One of the main points of interest on this trip for me would be the visit to Green Bay to see the home of the Packers, Lambeau Field. Having been a Packers fan since the 1970′s it has been a long time coming and one that I was looking forward to.
Let me say that I was not disappointed! The high point of the stadium tour was the chance to run out of the player’s tunnel onto the hallowed turf and to be able to stand and soak up the incredible history that has been made there….Curly Lambeau, Vince Lombardi, Paul Hornung, Bart Starr, Brett Favre, Reggie White, Aaron Rodgers, Donald Driver, Mike Holmgren, Mike McCarthy….I could go on forever.
A trip to the Packers Hall of Fame followed which included a meeting with three Lombardi trophies. (the fourth was out on a ‘Meet the Fans’ tour around Wisconsin) and an opportunity to follow the storied history through the decades.
Visiting the city of Green Bay also allows consideration of just what the people of this town of just over 100,000 people has managed to achieve. 13 NFL Championships, 4 Super Bowl wins….something that the larger populations centres in the USA can only dream of! How have they done that…focus! Green Bay is football with Lambeau Field the centre of a lot of the activity in the city.
I can say that there are a number of other activities that were enjoyed on the tour including a trip to Nala’s Fromagerie to sample the various cheeses of the region and Captain’s Walk Winery.
6 March 2011 192.2 – Mark Fiorenti talks with the Panel about the poor crowd attending the A League preliminary final. The Professor asks if marquee matches should be played in population centres to draw a crowd and says it is incumbant on the organising body to look at this. Mark then looks at the Asian Champions League matches involving Melbourne Victory and Sydney. He asks the Professor how frustrating it must be to be an Arsenal supporter. The Panel then talk with Australia’s first professional women’s world boxing champion Susie Ramadan. She recently won the world IBF bantamweight title. Susie says she is a “Girly, Girl” but wanted something mentally challenging that got her fit so took up boxing. She fought 79 amateur fights and 20 times as a pro winning all of them and eight by KO. With women’s boxing starting to gain acceptance, she believes it won’t be long before we see a TV show like the Contender about women boxers. The Panel come back and examine the Ricky Nixon saga and ask why he hasn’t been suspended pending the outcome of the AFLPA investigation. This leads to a greater examination of the role of the player agent. There is also a discussion of Bernie Ecclestone’s suggestion to use artificial rain to liven up Grand Prix racing. All agree the sport is in trouble if it needs to resort to tricks. John suggests that the doctrine of ‘volenti non fit injuria‘ applies…we liked that! There is a further discussion of the AFL, AFLPA and player agents. Sean Callanan, batting clean up again, talks about the Mountain West Conference rating their twitter followers with a new program called Sports Digital Passion. It ranks the ’fandom’ of the MWC twitterers. It is not true that Charlie Sheen is a member of the MWC. Sean also talks about ‘Social Media Executioners’. He has also made a bit of progress on getting Aaron Rodgers on Sportzfan Radio talking with some Packers officials, clearly a work in progress.
13 February 2011 189.2 – Daniel asks the Gelding why Richmond didn’t put a side in that had a chance of beating Carlton in the NAB Cup so that they could get at least try and get through to the next round. The Gelding didn’t like the alternate jumper and says the Tigers shouldn’t have taken away the yellow sash. The Professor says that the lid is definitely off with Melbourne winning the first two pre-season games. Daniel thinks the NAB Cup is a circus with teams having to wait to play a second game. It can’t be good for the game especially with the introduction of new rules – Daniel says whoever introduced them should be sacked. Mark Fiorenti comes on to discuss soccer and he takes positives out of the defeat in the final of the Asian Cup. He is definitely right behind Holger Osieck as coach of the team as he has emphasised team unity. He discusses the A League which is coming to the crunch time of the season and also thinks it may be North Queensland Fury’s last game. In Premier League, Mark looks at the Man Utd & Man City derby. Paul Dalligan is looking forward to the Charity Shield later tonight between St George and South Sydney. He says Wayne Bennett is on fire as a coach and he won’t tip against him in the game, the Newcastle Knights are all cashed up behind Nathan Tinkler and are chasing players and the new NRL Commission needs to be appointed by 30 April 2011 as that is when New Limited intends to step away from the NRL. Paul then looks at the ABL championship games between Perth Heat and Adelaide Bite. Daniel says Tom Walter the basketball coach of Wake Forest donated a kidney to save one of his players, Kevin Jordan but the College had to first check with the NCAA to make sure it didn’t break any rules. The Professor says that is taking rules too far. Sean Callanan comments on Super Bowl XLV and the effect social media had on the event. He also discusses Sportzfan Radio’s attempt to get Aaron Rodgers on the program. Finally, the Panel differ as to whether Shane Warne and Liz Hurley are a worthy story or not.
13 February 2011 189.1 – The Panel start off without Sportzfan Stan again, who is still on injured reserve. The Gelding thinks it will be a long season for Richmond while Daniel thought we might have been talking about Collingwood for two hours. Daniel also complains about how bad the half time entertainment with the Black Eyed Peas at the Super Bowl. Dan Butterly comes on to talk US sport and in particular the Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers & Pittsburgh Steelers. He is reminded of his pick of the Steelers last week. He says it was a great game from start to finish and believes Aaron Rodgers gave a flawless performance with the Packers win was all the better due to the injuries the Packers dealt with not only during the season but also during the Super Bowl itself. Dan also discusses the seat fiasco where it appears the Cowboys only applied for a permit for the seats three weeks before the game. He looks at NCAAB and was right in saying Ohio State wouldn’t go through the season undefeated having lost to Wisconsin today. Dan says he thinks Daniel may be the only international Clippers fan in existence. The Panel talk about who their dream guest would be – the Professor says Aaron Rodgers, the Gelding would like Damian Oliver and Daniel wants Michael Jordan – we’ll work on them. The Gelding and the Sydney Colt were on fire with their selections at Caulfield and Randwick selecting 5 winners from 6 selections. The Panel look at the NAB Cup and the Gelding reiterates he believes it is going to be a long year for the Richmond Football Club.
We’ve been talking Green Bay Packers all season…..matter of fact we haven’t stopped talking Packers in the nearly four years that Sportzfan Radio has been on air! We refused to believe that they and their MVP quarterback, Aaron Rodgers couldn’t win Super Bowl XLV from the 6th seed. We hung, as they say, fat!
Now we’d like the honour of talking with Aaron Rodgers on our show so that Australian Packers fans can get to hear first hand how Green Bay managed to win their way through to the Super Bowl and take the coveted Lombardi Trophy for the fourth time.
Help us on our quest and retweet our hashtag #getaarononsportzfan on twitter. Packers fans we can get this done!
6 February 2011 188.1 – Daniel says he was surprised at the standard of the play in the Charity Baskets game and he actually enjoyed that game more than the NBL games he has watched this season. The Gelding says watching the game took him back to the great days of the NBL in the 80′s & 90′s. Daniel had one complaint…from his cousin the referee who thought the commentary team were a bit hard on him. Dan Butterly comes on the show to talk US sport and starts with a wrap of the NFL’s Super Bowl between Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. The weather has been playing havoc with fans getting to Dallas and a bit of a controversy about Ben Rothliesberger taking his linemen to a piano bar for a drink. Daniel asks Dan why Green Bay has been able to get to the Super Bowl so soon after dumping Brett Favre as QB. Dan likes Rothliesberger over Aaron Rodgers at the quarterback position. Dan selects the Steelers even though he knows the Professor won’t like that. Dan then goes on to talk about the negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA on a new agreement past 2011 which seem to be going nowhere at the moment and might result in a lockout. College basketball is ramping up with March Madness just around the corner with SDSU & BYU in the top ten at present. Dan doesn’t think a team will go through undefeated. He thinks five teams could win the MWC tournament with Pittsburgh and Kansas making the final two in the NCAAB championship game. Given the Caulfield races were washed out, the Gelding looks at the Sydney Colt’s tips from yesterday’s Rosehill meeting. The Professor talks to Daniel about Dwight Howard’s imitation of LeBron James ‘powder clap’, with LeBron then scoring 51 points. Daniel says you should never give a great player ammunition. The Panel discuss Gilbert Arenas being served with a paternity suit at half time of a game and the amount being sought by the mother of the child. They then look at Sportzfan Stan’s suggestion that Al Westover be sacked back in November and it has now happened. Four straight grand finals and two championships didn’t save him.
Prior to commencing this rant, I need to declare myself as a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan.
When I heard that Brett Favre was coming back for another season with the Minnesota Vikings in August this year, I polled a number of people about how difficult it would be at 40+ to step back in as a quarterback in the NFL with no adequate pre-season training or conditioning. It is not surprising that all those questioned said that it would be almost impossible. The season is certainly playing out like that for Favre. There was one other word used by the people responding…’arrogance’. Not a word that I had really associated with Brett Favre until then.
I suppose that I have wanted to give Brett the benefit of the doubt over the years…even through all those years of ‘will he or won’t he?’ (aka THE decision) at Green Bay when, as a supporter, it was what I expect death by a thousand cuts to be like. But that was Brett being Brett and he was in the most part forgiven each year (by the way LeBron only did it once…and look how he has been pilloried in the media).
At the time the Packers made the move to go with Aaron Rodgers, I was dismayed and upset about the thought of Favre not being part of the Packers again. However, the Packers rightly said enough was enough and took control of the quarterback situation for the long term. With the benefit of hindsight it was a great decision as since then Favre’s career reads more like a soap opera episode than a sporting career. If we take out the stellar season with the Vikings last year, we see a mediocre season with the New York Jets where there was bickering amongst the team and this year where the scene is playing out exactly the same only this time in Minnesota. We also have the unwanted distraction of the sordid allegations surrounding Favre and a former Jets female employee which are being investigated by the NFL.
I must say that I never thought I would hear the call from the media for Favre to call it a career and retire….or worse be benched by the Vikings in favour of Tavaris Jackson. But they are the unfortunate realities when one tempts fate and tries to go to the well on one too many occasions.
I sincerely hope that Brett finds a way to exit gracefully from the playing field without the decision being made for him. Like I said, I hope but somehow I think that word ‘arrogance’ may stand in the way of that happening.