if (in the case that the Rodgers situation becomes completely untenable and he’s to be shipped out) that your prediction came to pass.

The irony of it that wouldn’t be lost on me though is, that Rodgers gets traded to a team that……. Promptly deals away their most potent offensive weapons on him!

I can see a scenario where a bevy of future picks would come for Rodgers. I just can’t see a trade where a swag of starters come with it.

….. a guy can dream though, so we may as well dream big!

I do hope that Rodgers returns though. This team is clearly built solely for a “last dance” run THIS year.

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jannes bjornson's picture

July 22, 2021 at 06:03 pm

The Fans are Still missing the point. Read'em and weep if theyrun Rodgers out of town. A Packertown tradition along with sedentary fans longing for the days of yesteryear.

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Minniman's picture

July 23, 2021 at 02:28 pm

“ sedentary fans longing for the days of yesteryear.”

I’d agree with your point Jannes if last year Rodgers had an Eli or Brees noodle arm and couldn’t be trusted to run the ball.

No-one doubts that Rodgers still has years left in him and my point is that the Packers kept the gang together for a run this year.

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Coldworld's picture

July 21, 2021 at 08:45 am

When I look at where this roster was at the time that Gutekunst took over, I really can not see that anyone can say that there has not been a concerted effort to improve it.

Some may not like the strategy of bringing in players with a gestation period rather than the biggest immediate impact. However, looking back, it seems that the approach was based on a belief that we needed to improve quality before we had a kernel wherein immediate boosts could tip us over. To that must be added a commitment to reshape this into a LaFleur offense.

Last year we were legitimate in the eyes of the team it seems. This year we brought back more than I expected and picked for now. At this point Rodgers supposedly deems that he hasn’t been given the tools? If that has any factual basis, that is absurd. Whatever we think of Rodgers himself, I don’t recall anyone contesting the fact that on paper this looks like the strongest roster in years.

I don’t recall anyone released in the Gutekunst era that hindsight says would have been a difference maker afterwards. I understand that we all have players that we might have drafted, but overall both in terms of ratio of success at this point and caliber of the successes, by this year the drafting seems to have put us in a good place and we have added the Smiths and Amos.

If Rodgers is unhappy about what went before, we might sympathize, but what went before is a bygone era. Slaying dragons that are already dead is pointless, not heroic. Again, this theory of Rodgers’ motivation doesn’t hold water.

Were it true he’s a man acting out of pique and living in the past. I doubt that. This is either total fiction or another smokescreen from Rodgers for sulking about Love or the release of a friend on the edge of a roster on merit, neither of which would invoke my sympathy.

We will see, but the irony of walking away from this roster because he didn’t get a good enough supporting cast would be of a truly impressive magnitude. Aaron, if you don’t think you can win with this roster, perhaps you no longer believe you can win it at all.

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jurp's picture

July 21, 2021 at 09:09 am

Excellent post. It also occurred to me, and I'm probably way off base here, that Rodgers' complaints about the roster are a way for him to deal with the fact that he has failed in advancing the team past the NFCCG multiple times in the last decade.

It's easier to blame someone else than to focus on your own performance. I know AR spent 2019-2020 refining his own play, but it didn't help in last year's championship game, did it? I doubt that MLF called only 16 runs in that game - how many plays did AR change to a pass? And how well did that work? Questions we'll never have answered, but the fact we lost is more than a little on AR's shoulders, and he rarely takes responsibility for bad plays.

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crayzpackfan's picture

July 21, 2021 at 02:24 pm

“ Excellent post. It also occurred to me, and I'm probably way off base here, that Rodgers' complaints about the roster are a way for him to deal with the fact that he has failed in advancing the team past the NFCCG multiple times in the last decade.”

Spot on!!

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LeotisHarris's picture

July 21, 2021 at 03:36 pm

Agreed. 12 demonstrating classic signs of malignant narcissism. It's not his fault. And, if he can't have it all the exactly the way he demands, he will try to destroy it for everyone. Well, that, and have you heard about his hair?

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NickPerry's picture

July 22, 2021 at 06:03 am

"I doubt that MLF called only 16 runs in that game - how many plays did AR change to a pass? "

They just replayed the NFCCG on NFL Network a few weeks ago and I rewatched as much as I could take, right up until the Kevin King PI call to effectively end the game.

During that game Rodgers came to the line and yelled KILL, KILL, KILL, several times. Just about every time he did that he threw the ball. I can only assume he changed the play at the line to a pass. so I doubt MLF only called a run 16 times too. Great observation jurp...

One last thing... Adams caught 9 of 15 targets for 67 yards, a whooping 7.4 YPC. That game was another example of Davntevision when it was obvious Tampa WASN"T going to let Adams beat them.

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Minniman's picture

July 22, 2021 at 02:41 pm

A good point Nick re Rodgers “killing” plays.

Not wanting to appear as a Rodgers apologist or defender here, but as coaches generally calls plays (or play groups) before the line of scrimmage is set, or minor adjustments really early in the snap process, Rodgers “killing” plays is his prerogative if he sees either an opportunity or a defensive formation that can adversely affect the play.

Rodgers decision making after that point is an entirely different thing altogether - and the main thrust of your point.

Agree too that It’s beyond reproach though that “TAE-vision” was well over-used in that game….. and was actually exploited by Tampa

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CheesyTex's picture

July 21, 2021 at 09:42 am

Could not agree more, Coldworld.

Unless there is some sort of a miracle in the works (e.g., renegotiated contract that makes both sides happy) IMO that #12 has put it to not only the Front Office, but to his Teammates, the Fans, to Green Bay, shoot -- to the whole state of Wisconsin (interesting he did not even bother to show up for the Bucks games, particularly since he is a minority owner; just seems to add credibility to the argument that he is the primary culprit in all of this).

The vindictive side of me wants to add an item to Jersey Al's list of what we'd like to see:
If he does show up just to collect his $ and force his way out of GB, then I'd like to see all the 1s on the bench when #12 is at QB. How's that for sour grapes?

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Leatherhead's picture

July 21, 2021 at 10:16 am

Coldworld…..Rodgers doesn’t want to be here. Whether it’s because of the girlfriend, or Kumerow, or Gutekunst, or the culture or whatever, he doesn’t want to be here. The team offered him more money. They’ve been talking to him for months. They have publicly and privately said they want him back.

So, here it is, a week before training camp, and people still believe the team should force Rodgers to lead a team he doesn’t want to or retire.

Rodgers will be traded. Before the season, during the season, or after the season. It is insanity to believe that he will lead this team anywhere under these circumstances. There are simply too many things that could go wrong.

The plan was to take one more run with Rodgers and then transition to Love. It’s going to happen a year early.

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LambeauPlain's picture

July 21, 2021 at 11:48 am

Thumbs up, CW. I want Rodgers to return with hatchets buried deep in the ground. Can still happen but the man has four character traits that serve him poorly: arrogance...grudge holder...vindictiveness...and incredibly self righteous.

I am at the point where I am more and more ambivalent about his return...and more and more excited to see what Love can do with all the talent around him and on the team.

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dobber's picture

July 21, 2021 at 01:26 pm

You forgot that he thinks he's the smartest person in whatever room he's in, or--fundamentally--the man doesn't know or is unwilling to acknowlege what he doesn't know. We see this all the time in academics, and he reeks of it. It's a hard thing for people to work through because it's self concealing.

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HawkPacker's picture

July 21, 2021 at 07:24 pm

I have also read that all or most all of the Packer players are supporting Rodgers. Sit back and think about it, do you really think that all of these players are supporting him right now? Or are they just voicing their opinion that they support him but deep down inside they feel like many of us do about what Rodgers is doing right now and they don't like it.

The longer this plays out the more I hope he goes somewhere else.

Keep in mind, I was a huge supporter of Rodgers before this all went down.

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greengold's picture

July 21, 2021 at 09:15 pm

Well said, my friend. I’m convinced his recent actions & desires are not related to football, and that he follows through with his statement allowed unchecked to never play again for the Packers.

His MO is an affront to the fan base who supported him his entire career. Not a good look. So much so he had Wllde put a poll out on Wilde & Tausch to gauge whether or not fans would boo him at Game 4 of the NBA Finals. He never showed his face. He knows.

Who in the F does he think he’s kidding?

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croatpackfan's picture

July 22, 2021 at 01:36 am

And do you know what was really ocean deep low (if it is truth)? His note that he was participating in Bucks players decision! Wow, you were involved who will play for the NBA Champions and you did not show up on the most important game to see those players? Well, Aaron, I believe you were kidding yourself. As I already stated, Aaron made plan and he was so sure that plan will works, that he outsmart himself. He was counting on us, Packers fans to make pressure on Packers organization and his plan crushes there. We are not stupid as he thought we are...

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Minniman's picture

July 22, 2021 at 02:59 pm

Yes, that was weird.

I can understand why he wasn’t there - perceived unnecessary distraction for the team - but the absence possibly also leaves more questions.

……… and do the Milwaukee Bucks players and staff and die-hard legit basketball supporting fan base actually give a RATS about Rodgers playing status.

…….. or maybe he should have been court-side - and seen first hand what unselfish, team-centric play can accomplish……… Defeat of adversity. Victory. Greatness.

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PeteK's picture

July 21, 2021 at 08:48 am

-- A RB crumble to the ground after running into Slaton.
-- Myers opening up a hole for Dillion to burst through.
-- A WR getting a few steps on Stokes, but then Stokes recovering in time to make an INT.
-- Numerous games of 200+ rushing yds especially against Vikes.
-- Rodgers riding a bike next week.

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HawkPacker's picture

July 21, 2021 at 07:24 pm

Last item: in Denver!

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mrtundra's picture

July 21, 2021 at 08:51 am

My 5 things:
1) TJ Slaton sacking an NFC North QB
2) AJ Dillon giving opposing DBs flashbacks of Eddie Lacy freight training them
3) Amari Rodgers, on the return teams, lighting it up.
4) Stokes beating King out for a starting spot, in camp
5) The versatility, and depth, of our O Line, OR
5.1) The emergence of a diamond in the rough, at camp--could be Gaither, could be Kylin Hill, could be someone else no one paid attention to.

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mrtundra's picture

July 22, 2021 at 08:23 am

I should have added 5.2) Beating our NFC North rivals each twice, in the regular season, this year.

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x24's picture

July 21, 2021 at 09:01 am

Agreed on printed tickets. I've got a handful of ticket stubs on my bulletin board, a reminder of each of the games I was fortunate enough to have attended. Game tickets are crazy expensive, and now you get one less thing for your money...

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Since'61's picture

July 21, 2021 at 09:33 am

My 5 things:

1. Dillon running behind a healthy Deguara. Two freight trains coming at the opposing DBs.
2. Amari Rodgers making plays and taking some coverage off of Adams.
3. Rashan Gary being allowed to play and becoming a dominant force on the Packers defense.
4. Stokes replacing King at CB opposite Jaire island.
5. Special Teams actually contributing to winning games.
5A. An end to the Rodgers saga one way or the other and the sooner the better.

Al, you really got to me with the ticket stubs. I still have my ticket stub from the very first Yankees game I attended with my older brother back in 1959. Plus the now yellow and faded score card from that game. I've kept all that stuff over the years. Ticket stubs from sporting events, concerts, Broadway shows, airline tickets, hotel receipts, restaurants etc...
Most treasured are the tickets from our daughter's first performance in the violin section with the NY Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.

You are absolutely correct. Ticket stubs give us a connection to those events and what they meant to us at the time and what they still mean to us today. The electronic printed tickets are much more convenient but they are not the same. Great job Al and as always, Thanks, Since '61

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Guam's picture

July 21, 2021 at 10:10 am

You have a very talented daughter. Playing with the NY Philharmonic at LC is a major milestone in any musician's career. Congrats Dad!

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Since'61's picture

July 21, 2021 at 10:42 am

Thank you Guam. Yes, we are very proud of her. The talent is all from my wife who is a musician/piano teacher. My musical talent begins and ends with turning on the stereo. Be well.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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HawkPacker's picture

July 21, 2021 at 07:27 pm

Hey 61 you need to give yourself more credit. Your daughter came from both of you so you and your wife should just sit back and enjoy!

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Since'61's picture

July 21, 2021 at 10:57 pm

No worries, we both enjoy as often as possible. I appreciate your comment. Be well. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Minniman's picture

July 22, 2021 at 05:04 pm

Jaire island = J-maker (the play maker)

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jannes bjornson's picture

July 22, 2021 at 06:17 pm

6. 100 % vaccination rate for the Players, Coaches, Staff and Janitors...

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

July 21, 2021 at 10:03 am

Interesting take there Al and most of us are excited about the Bucks. I was a fan when we drafted and won the championship with the famous Lew Alcindor who became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. We now have a new savor in Milwaukee and leader of the team in Giannis Antetokounmpo (I did have to look up the spelling).

If the reason you list as to why Rodgers is pissed:

"Like pretty much everyone else, he wanted TJ Watt for the defense over Kevin King but learned to live with it. When King impacted the NFC Championship game in a major negative way last year, likely costing the Packers a trip to the Super Bowl, that was the last straw for Rodgers. Or maybe when they brought King back was the last straw. Regardless, that's my facetious story and I'm sticking with it." ....you and Rodgers have a lot of company on that one.

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jannes bjornson's picture

July 22, 2021 at 06:16 pm

I am in complete agreement with Rodgers on all points of contention with King. To bring back a guy who tossed a chance for a SB is unsound. Breeland would have filled a slot CB spot and Stokes has to start.

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CheesyTex's picture

July 21, 2021 at 10:11 am

1. Football. Not all the "business" crap.

2. A continuation of the on-field QB excellence legacy that we've enjoyed for 30 years.

3. That one among Braden, Newman, Runyan or Nijman emerges as a solid NFL Tackle.

4. That Maurice Drayton is named Special Teams Coach of the Year.

5. Amari Cooper.

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Coldworld's picture

July 21, 2021 at 12:17 pm

I like that list. Looking forward to what I think will be the most competitive camp in years. Can I add one item to the wishlist: Barry as DC of the year?

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Swisch's picture

July 21, 2021 at 10:54 am

Perhaps when our football team wants to pack it in, the glorious perseverance of our basketball team will help them to buck up.
The Bucks lost the first two games in the championship round against the Suns, plus the first two games in the earlier playoff series against the Nets (as well as the first game in the Hawks series at home).
Against the Nets in the deciding Game 7 on the road, the Bucks were up by 5 (I think) in the last minute but then lost the lead and had to go into overtime (after Kevin Durant appeared to beat the Bucks with a dramatic game-winning three at the very end of regulation except that his toe was on the arc). The Bucks collected themselves to win in OT.
***
Also, the Bucks lost Giannis for a couple of games against the Hawks, but won both to clinch the series. Unexpectedly, as Giannis watched from the bench, his teammates excelled in his absence; to his great credit, it seems that after returning to the court he was much more willing to share the ball with them in the series against the Suns.
The Bucks would need Giannis to get over the top for the championship, but at the same time they needed somewhat less of him. The Bucks were better when they had the other guys more involved, plus had Giannis back on the court.
That's a lesson for Aaron Rodgers not to try to do everything by himself. The Packers probably need Rodgers this season to get over the top for the championship, but at the same time they need less of him. The Packers need Rodgers to hand off the ball a little more, and to increase the role for receivers not named Davante.
When the Bucks became more diversified in their weaponry on offense, and thus more dangerous, it opened things up for Giannis to have his spectacular night of 50 points to clinch the championship. By taking a step back to allow for more contributions from his teammates, Giannis was able to find more openings to drive forward.
In the same way, and to his credit, Rodgers took a step back during the regular season to accommodate Coach Matt LaFleur's offense of getting more players involved and thriving. As a result, the Packers offense excelled and Rodgers soared to MVP.
However, in the NFC Championship Game against the Bucs, it seems that Rodgers reverted to trying to do too much -- and it cost the Packers as their offense stalled late in the game.
***
We still don't know what is really bothering Rodgers this offseason, but in my opinion he should be looking inward at himself rather than outward at anything done by the front office.
If Rodgers is willing to downplay himself a little bit more, the Packers could be lifted up to a Super Bowl. The paradox is that in giving up a little of his own control, Rodgers can do better personally as well as for his team.
We need the spectacular from our superstars like Giannis and Rodgers to get our teams over the top. It's just that those superstars are more likely to come through in the big games if they are more willing to trust in their teammates.
Shared glory means more glory for everyone.

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JQ's picture

July 21, 2021 at 12:26 pm

Thanks Al! Fun stuff as usual!
My five things are:
1. Special teams touchdowns.
2. Special teams blocked kicks.
.
.
.
3. Competent special teams. () - : #
4. Jaire/Stokes/Campbell pic 6! (Does that count as three?)
5. Coach Zimmer snubbing Lafleur after a pair of beat-downs by the Packers!

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LambeauPlain's picture

July 21, 2021 at 12:25 pm

Just attended a wedding over the weekend where the groom was just hired as a QC D/LB coach for the vikings for the 2021 season.

He said Zimmer took an immediate liking to him and said "you are going to be doing a lot of work for me this year". Young man is living a dream and now has an NFL HC taking him under his wing. I wished him good luck until they play the Pack.

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splitpea1's picture

July 21, 2021 at 11:14 am

5 things:

1) CBs playing closer to the receivers on third down, making the tackle and not allowing easy conversions.

2) Defense creating more turnovers; we need them.

3) Better all-around special teams: punting, returns, and coverage--long, long overdue.

4) Slaton getting in there at some point and proving effective.

5) Amari and the H-backs adding new dimensions to the offense.

Bucks proved they were the better team in the Finals. Really impressed with their defense, rebounding, and overall hustle. Coaching also proved to be an advantage.

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TarynsEyes's picture

July 21, 2021 at 11:35 am

This team has the possibility of having a Pro Bowl QB, LT, DL, WR, RB, OLB, CB, TE or so I read and hear often. The only thing that should matter is what MLF does with such individually achieving players, and that should be winning the SB. Anything less is of no matter, even all the Pro Bowl Awards and whichever player leads in his category statistics sheet. Win the SB now. Before the wave of irrelevance comes crashing.

That's all I ever watch for, every year, be the Champion, not the runner-up or worse.

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Coldworld's picture

July 21, 2021 at 12:32 pm

Sounds like a recipe for a heck of a lot of disappointment. I’d say that if Rodgers was 10 years younger, at peace with the team and had just won a Super Bowl. Ultimately some element of realism is necessary as a basis for expectations.

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TarynsEyes's picture

July 21, 2021 at 01:27 pm

I enjoy every win that the regular season brings like any other Packer fan. What separates me from many of the others is I accept the reality of the loss that ends the season and pursuit of the goal, though decline to join in the never-ending 'if only' crying excuses into the bowl of tears so many contribute after every loss, and with the greatest use coming when the playoff loss comes, at whichever level, wildcard, Division or the most disappointing, NFCCG.

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LambeauPlain's picture

July 21, 2021 at 12:07 pm

Rodgers being pissed because TT took KK over TJ...that's pretty good Jersey Al! Come to think of it, I am still PO'ed about that too being a Badger fan and having watched virtually every TJ play in college. I thought there was zero chance TT was going to pass over TJ. Grrrrrrrr!

Completing your assignment:

1. The O line of Bakh, Jenks, Myers, Patrick, Turner consistently touted all season as one of the best in the NFL.

2. The front 5 of the Packers turning heads and dropping jaws as one of the best pressure/sacking groups in the NFL but surprisingly stingy in run D too.

3. The "Incredible Initials" of AJ and AJD striking fear into opposing DC's and opening up the passing game efficiency/effectiveness.

4. Love hitting chunk plays to Adams, Tonyan, Rodgers, MVS, Deguara, AJ, Lazard and a surprise performances from Sternberger.

5. Hearing Troy Aikman grudging admit the Packer DBs are a true lockdown group with the addition of Stokes.

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alex's picture

July 21, 2021 at 12:13 pm

A good read and quality comments… bodes well I suppose?

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stockholder's picture

July 21, 2021 at 02:36 pm

Crown em NBA champs was better.

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PewAuKeeFan's picture

July 21, 2021 at 12:25 pm

You may be random Al, but great piece as usual! 👌

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LambeauPlain's picture

July 21, 2021 at 12:28 pm

Al is a fun read!

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mnbadger's picture

July 21, 2021 at 12:31 pm

I usually hate homework assignments, but I'll complete the assigned task for you JA.
- 1. trade AR to the houston Texans
- 2. receive Texans best interior DL
- 3. receive Texans best ILB
- 4. receive Texans 2022 1st round pick
- 5. receive Texans 2023 1st round pick

And extra credit:
- 6. Get very good QB play that helps GBP win another SB victory.

GPG!

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LayingTheLawe's picture

July 21, 2021 at 02:07 pm

I always loved Aaron Rodgers and thought he was always one of the most cerebral players who understood the team was always going to look out for the team and not necessarily for the player. He watched many long time teammates go and he knows how this stuff works.

But now, it seems more and more for Rodgers it was not about the money cause it seemed they offered him that. It seems more and more for Rodgers it was not about making a long-term commitment to him because they seemed to offer him that. More and more for Rodgers it just seems that he got his little old feelings hurt and now he's trying to punish the people who did it. It seems more and more that he thinks the team somehow owes him something more for some sort of mistreatment.

If the stories are true of what they did offer to him then it is time to move on. I go more and more towards the screw him camp every day. Show up and play or don't, but get over your damn feelings.

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Packers0808's picture

July 21, 2021 at 03:14 pm

Rodgers all boils down to one thing about him he is a f*cking man bunned weirdo!

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MarkinMadison's picture

July 21, 2021 at 04:58 pm

1. The Brewers winning the World Series in October.
2. The Packers completing the Cheesefecta by winning the Super Bowl in February (or is it going to be March or April now?).
3. Gary & the Smiths, on the field, together, on third-and-long.
4. Stokes returning a pick-6.
5. Dillon blowing up defenses on third-and-short.

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mrtundra's picture

July 22, 2021 at 08:20 am

The Cheesefecta! I love it!

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greengold's picture

July 21, 2021 at 09:52 pm

Nice job again, Al. You’re always good at providing thought provoking subjectmatter, in the driest of off-season deserts.

Been away focusing on my Bucks! WHAT A WIN!!! I’ve waited 50 years for this, and they did so in a game performance for the ages, by Giannis Antetokounmpo. I remember talking with John Hammond back when he took Gianni in the 2012 NBA Draft. Hammy invited me to some of those early practices in The Cousins Center. What a remarkable transformation for Giannis, and I couldn’t be happier for him, the team, and their FIRST RATE organization

I’m glad I was able to be at Game 4 to see that epic block on Deandre Ayton, one of the best blocks in NBA Finals history. I was confident they were going to pull it out, not sure why other than the talent on this Bucks team was overwhelming, compared to the Suns, and I believed in them 100%. It was a once in a lifetime game for me to witness, and their winning the Championship a much needed coming together for the city.

Super busy, but hope to break away for about 3 practices this year. Hoping to see you, Aaron and anyone else if possible.

Skipping the Rodgers thing.

My 5 things I’m looking forward to:
1. Our 1st Round picks in Gary & Savage from 2019 and Love from 2020 becoming legit, undeniable, major forces in the NFL.

2. Seeing Matt LaFleur’s influence upon the entirety of his team, O, D and STs. Finally, it’s all his.

3. Something tells me this entire rookie class may prove to be one of Gutekunst’s very best, both via draft and UDFA. I ‘m looking forward to seeing what they contribute this year. I know it’s rare, but I really do think we’ll realize some very successful early contributors. Stokes. Myers. Amari. Slaton. Jean-Charles, Hill, Uphoff. Gaines. Wilborn. Gaithers. They all are foremost in my mind, and I bet more than a handful surprise.

4. Kingsley Keke and Kamal Martin’s development.

5. An insanely improved front 7 under Joe Barry’s leadership.

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BAMABADGER's picture

July 21, 2021 at 09:40 pm

Al:

Brady > Rodgers, your words are simple yet so true. I'd add, Brady = Team where as Rodgers = Self.

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greengold's picture

July 21, 2021 at 09:54 pm

That’s what it boils down to, BAMA. We all see it. Well... most of us.

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croatpackfan's picture

July 22, 2021 at 02:04 am

As always, very fine tuned confession. Always nice to read...

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Dragon5's picture

July 22, 2021 at 12:54 pm

Life is more than football...(My apologies Coach Lombardi)
1) My boys (hopefully) returning to a maskless school district that allows kids to socialize.
2) A societal shift toward critical thinking demonstrating less reliance on status quo narratives.
3) Thanking Mr. Rodgers for the talent acquisition exchange in the near future as a result of his years of outstanding service.
4) To gather insight and further resolution to Love draft pick...either Gute's judgment was correct or he finds a Murphy approved pink slip...recall Murphy (GOAT) & Gute (OX) are enemy signs.
5) Enjoy Sunday kickoff no matter our predicaments...life is a gift...enjoy it. The beauty of sports is that sure it divides people by team allegiance, but at the same time forms a strong bonding alloy called "love" that supersedes any race, gender, religion, or political view.

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