D3's college football recap was such a hit (1 COMMENT THROUGH THREE HOURS!!!111!!1!11! Whatever, I liked it) that I figured we should do the same with the Packers. I mean, it is football, after all.
So ... some thoughts:
VaJayJay and I don't agree on many things, mostly because he's a relentless (and annoying-as-hell) optimist, and I'm more of a realist. (Who said pessimist? Fuck you with a clothes hanger.) Anyway, we've found a common ground in our distaste for Mike McCarthy -- though my displeasure doesn't approach the pathological levels that VaJayJay's disdain has reached.
Yesterday's game provided a good example. Adewale Ogunleye (no shit -- I spelled that right on the first try; it's spelled just like it sounds) destroyed, humiliated, and abused Allen Barbre* routinely last night. You might expect that, given said destruction/humiliation/abuse-ination, Coach would keep a running back in to chip, or put another body on the line. And Coach did just that ... after two quarters.
(* Quick tangent: my family was over at my house yesterday. We got into a discussion over the correct pronunciation of Barbre's name last night. Is it British, and therefore pronounced as "Bar-bur" (like theatre or centre)? Or is it Bar-bree? After extended debate, we settled on a third option: it's pronounced "Suck.")
But Mike McC didn't stop there. No, he also starting calling plays like he was an early '00s John Shoop: screens and six-yard outs and lots of three-step drops. This playcalling culminated with the last play in the third quarter: a three-yard curl to Donald Lee on third-and-long from midfield. Because Mrs. Q was already sleepin' (flu bug going around, and it's a bitch), I couldn't curse, so I had to settle for a vigorous Face Palm.
Oh, and as for the play that everybody is so quick to suck McCarthy's popsicle for -- the incredibly gutsy 50-yard bomb to Greg Jennings to win the game? If you listened to A-Rodg in the post-game interview, Jennings wasn't even his primary read on the play. It was supposed to be a pass in the flat to Lee, but the Bears had it covered, so A-Rodg went to Jennings.
And speaking of dumb coaches ... I said to VaJayJay in the fourth quarter: "Whichever coach makes the dumber mistake in this game is going to end up losing." Thankfully (if you're a Packers fan), Lovie Smith was that coach. A fake punt in the fourth quarter, with your team at its own 26, when the Packers haven't been able to move the ball against your defense all game? Ohhh-kay.
Aaron Rodgers invites you to enjoy a warm glass of "Shut the fuck up": So, after a season in which you repeatedly led your team to go-ahead scores in the fourth quarter, only to see your defense immediately cough up the lead, and you were then unable to quarterback the team on another late scoring drive, which produced an off-season of morons saying: "Rodgers came up small when his team needed him in the fourth quarter of games last year," you can do one of several things. One would be to let people like me and Reid argue angrily that you did just fine leading your team to victory in the fourth quarter last year, 'cept that your defense and special teams managed to find new and creative ways to crap the bed time after time after time after time. Another would be to throw a 50-yard touchdown pass with a minute to go in the first game of '09. I see you chose option two, Mr. Rodgers. Fair enough.
Jay Cutler's first game as a Bear: 17-36 for 277 yards, one touchdown, and 4 picks. Rex Grossman's first start as a Bear: 13-30 for 157 yards, no touchdowns, no picks. Moses Moreno's first start as a Bear: 18-41 for 153 yards, one touchdown, no picks. Cade McNown's first start as a Bear: 17-33 for 255 yards, one touchdown, two picks. Henry Burris' first start as a Bear: 8-22 for 50 yards, 1 touchdown, no interceptions. Kordell Stewart's first start as a Bear: 14-34 for 95 yards, one touchdown, three picks.
OK, ratings-wise, apparently that Stewart start was worse than Cutler's. But that took some diggin'.
There was one part of the game where I missed having Brett Favre as my quarterback: when Urlacher leveled Rodgers after the throw on that roll out in the first quarter. If that's Favre, that's a no-question, 15-yard penalty for some combination of roughing the passer/late hit/striking the passer in the upper torso-ish region/"Hey, that's the Ol' Gunslinger, doncha be hittin' the Gunslinger like that, yahear?"
And while we're talking about phantom penalties: how 'bout that doozy on Al Harris in the fourth quarter? I mean: wow. Just: wow.
On a related topic, I can't stand it when an announcer says, following an atrocious call like that one: "Well, it's the first game for the officials, too." What the fuck does that mean? The back judge got rusty over the last six months at seeing things? This isn't like a quarterback needing time to get in sync with a wide receiver, or a line taking a few weeks to mesh as a unit. This is a guy who gets paid to see things, and I'm supposed to give him a pass just because it's the first game? Having to hear "it's their first game, too" is going down as Rubie's Reasons to Hate Referees and Umpires No. 10,652.
Finally, sticking with Al Harris: Hey, asshole -- next time you pick off a pass and you've got acres of green space in front of you, how 'bout you save the preening and prancing until after you take the ball to the house? My fantasy team really could've used those six points, and you're pointing to the crowd and coasting in with thirty yards to go. Run, you shithead.