Congratulations Green Bay Packers – you are going to the Super Bowl! In a very close game of “epic” proportions, the Packers beat the Chicago Bears 21-14. This is the first time since 1998 that Green Bay will appear in the Super Bowl and its fourth appearance – in case you’re not familiar with their record, they won Super Bowls I, II, and XXXVI, and lost in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers led the Packers offense early on to a 14-o lead in the first half, but was unable to get much going in the second half. Chicago, however, started scoring, earning its first seven points shortly after the start of the fourth quarter.
It’s pretty unbelievable, but the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears will battle each other for the title of NFC Champion this coming Sunday, January 23, 2011. With a legendary rivalry between the two teams, the contest will be nothing short of epic. The only time the two played against each other in the postseason was in 1941 (back before the days of the NFC and the Super Bowl).
Being a Packers fan, I am obviously hoping they win and go on to win the Super Bowl. They have had some struggles, but the team has really gained momentum in the past few weeks. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has really grown as a top-tier professional in the three years since taking the starting position. Coach Mike McCarthy is making great calls and changing it up for his players. Linebacker Clay Matthews and Cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams are disrupting the opposing teams’ offenses and causing turnovers. Wide receivers Donald Driver and Greg Jennings are playing at the top of their games. Running back James Starks and Fullback John Kuhn have really taken the running game beyond outstanding. Overall, there are many great players on the team this year that have stepped up to make it a Super Bowl caliber team.
It will not be an easy battle. The Bears also have many great players and have just as good a chance of winning. The media is calling it epic, legendary, and whatever else they can think of. I personally think that it will be generally a great game to watch.
Okay, my last post (from a couple of months ago) stated that Favre had retired. It turns out that he did sign with the Minnesota Vikings. Although I am not a Vikings fan, I still think he is the greatest quarterback that ever lived. Part of me hopes he does well, and part of me would like to see the team lose. Either way, it is what it is, and we Packers fans have to live with it.
According to ESPN, former Green Bay Packers and New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre will remain retired. Word was that the Minnesota Vikings and he were discussing his possible return to the NFL after retiring last year from his one season in New York.
Favre recently underwent surgery to repair a torn biceps tendon, but his legs and ankles continue to bother him. As he stated in the ESPN article, “The things that bothered me, bothered me a little more. It takes longer to recover — if you do recover.” Personally, I don’t blame him.
Alberto Contador, Team Astana and Lance’s teammate, won today’s Le Tour de France stage and finished a couple of minutes ahead of yesterday’s leaders (Nocentini and Hincapie), which puts him in the yellow jersey (“maillot jaune” if you speak French). Today, Alberto leads on two levels: stage win and is now in first overall.
The peloton was about a minute behind the leader when it started the climb. Astana played it cool and kept its pace heading into the climb. When it started into the climb, Lance and Alberto paced it well, allowing Alberto to attack up the mountain. Once he started, there was no slowing down – Contador flew up Verbier – all, of course, on his new Trek Madone.
I’m a Lance Armstrong fan. Anyone that can represent the United States and win the most grueling sport’s greatest race after battling cancer and facing all of the false allegations about doping is worthy of having fans. Being a cyclist, I was very excited when I heard he was coming back – more so than when Brett Favre came out of retirement last year to play for the Jets (hey, I’m a Packers fan first).
There is a lot of great talent on Lance’s team, Team Astana, as well as in the Tour overall. But I’m really rooting for Lance. He’s definitely a true American, and he’s showing that even Americans can handle the pure athleticism of the sport of cycling. I’m sure that this will not be my only post on his progress.
The Lambeau Leap turned 15 years old on December 26. This recent tradition has become a legendary expectation of all Packers that score a touchdown at Lambeau Field. Even former Packers Quarterback Brett Favre (in his last season with Green Bay) and current Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (in his first regular season start) have leaped into the arms of excited fans.
Thanks to defensive Safety Leroy Butler, the first Lambeau Leap is now the stuff of legend. I think the Lambeau Leap is one of the coolest end zone celebrations in history. When a player jumps into the stands, it brings the fans and players together in a celebration of a great feat. It’s a celebration of the sport with those that love it. Many fans have commented on how much fun it is. So thank you Leroy Butler for inventing one of the greatest moves in football.