Hello Wisconsin: As New Season Begins, NFC North Once Again Looking Up at Packers

New year, same story: the Packers rule the north.

“All the other teams in the NFC North, it seems like every single year, I think their fanbase and their teams feel like, ‘This year is our turn to win the North.’ Hasn’t really been the case during my time, for the most part.”

This is a quote from Aaron Rodgers in the locker room on Wednesday afternoon.

This is a classic Rodgers sound byte. The subtle dig and smugness, no doubt delivered with a wry smile. The kind of thing that gives Packer fans glee and drives opposing divisional fans nuts.

Because it’s true.

Once again, the Green Bay Packers open a regular season with the division being essentially theirs to lose. Barring significant injury, it would be a significant surprise for the Packers not to finish the season with their fourth consecutive divisional title, tying the team’s own division record since the NFL’s realignment in 2002. 

Since the Aaron Rodgers era began in 2008, the Packers have won the division eight of a possible 14 times. One of those six was a year in which Rodgers missed half the season with a collarbone injury. Another was his first year as a starter. And in another, the team still managed to win the Super Bowl.

Needless to say, it is a level of dominance rarely achieved in the division since the NFL implemented its salary cap rules. Only the dynastic New England Patriots have managed to eclipse the Packers’ extended run of divisional dominance.

The Packers get to open their schedule with back-to-back contests against NFC North foes, beginning with a road contest in Minneapolis against the ever-feisty Vikings.

Once again, word out of Minnesota is that this is the “Vikings’ year.” They’re the “most talented team in the division” and “could be a darkhorse contender” or even upset the Packers in the division.

We’ve heard it all before. The names on the office doors and the backs of the jerseys may change, but the Vikings’ ongoing legacy is one of underachieving, and there’s no reason to believe the 2022 season will be any different. 

Until Rodgers is gone, the North belongs to the Packers. The quest to yet another divisional crown (comparatively a mere trinket in the Packers’ collection of accomplishments) begins this weekend, as the Vikings get put in their place after yet another offseason of hype and big talk from fans and sports media alike.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

As the final days of summer die down I’m enjoying as many crisp and fruity summer-style beers as I can get my hands on. Soon, with the crisper weather, I’ll be digging into malty ambers, Oktoberfests, porters, stouts and more. 

Here’s a good one I just picked up the other week: Sombrilla de Lima from The Fermentorium, a brewery with locations in Cedarburg and Wauwatosa. This is the first beer I’ve featured from these guys, from whom I’ve had some other tasty beverages in the past.

This beer is a Mexican lager featuring lime and salt flavor. Basically it’s a higher quality version of having a Corona with a lime in it, without having to actually put the lime in. 

What’s great about this beer is that it’s not lime-flavored, per se. The lime does not at all overpower the crisp, pure lager flavor, but rather complements it. The hint of salt adds some extra depth of flavor. This tastes like summertime, an ideal beer to take to the beach or to enjoy outside while reading on your deck or while lounging in a chaise.

At 5.5% ABV, it’s not a beer you have to worry about drinking too much of (unless you have, like, six), and at just 20 IBUs it’s got a very low hop profile that makes for a very smooth taste and finish.

I found it at my local Woodman’s, so if you’re in southeast Wisconsin chances are you should be able to find it pretty easily. Get it before the summer officially dies out!

The weird Za’Darius Smith thing

It’s really hard to understand exactly what happened to Za’Darius Smith.

In an article written by Tyler Dunne, here’s what Smith had to say about the Packers this week:

“That’s why I felt the way I did with Green Bay; I gave that shit my all. I put my blood, sweat… I put my back on the f—ing line. I put everything. And that year three, I was treated bad. That’s why I’m here now. So I can play them twice a year.”

Whatever it was that soured Smith on Green Bay remains a mystery and likely will forever. Smith was perfectly happy as a Packer his first two years and quickly became a fan favorite, but *something* happened afterwards that made him feel negatively about the team. Chances are it had something to do with contract extensions?

But clearly Packer players felt a certain way about Smith to not vote him as a team captain for the 2021 season. Then Smith had a back injury mysteriously pop up that kept him out almost the entire season, an injury that Matt LaFleur was always very cagey about in his interviews. It always felt suspicious, and Smith stayed away from the team during much of the time he was out. 

I should make it clear that I do not question the legitimacy of whether Smith was injured. But in retrospect, I do have to wonder whether Smith used that injury as an opportunity to essentially ensure the team would cut ties with him after the season was over.

Smith’s social media antics and his bizarre, seemingly one-sided grudge against the Packers has quickly turned public opinion against him, and many have drawn comparisons between him and Greg Jennings, who was also weirdly upset with the team and tried to go to the Vikings to make a point. 

It’s hard to know what to expect out of Smith in Minnesota this season. He turns 30 in just a few days, and hasn’t played much football since the 2020 season. He’s still an immense talent, but we’ll see how much his body allows him to stay on the field this season.

Will his unrequited hatred of the Packers fuel him to excellence this weekend, or will his performance be a microcosm of his last 12 months: a lot of bluster with little to show for it?

That will certainly be one of the biggest stories to watch heading into this weekend’s game.

The Bears’ stadium plans are almost as lame as the team itself has been for 37 years

Subtitle basically explains itself.

In case you missed it, the Bears officially announced that they’re definitely maybe purchasing land in Arlington Heights to definitely maybe build a new *DOMED* stadium and entertainment district that would be able to host a wide variety of events, including concerts, a Super Bowl, the NCAA tournament and much more.

The best thing I can say for the project is that the Bears have claimed there will be no public money used to fund the stadium. Which, to be honest, should be the standard for every major sports franchise. There’s no need for owners worth billions to turn to the average Joe and ask them to pay for their ego palaces.

But everything else about this project is just… soulless.

The Chicago Bears playing INSIDE? That just runs counter to everything that franchise stands for, and frankly, it’s a slap in the face to more than 100 years of history and a long-touted brand as a hard-nosed, pound-the-ball-and-play-defense style of football in all weathers. As dumpy of a stadium as it is, Soldier Field has been the home to some incredible weather games. With there being so few outdoor cold weather stadiums remaining, it’s a big loss to the NFL.

It’s an especially big loss to the NFC North to have the Bears playing indoors. The Vikings left the outdoors decades ago in favor of the inflatable (and deflatable) Metrodome before building their current temple to bird murder. The Lions, well, they get a pass because they’ve never really had any mystique to worry about.

It is just so grossly… un-Bears-like… for them to even consider playing indoors. So much for the Black and Blue division. The Packers are the only team left interested in playing real football.

And yes, this is my most Boomer football take, and yes, I’m happily gatekeeping what is considered “real” football. It belongs outdoors in the elements!

Finally, the entire idea is just… lame. The Bears moving out to the suburbs is like how places like Oak Creek or Wauwatosa or Waukesha get their Cafe Hollanders or their Bel-Air Cantinas or their Pizza Mans just so they don’t have to “risk” going into the Milwaukee city limits because they’re afraid of anyone who lives outside their subdivision.

While there may not be any initial renderings yet, the entire idea of the project as described so far sounds like every other soulless tribute to architectural drollness that major sports franchises have been crapping out for the last decade. 

It’s definitely maybe a done deal at this point, so enjoy the last few years of the Chicago Bears having any kind of self-respect. 

Go Pack Go Act back up for discussion

I try not to get TOO *directly* political in this column, though if you’ve been reading me for long enough you know very well where I stand on pretty much anything. That being said, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin recently re-introduced the Go Pack Go Act, which would be of great benefit to Wisconsinites of all backgrounds.

Yes, it is very obviously just as much a publicity stunt as it is an actual genuine attempt at meaningful change. But despite the hokiness of the name, the legislation does actually aim to bring an end to some long-outdated broadcast practices that are of significant annoyance to fans who live in Wisconsin.

Currently there are 13 counties in Wisconsin that are actually assigned to out-of-market television stations (in Minnesota and Michigan). As a result, these in-state fans are technically considered out of market for the Packers, meaning they’d be shown Vikings or Lions games instead when the teams are playing at the same time. 

Under this proposed legislation, cable, satellite and other video providers would be required to provide Wisconsin subscribers with access to programming from broadcast television stations located in a Wisconsin media market. This means anyone in those out-of-market counties would still always have access to Wisconsin-based news, info and sports, so long as they have a cable or satellite connection.

Now, in an era where many people are cutting the cord, this isn’t something that’s going to help EVERYONE, but it’s at least a step in the right direction. Really, streaming capabilities need to be significantly expanded.

Why should it be so difficult for me to find a high-quality live stream on my phone or computer of a football game that is free on broadcast television?

The NFL and broadcast networks really need to get caught up with this stuff, but it would likely take significant political interference, given the power these massive broadcast conglomerates have. Ultimately, though, it benefits no one but the corporations for there to be such strict limitation over which broadcasts can be accessed where, especially the ones that are on free over-the-air television.

Around the NFC North

Once again we’ll take a quick look around the NFC North at what the Packers’ rivals are doing.

  • The CHICAGO BEARS host the San Francisco 49ers this weekend in a matchup of 2021 first round quarterbacks who may or may not actually be good someday. Justin Fields is probably the better prospect, but given that he’s playing with the franchise where quarterbacking dreams go to die, it’s not looking too good for him at the moment. Trey Lance, meanwhile, hasn’t exactly earned rave reviews from coach Kyle Shanahan in the preseason, while Jimmy Garoppolo is now the league’s most handsome and highest-paid backup quarterback. We’ll learn a lot about these two teams after this matchup. The biggest lesson will likely be that the Bears still suck.
  • The DETROIT LIONS open their season against the Philadelphia Eagles, a team that’s getting a lot of hype for its potential this season. The Lions, meanwhile, once again have very low expectations. They got a lot of fan attention for the team’s entertaining nature on Hard Knocks, but once the actual football season start it’s hard to imagine there are going to be a whole lot of people clamoring to have this team on their television screens. I have to admit, though, it would be funny if the Lions managed to upset the Eagles in week one, just because I enjoy chaos.
  • The MINNESOTA VIKINGS are once again “threatening to dethrone the Packers,” meaning you can expect them to be out of the race by Thanksgiving. This is a team that will put up some pretty numbers at the skill positions, but has the depth the Colorado River in July and trenches with as much beef as a PETA picnic. It feels like we’re constantly being begged to take this team seriously but I simply refuse.

Final look: Packers at Vikings and Week One Picks

So how does this weekend’s game shake out?

Look, it’s week one, so literally anything could happen. There’s not a soul in the world who thought the Saints would so thoroughly de-pants the Packers in week one last year. There are always really strange results the first week of the year because everyone is rusty and nobody (well, almost nobody) is truly good… yet.

That being said, I expect the Packers to win. They’re the better football team, and I have to feel as though last year’s week one stomping has at least been mentioned among the veterans this week. The team knows they can’t come out as flat as they were against New Orleans in that season opener and have a prayer of winning. 

If the Packers are truly going to finally put it together and march toward the Super Bowl, they need to win their divisional matchups first and foremost, and they’ve lost too many against the Vikings in recent years. They’ll come out and win this football game, even if it’s not always pretty (and it rarely is in the first week of the season).

Packers 27, Vikings 20

AS FOR THE REST OF THE GAMES…

I’m starting something new. Each week this season I’m picking every single game, straight up. Follow along with me if you want–I’ll track my record throughout the year and you can compare your pick record to mine. 

Give me…

BILLS over Rams

EAGLES over Lions

49ERS over Bears

BENGALS over Steelers

DOLPHINS over Patriots

PANTHERS over Browns

COLTS over Texans

SAINTS over Falcons

RAVENS over Jets

COMMIES over Jaguars

PACKERS over Vikings

TITANS over Giants

CHARGERS over Raiders

CHIEFS over Cardinals

COWBOYS over Buccaneers

BRONCOS over Seahawks
 

ENJOY the first full weekend of NFL football of the season!

 

__________________________

Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

8 points

Comments (46)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Lphill's picture

September 08, 2022 at 06:42 am

I don't know what Z Smith's issue is but I do know the best pass rusher on the field Sunday will be Rashan Gary.

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T7Steve's picture

September 08, 2022 at 07:09 am

Nice article TB. You really think Cowboys over Bucks? Is that your upset pick?

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NickPerry's picture

September 08, 2022 at 07:35 am

I'm with him on that one too. I think the Cowboys will win. I'm actually hoping the Cowboys and McCarthy do well this season. I certainly don't want McCarthy fired and Sean Payton hired which will happen if the Cowboys suck. Let's just keep MM where he is.

5 points
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murf7777's picture

September 08, 2022 at 07:29 am

I’m looking forward to see how dominate our defense is. Also, really interested in how our rookie WR’s play, especially if Lazards doesn’t go. Z is a big whiny baby and I hope we keep him at bay and run the ball down his throat time and time again. This is a big game right out of the gate, hoping for a Packer blow out, but I expect a nail biter.

5 points
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NickPerry's picture

September 08, 2022 at 07:31 am

I was a huge fan of the Z Smith signing and the spending spree Gute went on a few years ago. But Z has always had his issues with "Recognition". IIRC it was his first season in GB, towards the end of the year after he was snubbed for the Pro-Bowl. After sacking the QB that week after the voting, Smith lifted his jersey and had written the word "SNUBBED" on his undershirt. As a Packers fan, I was like HELL YEAH! But it was actually a view of things to come.

The following year Smith was great again but the whole "Smith Brothers" thing seemed to cool down quite a bit from the season before. In the first season, P Smith and Z Smith seemed like they REALLY were brothers. The following year, year two, it didn't seem like they were nearly as close. Maybe I'm tripping but it didn't seem like the same lovefest. Fast forward to 2021 and the shit hit the fan. Z's own teammates didn't want him or vote him as a Captain and Smith showed his true colors. He WASN'T a TEAM guy, he's a ME guy and every other Packers player including the coaching staff and Gute knew it.

The Packers are a GREAT organization. Even when spoiled filthy rich athletes don't get their way and trash the organization, they don't throw mud back nor should they. Now at 30 years old and the Packers paying him over $11 million this year NOT to play for them speaks volumes. Hey, he may get a sack vs the Packers this weekend. But ONLY because Jenkins and/or Bakhtiari are rusty as hell and of course if they play. But by the end of the season, when the Vikings are out of it before Christmas, Smith will be EXACTLY where he belongs. Wearing that God-forsaken purple jersey OUT of the playoffs.

13 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 08, 2022 at 09:56 am

This isn't my 1st time saying this here at CHTV, but something about Z has always seemed off. Loved what he brought on the field but the behaviors of a grown man that he demonstrated on the field when celebrating were embarrassing. I felt inappropriate and more than anything I was embarrassed for Zadarius. Nick Perry above had it right.

Yes, Z may have a sack or two but let's see how many tackles. How often does he not set the edge, or in his effort to try sacking Rodgers we have success at screen passes, or Rodgers picking up a lot of yards on ground. I hope LF and Rodgers have a game plan that repeatedly has Z out of position for being over zealous in his pursuit of a sack. Zadarius is all about sacking Rodgers...exploit this!

3 points
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coolhand's picture

September 08, 2022 at 01:54 pm

I saw it in the Packers 49ers first playoff game when the 49ers ran all over us. Smith was always out of position and getting pushed around and showed me he had no intention of setting the edge. I think if we attack him in the run game we will see the same result.

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LeotisHarris's picture

September 08, 2022 at 02:41 pm

And, he quit in that humiliating loss. Preston Smith was playing his ass off until the end, but Z gave up.

2 points
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NickPerry's picture

September 08, 2022 at 05:11 pm

I'd love to see A LOT of Dillon to his side this Sunday. Something tells me the Packers can have great success running STRAIGHT at Z Smith!

1 points
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Savage57's picture

September 08, 2022 at 07:35 am

The "before building their current temple to bird murder" line made me laugh.

8 points
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mrtundra's picture

September 08, 2022 at 08:12 am

Thanks, Tim, for talking about Tammy Baldwin's GO PACK GO legislation. It went nowhere the first time it was brought up, a few years ago, but here's hoping it gets some attention, this time around. I live in one of those affected areas along the St Croix River bordering Minnesota where the Packer games are not broadcast if the vikings play at the same time, and even if the Packer game is on a different network than the viking game. Minnesota media does this to most all Wisconsin sports, but none are so nerve wracking as when it happens to the Packers. I remember the glory days of viking ineptitude, in the early-mid 1990's, when the vikings broadcasts were blacked out if they did not sell out the Metrodome. It happened a lot, where there was no viking game on TV and the Minnesota market was forced to broadcast the Packer game, those weeks. During the Packer game, Twin Cities sportscasters would break into the Packer broadcast to tell what was going on in the vikings'game. About the only time they could count on selling out the Metrodome was when the Packers came to town, with their myriad of fans, and filled that stadium. I also remember that the vikings organization would force Packer fans, who wanted to come to the Metrodome to see the Packers play the vikings, to buy tickets for the next vikings' home game, in hopes that would help sell out the Metrodome. Pathetic dirt bags one an all! Finally, the vikings coerced Pillsbury and 3M to buy up the empty seats, so vikings games could be aired. I'm pushing for Tammy Baldwin's legislation to take hold and change the craziness regarding Wisconsinites being able to watch their team, on game day. GO PACK, GO!

5 points
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Matt Gonzales's picture

September 08, 2022 at 09:05 am

I live in the Fox Valley but work for a company based on the MN/WI border and multiple times was unable to catch a Packers TNF or MNF game because the hotel didn't have the premium channel, and not being able to get the simulcast because the local affiliate was not in market for Packers games, and the hotel wifi wouldn't be strong enough to carry a streaming service without tons of stuttering.

0 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 08, 2022 at 10:00 am

MRTundra,
We must be neighbors!

I get all Packer games. You are always invited over to watch on my 85" TV.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

September 08, 2022 at 11:47 am

When I moved up river on the St Croix in 2005, the Cable Company was mandated to show the Packers games on a channel out of Eau Claire. All was well, until further Deregulation of the Communication/Media Industry and Concentrated Ownership. The McCain-Feingold study was supposed to address this issue ,but fizzled out.
Very frustrating and an abject failure of Market Segmentation. Indeed, dealing with the Dr. Mcgillicuddy, canadian mist and rot-gut vodka crowd milling about their Shipwreck of a stadium, where the "proposed" green space/park Doesn't exist, makes for a pathetic double-vision of Humanity. There should be some basis for a Class-action lawsuit. We go to the Green and Gold bowling alley when the frauds are precluding the Packers broadcasts. Skol that muther...

4 points
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zoellner25's picture

September 08, 2022 at 08:27 am

I don't even care about division titles anymore. Please stop choking in the playoffs at home

3 points
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Leatherhead's picture

September 08, 2022 at 09:27 am

If we don’t win the division, we won’t be playing at home.

The path to the Super Bowl starts with making the playoffs.

3 points
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DoubleJ's picture

September 08, 2022 at 11:16 am

As long as you aren't the 7th seed there is always a chance for a home playoff game.

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

September 08, 2022 at 11:40 am

Well, if you're the 6th seed, you'd have to win playoff games on the road before you'd get a chance to choke at home.

If you win your division, you're in the playoffs AND your first game is at home. I don't think you can ask for more than that.

2 points
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DoubleJ's picture

September 08, 2022 at 11:56 am

That is true for any WC team. I'm just saying that anyone but the 7th seed has a chance, albeit usually slim, of having a home playoff game.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

September 08, 2022 at 12:11 pm

Just like the Pack in 2010.

1 points
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Since'75's picture

September 08, 2022 at 08:29 am

Man, that is a lot to digest, but that's why we're here.
I'll tackle it in piecework.
Nice write up Tim.

I like Z Smith, i like him because he was a playmaker, plain and simple.
If i could pick, our 2 starting edge players would be Z and Gary.
I'm not a huge Preston fan, if he isn't getting a sack, he mostly disappears.
If he drops back into coverage, he's a liability, much like Kevin King was.

I think Z Smith got soured by the reworking of his contract, then the Packers reworked him again very shortly thereafter, and not to his benefit. I think they took some guaranteed money away and lessened the blow on his dead cap to release him. I think he may have seen the writing on the wall before the 2021 season.
Whatever Smith's problem was with the Packers, it was real.
Maybe Smith is a Diva, i don't know him.
But i do know one thing, he is a playmaker with some attitude and i like that. If he's healthy, we may get reminded of that sooner rather than later.

Today is the start of the NFL football season.

It's a good day!!!

-5 points
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T7Steve's picture

September 08, 2022 at 09:21 am

Yah, that second year they made Preston cover allot and I could only figure it was because the middle LBs couldn't. Z got to always rush so I thought he was maybe even worse at coverage. That's where the Preston every other year story originated, I think.

2 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 08, 2022 at 10:03 am

Z was a hell of a play maker but did you ever watch his constant over pursuit of the QB and how often teams ran inside of him, or did screen passes? Thing about Preston is he sets the edge much better and better in coverage.

5 points
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Since'75's picture

September 08, 2022 at 10:18 am

You may have it right on Z. but what i saw from Preston is he would get stood up a lot, taken out of the play.
He seemed to have a hard time shedding blocks to make a play.
He did have 2 FF's last season which is what i want to see.
That is the mark of being a difference maker.
I like difference makers.

Speaking of shedding blocks, anyone have a take on Quay Walker?

The good thing is, we will find out what we have real soon.

Lets do this....Cant wait!!

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 08, 2022 at 09:41 pm

Nah. When GB re-worked his contract, they made money that had not been guaranteed and turned it into guaranteed money. So that part of your analysis is simply wrong and anything you deduced from that incorrect belief is nullified.

Z's injury was due to an injury during the offseason. There are some reports that it due to an accident while using an ATV. He was on the Non-Football Injury List. That normally allows a team to pay whatever they want but since the auto conversion had already occurred, it made Z's deal for 2022 compensation 100% guaranteed except for his game active bonus, there was really nothing GB could do. The only thing that could be saved would have been his game active bonus.

It is always hard to know when a surgery should have occurred. GB cleared Z in August, taking him off the NFI List. Z at some point got a second opinion. The surgery waited until mid to late September and the recovery was all October, Nov., and December. A surgery in June perhaps? Who can say. Not really a lot of controversy about it at the time, unlike (IIRC) Michael Thomas last year. It looks like the Packers thought Z could play through the injury, and it looks to me like Z tried to do so, but just couldn't. Missing all of 2021 was not going to help his contract situation for 2022, so the timing of the surgery seems like just using hindsight.

0 points
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Since'75's picture

September 09, 2022 at 08:28 am

It turned into guaranteed money during one of two restructures. Money that wasn't technically guaranteed, but he would have gotten it regardless.
Some of Z's angst may have also come from the fact he wanted a new deal, instead of restructuring. But instead, got a hint that he'd probably be let go after the season.

His injury (if you believe him) apparently happened working out prior to training camp last season, according to what he said to GoLongTD. com.

At the end of the day, all we know for sure is that his relationship with the Packers was highly strained, to the point where GB was willing to show their best defensive playmaker...the door.

0 points
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Roadrunner23's picture

September 08, 2022 at 08:34 am

Commies 😂 yep that’s Washington DC alright 😂

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

September 08, 2022 at 09:31 am

I don’t care about Z anymore, now that he has the purple taint. I’m sorry that he was an under appreciated multimillionaire entertainer in his 20s. Maybe he’d feel more appreciated if he were a single parent with a low paying job.

8 points
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HawkPacker's picture

September 08, 2022 at 10:05 am

Good article Tim. I enjoy your articles almost as much as 'Confessions of a Polluted Mindset'. Well not almost but pretty much.

I am not really a beer guy but since I am from SW Wisconsin, have you written about 'Good Old Potosi' beer from Potosi, WI? Pretty popular in these parts.

For this weekend, I am picking the Viqueens to win as history shows us starting slow each year and last year certainly proves that. We have a lot of new things going on with our offense and ST so it will take some time to gel like they should. Now if both Bakh and Jenkins are healed enough and do play then that may tip the scales to the Packers.

I like to have this attitude going into a game like this because if they do lose, I won't feel like sh*t all week like after last year's opener in Jacksonville. If they win, well that is just gravy. I am really looking forward to this season as they will have such a different look.

2 points
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

September 08, 2022 at 03:47 pm

Just remember, the Vikes have a whole new coaching staff. That often takes time for a new scheme to gel as well.

1 points
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Since'61's picture

September 08, 2022 at 10:21 am

As long as Rodgers is the Packers QB the NFC NORTH will be looking up at the Packers. If the team remains healthy the same will be true again this season.

As for Z. Smith it appears that he has joined the Jennings/Finley crowd. If that's true he can have them. Moving on...

The Bears new stadium is all about the $$$. A domed stadium provides a year round revenue stream plus it gives Chicago a shot to host a Super Bowl. The newer stadiums that I have attended are more shopping malls and food courts. Monitors are everywhere so fans can watch the games while they're shopping for memorabilia and apparel or eating at one of the many restaurants. Get the people in, make them comfortable and they'll spend more money. And the game, yes, that's nice too. It will help to keep Lambeau unique and the only open football stadium in the division.

Looking forward to watching our new look offense and revamped, hopefully aggressive defense this Sunday. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

4 points
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Roadrunner23's picture

September 08, 2022 at 11:45 am

I always thought Z was a fake from the time he arrived in GB!

The Queens will find out soon enough 😂

0 points
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mnbadger's picture

September 08, 2022 at 01:03 pm

Great article Tim, again. Never have been a fan of fruity beers under any circumstance, but you made one SOUND good enough to try.
Z - I was nervous about him after hearing that he was arrested for driving while toking on his way to GB. Not a very professional way to act, especially since he was driving an exotic car at excessive speeds. Pretty easy target.
I loved the way he brought attitude and production to the defense. AR said "we have a defense" after he arrived.
I don't hold it against him for leaving for more money, GBP didn't have what he wanted for the future but he signed the contract restructure. Again, if it was bad, it's his decision, don't blame the team. Seems like poor decision making is a pattern for the guy.
If he truly tanked last year, totally unforgivable.
Pack 27 - Vi'princesses 17.
GPG!

1 points
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

September 08, 2022 at 03:49 pm

He didn’t leave for more money; he was let go by GB in a cap cutting measure.

0 points
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mnbadger's picture

September 08, 2022 at 05:53 pm

Agreed, but Packers did offer him a lower restructure. GPG

0 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 08, 2022 at 09:57 pm

Perhaps so. Z signed for $6.5M plus $3M in game active bonuses, so he can make up to $9.5M. He is an easy cut after one year, since he only got $5M guaranteed. He'd have $3.33M dead while providing almost $11M in cap savings if released after just one year with MN paying between $6.5M and $9.5M.

Those are probably numbers that GB couldn't have matched, but Z's cap number for MN is just $3.166M. Gute would have had to really want Z, but it was doable if Z would take a pay cut, which he did anyway.

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fair_weather's picture

September 08, 2022 at 01:28 pm

Go Packers

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T7Steve's picture

September 08, 2022 at 02:07 pm

Politics and religion, however, I think he was just joking and trying to get them to change their name again.

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coolhand's picture

September 08, 2022 at 02:06 pm

The best thing I can say for the project is that the Bears have claimed there will be no public money used to fund the stadium. Which, to be honest, should be the standard for every major sports franchise. There’s no need for owners worth billions to turn to the average Joe and ask them to pay for their ego palaces.

While the Bears have said they won't seek public money for the stadium, they do say they will seek public money for the surrounding "entertainment district" they plan to build.

https://www.foxnews.com/sports/chicago-bears-unveil-new-stadium-plans-se...

I wish I could get the public to fund and build my new restaurant that I can charge outrageously high prices for everything.

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LeotisHarris's picture

September 08, 2022 at 02:57 pm

Another fun and lively read, Tim. Thanks! It's wonderful what writers can accomplish when clichés get tossed out the window; "This is a team that will put up some pretty numbers at the skill positions, but has the depth the Colorado River in July and trenches with as much beef as a PETA picnic."

Reading Dusty, Tim, and Al makes me feel like I'm listening to an old friend. Good stuff, guys!

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jont's picture

September 08, 2022 at 02:59 pm

Other than the obvious Packer obsession, my only interest this weekend is seeing the Rams lose.

I am sick of Aaron Donald. Take away the fawning PR and he's Suh. You saw the helmet swinging, and I am sure the moment you read that the Rams would 'discipline him internally' you knew that nothing would come of it.

That Browns player got a six weeks off for doing the same thing, but what can we expect of the Rams: McVay couldn't bring himself even to speak with Goff when he traded him, and Kroneke never met a business partner he didn't try to cheat so that was that. Go Bills.

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Cartwright's picture

September 08, 2022 at 06:11 pm

Looking forward to winning by as much as we lost last year. GPG!

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Cartwright's picture

September 08, 2022 at 06:11 pm

Looking forward to winning by as much as we lost last year. GPG!

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Swisch's picture

September 08, 2022 at 07:07 pm

In the 1990s, when I was still fairly young in my thirties, I lived in Chicago for more than five years -- with no car, only tokens for the el -- and I loved that city.
I lived in Rogers Park on the northeast edge of Chicago, below the suburb of Evanston, with my apartment near the Morse elevated station, several blocks north of Loyola University, and only a couple blocks from a beautiful park on Lake Michigan.
At the time, it wasn't the worst neighborhood in the city; but then again, it wasn't the best, either. The nearby grocery store closed soon after I moved there in 1993, which was a major inconvenience.
It wasn't a festive area for young adults with a vast array of restaurants and pubs and coffee shops like Lincoln Park. I was wary when out at night.
***
Still, after growing up in the suburb of Wheaton, the city was a fascinating adventure to me with its varied ethnicities past and present. A book I really like is about Chicago in the 1800s -- "City of the Century," by Donald L. Miller -- which was made into a PBS documentary.
I was even a community organizer way back in 1984 as a college intern for a term, on the northwest side in Albany Park, a former Jewish neighborhood that then had something like thirty or forty nationalities speaking some seventy languages.
I helped organize residents to clean up gang graffiti with a large meeting at a former synagogue that had become a Korean United Methodist church. At some point, a gang member called our office after hours and left a message that people would be shot if we continued our efforts -- then he shot the phone to punctuate the threat.
I applied for a job there after graduation, but they didn't call me back until I was already working elsewhere; otherwise, I may have met a young Barack Obama who became a community organizer in Chicago at about the same time.
***
Anyway, all of this is to say with great sadness that nowadays it seems people should truly be afraid to go into just about any big city, what with the defunding of the police and the revolving door of irresponsible leniency for criminals.
Astoundingly, it was safer for our troops over their last year in Afghanistan (until the debacle of the pullout) than it is for residents in Chicago over a typical weekend.
In the 1990s, Rudy Giuliani cleaned up crime in New York, and at present it seems Miami is doing a good job with a determined effort at public safety -- so it seems the mayors of most other big cities just don't have the will to clean up crime and stop the horrible carnage of innocent bystanders, including children.
All of this is to say that I understand why sports teams would build new stadiums and ballparks and arenas in the suburbs. I don't like the idea, but there is really no choice.
Sad but true, the cities are largely off limits for me these days because they're allowed to be just too dangerous.

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splitpea1's picture

September 08, 2022 at 08:52 pm

This is true--best not to stray too far away from the tourist areas. The Commanders' rookie running back was recently shot twice during a carjacking on H Street, less than two miles east of the White House and a lot of pricey hotels. He is currently rehabbing and hopefully will be able to play this season.

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Swisch's picture

September 08, 2022 at 09:40 pm

The shocking toll of casualties in our big cities is all the more tragic because it's so unnecessary when there are real examples of such crime being limited with strong leadership, determined policing, and real prosecution.

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