The Crescent and Cheese

where east meets the midwest

Posts Tagged ‘NFL

My Letter to NBC Regarding Mike Florio

with 2 comments

To whom it may concern,

I remember the fall of 1998 with eerie clarity. I remember sitting by the bedside of my dying grandmother and reciting chapters of healing from the Qur’an. I remember staying up all night reciting, praying, and reciting again. The vibrant and dynamic woman who helped raise me lay unconscious on a hospital bed for days with an IV and a host of technology keeping her alive. My grandmother died from breast cancer that October. There are still chapters in the Qur’an I have difficulty reading without re-living that experience.

Imagine my horror, my dismay, my anguish when a man I respected for all his grace, philanthropy, and charity was exposed for having little real care for his fans in need. When Mr. Florio posted his piece on Aaron Rodgers on, I was completely dismayed. The perception, the respect, I had for my team’s quarterback wavered. I thought back to all the stories of his charitable work, of his support for the MACC fund, of his support of the Boys and Girls Club, to the stories one hears from Green Bay and Wisconsin natives of his behind the scenes philanthropy. Could all that have been a lie? Could all this be another Brett Favre: a cold, calculating person manipulating his image into something he is in fact quite different from? Worst of all, could he be so cold to someone much like my grandmother?

When I saw Mrs. Cavanaugh’s face as she turned away from Rodgers, my heart broke. I remembered that my grandmother, especially after my grandfather’s death, felt like she had nothing to live for. I remember her telling my mother in a soft, anguish filled voice, “let me die. It’s enough.” After reading that article, after seeing Mr. Florio’s perspective, I saw all that in Mrs. Cavanaugh’s face, a woman for whom the Packers are obviously intertwined with the very word life. Could Aaron Rodgers have been so cold, so heartless to a woman who so easily could have been my grandmother? My entire respect and admiration for him as a person was close to shattering.

Until, of course, Mr. Florio’s article was exposed for what it really was: a well orchestrated character assassination not even a day after the best performance of his career. Mrs. Cavanaugh’s face wasn’t that of anguish and hurt for being rejected and humiliated: it was that of disappointment that Aaron Rodgers didn’t sign her hat after he had signed other things for her the week prior and years before. Aaron Rodgers did not, in fact, “refuse to acknowledge her existence” and treat her as an unimportant non-entity as Mr. Florio suggested. It was something he needed to do to maintain his concentration for an upcoming game. He did not treat her pain and the pain of all those like her and surrounding her unimportantly. My pain, and the pain of all those who survive cancer victims, was not disrespected by Aaron Rodgers. It was disrespected by Mr. Florio.

Mr. Florio played with my emotions–played with the emotions of all survivors, their families, and the families of those who didn’t survive. Mr. Florio is either guilty of a sloppy character assassination attempt or criminal incompetence in journalism. How dare he-how dare he- use such painful memories to advance his goal–that of either destroying Aaron Rodgers’ image or to gain publicity for his trashy celebrity athlete gossip site. As a credible news organization, as a respectable source of news with standards of journalism, it is your duty to discipline such action and to make it clear that playing with such terrible emotions for personal gains will not be tolerated. It is deplorable, despicable journalism at its very best, and you, as his sponsors, have the responsibility to make a clear statement against it.


Muhammad Saad Yacoob


Written by AdmiralPrice

January 17, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Them’s Fightin’ Words

leave a comment »

Mike McCarthy finally did it. After taking blame for the playcalling, hinting at execution errors, and taking blame for the offense’s inconsistencies, McCarthy finally did it:
“I would say Aaron Rodgers’ season is probably much in line with the season we had as an offense. We’ve been a little bit up and down at times. If you just look at our point production, it’s reflected in that…I think (Rodgers) has had a good year, but it’s time for him and the offense to put their best foot forward when we go to Philadelphia.” Taken from this JS online article.

Written by AdmiralPrice

January 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Posted in Preview

Tagged with , , ,

Please Stop Complaining About the Running Game

with one comment

It’s a common refrain. Even during yesterday’s incredible win, it was a common refrain: “Hey Mike, run the ball!” If McCarthy called a drive with one or two running plays in it, my twitter feed would blow up with calls to run the ball. You know what? I get it. I know why fans want McCarthy to run the ball: it’s incredibly important to suck the defense in and “keep them honest.” The play action is an incredibly important part of this offense, but that’s what the running game is. It’s a means to an end, not an end itself. The assumption that the Packers have to run the ball functions on the following assumption: there is some sort of monolithic running game, and there is some sort of homogeneous passing game. NFL football, with the brilliant minds that run it, is not like that. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by AdmiralPrice

December 27, 2010 at 9:02 am

How the Packers Can Beat the New York Giants

leave a comment »

When I put up my first “How the Packers Can Win,” it was against the New England Patriots. Obviously, this game does not seem as hopeless as the one last week. The game this week is against opposite teams: the strength of one is the weakness of the other. The Packers have a great quarterback and wideouts but an average at best offensive line. The Giants, on the other hand, have an excellent front four and good linebacking crew but a very pedestrian defensive backfield. On the defensive side of the ball, the Packers are hurting on the defensive line and linebackers and are facing one of the top running teams of the league. The playmaking secondary will be lined up against boom or bust receivers and a quarterback who will throw the ball up if pressured (but can also make unbelievable throws). The game will hinge of two things: which one of the teams has a better game plan, and which one will come out with more emotion. Now, I’m really not feeling it right now, so I’ll just give a quick rundown of what the Pack needs to do to win:

The Raja of the Trenches

The Raja Establishes His Dominion

The Raja Establishes His Dominion

To contain the running game and to disrupt the passing game of the New York Giants, B.J. Raji needs to have a big game. Last week, he controlled the line of scrimmage and forced double teams on passing plays (which led to Bishop’s sack). He needs to continue that. If he forces double/triple teams on running plays, Bishop and Hawk need to attack the hole and not sit back, and that will will stop the running game like the Eagles did last week.

The Secondary Cannot Drop Interceptions

Letting the Game Slip Away

Letting the Game Slip Away

Woodson dropped a sure pick, and in two plays the Patriots were in the endzone. This week, Woodson and the secondary can’t afford to drop interceptions. The Giants can run long, grueling drives that eat the clock. Eli Manning will throw one or two up; he doesn’t seem to like getting hit very much. One or two picks will go a long way towards winning the game.

Minimize the Importance of the Trenches

Quick Throws

Short Routes, Quick Throws

This goes primarily for offense. The Packers have an average at best offensive line. Thus, they need to move the battle away from it. Some people are calling for a strong running game. It could happen, sure, but if it doesn’t get going, McCarthy needs to move away from it. Go four/five wides or a 3 wide single back set. Spread out their defensive backs, because they are bad. Quick throws will eat this team up, especially since the secondary is bad at tackling. Long developing routes are not going to work against this team. If you want to go deep, Rodgers will have to wait for a blitz and then check to a four verticles play–that play killed them twice against the Eagles and almost got them a third time. That brings us to another point: there are two ways to play this pass defense: short, quick routes that will minimize the defensive line (but watch out for on the line bat downs; they had five or six last week) or max protecting and letting killing by double moves. I hate the second option; it never works. The Packers just aren’t good at blocking, and the max protect always seems to fall apart. Go for it once or twice, sure, but not too often. Go deep with a simple go route when they blitz. Another thing to note: last week, the Giants blitz heavily across the middle of the field. This might have been because of Vick, but if they do it again, look for Rodgers to completely carve them apart. The middle of the field is where the Packers are best.

The Middle of the Line Must Play Strong

Strong Pocket

College, Sitton, Wells Anchoring the Line

Wells, Sitton, and College must have good games. The center of the line is very strong and have a mean bull rush. Tuck and Umenyiora/Pierre-Paul will beat their men–repeatedly. The center has to be strong against good, strong DTs and give Rodgers a place to step up and step out if he has to.

Take Advantage of Bad Special Teams Play

Go Tramon Go!

Tramon Might Take This the Distance Against the Giants

If Packer fans thought their team had bad special teams, they just have to look at the Giants. They have allowed multiple return for TDs this year, and they consistently give up strong run backs on both punts and kicks. Maybe this is the game Tramon/Sam take one back?

Get Up for the Game

Eyes on the Prize

It's all in the eyes

Last week, McCarthy did some great coaching work against to get these guys up for the game. You just saw it in his eyes and the players’: they wanted that game. He needs to do it again, and he needs to avoid an emotional let down at all costs.

That’s it for this week’s preview. Blame my addiction to Europa Universalis 3 for it’s craptastic quality 😉

Written by AdmiralPrice

December 25, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Posted in Preview

Tagged with , , , , ,

The Curious Case of Mike McCarthy

with 3 comments


McCarthy’s record this season in games decided by seven points or less—not stellar. It’s not a record one can take to the championship. I don’t care anymore that this offense is as potent as any in the league. I don’t care anymore that McCarthy’s game plans devastate opposing defenses. 3-6. That’s all that matters. If the record is 4-4, or even 3-5, the Packers can still win the division. But it’s 3-6, and the question is why. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by AdmiralPrice

December 23, 2010 at 4:26 am

Posted in Analysis

Tagged with , , , ,

How the Packers Can Win Tonight

with 2 comments

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: no way. Fine, I admit it–this is a pretty long shot. Still, the Packers have a chance. A good chance, in fact. If Rodgers were the quarterback, I would pick them to win, but since it’s Flynn, I’ll temper my excitement. Here’s what the Pack needs to do in order to win:

1. Limit the Patriots Offense to Twenty Points

If the Green Bay defense can limit the Patriots to seventeen points or twenty points, the Packers have a really good chance of winning. How can they accomplish this? Only one way: get a good game by Clay Mathews on the edge and B.J. Raji up the middle. He has to be stout against the run and collapse the pocket. Clay will need Brady to get pushed out of the protective pouch. If B.J. can collapse it consistently, Brady will get flushed out. Sure, there’s no one in the league (except maybe for Rodgers) who can stand in the face of immense pressure and deliver a strike. If you do it consistently, however, even the best break. The caveat? If you blitz Brady continuously, he’s going to destroy you. He’ll get the ball into the weak area of the blitz, and Welker is smart enough to be there waiting for him. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by AdmiralPrice

December 19, 2010 at 3:00 am

Posted in Preview

Tagged with , , , ,

Matt Flynn like Derek Anderson? Come on, man!

leave a comment »

Listening to Green and Gold Today introduces one to a lot of insane comments. For example: the Favre cult that keeps calling in pretending to *not* be Favre culters, only to be outed by the Prime Minister for what they are. Or the James Starks Hall of Fame balloters. But perhaps the most inane thing I heard came from an emailer (or was it caller?) who said that Matt Flynn is basically Derek Anderson: a bad QB surrounded by tons of good wide of whom he is unable to take advantage.

Excuse me? What game were you watching?

Before I go on further, allow me to say that I don’t think Matt Flynn played an amazing game. I’m not going to confuse him with Aaron Rodgers any time soon. He doesn’t have as much zip on the ball as Aaron. He doesn’t move as well as Aaron. He isn’t as accurate at Aaron (especially on the deep ball). There’s a reason why he’s a backup. But I judge backups on the following criteria:

1: Can he implement a good game plan? (meaning not baby game plan but an actual NFL one)
2: Can he make the right reads at the line?
3: Can he keep from making egregious mistakes?
4: Can he make a play or two?

After watching his 5 series of the second half multiple times, I can give an unequivocal yes on 1 and 4, a qualified yes on 2, and an unfortunate no. Let’s take a look at each quality: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by AdmiralPrice

December 18, 2010 at 5:42 am