WIN AND KEEP PLAYING.
THE HARD WAY.
The Packers fulfilled them both.
The Green Bay Packers couldn’t have asked for anything else. The game, the season came down to one drive with the ball in Aaron Rodgers’ hands.The second-guessing has already begun in Corruptistan.
And on fourth and 8, Rodgers lofted a 48-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Randall Cobb.
Sam Shields picked off Chicago’s Hail Mary attempt. And the Packers are heading to the playoffs — momentum in hand — with this 33-28 instant classic of a win.
Chicago is a Democrat stronghold. In the words of Nancy Pelosi, embrace the suck. Along with your overcooked pizza cut into pathetic little squares.
The Black and Blue Division has resembled a sheepshead game played for leaster all year, or certainly since Aaron Rodgers was injured in November. In the other game, it doesn't matter whether Minnesota or Detroit ended up holding the blind.
Jay Glazer, the NFL reporter for Fox, said on "Fox NFL Sunday" that two head coaches in the NFC North, Leslie Frazier of the Vikings and Jim Schwartz of the Lions, will be fired by their teams on Monday.For Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp, 'tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.
"Leslie Frazier and the Minnesota Vikings - we told you last week that the window was slightly open," Glazer said. "Well, boom, that window is closed. Tomorrow morning ownership will meet with GM Rick Spielman. Leslie Frazier will be out.
"Jim Schwartz, we knew it was playoffs or bust," Glazer said. "They did not make the playoffs. Ownership will meet about him tomorrow morning. Jim Schwartz will be out."
Coach Joe Philbin of the Dolphins, the former Packers' offensive coordinator, will not be fired, according to Glazer.
Meanwhile, NFL Media reporter Ian Rapoport also said Schwartz will be fired.
“The expectation from inside the building, including from Jim Schwartz I’m told, is that they will be fired," Rapaport said. "I am also told it’s a strong possibility the entire front office could be cleared out there. Some serious dysfunction with the Lions, including the front office bringing in players (and) the coaches simply not using them. By the end of the year, the two sides they weren’t really talking to each other.
Schwartz cannot erase the stain of the last two months. Blowing a gift-wrapped divisional title by blowing six fourth-quarter leads in the last seven games is a bigger organizational embarrassment than going 0-16 five years ago.That's more analysis than the Free Press ever devoted to the death of Yuri Andropov under somewhat suspicious circumstances. But Mr Andropov departed this life the same day Billy Sims took a contract to arbitration, and that's what sells newspapers in Detroit.
That’s the Schwartz legacy.
It’s no longer a question of whether he should be fired, but whether the line at the guillotine should stop at him.
The prevailing wisdom is that Bill Ford Jr. will make the final call. If so, he might sweep a massive broom through the entire front office that could claim president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew as well.
“We can’t worry about decisions that we don’t make,” Schwartz said. “I’d certainly like to be back. I think we have some unfinished business here. We’ve come a long way in these years, but we still have some ground that we can make and I’m anxious to have a chance to be able to do that.”
I asked Schwartz what would be his argument to the Fords for returning for the next-to-last year of his contract, believed to be worth about $12 million. He declined to answer my question, saying he would rather keep that private. But if his case for coming back was the closeness of the losses over the last two months, then that speaks quite loudly about why he should get axed.
Close losses aren’t a badge of honor in the NFL. The games are deliberately engineered toward consistent single-score outcomes. When the inability to finish games turns chronic — as it did with the Lions the last two months — it’s a combination of a team neither talented nor tough enough to make the half-dozen plays every game that distinguish victory from defeat.
That's another Democrat city. Embrace the suck.
In Minnesota, the underachievement of the Vikings is overshadowed by the closure of the Rollerdome, which prompts veteran Minneapolis Star-Tribune pundit Patrick Reusse to have an E-T-T-S moment.
There were empty seats to be found in the Metrodome through the 1990s, even as Dennis Green was coaching the Vikings into the playoffs on a regular basis. Then, in 1998, Randy Moss was drafted. A younger crowd adopted this football outlaw immediately and started to fill the building all the way to its Teflon sky.Yes, a thug team better known for its extracurricular activities on Lake Minnetonka than for any titles, a team which in its later years was a Brett Favre interception at New Orleans away from a Super Bowl, is a team that is going to make even the most committed fan prefer the quiet life.
The Moss crowd proved to be rowdier, fueled by what seemed to be an even greater fondness for mood-altering beverages than their Purple predecessors.
Surprisingly, they also have seemed to enter new seasons with a higher degree of optimism than did we earlier generations of Vikings followers made cynical by four Super Bowl losses.
It is sad to report that those randy fans brought to Vikings' zealotry by Randy are now getting age on them and becoming sedentary.
This was a shameful way for the generations raised in the Metrodome to say goodbye to their stadium. My generation, the Met's generation ... we did ourselves proud on our stadium's last day. We took away everything, including items that had been bolted down.Mr Reusse began his career when Hubert Humphrey carried the Democrat standard in Minnesota. Senator Humphrey gave way to Senator Wellstone who gave way to Senator Franken.
Embrace the suck.