Packers maybe only NFL team that could do what they did

Maybe it was just fate, maybe it was luck, maybe it was just one great reason to praise general manager Ted Thompson for adding so much depth to the team, but I’ll be the first to admit that I was starting to worry when I heard cornerback Charles Woodson would not be playing the second half because he had a broken collarbone.

With Woodson out, Donald Driver out and Sam Shields out, the Packers still managed to have a prolific offense and a tough defense that they needed to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday’s Super Bowl game.

When you think about it, the Packers might have been the only team in the NFL that could have done that in that game.

After the game all of the players, such as AJ Hawk, talked about facing adversity all season with 16 player on injured reserve – a lot of them were starters at the beginning of the season.

Throughout the season, the Packers have overcome that adversity and found a whole lot of depth that was able to make up a Super Bowl-winning team.

They would be the only NFL team capable of doing what they did Sunday.

The Steelers couldn’t have done that. That’s for sure. Losing Donald Driver for the Packers is like the Steelers losing Hines Ward or Mike Wallace. Losing Sam Shields is like losing Ike Taylor for the Steelers. Losing Charles Woodson is like losing Troy Polamalu for the Steelers.

If those players would have been out for the Steelers, the Steelers would be written off.

It’s amazing.

The Packers can lose their biggest difference maker on defense, one of their best man-to-man cover corners, and their toughest and maybe best wide receiver on offense, and still win the Super Bowl.

I wonder how many of you thought the Packers would fold without Woodson? Comment!

The Packers did it. I love it. As a life-long Packer fan, I’ll admit, I went insane in my dorm room last night. Well worth it.

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Super Bowl prediction from Dallas

The most anticipated game of the season is just two days away (Sunday) and I think it’s about time that I said all that I need to say about the upcoming Super Bowl game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers.

Before I get started, I must let you know that I am going to try to make this pick without any sort of bias whatsoever. I want to be fair to the Steelers, as most Packer fans wont be.

There have been many story lines this week – Super Bowl Week – including “Pouncey’s leg,” “Roethlisberger’s late-night antics,” and “Driver’s chance.” I know I am missing some, but I want to use some of these story lines, and a lot of the most talked about match-ups in the Super Bowl to help me make my pick.

WARNING: I will mention things that I don’t think will have an effect on the game simply because other people think they will.

Pouncey’s Leg

If he can play, then he should play. But if he doesn’t play, don’t think twice about it because I sure wont. No matter who is lining up at center for the Steelers, it wont matter in the long run.

Yes, the center position is an important position, especially going up against the Packers’ BJ Raji, but losing one player from the line – even a rookie – doesn’t mean enough to sway my pick one way or another.

Rodgers vs. Roethlisberger

Has there been a more talked about script than this one all week? I don’t think so. Both quarterbacks come into this game as two of the top in the league.

Roethlisberger has the Super Bowl experience and Rodgers doesn’t; however, Rodgers, not Roethlisberger has been the hotter quarterback in the playoffs and at the end of the season. Even Roethlisberger admitted it at Super Bowl Media Day:

REPORTER: “Who is the hotter quarterback right now, Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger?”

BEN: “Aaron Rodgers.”

Yes, he doesn’t want to seem full of himself, but he did admit it. And I think a lot of people would agree. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think one can single-handedly beat the other like, say, Michael Vick could single-handedly do to somebody else.

The Experience Card

This card has been played by about 99.9 percent of the ESPN NFL analysts, and I’m frankly getting sick and tired of hearing it.

Do we have to look at last year’s Super Bowl, which the experts have seem to all but forgotten about? Saints vs. Colts: Peyton Manning has a ton of playoff and Super Bowl experience, while Drew Brees doesn’t have hardly a smudge of playoff experience alone.

It doesn’t just apply to the quarterbacks either. The whole Saints team had hardly ever seen a playoff game before, while the vast majority of Colts players were used to it – a big chunk of them played in the Super Bowl against the Bears.

It’s something worth righting about because of the discrepancy – Pittsburgh = some odd 25 players, Green Bay = a solid 2 – but it’s not something that is going to affect the game. Maybe the first few minutes, but not much later than that.

Running the Ball

I will readily admit right now that there are much better odds that Rashad Mendenhall has a better game on the ground than James Starks. That would set up for an advantage Steelers, but it all depends on how much more successful he is.

Is he going to run for 100+ against the Packers’ defense? No. Is he going to get to 50 yards? Sure, maybe. But maybe even more important than the amount of yards Mendenhall and Starks gain is the amount of short yards they gain. It’s the 3rd-and-1 and 2nd-and-4 that both teams will encounter that will make the difference.

The wild card here then is John Kuhn – former Steelers’ scout-teamer and current Packers’ fullback.

Last Year’s Pick

Let us all take some time to remember my pick from last year: Saint 31, Colts 28. The Saints did end up winning, and the score was very similar to what I had picked. Maybe it gives me some credibility, maybe not. That’s up for you to decide. Either way, I’m 1-0 since starting this blog.

Defensive Backs

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my ultimate difference makers in this game: the secondaries.

I’m pretty confident in the the Packers’ secondary at the moment because I think they are solid all around. And then on the Steelers side a lot of people worry about Troy Polamalu, as they should.

However, I wonder how the Steelers will fair when the Packers’ use their four and five wide receiver sets to spread out the Steelers linebackers and secondary. Polamalu might have to face guard one of the receivers if the linebackers aren’t cutting it.

Even so, is the rest of the Steelers’ defensive backfield capable of guarding a group of receivers which the Bears’ Charles Tillman called, “Maybe the best ever”? That my friends, is the ultimate question.

The Pick

Packers 27, Steelers 21

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Eagles open up bidding war on Kolb

Fanhouse reported today that the Philadelphia Eagles plan to franchise tag All-Pro quarterback Michael Vick this offseason, to put him under contract for the 2011-2012 season. Also, Fanhouse reported that the Eagles will listen to offers regarding the trading status of quarterback Kevin Kolb.

We all know the story about Kolb and Vick this season. Kolb was name the starting quarterback for the Eagles to begin the season; however, when Kolb got injured in game one against the Green Bay Packers, Vick came in and tore it up.

I wrote a previous blog about how the San Francisco 49ers would be a good suitor for Kolb in a trade situation, but as I analyzed all of the options after hearing that the Eagles were actually going to go to the pawn shop, I realized that at least one team in every division of the NFL could use Kolb. And I can prove it.

Start from within the division (NFC East), which is the least likely destination for Kolb because Rule 1 of trading in the NFL is never to go within the division.

But the Washington Redskins have a spot for Kolb. Look at what happened to Donovan McNabb this season with the Redskins. McNabb went from first-string to third-string, and I don’t even understand how that happened.

The ‘Skins have ammunition for this trade, though. They have their top-15 draft pick this April, so that would be a good option if the Eagles and Redskins weren’t in the same division. It’s an option to help prove my point, but it’s not going to happen.

In the NFC North there are two teams that could cut deals for Kolb; one situation is ridiculous, though. It involves the Chicago Bears.

Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler took a hit when he appeared to quit on the team in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers a week ago. If not quitting, he exhibited a bad attitude that a lot of Chicago fans didn’t like to see. This is as much of a long shot, and as ridiculous of a situation as their is, but the Bears are two of four team in the NFC North that could land Kolb. Only, it’s not going to happen because the Bears aren’t stupid… they already stuck up for Cutler, now trading him would throw the world a curve ball.

The Minnesota Vikings are going to be one of the most active teams in this trade talk I believe because they don’t have an extremely high draft pick like the Redskins do.

They need a quarterback badly unless they have a lot of confidence in Tavares Jackson. If they want to go with Jackson, then that’s great. But right now is the year that you have to choose. It’s Jackson or Kolb, make a choice.

I think that Minnesota is one of the top five most likely destinations for Kolb. I could see the trade including either this year’s first round pick or next year’s, but no matter where Kolb goes, the Eagles are going to want picks.

In the NFC South, there are three teams with quarterbacks of the present and future. There is one team that has a quarterback that a lot of people question. His name is Jimmy Clausen, and they are the Carolina Panthers.

One thing going against the Panthers, though, is that they own the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft in April. Why is this a bad thing? Who would want to give up the No. 1 pick! Seriously, when you have Jimmy Clausen, you aren’t extremely desperate for a quarterback. Clausen gives you at least a couple years to experiment with him.

I don’t think Kolb is worth a No. 1 overall pick, no matter how desperate you are for a quarterback.

Things get obnoxious when you get to the NFC West. There are three teams that would love to have Kolb, and all three have what it takes to get him.

First, the San Francisco 49ers are a good option of course with Jim Harbaugh coming in as head coach, known for developing quarterbacks. So that I don’t have to repeat myself, check out my previous blog on Kolb to the Niners.

The Arizona Cardinals are also a very likely suitor, up there with the Minnesota Vikings. The Cardinals have a top-10 draft pick this year and they have missed too many times on quarterbacks, and have tried out too many this season, to wait any longer. Kolb is better than any quarterback the Cardinals will find in the NFL Draft this year. Mel Kiper has them drafting a quarterback this April, but why would they if they could get Kolb.

Matt Hasselbeck is getting old for the Seattle Seahawks and Charlie Whithurst is about their only other option right now. However, Whithurst has played a little bit this year and coach Pete Carroll almost started him in the final regular season game as they tried to get into the playoffs.

The Seahawks are an option, but it seems Carroll might have some confidence in Whithurst in the future.

In the AFC East there are two teams that badly need a quarterback if they are going to have any shot of ever catching the New York Jets or New England Patriots in that division. The Miami Dolphins have shown a lot of respect for Chad Henne in the past few years. The view on him was about half and half that he was going to be good or he was going to be bad.

Turns out they still need a quarterback because Henne definitely is not cutting it.

Also, the Buffalo Bills are a team in need of a quarterback too. Trent Edwards didn’t work out and keeping faith in Ryan Fitzpatrick might not be the best thing for the future of this once glorious franchise.

In the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals are a team that seems to need a quarterback because Carson Palmer has said that he either wants a trade or will retire. Well, it doesn’t appear that the Bengals are willing to trade him, and the Eagles aren’t going to swap QB for QB, so we will see how ballsy Palmer is.

The Tennessee Titans in the AFC South badly need a quarterback, and a coach for that matter. Vince Young is apparently on the trading block, but again that wont matter to the Eagles. Seriously, the Eagles are going to just want draft picks – first rounders.

Finally, the Denver Broncos are another long shot team in this grand scheme of things that I am using just to make my point. I think they like what they have with Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton, but I suppose you never really know what a team will do.

So there, at least one team from each division in the NFL could use Kolb in one way or another. But let’s cut the crap and get down right to my predictions on the top-5 most likely teams to land Kolb. This time the teams are in order. Thank goodness for some order!

Arizona is No. 1 on the list simply because they have the highest pick combined with the most willingness to make a deal for Kolb, who may or may not be worth the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

Minnesota is No. 2 on the list because look at what they have to compete against in the NFC North: Aaron Rodgers (currently in the Super Bowl), Jay Cutler (led the Bears to an appearance in the NFC title game) and Matthew Stafford (shows promise). Right now, Tavares Jackson can’t compete with that. The Vikings have the No. 12 pick and would love to draft a quarterback, but if they can’t get one then they might pull the trigger on this offer.

Miami is No. 3 because everybody seems to be taking their talents there these days. Miami is desperate. They’ve had a coaching train wreck this offseason and need a bandage. They have the No. 15 pick in the draft, and if they feel they can’t make a splash with that pick, then they need to give it up and go get a quarterback.

San Francisco is No. 4, but they might have enough going for them that they can land Kolb. Kolb wants to play in the bay area, and the Niners have a formula that could get him. Give up the No. 7 pick if new coach Jim Harbaugh doesn’t like any quarterbacks in the draft, and go get a quarterback. Kolb would go from one QB savvy coach, Andy Reid, to another.

Tennessee is No. 5 and the longest shot to land Kolb. They need a quarterback, yes, but they need a coach too. Plus, who really knows if Vince Young will be traded away.

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Wozniacki’s dress, racket fail her in Aussie semis

Number one ranked women’s tennis player Caroline Wozniacki lost today to ninth-ranked Li Na, a tennis player with a name exponentially shorter than Wozniacki’s. This means the final will be between Na and third-ranked Kim Clijsters (who by the way, I’m personally rooting for).

For a little bit of information on Clijsters: Since retiring in August 2009, she has come back to the court and been 26-2 since un-retiring. Plus, she’s caring for a baby while in Australia to play in this tournament. However, the other day, Clijsters played two matches within hours of each other. She needed rest, so she said of taking care of her baby:

“We’re going to go to bed early. Maybe I’ll have to give the nanny one of those, you know.”

I know. But do you know? Let me explain. She talking about giving her nanny the heads up that she will be one caring for the baby that night, while Clijsters sleeps through the night.

We know the final and I look forward to it… I don’t think Clijsters should have trouble winning this one. Maybe if Wozniacki were against her, but she’s not.

I’m really upset that Wozniacki is out of the tournament, especially being eliminated via a tennis player whose entire name is the same length as my first name! (Li Na=4 letters, Alex=4, too)

Although Wozniacki had a big lead to start this match off, she couldn’t hold of Na, as Na defeated her in three sets. (As a side note, I am suddenly getting sick of referring to Li Na as “Na” or even “Li” or “Li Na” for that matter so I need to come up with a more complex name for her… This will bother me)

My headline infers that Wozniacki’s dress and racket failed her; however, could her dress have been a curse? I don’t even know if you can call it a dress. If I may, I think this “outfit” resembled an old lady bra underneath white mesh, attached to some sort of flailing tutu.

After the match, I couldn’t find a good picture of her outfit, but I found one of her in the distance. And actually just as I wrote that I found this… Oh, man it is so legit because she is just like a ballerina.

Let me give you some time to soak that deep into your skin… And… that’s enough.

My point is that you would think that a ballerina suit like that could affect a tennis player a little bit right? I mean if you go back to the first picture I linked to, the player in the foreground is Li Na (still looking to rename her). Her outfit is pretty tight to her skin and look what happened to her – she won.

It’s not every day that you see tennis players walk out with outfits that the wind can so greatly effect like Wozniacki pulled out of her closet.

The aerodynamics are not there with that outfit she has on, and there is a chance that it affected her; however, I have to say I’m still a fan. And it’s not what you think. I have to applaud a tennis player like Wozniacki who is not afraid to bring that out of her closet and onto the court.

Talk about playing mind games with your opponent. Imagine what Na (ugh) thought when she saw the No. 1 player in the world walk onto the court with that! Wozniacki got out to a big lead early on, and maybe Na’s head wasn’t in the right place.

Either way I applaud players who are characters, which Wozniacki clearly is. Last year, at the US Open, there was a lot of fuss over what she was wearing.

That’s it folks. I know every body remembers that. It was kind of a big deal, even if you don’t follow tennis. She’s a risk taker with a versatile wardrobe. Now please don’t get confused. This is not a fashion blog. This is a sports blog.

We’re talking mind games here. Wozniacki is becoming one of my favorite players to watch on the Tour, and even though she lost, her getup is making me even more interested in what she’ll do next. She’s a humble personality, and the tennis world is loving her.

You know what is craziest about her? She was born in 1990. We are the same age; in fact, I have a couple months on her, however she is a millionaire and I’m a college student.

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Smith: Cutler had “MCL sprain”

Despite previous reports that Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler had a torn MCL, thus couldn’t play in Sunday’s Bears-Packers game, Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith put those rumors to rest at his 1 p.m. news conference.

Smith said Cutler had an “MCL sprain,” not a tear. Smith said doctors and coaches made the decision that Cutler could not play because Smith never wants to put a player on the field that can’t protect himself.

Smith said if there is anyone to blame or blast it would be him, as the coach who made the final decision to sit Cutler. However, one reporter asked Smith if the Bears’ had been playing a game in a couple weeks, the Super Bowl, could Cutler have played.

“If things would have gone our way and we would have been in the Super Bowl, I’d say it would be questionable if he could have gone.”

Cutler would have been questionable for the Super Bowl. Questionable is a term often used in the NFL with injury reports, in association with words like “probable” and “out indefinitely.” Questionable is at about the mid point on the scale between those two words.

However, consider the players in the Bears-Packers game this weekend that were listed as “questionable.” They were all game time decisions; however, Packers’ players Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews both played the entire game.

There is a chance that Cutler was benched because the doctors thought he had a tear, but only Cutler the different feelings between a tear and a sprain.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported before the news conference that Cutler had a torn MCL. Well, Smith called it a sprain. So that’s different. Apparently, Cutler felt a sprain hurt him too much to play, but maybe the coaches made the decision too to preserve Cutler for the Super Bowl.

Well, you didn’t have a chance without Cutler in there, no matter how close third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie got to winning that game.

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Jay Cutler’s Twitter attacks rival LeBron James

After LeBron James announced on ESPN that he would be taking his talents to Miami this summer, I thought for sure worldwide Twitter attacks on athletes was all but over; however, I was proven wrong today.

During the third quarter, in which it appeared Jay Cutler may have been quitting on the Chicago Bears as they trailed the Green Bay Packers, Cutler’s name was plastered on Twitter attached to a bunch of poor thoughts. His own colleagues – players from other teams – were talking trash.

I know that Bears’ linebacker Brian Urlacher stood up for Cutler in his post game press conference after the Bears lost Sunday, saying “Jay is one of the toughest guys I know,” but other NFL players would not have agreed with him.

Urlacher’s comment implied that Cutler was going to try to tough it out and play; in fact, Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith said it was “the trainers’ and doctors'” decision to keep Cutler sidelined.

Maybe fellow NFL players weren’t on the sideline at the time, but they certainly disagree. They make their own assumptions on what Cutler was doing. Even I said it in a previous blog, Cutler looked bored on the sideline after he exited the game. He didn’t look into it.

One of the well-known and well-respected players in the NFL had something to say on Twitter that was more witty than I could have ever said it. All-Pro running back Maurice Jones-Drew said:

“Hey I think the urban meyer rule is effect right now… When the going gets tough……..QUIT.”

Jones-Drew went on to acknowledge that Cutler was nursing a knee injury on the sideline, the reason he wasn’t playing, but even that wasn’t giving Cutler any justice. Further, Jones-Drew said:

“All I’m saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee… I played the whole season on one…”

There is truth behind that. Jones-Drew did play hurt a lot of the season, and he as well as many players in the NFL (Brett Favre as I mentioned previously) are used to playing hurt. However, Cutler is one of the toughest guys that Urlacher knows. I wonder what Raven’s linebacker Ray Lewis would think of what Cutler did, or didn’t do, Sunday.

Well, Lewis didn’t say anything on Twitter; at least nothing that I saw. However, All-Pro linebacker Derrick Brooks, a future Hall of Famer, wasn’t happy about Cutler either.

“FOX HAVENT SHOWED ANY TRAINERS LOOKING AT CUTLER, UMMM”

It’s true. If you watched the game like me or Derrick Brooks did, then you can’t deny that fact. Yes, Fox showed trainers looking at Cutler’s knee right out of the half, but after that all he did was sit alone.

In fact, Cutler was more or less removed from the team for most of the game before Caleb Hanie, the third-string quarterback for the Bears, started to mount a comeback. Quit when things are down, but get back up when other people are carrying the load you left.

Even though his teammates might protect him, Anthony Armstrong is already deeming this incidence “knee-gate in Chicago,” as he said on Twitter.

To answer a question from a Twitter follower, New Orleans Saints’ wide receiver Lance Moore answered the question of if Cutler quit by saying:

“Its hard to know, but it def looked like it.”

You ask: Why do so many people think he quit? Well, Ross Tucker and Kirk Morrison had legitimate reasons to believe that Cutler might not have had the torn ligament, also known as a “knee injury,” that everybody is saying he had. Tucker said:

“I’ve hurt my knee playing football 4 times. Never once did I then stand up on sidelines afterwards.”

Morrison said:

“If my knee was hurt or acl/mcl/pcl sprain, I would not be standing up on the sideline.”

Interesting point. If he has a torn ligament, what is he doing standing up, riding a bike, running around and whatever else he was doing? Two and two aren’t coming together.

Aside from Urlacher, I wonder what some of the other teammates of Cutler were thinking on the sideline. What are the things they aren’t saying? Now we all know what Arizona Cardinals’ defensive lineman Darnell Dockett would be thinking if he were a Bear right now.

“If I’m on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room!”

I’m not saying Cutler was faking an injury. I’m not saying the trainers who called it a torn ligament in his knee are liars. I’m not saying Cutler quit on the team. I’m not saying this should happen…

All that I am saying is that there are a lot of signs that point to real possibilities that Cutler suddenly lost interest in the game. There are a lot of signs that he gave up on his team.

All that I’m saying is there are tons of NFL players and millions of football fans that believe Cutler quit. More and more people will be writing down their thoughts and feelings in the coming days.

What do you think?

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Cutler injured, Packers survive comeback

Considering that Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler left the game for good after the Bears’ first series of the third quarter with an apparent “knee injury,” the Green Bay-Chicago game Sunday turned out to be a pretty good mirror image of what the NFL’s greatest rivalry is.

Most, including me, thought, “Well, Cutler is out, Todd Collins probably isn’t going to be able to bring the Bears back from down 14.” Boy, was I wrong. I didn’t necessarily think the game was “over” but I didn’t think I would be as scared as I was – being the Packer fan I am.

When Cutler left the game – “knee injury” – everything changed, including (much to my dismay) the offensive strategy for the Packers. Green Bay began running the ball all the time. Well, James Starks couldn’t do diddly against the Bears’ defense.

Why did Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy keep going to Starks? Well, everything turned out OK for me and other Packer fans in the end.

When Cutler went out, I thought the game wasn’t going to be all it was thought out to be. But think about what happened in the game as a smaller scale of the history of the Bears and Packers.

The fact that the Packers kept in one quarterback the entire game, while the Bears went through three is sort of an image of the rivalry since Brett Favre became the Packers’ starting quarterback in the 1990s. Now, of course, Aaron Rodgers is the starter, but to think of the numbers, how many quarterbacks the Bears went through during the Favre era in Green Bay, is sort of fitting for the game.

I suppose it would have only been appropriate for the Bears to have ridiculous quarterback troubles in the NFC Championship game against the Packers is just what it should have been.

With that said, it is chilling to think what would have happened if Cutler would have played the whole game. You don’t know how the Packers’ offensive strategy would, or wouldn’t, have changed if Cutler stayed in, but if it turned into what it did – a running game – then the Bears would probably have won that game.

The Bears’ defense had the Packers’ number in the second half, so a lot could have been different in the game, but even without Cutler the Bears almost won.

Did the Bears even need Cutler? Take my dormitory at Eastern Illinois University for example. I think the Bears fans on my floor were louder with Hanie at quarterback than they were with Cutler calling the shots. Is it because a third-string quarterback playing in the NFC Championship game made a Bears win more of a long shot, thus they were rooting for an underdog? Possibly.

Without Hanie coming in, though, this game might not have been as unique as it unfolded. It is unique that Hanie had a much better game than Cutler – and dare I say it, Rodgers.

If Cutler would have stayed in, I felt pretty confident about the Packers going forward. I probably wasn’t the first person watching the game on Fox Sports to think, “Boy, Cutler doesn’t look very interested in the game.”

In fact, that is what I told my girlfriend. She’s an avid Bears fan and she asked me what Cutler was doing on the sideline instead of on the field trying to mount a comeback. It was apparently a knee injury, which we will find out for sure sometime this week.

Believe me, it will help Cutler’s image if the doctor’s come out and say he had some serious knee injury. But he only had a slight limp, right? He could have played, I bet.

Sure, you don’t want to be judgmental on a guy who is injured, but I think all Bears and Packers fans know that a guy named Favre would have been playing. It’s the game to get to the Super Bowl for goodness sake!

Maybe Cutler didn’t feel the adrenaline. His attitude, as well documented by the cameras of Fox Sports on the Bears’ sideline, was not where it probably should have been.

Cutler might have been injured, triggering the Bears to send into the game an old Todd Collins, but maybe somebody on that sideline felt Cutler’s head was not in the game. I think blank stares epitomized Cutler on the sideline. I know that when I’m bored, I’m usually caught staring. But I’m not NFL quarterback am I?

What makes this worse is that nobody knows when Cutler got hurt. All that we know, and apparently the Bears’ coaching staff and Cutler, is that his knee hurt. We know he walked out of the locker room with a limp, according to Fox Sports’ Pam Oliver.

But we know he played a series. An unsuccessful one. When he walked off of the field after that series, he didn’t look emotional at all. He didn’t have the emotion a team leader should show trailing by 14 points and trying to make the Super Bowl. But Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith said Cutler was upset he couldn’t play.

“He hurt his knee and he was out, all right? There’s nothing else for me to tell you on that. I don’t know exactly when it happened. He couldn’t go, and we moved on. Let’s go to some other questions, how about that?”

Later in the week we will find out Cutler’s side of the story; actually, we will find out later tonight after the manuscripts of the post game press conference come out. We all know the reporters are going to flock to Cutler. Was there ever any question, even given how the game ended, that Cutler not playing the second half would be the story of the game if the Bears lost?

I know, though, that if I were writing a story about this for my school newspaper, my focus would be on Cutler.

Yes, the game was unique in how it unfolded, but a lot of Bears fans probably believe that Cutler should have been in the game. He should have been the one throwing the game-ending interception to Packers’ defensive back Sam Shields.

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Bart Scott gives great post game interview

If you haven’t seen this already, you need to watch this. A great example of passion, and whatever else. This could be one of the greatest post game interviews of all time.

Ignore the guys at the beginning of this video and skip ahead to the 25 second mark (0:25).

Anybody have any reactions? Comment!

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49ers a good suitor for Kevin Kolb

If the Philadelphia Eagles’ organization lets Kevin Kolb go in a trade (a big if), then I would think that the San Francisco 49ers are a good place for him.

The Niners just hired Jim Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback and a young star as a head coach. He is known for developing Andrew Luck, a great quarterback at Stanford. Now with the Niners, Harbaugh has a problem. He needs a quarterback; in fact, the Niners don’t need much else.

Kolb could be a perfect fit, unless Harbaugh is in love with one of the college quarterbacks coming out in this year’s draft, or Alex Smith or Troy Smith. But Kolb is really the better option than a Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert. And Kolb is definitely a better option than Smith or Smith.

Or so we think.

Kolb really hasn’t proven yet as a successful NFL quarterback. He’s been a great back-up. A back-up that people are afraid of. Why? Because Eagles’ coach Andy Reid tabbed him as their starter this season before Vick emerged.

Imagine if Kolb hadn’t left the season opener against Green Bay with a concussion. Kolb very likely would have been the starter for as long as he was healthy.

Instead, Vick plays great against the Packers, and never loses his job.

So we haven’t seen all Kolb has to offer. Not yet.

But if he were to be traded to the Niners I think there would be a great chance that he becomes the starter, and the player tabbed to Harbaugh in the NFL. There is a lot of hope for Kolb as a starter in the NFL.

The problem is with the Eagles, though. Will they give up Kolb? I don’t know why they would to be honest. If they don’t have to, then don’t.

But the Niners would have to offer probably some picks for Kolb, maybe some players too. By picks, I mean at least a 2nd round pick, maybe a first rounder.

I feel like this is a trade that could happen on draft day, in April. All of the teams that are possible suitors for Kolb should first look at the coming draft class and evaluate quarterbacks there. Depending on how things go on draft day, you could see a team like the Niners give up their early first round pick for Kolb if they were desperate enough.

The thing going against Kolb to the Niners I think is the fact that Harbaugh is a college coach. I feel like he will want to develop a guy out of college instead of taking a current NFL quarterback.

He recruited a lot of these guys that are coming out to the draft, and I feel like he’ll like one of them. Plus, he’s a proven quarterback developer and the Niners are going to do what he says as long as he is successful.

Is it the right choice to go picking over trading for Kolb? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s a decision that Harbaugh is going to make almost by himself.

If he chooses to try to make an offer for Kolb, then draft picks are going to be changing hands. Kolb has promise as a quarterback. He was my starter in fantasy to start the season this season. Obviously, I like him.

I’d advise Harbaugh to go after Kolb. It would be a big step forward to start his tenure as head coach in San Fran. He needs to start with a bang, and this could be his way of doing it.

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A Cotton Bowl at night? It is a bad system

“Since when was the Cotton Bowl at night?” Good question Michael Wilbon. I have the same question. What are the organizers of the bowl games thinking? For as long as I can remember, the Cotton Bowl is a three o’clock game – like the Rose Bowl – and the other bowl games usually come after those games.

…On the same days, though!

Gosh, this year’s bowl lineup was ridiculous. It took too long to get to the really talented teams. For what was actually about a week, but felt like a month, people who actually watched this year’s bowl games saw a bunch of groups of scrubs out there competing against each other.

Think about this: the current system started the bowl games on Dec. 18 with games like BYU vs. UTEP and Troy vs. Ohio. Gag me. And then, we sat until Jan. 10 to see the national title game. Since when have the bowl games taken near one month to end?

I remember the days over winter break when I was off of school for a few weeks break when bowl games used to be like five per day and it went by so fast that you were always scrambling to watch the good games. I remember when, after Christmas, there were a few days when you said, “Today is football day.” I remember those days.

You should remember them too. It was pretty much only five years ago.

Flashback to 2005 and bowl games start Dec. 20 and end Jan. 3.

And Jan. 2 was a great day! Six games, baby! The teams that played? Iowa, Florida, Alabama, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Wisconsin, Auburn, West Virginia, Georgia, Ohio State, Notre Dame.

If you aren’t excited by that day then check your pulse. This year, Jan. 2 didn’t exist – granted, Jan. 1 was good.

But, boy, Jan. 2, 2005… those are all great teams.

I’ll tell you what the bowl organizers have done wrong. They’ve put too many crap games in between the Rose Bowl and the National Title game. Still in 2005, you had all of those spectacularly interesting teams playing on Jan. 2.

Those bowl games were as follows: Outback, Cotton (In the day!), Gator, Capital One, Fiesta, Sugar. Those are some of the best bowls all on the same day.

The six bowls this year on Jan. 1, the big bowl day, were: Ticketcity, Captial One, Outback, Gator, Rose, Fiesta.

In comparison, not as good as 2005.

And it’s not even the teams, let’s get this straight. It’s the bowls. In 2005, they were playing better bowls.

Then there is all this crap in between the big games. GoDaddy.com? Compass? Hunger? No, those are terrible. Absolute vomit.

The people who organize these bowls need to fix this. There are too many bowls. Just too many. In 2003 there were 28 bowl games from Dec. 16 to Jan. 4. Now, in 2010, there are 35 bowl games! 35! That’s seven more bowl games that you don’t need.

For one, you don’t need to be giving all of these teams these chances to get into bowl games. The committee needs to return to less bowl games – 28, sure it wouldn’t hurt. Less is more. In 2005, there were 29 bowl games… and they did it in fewer days than in 2003, for example.

Less is more. I’m serious.

It took 23 days this season to get to the highly anticipated National Title game. It took 14 days in 2005. You can nearly cut this year in half with six fewer games.

The bowls are now on all of these weekdays every night. That’s getting, and did get, bad ratings. You can’t compete the same way during the week with these no-name bowl games with other sports. You need those packed weekends.

In 2005, there were 7 days of two or more games. This season, there were six. How is that possible? There are more games available! How can you not have more days with multiple games? The math doesn’t make sense.

It can’t just be me. I’ll admit, I probably didn’t even watch ten bowl games this season. In 2005, I can guarantee that I watched more than that. People don’t have time every single night to watch one game.

I advise that the bowl lineup needs to change back to the past.

There needs to be fewer games, in fewer days, with more than two games each day. There needs to be mega days! You already have Saturdays on lock from the whole regular season, and even sometimes Thursday and Friday. You need to take advantage of that.

23 days is obviously way too long. This can’t take a month. A lot of people don’t like the NBA Playoffs, so you can’t be that. Two weeks is perfect. That’s what happened in 2005 – 14 days. Bowl games should only take two weeks to finish.

Fewer games. Shorter time span. More per day.

It’s a recipe for a winner.

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