Posted by Tim Cigelske on November 27, 2011
Flickr photo by UWHealth
There are no shortage of factors that go into predicting the odds of the Packers repeating as Super Bowl champions.
Youth, talent, depth, coaching, injuries, momentum and past performance are all relatively easy to analyze, and have been discussed at length starting immediately after the Packers won Super Bowl XLV.
The one factor I find particularly interesting but difficult to measure is motivation. There’s good reason to believe that a Super Bowl champion’s hunger to win it all the next year is diminished, from reasons ranging from losing the drive to win to individuals hoping to cash in for themselves to chemistry just not materializing again. It’s the so-called Super Bowl hangover effect.
Other than the salary cap and league’s parity formula, this X-factor of team psychology may heavily account for the reason the past five Super Bowl champions are 0-3 in the following postseason and no team has successfully repeated as champions since the Cowboys in 1993 Patriots in ’04.
That list of failed runs to repeat includes the 1997 Packers. To prove a point, that team had its share of mental hang-ups, including Leroy Butler’s brash 19-0 prediction before a 3-2 start and the impending departure of Mike Holmgren.
Fortunately, there is ample reason to believe this Packers team is different, yet again. More evidence is shown in the Journal Sentinel’s fascinating and in-depth article about Aaron Rodgers’ motivation techniques.
It’s a portrait of a manager that is wise well beyond beyond his 27 years. He’s demonstrated being cool under pressure. Even a glance to a teammate (“The Look”) can communicate a powerful message. And he can admit when he’s wrong and make amends.
But to me, what’s most impressive is that Rodgers does his homework to pinpoint exactly what triggers each individual’s best performance, whether it’s a free agent punter or a talented but frustrated receiver.
In a squad with this much talent, it’s important that this team doesn’t fall prey to a battle of egos or complacency if they’re going to win the uphill battle of repeating as world champions. They need a leader who’s as good at relating to others as his physical talent.
Once again, the Packers are in good hands on that front.
Posted by Tim Cigelske on October 19, 2011
It wasn’t enough for Aaron Rodgers to own the NFL. Now he’s become the latest Internet meme.
Rodgers’ dedication to photobombing his teammates for years is well known. Now he takes a bad photoshopped photobombing trip through history, courtesy of With Leather.
Posted by Tim Cigelske on September 10, 2011
One side effect of the Packers reign as Super Bowl champions is the whole state of Wisconsin gets put in the national eye.
That spotlight shone again for 27 million people watching the NFL kickoff bonanza, including a segment on “The Today Show” about craft beer of Wisconsin, with Madison-based travel writer Kevin Revolinski.
Kevin is the author of a Wisconsin beer guide and picked some excellent brews for the occasion, including local Green Bay brewers Hinterland and Titletown. “Before we had a kindergarden,” he tells Al Roker, “we had a brewery.”
You should definitely read his account of intense behind-the-scenes production at Lambeau to create a minute and 44 seconds of live television. An excerpt:
But it was quite amusing to listen to the walkie talkie of the guy who drove me around in a golf cart beforehand. “Where’s my beer guy?” “I’ve got the beer guy” “The beer guy is waiting in the tunnel.” “The beer guy will go first. Then cheese. Then the brats.”
Incidentally, I met Kevin a few years ago during a travel writers’ trip to Florida, and we immediately bonded over our shared Wisconsin and Packers experiences.
That happened to be the beginning of the year of the first Favre comeback. It was when Favre was still pulling off heroics for the Jets, while meanwhile the Packers were going through growing pains.
It was a painful time to be a Packers fan and the break-up wounds were still raw. In trying to explain the feeling to other writers from across the country, we compared the situation to seeing a hot ex-girlfriend doing well.
And the new girlfriend, well, she’s got a great personality. And sews her own clothes. Or so it seemed at the time.
Over the years Kevin has lived around the world but always found a way to follow the Packers, even if it was at 2:30 in the morning local time. He’s watch the Packers in Italy, Turkey, Guatemala, Panama, Thailand, Cozumel and behind enemy territory in Texas and Wrigleyville.
He remembers watching the Packers in the playoffs with a fever, forcing an Italian friend with cable to watch til 2am – only to witness Favre throw an interception in OT to end the game. He walked 45 minutes home in the middle of the night.
Fast forward to February 2011. Green Bay was on top of the world, Brent was watching from home, and Kevin was celebrating as a Packer fan in Bangkok. That’s when I got a tweet from Kevin from across several time zones.
“Looks like the new girlfriend is even better than the old,” it said. “Even if she makes all her own clothes.”
Email tim@brentfavre or tweet him @TeecycleTim
Posted by Tim Cigelske on March 8, 2011
Football is supposed to be an escape, right? Not anymore.
As if Wisconsin really needs more controversial budget battles, Green Bay — the only NFL team whose books are open to the public — could take center stage in the impending millionaires vs. billionaires struggle in the NFL.
Freakonomics radio recently did a fascinating show about the disagreements between players and owners. Interestingly, the Packers had a voice on the show for both the players and the owners.
The show started with Brandon Jackson, who makes $500,000 a year. But if the players get locked out by the owners, that means no more paycheck or health insurance, with his third kid on the way. And an uncertain future in the NFL, where the average career is just over three years.
“I’m a family man and right now I’m going to go home and love my wife and kids,” Jackson told the Green Bay Press Gazette. “Taking out the trash. Taking my son to school. Taking my daughter to school and making sure my wife is getting healthy.
Packers CEO Mark Murphy — ironically the former vice president of the players union — questioned whether the NFL does “too much” for players, which makes it difficult for them to transition to a post-NFL career.
“Going back and talking to some of the players who played for Lombardi in the ‘60s,” he said, “they worked in the off-seasons, and they made a very smooth transition into their second careers because they had to.”
What do you think? Which side are you on? Or would you lock out both the players and owners if they can’t resolve this and take away your escape?
Posted by Tim Cigelske on March 2, 2011
If you bet the Packers would win the Super Bowl, congratulations. You win. If you bet Charlie Sheen would still be alive — barely — congratulations again. You’re WINNING
But now that Super Bowl wagering is over, the real question becomes how many fantasy football teams will now be named after Charlie Sheen quotes?
This is what the nation fixates on when there is no football. Consider our current news cycle foreshadowing if there’s a lockout.
Posted by Tim Cigelske on February 22, 2011
Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers is suddenly everywhere in the media, having visited Leno, the Ellen Show and handing belts out all over Twitter.
His next big act is going old school — to radio.
It was announced today that AM-540 ESPN Milwaukee will begin airing segments in September during the 2011 NFL season (assuming there is one).
The radio station said it will also sponsor the MACC Fund’s second annual “An Evening with Aaron Rodgers” on May 17 at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. On March 13 Rodgers will appear at a Milwaukee Wave home game on behalf of the MACC Fund.
But during his busy media-filled off season, there’s one thing you can for sure cross off the list: The Bachelor.
Read more: Rodgers signs on with ESPN radio | The Business Journal
Posted by Tim Cigelske on February 7, 2011
Some 4.5 million tweets were generated during the Super Bowl. And we went through each and every one of them to find the best. Or at least came across 10 that should make Packers fans smile.
ESPN’s Bill Simmons gives a shout-out to the devotion of Packers fans before the game. He also promised to start calling Milwaukee “America’s most underrated city” — ahead of Pittsburgh — if the Packers won.
Leading up to Super Bowl week, Lil Wayne created a freestyle rap that became an unlikely anthem for the Packers. As we wrote about last summer and everyone knows by now, Weezy is a huge cheesehead.
Speaking of Cheeseheads, Roger Ebert knows what’s up.
They say you’re not supposed to do anything new the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Greg Jennings ignored that advice, joined Twitter, and soon gathered more than 40,000 followers. He quickly got the hang of it and updated his bio to “SUPER BOWL CHAMPION” today.
Aaron Rodgers returns to Twitter with his first tweet since August 1st.
The NFL writer also called Rodgers’ performance one of the all-time best in the Super Bowl and wrote a column about three passes that made it a “legendary game.”
Not sure if there was any fan in Dallas more excited to be there than Todd Sanders from Green Bay. We wrote about him here, and he arrived at the Super Bowl in a new Mercedes-Benz that he won in a dominating performance in the world’s first Twitter-fueld race. Way to go, @tsand.
The former Packers beat reporter for the Journal Sentinel (now writing for the Boston Globe) correctly identifies Wisconsin’s two great passions.
For some reason it seems fitting that Clay Matthews would make a “Lord of the Rings” reference.
And the Bears, as they say, still suck.
Posted by Tim Cigelske on January 31, 2011
Before this football season started, several blogs, news outlets and sportswriters saw what could be on the horizon and compared the 1996 and the 2010 Packers teams.
In most analysis, the 1996 team barely edges out today in talent.
One key category hasn’t been examined, however. Here we break down 1996 fan music vs. 2010 fan music.
The Packarena – 1996
The Packarena was performed by Jane Matenaer and the morning show team on 99.1 WMYX The Mix in Milwaukee.
The song was created while “Macarena” by Los del Rio was at the height of its popularity. According to the official Packarena website, after playing the song on-air, WMYX printed up approximately 25,000 cassette singles — yes, cassettes — gave away a few thousand, and sold the rest at $5 each to raise more than $100,000 for the Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Fund of Greater Milwaukee.
If you don’t care to hear the song on endless loop at http://www.packarena.com, you can read the lyrics to the chorus here:
Brett and-a Brooks and-an Edgar and-a Reggie,
Jackson and Chmura and-a Holmgren and-a Jacke,
Jones and-a LeRoy and-a Newsome and a-Dorsey,
Hey Packarena, Hut Hut!
Fly Like a Cheesehead – 2010
Fly like a cheesehead
In less than two months, the “Fly Like a Cheesehead” video has amassed nearly 800,000 views on YouTube and 10,000 fans on Facebook. The video – a parody of Far East Movement’s “Fly Like a G6″ — is another hit from the Higher Education group who made the “Teach Me How to Bucky” video, though it hasn’t reached viral levels of the Badger video yet.
Watch the video here.
Which is the better theme song? You decide.
Posted by Tim Cigelske on January 23, 2011
Seven months ago, Todd Sanders appeared on this blog and made the prediction that “the Bears will still suck” in the upcoming season. He was right.
Todd Sanders has his game face on
What he could not have predicted was that he would be driving a $100K 2012 Mercedes-Benz from Los Angeles to Dallas to watch the Packers after Green Bay defeated the Bears in the NFC Championship game.
Starting Feb. 2nd, four two-person teams of Twitter users will embark from New York, L.A., Chicago or Tampa in race to the game in Dallas. Along the way they’ll have to complete challenges in what Mercedes calls “the world’s first Twitter-fueled race.”
In this Q+A, Todd (aka @tsand on Twitter) talks about how he found himself in the middle of a surreal trip of a lifetime.
How did all this get started?
My friend Barbara Nixon shot me a tweet asking if I had heard about the Mercedes-Benz Tweet Race. she’s the real deal, so I knew if she was sharing it, I’d be interested. Checked it out. Was super simple to enter, typed in my twitter handle and waited to hear if I made it to Round Two.
How exactly does this contest work?
A set amount of tweets using the #MBteamS hashtag to go a mile (pretty sure our team captain Pete Wentz‘s fans will be able to provide us with this fuel). We also get social points when our team completes challenges on our behalf. I have no idea what these challenges will be, but my co-driver John Pederson and I will do a test run on Wednesday, January 26 to see how our followers react to our requests. (ex. post a pic to twitter of something you can drink) There will also be “social media” challenges along our route (L.A. to Tuscon to Roswell to Dallas) to complete. They could tie me to a chair and do that torture scene from Casino Royale and I wouldn’t care. Going to Dallas for the game, baby!!!
Who is your competition? Do you hate them more than the Bears?
Team CL: A Maxim model and the girl who hosts MTV’s Jersey Shore After Show.
The Competition: Julissa Bermudez
Yes, I realize half of the people who read this post and decide to join a team in the race will pick them. Unless over half of your readers are male, then the number could go even higher. Heck, I picked them. :)
Team E: Two quality guys that I’ll enjoy drinking beer with in Dallas. One is even a Packers fan. But the other still sucks.
Team GL: Two moms from Chicago, seem like lovely ladies and I hope they don’t run into traffic in Milwaukee (they start in Chicago and head to Minneapolis before heading south to Dallas – hint).
Team S: Us. The ONLY team to declare an allegiance to an NFL team in our official bio that determines who people vote for. We’ve alienated a few people, but serious, if you want to win, you don’t want losers on your team (talking to you, Bears fans).
How can people follow your race?
It’s Mercedes-Benz, I’m guessing you’ll have everything you’ll need to watch, listen and feel the race as long as you have an Internet connection. I have no clue what’s going to happen once the race starts, but I’d bet they do it up right.
What sort of strategy are you going to be following?
Have fun, do good. The fun thing is a given. The do good thing kind of snuck up on me. Not going to lie, the thought of taking a road trip from L.A. to Dallas in a $100K S400 hybrid with 4-stage massage front seats is insane… winning my wife a C-Class coupe (to pay her back for going on the adventure of a lifetime) is sweet… BUT nothing tops the feeling I get inside thinking of the money we’re raising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Serious. Call BS, but I kid you not, something inside of me has awoken, I’ve always believed in karma, but getting St. Jude $50K makes me feel like I’m helping a tad more than usual. Best feeling in the world, even better than a 1500 mile road trip with 4-stage massage chairs and attending the awesomest game on earth.
St. Jude gets $25K no matter what, but Mercedes-Benz kicks in another donation of $20K if we win the race. John and I are attempting to raise another $5K on our donation site. Minimum donation amount is $5, would love for any who can afford it to donate. As a special incentive, we’re reading off the list of donors (if you give your name) town crier style during the game and posting it to YouTube.
You won Packers tickets from Clay Matthews earlier this season in a Twitter contest. Did that prepare you for this contest in any way?
Yes. Mr. Matthews asked for a video with a super quick turn around time. The magic happens in the idea stage, but quick turnarounds up the ante. I think being able to storyboard, shoot and edit within hours isn’t every easy, but it becomes less hectic the more you attempt to do it. For Round Two of the Tweet Race we had to submit a 2 minute video, it was over my holiday break so I was able to commit 100% of my time to it (yes I kid, we have three kids and Christmas is crazy… I stayed up 42 hours straight to knock it out).
See the Clay Matthews vid here and Tweet Race Round Two vid here.
Anything else to add?
If you love bacon and the Green Bay Packers, you couldn’t find a better team to back. Go to http://www.facebook.com/mbteams and like us, I promise you won’t regret it. And the Bears still suck.
Posted by Tim Cigelske on January 17, 2011
How many times is this now? We lost track.
The NFL has confirmed that Favre filed his retirement papers. No word if he just photocopied past years’ paperwork.
As CNN put it, “Favre is known for his on-again-off-again relationship – with the NFL.”
Will this one finally stick?