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Opinion

Packers’ fantastic start seems uncanny to many fans

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November 1, 2007

A year has begun in which we can all breathe somewhat of a sigh of relief. The Green Bay Packers have started the season with almost a flawless record, and it seems to be an extraordinary occurrence.

So far the Pack have beaten off the Eagles, Giants, Chargers, Vikings (thank God), the Redskins, and lost, sadly to the Bears. On Monday night they beat the Broncos in over time with Favre releasing an 82-yard touchdown pass.

It seems to be that despite the fact that for the years since they won their last Super Bowl the Pack have been looked over, they somehow have found a way to prove all of those over-lookers wrong. What could possibly be attributing to this winning record?

Favre, still got it after all the years He was set to retire now for the past couple of years, but every year he has decided that he cannot take off his cleats and shoulder pads for the last time just yet.

Last season he came close to beating almost every quarterback record that was set, most by Dan Marino. Coming back this season allowed him to break more. Recently Favre stole number one for career touchdown passes at the Metrodome Sept. 30 and earned the top spot with 422. A completed strike to Greg Jennings created the perfect 421st touchdown pass by Favre.

Not only is Favre the best in these categories he also within the top five in many other areas too. He is the NFL’s only three-time MVP (‘95-’97), number one for wins by a starting quarterback, career passing attempts and only number two for career passing yards.

Another factoid to take home is that the Packers have only had one starting quarterback since 1992, while the only other team that comes close to that within the last fifteen years is Houston with four. Yes, he is 38 years old, and yes, he has gray hair, yet, he is still one of the best, Lambeau wouldn’t be the same without his smiling face for the last fifteen years. The one thing that seems to have kept the Packers together for the past couple of awful seasons was the one and only number four. While they have had four different coaches since 1992, one thing remains the same; Favre is the glue of the green and gold.

Offense, it’s actually doing its job While you have Mr. Favre at the helm of this incredible season, he also has a great offense this year that is kind of actually doing its job. With the loss of used-to-be excellent running back, Ahman Green, the Pack has a variety of new blood on the field this year including four rookies on the first and second offensive teams, and the offense is ranked tenth in the NFC. Rookies, however, are not the ones getting the job done, the veterans are finally taking over the field in true vet style.

With the exception of guard Daryn Colledge and running back DeShawn Wynn, who is now out for the season, all of the offensive players on the first team have three or more years of experience. The significance of this figure is the simple camaraderie of the team. Since they have been playing with Favre for so long, they all know each other well enough to work in sync to complete the plays. Many teams out there right now are full of rookies or trades and have not had five, eight, or fifteen seasons under their belt, with the same quarterback.

This is a prime example of the tradition of the Packers; they are very simple, down-toearth players that make up a family, not just a high-paid team of divas.

Defense needs a lot of work The shining star of the defense is Al Harris, as he was last year, and the year before that. But coming out of the woodwork is Nick Barnett. While Barnett is a bit of a rotten tomato, he gets the job done. Named defensive player of the week for the Sept. 23 game for seven tackles and an interception returned for forty yards setting up a quick touchdown for the Pack.

Not only has Barnett done well this season, but Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila as well as Aaron Kampman are have both had over five sacks this season, and it’s only week eight.

Injuries plague Packers every year For the past, oh I don’t know, four years, Green Bay has had one word that they have been constantly associated with: injuries.

Player after player has been down and out leaving the rest of the squad in dire need of help. In week eight alone there were twelve on the injured list, at least four more than any other team in the league. And while many teams are losing players that really aren’t necessarily beneficial to the win that week, the Pack are continuously losing key players like Bubba Franks, and a questionable Al Harris or DeShawn Wynn. Last year Ahman

Green was out more times than a Viking was in jail.

The one thing they need to overcome to have a truly successful season is injuries because when it is playoff time, they are going to need all of their key starters.

Nothing better than a Packer fan Fans are the driven force behind the success of Green Bay. Lambeau field is practically a national monument housing the beautiful, flourishing pastime that Vince Lombardi created. And walking into the stadium, or more so just the entrance to the newly-refurbished stadium, you feel like you are in the most glorious place on earth.

Knowing full well that this is probably Favre’s last year and that he is going to break many more records, fans seem to have become more spirited than in years past, although who could blame them?

With such a beautiful, rich tradition of familystyle football the fans seem to be some of the best fans in the league. Fans of Green Bay sometimes wait their entire lives to see just one game at Lambeau or anywhere else for that matter. While every fan is a true fan, and nothing will stand but the best, these fans are some of the nicest people in the U.S.

I have found that many Packers fans are just more pleasant to be around than a lot of other fans, and while, yes, they can most certainly throw just more than a few back, they also are some of the greatest people you will ever meet.

Besides the fact that the team is performing well because of the players, you have to think that part of the reason for the success is the spirit that fills not only the plastic green and yellow seats at Lambeau, but the plastic seats at away games too.

Finally, the outlook is promising For years, people have hoped to see Favre play one more season, and each time, he does. But if he takes the team all the way, then it might finally be time to hang up the ol’ number four.

The Pack have been playing consistently well and are ranked fourth in the NFL right now. If they keep up their positive momentum, they could very well add another Super Bowl to the count. In order to do this they would have to take down the Colts, Patriots, or the Cowboys, or all three. These teams, especially the Patriots, have been basically indestructible for the last five years. The biggest thing to focus on is the here and now, but they also need to be prepared for the Patriots who are 8-0 right now and have won three of the last five Super Bowls. In the regular season their toughest competition will be the Cowboys Nov. 29, but they can’t forget that they have to win their division first and foremost.

Now is their chance, they are truly a contender for the bowl, and hopefully they can stay that way.

Lauren Bennett is a student at UW-River Falls.