Sunday, April 29, 2007

That was one hell of a puzzling draft

Well, I come home from my sister-in-law's wedding up in Bemidji (4.5 hrs north) and I had very, very little access to the draft (no internet and only ESPN in a restaurant where I could not hear anything). Needless to say, I just about refused to finish my prime rib when I saw who the first 2 picks were in the draft for the Packers.

Justin Harrell? Seriously? I know that with Jenkins move to DE there leaves something of a hole in the middle, but that was what Corey Williams is for. OK, I get that he's a very good player and all, and that in workouts he was outstanding. But he missed virtually all last year with an injury and there really is no hard game-day evidence on him. Do you really want to take a guy like this in the first round? Let alone with the #16 pick? Wow. Just stunned.

The second round pick is also a bit, how you say, interesting. I get that we got screwed by MN when they traded up for Rice. I have to begrudingly give them props. But again, the Packers picked another guy with very little production to go off of in RB Brandon Jackson. I think this is clearly a pick to do a RB-by-committee by TT. He is not expected to carry the load but to simply be a part time back. Odd to say the least for a 2nd rd pick, but at least they traded down to get him.

The rest of the picks look good though. I particularly like the Crosby pick in the 7th. Actually a bargain there. With Rouse, TT is trying to recreate the Michael Boulware pick and position switch he did in Seattle.

As initially underwhelming and yes, dissappointing as this draft is, everyone always says that it takes 3 years to truly judge a draft class. It seems that we are going to need that full 3 years for this one. Here's hoping that this class will surprise early.

Friday, April 27, 2007

What? The draft is back?

Well, unless you've been living under a rock or just your average Viking fan, you know that the NFL draft is coming up this weekend. Finally, after months of speculation and endless, meaningless debate over picks and mock drafts we get the real deal.

Last year I blogged about the Packers draft while it was going on, but this year I won't be able to as we have to drive 4 hours north to my sister-in-law's wedding on Saturday and I'll essentially miss the whole thing. I may get updates via radio or the newspaper so you'll have to wait until Sunday night/Monday morning for any of my thoughts.

Until then, here is what I'm thinking the Packers are going to do:

Round 1 - Robert Meachem, WR TN. 6-4 210 lbs and is pretty fast. Would stretch the field and is a great red-zone threat.

Round 2 - Zach Miller, TE ASU. Excellent receiving tight end. Could start right away.

Round 3 - Kenny Irons, RB Auburn. May not be there when they pick, but if he is he's a steal.

I think it will be an offense minded draft for day 1. The defense is fairly well set and unless TT trades down to acquire more picks (about a 70% chance of that) there really are not many players that would be good value picks where the Packers draft. The only defensive player I can see the Pack taking on day 1 would be S Eric Weddle in the 2nd round.

Enjoy the weekend and the draft all.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Draft rememberance

With the draft coming up, draft picks from days gone by come up. The one that comes up the quickest in most fellow Packer fans minds is that of Tony Mandarich. I know, many fans quickly spit at the sound of his name, as he's been labeled as one of the biggest busts in draft history. However, I would like to present him in a different light than he is commonly viewed in.

At the time he was drafted in 1989, Mandarich was THE dominant LT in the college game. He was hyped up by the media as a HOF lineman before he was even drafted. It was a no-brainer for the Packers to take him. There are always star QB, RB and DL but a LT who played how Mandarich did in college was a rarity. In this draft was also, Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders, Derrick Thomas and other players who became superstars.

Mandarich eventually busted out and many have wondered what would have happened if we had Barry Sanders to go with Brett Favre. Well, had we drafted Barry, it's not a guarantee we ever would have gotten Brett. Let me explain.

The GM at the time was Tom Bratz and although he did many good things for the Packers, was terrible at player eval and had the misfortune of hiring Lindy Infante, who was an awful coach. Both of these guys were not all that great in putting a quality product on the field. Therefore, a poor to mediocre team was inevitable.

Had we drafted Barry Sanders, the Packers likely would have been a mediocre team flirting with being in the playoffs each year, much like the Lions were who drafted Barry. This would have led to both Tom and Lindy being in charge longer than they should have.

When Mandarich busted, they were both exposed as the poor talent evaluators that they were and thus were fired. Bratz's replacement was Ron Wolf who was the grand architect of some of the best draft picks and free agent signings in the team's history. Ron Wolf's first actions were hiring Mike Holmgren and trading for Brett Favre. Holmgren was the perfect fit to hone Brett's talent and thus give us the QB that we all know and love. It was Ron Wolf who was also able to bring in Reggie White, which was one of the best FA signings ever and a major coup at the time. The rest is history.

So you see, Tony Mandarich did more for the Packers as a draft bust than he ever could have done as a draft success. With him busting, he ushered in the era of Ron Wolf who brought in Holmgren, Favre and White. I daresay that him being a bust and the laughter that came to the Packers because of this was well worth it, don't you think?

Friday, April 20, 2007

New Apple product

Apple Computer announced today that it has developed a computer chip that can store and play high fidelity music in women's breast implants. The iTit will cost $499 or $599 depending on speaker size.

This is considered to be a major breakthrough because women have always complained about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them.

Sophmoric and childish? Yes.

Reason for a gratuitous cleavage shot? Yes.

Will I ever apologize for doing it? Nope.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's finally over

The train wreck that is the Milwaukee Bucks seasn is finally over. I don't know if I've ever been more disappointed with a team than I was with the Bucks this year. Granted, when your only legit scorer in Michael Redd goes down for over a month, you're pretty much screwed. Add in that Williams went down at the same time and 60% of your offense is gone. But even when they came back, the team just wasn't the same. Hope had disappeared from the team and resignation that they could not (and should not) compete for a playoff spot had set in.

Then, when they realized they could set themselves up to possibly get Durant or Oden, they started tanking it big time and "injuries" started setting in on the stars. Problem was, they didn't tank it good enough and only ended up with the 3rd worst record in the league. And with only 2 superstars in the draft, you get the picture.

Now it's up to a bunch of ping-pong balls (boy, isn't that NBA draft high-tech and straightforward *eyes rolling*) to determine where they end up in the draft. Gee, my excitement is just building and building (more eye rolling).

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The schedule is out

The NFL released the schedules for all the teams so all the fans are out in force trying to predict what their teams are going to do. Forget that the draft hasn't happened, training camp or preseason, just predict how the team is going to do. Don't forget to drink the Kool-Aid first though. Well, what kind of idiot blogger would I be if I didn't partake in this as well.

@ NYG - W
SD - L
@ MN - W
CHI - W (Sunday night)
Bye week
@ Den - L (Monday night)
@ KC - W
MN - W
@ Det - W (Thanksgiving game)
@ Dallas - L
@ StL - L
@ Chi - L

There, I'm going with 10-6 at this point. The first 4 games are a brutal stretch given that the Packers start out slow each year, but I'm picking them to go 2-2 there, winning both road games and losing both home games. They might surprise Philly, but no way to they beat SD. We should sweep MN and Det again and split with Chicago this year. I'm not so sure about the KC game, that just gives me a bad feeling for some reason, but I'm sticking with the win. Denver has a very tough D and a game there is not all that promising. We never win at St. Louis so that's a definate loss there. I just don't like our chances at Dallas, gut feeling.

So 6-2 at home and 4-4 on the road. Not a bad season. Like I said, this is all with me drinking the Green and Gold Kool-Aid, but that's what this time of year is for.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Barnett's Big Bucks Below Bank Breaking

Nick Barnett gets a re-worked deal which amounts to 6 yrs and $35 million. Barnett was definately worth the money. He has been criticized for not being an elite MLB, but he's a very solid one and we all saw what happens when he's not in the game in Seattle: we got steamrolled on the ground due to poor on-field adjustments by Hodge.

Barnett is a leader on the defense and has thrived even with being under a new defensive system every season. I think he's going to really explode in the defense this year, given that the scheme won't change for the first time. He would have been far more expensive next year to re-sign and it would have been extremely damaging to lose him outright to FA. He kept a real low profile about the renegotiations, came to the offseason team workouts and showed he wanted to be here. Just a fantastic way to go about business. Now, he's got to step it up on the field and be more of a playmaker. That's what is expected for this kind of money.

TT's plan has been keeping the core together and promoting from within. Reportedly, Corey Williams is next in line to get a re-worked deal extention. That's fine with me as well. Keep the band toghether TT!

So far no major moves by TT that have worth reporting. No big FA signings (like I said) and no big trades (see previous parenthetical statement). This is pretty much modis operandi for TT and so far it seems to be working. Draft day(s) are at the end of this month and I'll post more about the draft closer to the date along with my own predictions.

Friday, April 6, 2007

The most manly movie ever

"That's a bold statement, Craig. What movie are you referring to?"

It is a bold statement, and to back it up I have one number for you:


Holy crap was this a fantastic movie. It had it all: action, blood, beautiful women (naked too, whoo hoo!), larger than life monsters and more testosterone than all the NFL combined. One simply has to see the spectacle of the movie to appreciate the manliness. A manly movie of this caliber cannot be described in words, it must be viewed, nay experienced on the big screen in all it's gloriousness. I gained 2 pounds of manliness while watching this movie (or it could have been the Chipotle burrito I ate prior to viewing it).

Let's compare this movie to other "manly" movies from the past and why 300 surpasses them all:

Fight Club - Bunch of sissys who fight in their mom's basement because they cannot handle the stress of the world. Then they cowardly blow up buildings. Pfft. The Spartans fight because that is what they are born to do. They wouldn't sneak around in basements or blow up buildings. They would kill you in broad daylight and from the sheer force of their manly battle cry level the buildings.

Unforgiven - A pig farmer kills a bunch of hicks with a gun. Please. Spartans didn't need guns, they used spears and swords and killed you up close and personal while while their superior manliness made you crap your pants in fear.

Rocky - A street thug turns into a heavyweight contender and fights with some padded gloves on. WTF? PADDED GLOVES? Give me a break. Spartans would never waste their time with silly games like this. They would rather go out in the wild and fight a giant wolf with and kill it with their bare hands.

Mortal Kombat - Any movie that has Christopher Lambert as a god is inherently weak. The Spartans would kill anyone in that movie simply by walking too closely to them.

Top Gun - A bunch of pretty boys fly around the sky. Spartans have 3 words for these guys: Athenian boy-lovers

A new standard has been set for manly movies. Tremble in fear you sissy boys who think you are action stars. You are nothing compared to what is the sheer embodiment of all that is manly and testosterone laden as the Spartans from 300.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Winning the series - that's what it's all about

With all due respect to the Hokey Pokey, it is about winning the series for the Brewers. Great start to the season and a lot to be happy about. Charlie V having just a horrible inning on the mound was the downfall but the kids almost pulled off the big comeback and the sweep. But I'll take 2 out of 3 every series thankyouverymuch.

Things we learned this weekend:
- The starting 3 in the rotation are going to be good, real good this year.
- So far so good with Turnbow. If he can keep this up, there's not many teams that have a better 1-2 punch at the end of the game with him and Cordero.
- Weeks and Hardy have their bats going, especially Hardy. Wow. I think he's surprising even the biggest Blue and Gold Kool-Aid drinkers. He's been great for my fantasy team too. :)

It's real early in the season, but it beats being 0-3, right St. Louis and Houston (snicker snicker)?

Next up, we host the Cubbies this weekend. Should draw over 100k to Miller Park as they normally do. We should win this series as well, after all, they are the Cubs.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The start of a winning streak!

The Brewers beat the snot out of the Dodgers 7-1 yesterday with Ben Sheets dominating with throwing a 2-hitter. It was great to see this after 2 years of injuries. The guy was still hitting 95mph on the radar gun in the ninth. Holy crap!

The kids did a great job giving Big Ben all the run support he would need. The team got a .394 OBP and big hits were provided by Geoff Jenkins (2 run double) and Billy Hall (solo HR). All this in front of a 45,000+ sellout crowd in a game that took just over 2 hours. Wooo Whoo!

It's always great to get the Opening Day win and get the season off right. Only 90 more wins to go for my prediction to be correct. Tonight, Cappy looks to keep the team going strong.

Thanks for showing up OSU

OSU got totally owned in the NCAA Championship last night by FL. Hell, the Badgers could have lost that bad to FL. FL played the game of letting Oden do what he wanted inside and shutting down the guards and perimeter game of OSU. Oden played a ton of minutes and was worn out midway through the 2nd half. Great strategy. Congrats to FL for pulling off the repeat and they are unquestionably the top school in the big time college sports.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Boys of Summer are back (even if it's April)

Today is Opening Day for baseball and hopefully the start of a fantastic Brewers season. I'm very much looking forward to this season as hopes have never been higher. The Brewers have put together a fantastic pitching staff that if it remains healthy for the season, could be one of the best in the majors. The offense has a lot of potential and this could be the year that the kids start to fully realize their potential.

Being in MN, it's difficult to get to watch Brewers games, but I will still make my obligatory journey to Miller Park this year (Brewers/Twins series). Here's hoping I can somehow get a laptop and wireless internet for MLB.TV.

My prediction for the year:
The Brewers will be in the wildcard race if not the division race. I'm drinking the Blue and Gold Kool-Aid, and it's wonderful.