Hey, the Pro Bowl is on this week. Chance of me watching? Slim to none. There are no Packers participating, but I can certainly handle the reason why!

Hell yeah! Our boys are busy this week. Later, Hawaii!

Now the fun starts. And maybe some silliness. The media frenzy during the Super Bowl is always set to eleven, but in the Twitter/camera phone/blogging era? Even more so.

Let’s use “Photogate” as an example. This week, the Packers had a “mini-controversy” regarding the team’s decision to take the Super Bowl team photo on Tuesday in Dallas, but not bring the 15 guys who are currently on Injured Reserve, into Big D until Thursday, thus not including them in the photo. This caused some hurt feelings among the IR guys. I can’t really blame them. I can’t imagine the conflicting feelings spinning in the heads of Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley, Nick Barnett, Brandon Chillar, and the rest of the guys, who were hurt while playing for this team during the season and now must sit and watch as their teammates fulfill a lifelong dream of playing in a Super Bowl. While they are excited for their team and their teammates, not suiting up and getting to take the field must be killing them inside.

The controversy went viral when Barnett and Finley took their feelings to their Twitter accounts. Both Finley and Barnett are the most active users of Twitter among the Packers. Barnett alone has over 340,000 followers. He’s a big Twitter guy, and his Tweets are genuinely hilarious, bordering on too much information at times ( the dude Tweets about his bodily functions ). He Tweeted from the labor room of a Green Bay hospital when his third child was on his way in November. It was like a play by play until his wife actually began pushing. Then he wisely stopped communication until his son was born. His wife must have the patience of a saint. Finley and his wife Courtney are like tag team Tweeters.  They hilariously banter back and forth about who’s watching the kid, what they’re having for dinner, and who’s life is crazier, and we all get to read it. They crack me up on a daily basis.

The Tweets from Finley and Barnett were not angry. They were disappointed. They felt they were being swept aside, and from the reaction from fans, it seemed that we agreed with them for the most part. I wanted to see them in the photo, too. Part of the identity of this team is the fact that they lost such big names to IR this season, and overcame that. They lost starters. BIG names. Finley and Grant are high profile offensive starters, and even though their young replacements have done a good job, they are definitely missed.  The big story this year is that the Packers are in the freaking Super Bowl DESPITE the injuries. It’s a testament to Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy and every guy on the team who has stepped up when they needed them to. The guys on IR are part of the “story” of the 2010 season. Include them in the photo.

On Wednesday, the “controversy” ended. The Packers announced that the team photo was moved to Friday, enabling the IR players to take part. Done deal. Mike McCarthy talked about it in his Thursday presser. McCarthy said that his two captains, Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson, approached him and they talked about the situation and the decision was made to reschedule the photo. Whether the fan reaction had anything to do with it, or they just realized that they need to end this before something rather silly and minor became something major, it doesn’t matter. They did the right thing.

Chris covered the situation yesterday in his Pocket Doppler blog entry, Less Than Picture Perfect . I love the interpretations of Mike McCarthy’s comments from Chris and the commentators! Especially Wally:

“As I listened to McCarthy’s presser this morning, the thought came to me was a parent saying to a child, ‘OK, you threw a tantrum in the store so I got you that toy to shut you up, but there will be a consequence once we get home’.”

The Power of Twitter. At first I resisted the urge to join. I thought Facebook was enough of a time suck, and there was NO WAY I was adding Twitter to my repertoire. I can’t remember what finally convinced me to give it a try, but once I did, I was hooked. I use it primarily for my sports addiction. Most of my Tweets are sarcastic one liners about the Packers ( primarily ), with the Cubs, Brewers, Red Wings and Notre Dame sprinkled throughout. I also comment on pop culture once in awhile. Most of the people I follow are sports related. Fans, reporters, and members of my teams who Tweet.  It’s fun and believe me, the biggest thrill I’ve ever had was THIS:

AaronRodgers12 Aaron Rodgers
@ Chezhdchick I think it was a 4X. Definitely wore prince’s pants. Prince also said his kid looks like tausch.

Yes, Aaron Rodgers Tweeted at me when I asked him if Mark Tauscher borrowed one of Prince Fielders triple XL, extra baggy uniforms the day that he and Rodgers took batting practice before the game at Miller Park.  Rodgers can’t resist poking fun at a teammate and answered me. I saved it in my “favorites” folder on Twitter. DUH!

Also, I wouldn’t be blogging at Pocket Doppler if it weren’t for my rapier wit on Twitter.  Wink, wink. ( Rapier. Should I use that word the week before playing Ben Rapistberger ,…..I mean Roethlisberger? )

Twitter has become quite popular with athletes, which also leads to controversy at times. Teams have instituted “no Tweet Zones,” to keep their athletes focused and under control. Sometimes, their Tweets causes controversy.  Look at the fallout of the Jay Cutler situation, where actual players, members of Cutler’s own fraternity, Tweeted their opinions of his performance (or lack thereof ) on Sunday. It was a little surprising, because players tend to stick together in times like that, but having access to such a medium, and having constant access to your smartphone, lends itself to gut reaction Tweets that you wish you could take back as soon as you hit “send.” Athletes have to be even more careful of their conduct on and off the field. Go out to a night club and have a few drinks? Go out to dinner with an actress? Some random dumbass with a camera phone is going to take your picture and post it on Twitter, where it it passed around even more quickly than Facebook.

As I commented on Chris’ blog entry, Twitter is another example of the intelligence of Rodgers. He stopped Tweeting during training camp. His roommate, Brett Goode, said that Rodgers does not tweet during the season. Looking at how Finley and Barnett’s words on Twitter blew up to be a distraction and the aforementioned Cutler situation, you can see that Rodgers decision to step away from his public Twitter during the season was the correct thing to do….as much as we all miss his movie quotes and him making fun of his teammates ( Clay Matthews being a frequent target of QB1′s teasing Twitter comments ).

Enjoy the extra week off. The Pro Bowl is on. Big deal. No Packers are playing in it, but I certainly hope that Julius Peppers ( fined a paltry $10,000 for his cheap helmet-to-helmet hit on Rodgers Sunday. I’m sure he makes that in the amount of time it takes to pull on his jockstrap before a game ) and Brian Urlacher (“I hope the Steelers pound the Packers.” Nice that you’re rooting against your own conference, ya douchebag ) have a good time in Hawaii, playing with all the rest of the guys who AREN’T playing in Dallas next Sunday.

Did I mention that my birthday is Super Bowl Sunday? ( Yes, yes I did. Last week )  Hellava present, isn’t it?

Teach me how to Raji!

 

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  • foundinidaho

    You’re going to get a great birthday present! :)

    Well said – yes, I’m sure the guys could have handled it differently or better but you could tell they were just plain disappointed. And I couldn’t blame them a bit.

  • Ceallaigh_k

    LOVE the crap Rodgers gave Matthews on twitter this summer. Needless to say after Clay tweeted that his hotel room got flipped and he was at defcon 5 mad before a game, I had to tweet back, Does your QB1 have a solid alibi?

    Because, seriously, who else would have the stones (or stupidity) to pull off that prank.

    But you’re right, not everything needs to be on twitter. Dirty laundry is one of those things. I swear there should be pop up,”Are you sure you want the world to read this” warning before it finally flies.

  • Anita

    Hah! I remember CM3′s hoppin’ mad Tweets regarding the trashing of his room, and the first person that popped into my mind (as well) was Rodgers. He’s probably one of the only players that Clay knows he can’t touch without repercussions from the head coach.

    While Twitter is FUN, it also has its drawbacks. People are very brave when they’re hiding behind a keyboard and players get hate Tweets from opposing fans, as well (“I hope Julius Peppers/Jared Allen breaks your legs”). Plus, there are the fans who Tweet at them like they know them personally (every day, multiple times a day). I’m sure it gets tiresome, as well. It was probably a smart thing for Rodgers to do by not Tweeting during the season. I wonder if he’ll pick it back up after next week. Kinda miss the Heavyweights and Princess Bride quotes!

  • Ceallaigh_k

    One of funnier frequent flyer twitterers (twits, tweets, one who tweets, etc???) that posts on QB1′s account everyday at times can comes across creepy, but at others sounds like she’s about 16. She did have a funny zinger (sorry, can’t remember her name for the life of me):

    I’m not stalking you, but you’re out of orange juice.

    But yeah, the assumed familiarity tends to breed stalker types as it does the Dick4′s that think they can bully anyone.