Ask An Angel: The Inaugural Edition
The Pocket Doppler Angels group is made up of the women that contribute to PocketDoppler.com, the moniker in homage to Charlie’s Angels. Individually and combined this group is as knowledgeable about the Packers, football & sports as anyone out there. Every other week they’ll answer your submitted questions on the Packers, football or other topics submitted. Feel free to submit non-Packers/football questions as well. Colleen would love to talk NASCAR with you, Kelly & Anita are ready to discuss the Badgers and college football, Amanda or Paige can regale you with their MLB & baseball knowledge or Jayme will explain to you why soccer is not just a European sport. To submit your question today, click here.
Ryan asks: Who takes over at LT when Clifton gets hurt this season? Does Lang slide over? Sherrod perhaps? Maybe Bulaga? And what does that injury do to our offense’s playcalling?
Colleen Answers – Well, Ryan, I presume you asked this question before seeing Bulaga carted off the field in Chicago, but it is something I had been pondering. I figured Cliffy would be the one we would have to worry about first. Now, depending on how long Bulaga is out, we really may have a problem. Clifton has a history of injuries (and to his credit, often playing through it well). Bulaga is young and may bounce back quickly, but knees are always nasty injuries in football, and bringing him back too soon would be foolhardy.
So. Our options are really somewhat limited, in my “angelic” opinion. I would sooner play LT myself than let Sherrod do it at this point. He scares the hell out of me. I have to believe, as MM says, he’ll get better, but he’s not there yet. Obviously Newhouse has already begun to fill in for Bulaga, so he’s out. Lang is doing “okay” at his current position and though he’s listed as playing tackle or guard, I think the last thing we need is another guy not getting to play his position consistently long enough to prove he’s good at it because he’s jumping around to wherever someone is out. There really doesn’t seem to be someone else that can fill in well should Bulaga continue to be out and Clifton gets hurt as well. Which is why the Packers worked out Tony Moll this week. I would say they need to bring someone in. I’m not sure who is the right answer, but (in the interest of full disclosure) Tony and I are both Nevada alumni and I hope he gets another shot. Long answer long, I don’t think the Packers can fill this in house.
Short-term, I think it changes the playcalling slightly as it seemed to me happened in Chicago. Long-term, it doesn’t. MM is a stubborn mule, and his game plan is his game plan.
Brad asks: How did each of you come to be a football fan?
The group answers:
Anita – I was a little kid in New York, where I was born, and my family were all Jets and Giants fans. I think the exact moment was while watching the Super Bowl, asking what was going on, and deciding that I didn’t like the Dallas Cowboys, and I DID like the team that was playing against them, which was the Miami Dolphins. They had cool uniforms. And I liked Flipper. They had Flipper on their helmets. My relatives were horrified. Not about hating the Cowboys, since that was standard in Poughkeepsie, NY, but the Dolphins? How could I not root for Joe Namath? I asked for a Bob Griese jersey. The following year, the Dolphins went 17-0. I figured I had made the right decision. I also decided then that I detested the Minnesota Vikings, since the Fins played them in the Super Bowl, too. It would serve me well in the future.
A couple years later, we moved from New York to the Midwest. My mother tried to soothe my hurt feelings by saying “You’ll love it. There’s a football team in Wisconsin. You can watch them every week. They’re pretty good.” Unfortunately, Mom was under the delusion that Vince Lombardi was still in town instead of Bart Starr. Or she thought he was just as good a coach as he was a QB. I began watching the pitiful excuse for football and developing a kinship to them. How could you not like these sad sacks? They had a guy named EZRA on the team! How cool was that? I asked for a David Whitehurst jersey. It didn’t have the same “luck” for his team as the year I asked for a Griese jersey. I realized that my new friends and neighbors in Burlington were a little obsessive about the Packers. I went over to a friend’s house and watched her dad lose his mind every Sunday, yelling at the TV. It rubbed off. I became indoctrinated. The only Miami Dolphins swag I’ve own since was a Dan Marino jersey in 1984. He was a paisan. I had to do it. But, I was a Packers fan. For life. And when I moved away from Wisconsin, it did not go away. That happens when you move to a place where they play the Super Bowl Shuffle on the radio every five minutes and Bear fans laugh in your face when you tell them who your favorite team is. Oh, and you best believe that I got my revenge. It was called the mid-1990′s.
Amanda – I don’t remember a definitive moment where I became a Packers fan. I grew up with it. My dad has been a huge Packers fan ever since I could remember (he even converted my Mom!), and I have two brothers.
Football was a big thing in my house. On Sundays, I had no choice but to watch the game–and I’m not complaining! I began to develop a passion for the sport with eaching passing year. In high school, I watched game tape with my boyfriend at the time and his friends which allowed me to pick up on the strategy of the game even more than before. When I went off to college, I attracted Viking and Bears fans.
Even when my team couldn’t perform at the top, I made sure my rival friends knew I could join in the conversation with the best.
Colleen – I really don’t remember not being a football fan. I wanted to play football (and did play flag football in grade school), and was very disappointed to realize that wasn’t going to happen long-term. My Dad loved football. Every Sunday the TV the game was on (granted, we only got one channel out in podunk Nevada, but still…) and every Monday I would listen to Dandy Don Meredith sing at the end of the game. For those of you not young enough to remember, this is when MNF did NOT suck and “this guy” was in diapers. Although our preferred team was always the Packers, in the 70′s and 80′s they were so awful, it was very rare my Dad and I got to watch them. So, while I admit to having a Dallas Cowboys shirt in 4th grade (ARGH), I probably watched the Denver Broncos the most…and liked them…until John Elway lost the big game one too many times. Yes, I hated John Elway long before that Super Bowl loss, but trust me, that one cemented my opinion of him. I always waited for the Packers to come back to glory though. Finally, it happened!
Paige – I became a football fan because of my Dad. He, my Mom, and I went to many South Dakota State football games while I was growing up. We were also Vikings fans until Denny Green came along.
Kelly – What, you mean there was an option to not like football even though I grew up in Green Bay? Actually, all my neighbors were boys. It was either play football or do nothing at all. And since I was a good head tall than the boys when I was nine, I was a pretty decent receiver and could throw as long as we played with nerf football because my hands to this day are still to small to properly palm a regulation football.
Jayme – In my family, its just what you did. I don’t remember a weekend growing up when my house wasn’t filled with friends and family cheering (and back then mostly screaming or crying) for the Packers. We were all sports. My parent’s still blame me for crying during game seven of the 1982 World Series and causing the Brewers to lose. My parents were pretty dedicated Packers fans, but I took it to a whole new level. After the 95 season I started saving every post game article from the Journal Sentinel. By 2000, I had quite the filing system. I’d like to think that I would have become a fan either way, but without my family’s dedication and the way that watching the games was really integrated into all family events, I’m not sure.
Britten asks: Who will be the Packers stand out performer this year?
Lauren Answers – This answer will be a two-fold, so bear with me. Not the Chicago Bears, who somehow are still a football team.
It’s really going to come down to who can stay healthy and still perform at the level expected. Rodgers and Jennings are expected to perform at a certain level, have proven themselves and hit that point every week. This is why, time and time again, analysts gloss over their performances, even when the stats prove otherwise.
If healthy, Finley is going to be one of the stand out performers this year. He needs to be able to play all 16 games, but if he can accomplish that, he’s going to change the tight end position. During the Chicago game, J-Mike caught seven passes for 85 yards and scored three touchdowns. His athleticism, speed and body type are not typical of a TE, but it shows his versatility in playing. The only way I can see him even being stopped if he’s on a clean route is to put a safety to cover him up top. You can try to put a corner on him, but most don’t have the height or vertical.
Second player I’d say is going to be a stand-out is Randall Cobb. It might surprise most, since I wasn’t impressed with his training camp play and how he hit the ground more than he attempted to run. I also had issues with saying how great he was before we even saw him in a professional game and pads.
I can admit I was wrong not only about his play, but about his enthusiasm too. In only that he has the desire, speed and skill to be a great player. I like this guy as well because he seems visibly upset when he only gets a touchback, and wants to prove himself on every run he does. That’s a guy who is committed to not only his team, but the game and his position as well. I think if he slows down and works on fine-tuning his mental game, it will go hand and hand with the physical.
Franklin asks: When the temp drops below zero at Lambeau, how many layers of long underwear does the typical Angel wear?
The group answers:
Anita – I was at the 2007 Packers/Bears game at Soldier Field. It was the coldest I had ever been in my LIFE. I wore one layer of long johns, a pair of jeans, a turtleneck, a hoodie and a parka. Also ski socks and fur lined boots. My butt was numb before I had even climbed into my seat, since Soldier Field parking is the world’s biggest joke, and I was stuck parking on Wacker Dr. and WALKING to the stadium. But, I found that a fleecy Biederlack throw blanket is the best defense against the cold. I wrapped it around me and sat on it and refused to move for the rest of the game. Also, my fuzzy Packer Santa hat was warmer than any knit cap I could have worn. The Bears Still Suck and their fans are worse.
Amanda – Keeping warm isn’t nearly as difficult as everyone makes it out to be. There are three main steps I take to keep myself warm at the below zero games.
1. Have at least two layers of long underwear–on top and bottom!
2. Strategically place the handwarmers underneath your multiple layers of clothing, inside your gloves and inside your boots.
3. A little liquid warmth can go a long way (Hot chocolate or a delicious brewski).
Paige - In my reporting days I would typically take a couple laps around Lambeau before the game started. At the NFC Championship game in 2008 it was two below. I had on two pairs of long underwear, a pair of wool pants, three shirts, a sweater, a wool coat, two pairs of gloves, and a hat. I still froze my butt off.
Kelly – This Angel doesn’t wear long underwear. Hated them as a kid. Hate them even more now. I don’t care if you rebrand tham as a “base layer” they are still nasty long bunders even if they have a little spandex in them. Let’s face it, women’s pants weren’t designed to for another set of pants under them. Hate how they feel. Would rather have a good pair of socks, a hat and a scarf. Heck, would rather have a fleece blanket than wear a pair of long unders.
Jayme – It all starts with the hand warmers. Without them, I don’t know how I would ever survive. Put them in your shoes, in your gloves, in your pants, anywhere. Then, for me, its really all about the tights. I like mine to be colorful. And lastly, the only things that can keep your really warm at Lambeau, the Packers winning and free flowing Miller Lite. You can wear as many layers as you want, but without those two, you will be cold.
Mark asks: With the loss of Nick Collins who do you see stepping up in the secondary? Do you see Ted signing a safety off a practice squad?
Paige Answers - At this point I don’t think Ted Thompson will sign a safety off a practice squad. The Packers defense did a good job versus the Bears in keeping them one-dimensional and forcing Chicago to pass. I think the secondary as a whole has to step up. The leadership obviously comes from Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson, but they need Sam Shields to use his athleticism smartly and for consistent Charlie Peprah to take some chances like Nick Collins did.
And that will do it for this first edition of Ask An Angel. If you’d like to get your question answered for the next editon, go here and submit your question.