Sunday, January 16, 2011

I'm Naming My Kid Tramon Aaron Winkler

1. My Favorite Season of All-Time - Watching the Packers beat the Falcons by a score of 48-21 on Saturday night would have been satisfying enough, but the fact that it was an alcohol-assisted viewing definitely lead me to speak in nothing but hyperbole during and after the game. I don't think I can be blamed for that. Make no mistake about it - this victory was huge. It was the signature victory in both Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers' careers up to this point, as the sixth-seeded Packers rolled into the home of the top-seeded Falcons and destroyed them in every way possible. The game was close at first, but the Packers exploded for 28 points in the second quarter en route to a victory. This kind of dominating performance led to me say a lot of things that I'm not sure I would say while sober, most specifically when I proclaimed that this current season, no matter what, has already gone down as my favorite season of all time.

As a fan, that's kind of tough to say, because I have already experienced a Super Bowl winning season. There really should be nothing better than that. But at the time, I was only 12. The game still remains clear in my head, and the 1996 season is remembered in parts, but even still, the Packers and therefore those games didn't mean as much to me then as they do now. I know that it's silly for me to care about something this much when I have no control over it, but that comes with the territory when you commit yourself to being a fan of a particular team. Especially one such as the Green Bay Packers. At the age I'm at now, I just feel as if I'm able to enjoy all the ups and downs of a season more than when I was a kid. Especially during this last whirlwind month of Packers football, which has taken me to Boston for the first time, taken me back to Lambeau for an incredible victory over the Giants, and then consecutive must-win games against the Bears, Eagles, and Falcons. Watching these past games with friends and family has only enhanced my experience, and even if we do indeed lose next week, this season will always be an all-time favorite.

2. Rodgers at His Best - Another big reason that I am enjoying the Packers now more than at any other time in my life is that these guys are in the similar demographic as myself, and even though they are way richer, stronger, and faster than I am I feel like I can relate a little bit to them (that sentence kind of makes me sound like I'm a delusional person who thinks that I'm best friends with Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings, but whatever). And even though ProFootballTalk is going out of their way to demonize ARodg (please then read Aaron Nagler's response), I feel that he is the centerpiece for that relationship. Speaking of the man, what a career night he had in Atlanta on Saturday. Despite hearing claims for the first couple of years in his career that he wasn't clutch, Rodgers went out and had one of the best postseason performances by a quarterback of all-time. The kid went 31 for 36 with 366 yards and three passing touchdowns, adding another TD on the ground. His ten passing touchdowns in his first three postseason games is an NFL record, and his performance clearly puts him in the class of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees. Interestingly enough, Rodgers is the only one of those quarterbacks still playing in the tournament.

3. It Was Tramon-dous - Despite my love of Rodgers, Tramon will be the first name of my first born mainly because of how ridiculous I think "Tramon Winkler" would sound. But also because he's insanely awesome. Undrafted out of college, Tramon Williams is now one of the game's premier cornerbacks, coming up with not one but two big interceptions against Atlanta. This, coming after a huge interception in the game against the Eagles. In Atlanta, Tramon not only picked off Matt Ryan in the end zone to stop a key drive, but his interception and then return for a touchdown at the end of the first half is now one of the best playoff moments in Packers history. His play was the highlight, but the defense as a whole played another phenomenal game. Matt Ryan had less than 200 yards passing, Michael Turner ended the game with just 39 yards, the Packers had four turnovers, four sacks, and defensive stud B.J. Raji even looked good in his limited role in the goal line offense. Just an all around dominating game on both sides of the ball.

4. Thompson Not Getting Enough Love - Funny how quickly the hate regarding Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson has died over the years. For those keeping score at home, Thompson has built a team that is going to it's second NFC Championship Game in four years. And for the most part, these are all his guys. Rodgers, Starks, Jennings, Jones, Nelson, Kuhn, Peprah, Hawk, Matthews, Bishop, Woodson, Raji, and countless others are all guys that are making an impact this postseason that are in Green Bay because of our silver fox of a hero. Yeah, he's signed a few losers over the years (what's up Adrian Klemm?), but there's no doubt about the fact that Thompson has built a championship quality team.

5. This is Like Brewers/Cubs For a Trip to the World Series. Only Way Bigger - So this is it. The NFC Championship Game, between the two teams that have met more in history than any other combination of teams. And yet, this is just their second postseason meeting, and the first since the week after Pearl Harbor happened. So yeah, it's been awhile. Let me tell you, I've already talked about this being my favorite season of all-time, but that would take a huge step backward if we lost to the Bears with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. I mean, that's pretty much unimaginable at this point. Losing the game would be bad enough, but I'd rather not have to deal with Bears fans after the fact, as I'm sure they'd rather not have to deal with us if the Packers won.

Last week I said that I was starting to feel a little too good about this Packers team, and that their path to the Super Bowl was going to be achieved. I was confident all week heading into the Falcons game, and overall I'm still confident about this team heading into Chicago. My gut feeling right now says that we'll win next week but then lose in the Super Bowl, although because it's Chicago I'm growing a bit more worrisome that we won't even get our chance in Dallas. Based on the two teams' performances this weekend, I think that the Packers are clearly the better team. The Packers went into Atlanta and crushed them, while the Bears were at home against a Seahawks team that barely even tried to win. The only thing is that the Bears are the luckiest team in the league, and if they do manage to win next weekend it will be because of something stupid (i.e. the 18 Packers penalties in their first meeting this season). Last time the Bears beat the Packers, I quit my blog for awhile, so let's hope it doesn't come to that again. Green Bay versus Chicago with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. It doesn't get much bigger than that.


Anonymous said...

does anybody proofread these things? just a once over maybe? no?

Winks said...

I found that I wrote "kind" instead of "kid". Still, one error is one too many. Thanks for helping me spot that.

Anonymous said...

Florio is a football genius. He went 0-4 on his divisonal picks....

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