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.
17 April 2011 198.1 – Sportzfan Stan leads off the show suggesting that the Australian Cricket Board should be sacked and appoint an independent Board with no parochial interests to improve cricket in Australia. Dan Butterly returns to the show to talk US sport including college basketball finals. He previews the NBA finals and thinks it is out of Chicago and Miami in the East and the Lakers are the team to beat in the West. In NHL action he feels the Canucks from the West and the Capitals from the East look good to advance to the Stanley Cup final. Dan reviews the first weeks of competition in MLB and says it is early days yet but the Mariners are looking at another 100 loss season. The Mets could also be a 100 loss team. Jackie Robinson is remembered on the 64th anniversary of him breaking the colour bar in major league baseball. The Professor queries whether Brett Favre will be back for a shortened NFL season. The Gelding reviews the racing at Flemington and Randwick with a much better performance this week on the punt. The Sydney Colt was not quite as successful.
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.
12 December 2010 183.1 – Sean makes a rare appearance in studio and Daniel starts with an apology as it took him five days to read Mark Fiorenti’s blog so he knows nothing about what happened in the sports world for the week. He also adds his favourite Qatar player after some research is Eric Clapton and Sean adds that FIFA’s new game Qatar hero. Stan gets into Daniel again about basketball asking him how he thinks the Melbourne Tigers will go against Perth. Sean thinks as it is Al Westover’s 200th game it may get the Tigers across the line. Their is also a discussion about the the test cricket side and Stan is for sacking all the player sand the selectors. Dan Butterly talks US sport and commences with his view on the Heisman trophy and who will win it. He thinks Cam Newton from Auburn will win it, even with all the cloud of suspicion over him regarding the behaviour of his father. Dan also talks about the Bowl matches coming up with 35 being played over three weeks. He likes Oregon to beat Auburn in the Championship game and TCU to beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. There are moves afoot within the Conferences and Hawaii has now decided to leave the WAC and join the MWC in 2012. The Professor asks whether the MWC will play a game in Australia given Hawaii is halfway here. Dan agrees that it would raise the MWC profile. Sean says AAMI stadium would be perfect to host such a game. Dan feels Brett Favre’s streak will end at 297 as he will not recover in time to play in tomorrow’s game.
The Professor thinks there may have been a first last week when the Gelding was not on the show at all. The Gelding talks cricket first discussing the problems with Victorians trying to get into the Test side. He then moves on to racing and reviews his selections for the Flemington meeting. Although he got off to a great start tipping Aloha to win, it was all downhill from there with his other three selections failing to even be placed. The Gelding’s favourite Qatar player is Jimmy Page from Led Zepplin.
The Panel discusses Gary Ablett’s revelations during the week where he hadn’t spoken to his coach, Bomber Thompson since March this year. Sean talks about a rumor that James Hird and Thompson had been talking about getting together for 2012 but because Essendon’s coterie groups wanted Matthew Knights out, everything got moved forward twelve months. Daniel starts talking about Bob Costas (NBC sportscaster) but he really means the Geelong president, Frank Costa. Stan is swinging the axe again and Sean observes he is going to put Centrelink out of business as everyone is getting the knife.
Mark Fiorenti talks up the local Melbourne derby between the Heart and the Victory with over 23,000 at AAMi stadium. Sean went to his first game during the week to see Heart play but they went down in front of around 2,000 people. Mark says it was the lowest ever at an A League game in Melbourne. He says the FFA must address this as mid week games don’t work.
28 November 2010 181.1 – Daniel is suffering with a toothache and gets plenty of sympathy, especially from Stan who says if you don’t clean your teeth you pay the penalty. The Gelding is late but hopefully he has a note from home. Stan has his weekly question to Daniel on the Melbourne Tigers. Daniel says he doesn’t think Tigers coach Al Westover should be sacked because he likes him. The Gelding talks about the First Ashes Test and the form of Michael Hussey. Daniel wants to know why Brad Hodge isn’t in the team and Stan observes that it is probably due to Victorian batsmen having fallen foul of the selectors in the past. Dan Butterly delivers his US report and starts with a discussion of Vince Young hurling his pads into the stands and then texting an apology to the coach, Jeff Fisher. He thinks that it was easier to get rid of Brad Childress than Brett Favre in Minnesota. He doesn’t think Favre will quit until the end of the season. In the NBA he feels that the Miami Heat don’t have a leader on the team as Wade, LeBron and Chris Bosh are all playing ‘nice’ to each other. Daniel talks to Dan about LeBron’s return to Cleveland and says it should be an exciting game. He would go if he had a ticket. Daniel would like to see LeBron not voted into the starting five in the NBA All Star game and wants the Professor (and Sportzfan listeners) to vote for Amare Stoudemire to try and achieve this. Dan thinks LeBron will do the ‘powder clap’ in Cleveland. He has nothing new to report on Carmelo Anthony and says he will be staying with the Nuggets at this stage. In College football he is amazed that Boise State missed a field goal against Nevada that would have won the game. They went on to lose it and therefore won’t play for the national championship. Dan also talks on the BCS comments from Ohio State President Gordon Gee – he disagrees with him naturally. In MLB, the Yankees playing hardball with Derek Jeter but Dan believes he’ll eventually resign for what the Yankees have offered. Daniel explains the ‘powder clap’ for the listeners. The Gelding talks about the winners and losers from Sandown and Randwick and says the rain played havoc with the fields due to so many scratchings. The Panel discusses the heavy penalty handed out to rider Danny Nikolic over his behaviour to stewards after he was found wearing a modified racing vest.
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.
7 November 2010 178.2 – The Panel welcome the return of John O’Callaghan and reveals he is a Green Bay Packer fan. The Panel talk about athletes who keep on getting into the news for all the wrong reasons – Favre, Fevola, Warne, Newman. Nicole thinks it is “younger man approaching middle age trying to hold on to youth”. John discusses the AFL Grand Final and thinks it now should be an extra time game and not a replay. The Panel again take Mark Fiorenti to task again about the FFA bidding for the 2022 World Cup and the money that looks like it is wasted on a probable failed bid. Nicole thinks Ricky Ponting needs to get some emotion back into his captaincy of the Australian cricket side as he is too full of management speak. The Panel aren’t excited about the coming Ashes series. The Panel ask Paul Dalligan what Joel Monaghan’s scene is… Paul is enraged about the response and believes people shouldn’t be blaming social media. Paul breaks that Greg Inglis may be going to the Rabbitohs instead of the Broncos. Sean Callanan comes on to talk social media who thinks it was apt that his lead in was the theme from Minder as some pro athletes need minders. He says social media is ubiquitous.
7 November 2010 178.1 – Stan doesn’t take long to take Daniel to task about the performance on the Melbourne Tigers and queries whether the Tigers, Tiger Woods or the Australian cricket team will be the next to win. Daniel hints that one of the Tigers imports could be cut very soon. Stan wonders whether the Tigers should bring back Lindsay Gaze. One of our twitterers says bring back Andrew Gaze or the Tigers will remain a mess. Dan Butterly talks US sport including NFL with the Randy Moss/Minnesota Vikings/Brad Childress/Brett Favre debacle and the will she or won’t she tell the NFL. He also discusses the quarter back ‘controversy’ at the Washington Redskins with Mike Shanahan benching Donovan McNabb at the end of a game. MLB is wrapped up with the San Francisco Giants overcoming the Texas Rangers in five games. In College football, the Air Force Academy defeats Army to take the Commander in Chief’s trophy. The Panel talks with the Gelding and JC about JC’s horse ‘It’ll Be Fantastic’ then goes on to discuss the Emirates Stakes day and the winners and losers at the track.
10 October 2010 174.1 – The show reprises Daniel’s singing of the Collingwood theme song from show #173. The Panel discusses Michael Vick’s injury with Dan Butterly in his US report and Dan says a quarterback in the NFL can’t take the same chances to run the ball as players do in College. Paul Dalligan talks to Dan about the rumor on Brett Favre and a former NY Jets female employee and wonders whether Brett has been playing golf with Tiger Woods. Paul also talks about his surprise at the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs being in the match of the round against Indianapolis Colts. Dan also talks MLB playoffs and thinks the Yankees, Rangers, Phillies and Giants will win through. #1 ranked in NCAAF Alabama losing may reignite the BCS controversy and discussion on whether a BCS College that has lost a game is more deserving of playing in the BCS title game than a non-BCS College that has not lost a game. The Gelding talks about his selections at Caulfield and the Sydney Colt’s selections at Rosehill. He has a discussion with Daniel about backing horses each way. Daniel thinks backing a horse not to win does not make sense. The Professor starts off a discussion on the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
26 September 2010 172.1 – The Gelding starts the program with an impersonation of Stan. The Panel then gets into a discussion of the drawn AFL Grand Final and the ramifications of the replay. Daniel says the AFL should give 45,000 tickets to each competing Club. Will there be another Grand Final parade? will there be another Footy Show? will there be different Gtand Finals replayed in the all night marathon? Dan Butterly tells Paul Dalligan he couldn’t watch cricket for five days with no result. Dan also talks MLB pennant race he thinks the Seattle Mariners will probably lose 100 games even with the roster thay have and feels the Yankees will make the World Series again. In NFL, Dan looks at Michael Vick’s re-emergance as a starting quarterback with the Philadelphia Eagles and he thinks Brett Favre is regretting coming back. The Professor discusses last week’s Michigan State trick play to beat Notre Dame in overtime. In NBA, Dan thinks Carmelo Anthony will be traded to the New Jersey Nets within the next 48 hours. The Gelding takes pride in the fact that he and the Sydney Colt from 9 selections at both Moonee Valley and Randwick had a return of 6 winners and 2 thirds. The Panel don’t necessarily agree with the Gelding that you can have a “good seventh” in a race with nine runners. The Panel also agrees that Dr Leslie’s CSA seems to have taken up a permanent position after the racing segment.