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Col­lapse could have long-term ef­fects

I guess I am sad­dest about the Packer col­lapse be­cause of the im­pact it is likely to have on the team: the play­ers and the coach­ing staff.

Imag­ine com­ing into train­ing camp in July and bust­ing your butt to get as far into the play­offs as pos­si­ble. Imag­ine your young play­ers step­ping up and mak­ing real con­tri­bu­tions to the team’s suc­cess. Imag­ine your quar­ter­back hav­ing an MVP sea­son. Imag­ine mak­ing a huge turn­around on de­fense in mid­sea­son and, save for a lousy game in Buf­falo on the part of ev­ery­one on the of­fense, nearly end­ing the sea­son as the num­ber one seed. Imag­ine suc­ceed­ing in tough games against Detroit and Dal­las to get to the NFC fi­nals and imag­ine hav­ing the highly-fa­vored Sea­hawks in a choke hold, only to blow the game.

This has the po­ten­tial to sow bit­ter­ness all over the place. The fans are livid. They want a scape­goat, or scape­goats. Bran­don Bo­stick is an easy tar­get but the wolves are in full throat against McCarthy, This has the po­ten­tial to tear at the fab­ric of the team. Ev­ery­one needs to step back and take a deep breath if we care for the long-term prospects of this won­der­ful team. Bit­ter dis­agree­ments at the core, be­tween, say, McCarthy and Rodgers would be dev­as­tat­ingly cor­ro­sive.

I’ll ad­mit to be­ing as dis­ap­pointed as any­one at this ter­ri­ble col­lapse, but I have been a Packer fan for 65 years. I be­came a fan in 1949 when the Pack­ers were The Pits. In 1959 Vince Lom­bardi came to Green Bay and took us to the top of the moun­tain. Lom­bardi left in 1968 and the Pack­ers went back to wan­der­ing in the wilder­ness. Then came Ron Wolf and Mike Holm­gren and, most im­por­tantly, Brett Favre, and the Pack­ers re­claimed their po­si­tion as one of the league’s premier teams.

Folks, we’ve been on a roll for more than 30 years. Win­ning is the norm. Ex­cit­ing foot­ball games are rou­tine. We’ve won two Su­per Bowls and been in the play­offs nearly ev­ery year and I hope we can find a way to defuse the neg­a­tiv­ity, at least long enough to calm down and re­al­ize what a great sit­u­a­tion we have in Green Bay, to­day’s fi­asco not­with­stand­ing.

Dick Egan

Mil­wau­kee

Who’s to blame for Pack­ers loss?

As a life­long Pack­ers fan, I had a bad feel­ing their wrong mind-set would re­sult in an even­tual loss, when in the 1st quar­ter Mike Daniels stupidly and self­ishly taunted the Sea­hawks, re­sult­ing in a 15yard penalty, prob­a­bly cost­ing a touch­down. It’s a team game, there’s no ex­cuse for such stupid self­ish­ness. Ab­so­lutely the coach is re­spon­si­ble for strictly teach­ing his play­ers the cor­rect mind-set, so the ul­ti­mate blame goes to Mike McCarthy, who also made ter­ri­ble de­ci­sions through­out in play call­ing.

Michael G. Price

Michi­gan Cen­ter, Mich.

Coach­ing de­ci­sions quite baff ling

As a Min­nesotan, but a big Packer fan, I stay in touch with the team via JSOn­line.com. I just watched my team play the game of their lives and then wit­nessed coach­ing de­ci­sions cost them a win. Sorry Coach McCarthy, but while you do have a Su­per Bowl ring and tons of suc­cess, your decision mak­ing at times is com­pletely baf­fling. Why don’t you be­lieve in your All-World QB to com­plete a pass in or­der to get a first down? He did fine with a lit­tle over a minute left in or­der to get in po­si­tion for the ty­ing field goal. Play­ing not to lose leaves a re­ally bad taste. What a shame. Note to self. . . . if the coaches don’t care enough to do any­thing but curl up in a de­fen­sive ball, their fans should not care ei­ther.

Pete Enge­bret­son Min­neapo­lis, Minn.

In a cham­pi­onship game, play to win

Word to the wise Mr. McCarthy and that so-called great of­fen­sive mind trust of the late great GB Pack­ers. When you’re in a cham­pi­onship game, play like it. Don’t play NOT TO LOSE, PLAY TO WIN, Your op­po­nent will! Seat­tle proved that to­day. Go for the throat ev­ery once and awhile and don’t be afraid to take chances. Another year ends with you look­ing like a deer in the head­lights, hav­ing no clue what hap­pened in the end. Same old ex­cuses, and I’m sure no changes to be made. We’ll get the same old, “The coaches don’t play the game the play­ers do.”

You had what, 2 pos­ses­sions in the last 6 min. in fan­tas­tic field po­si­tion and call 6 run­ning plays when you ar­guably have the best QB in foot­ball and tie his hands. EX­TREMELY poor game man­age­ment. Another year wasted in the ca­reer of said QB, which are fly­ing by quickly, prom­ises of a dy­nasty are quickly be­com­ing empty prom­ises.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m ex­tremely glad to have a team that wins year in and year out, but that’s all your teams are ever go­ing to be is just good teams. Great teams, leg­endary teams are the ones that get to that moun­tain top. 55 mins of fun, ex­cite­ment, 5 min of heart­break. Epic fail. Well back to the real world. Un­til fall, that is.

Larry Gadza­lin­ski Mil­wau­kee, Wis.

Time for change in coach­ing staff

It’s time to ad­dress the is­sue of the Green Bay Pack­ers play­off game. We have been in the play­offs the last sev­eral years and never make it out of the first or sec­ond round. Yes­ter­day was an ex­am­ple of how bad it can get. It is time for the Packer front of­fice to follow San Francisco’s lead and make changes. Jim Har­baugh had an amaz­ing record but didn’t have what it takes to win a cham­pi­onship. We are see­ing the same thing with the Pack­ers. It’s time to re­vamp the coach­ing staff, if not all at least the de­fen­sive side. Yes­ter­day’s game was to­tally ridicu­lous and shouldn’t hap­pen again.

Charles Kerby Bloom­field, Iowa

McCarthy needs wins that mat­ter

I spent a lot of time last week try­ing to un­der­stand how John El­way and the Den­ver Bron­cos could part ways with John Fox so eas­ily. I mean, here was a coach who had led them to play­off games, di­vi­sional ti­tles, and a Su­per Bowl in the last few years. And then I watched Sun­day’s NFC Cham­pi­onship Game and had an epiphany.

Nei­ther John Fox or Mike McCarthy can win con­sis­tently. Nei­ther coach is able to “pull the trig­ger,” “roll the dice,” “lay it all out there” or any other cliché you want to ap­ply. And while I am not call­ing for McCarthy’s head (yet), some­thing needs to be done.

In the first quar­ter when we had fourth and less than a yard McCarthy chose to kick the field goal. There are those who would ar­gue that it is bet­ter to kick the field goal and take the three points. I con­tend that in a game this big you left four points on the field. I re­al­ize that goal line stands are tough and that in most sit­u­a­tions you take the points, but this is not most sit­u­a­tions and if you do not get the touch­down you have still left Seat­tle with a 99yard drive for a touch­down. Games are rarely won or lost on one play, but tones and fu­ture de­ci­sions can cer­tainly be af­fected.

Pete Car­roll in a field-goal sit­u­a­tion chose to “put on the big boy pants” and faked a field goal in­stead. He not only caught the Pack­ers un­aware, but ended up with the four points the Pack left be­hind.

There are many rea­sons the Pack­ers lost yes­ter­day: the Bran­don Bo­stick mis­han­dle of the on­side kick; Mor­gan Bur­nett’s mys­te­ri­ous lay down on the in­ter­cep­tion; any­one on de­fense fail­ing to stop the two-point con­ver­sion; the suc­cess­ful afore­men­tioned fake field goal; and, the de­fense for­get­ting to play/ cover in the last four min­utes of the game.

Mike McCarthy now has more wins than any other Pack­ers coach other than Lam­beau, but he does not have more wins that mat­ter. Time is march­ing on and the chances of keep­ing a team this good to­gether and healthy for yet another run at the Big Game is fad­ing each year.

Aaron Rodgers has played with pain, de­ter­mi­na­tion, and guts for the last sev­eral games. It is too bad his head coach could not.

Sue Goss Menomonee Falls, Wis.

Over­time rules need to be ad­dressed

The NFL over­time rules bog­gle the mind when it comes to fair de­ter­mi­na­tion of a com­pe­ti­tion. In the NFC cham­pi­onship, the Green Bay Pack­ers made a few big mis­takes, a muffed on­side kick re­cov­ery and poor de­fense on a Hail Mary two-point con­ver­sion, but the most de­ci­sive er­ror they made was call­ing tails in­stead of heads on the over­time coin toss . . . which sub­se­quently lead to the Seat­tle Sea­hawks vic­tory and ad­vance­ment to the Su­per Bowl. Yes, in the NFC Cham­pi­onship Game, the game, and the sea­son for one team, is de­cided by a coin flip. The rule is ba­si­cally, if you win the coin toss, and go on of­fense and score a touch­down . . . the game is over. The op­po­nent does not get a chance to try and score.

Imag­ine the World Se­ries end­ing with a sim­i­lar rule; be­fore the ex­tra in­ning, a coin toss de­cides which team bats first, then in the top of the 10th in­ning the coin toss win­ning team scores a run and the game ends. The other team does not get a chance to bat. It would kill the MLB rat­ings. What makes base­ball great is that each team gets the same chance and some­times they have to bat­tle many in­nings to claim vic­tory. How would bas­ket­ball be im­pacted if in over­time, the coin toss win­ning team gets to in­bound the ball and if they hit a 3-point shot, they win.

No other pro­fes­sional sport de­ter­mines their cham­pi­onships in such man­ner where pure chance, or­ches­trated by rule . . . de­ter­mines vic­tory. What hap­pened in Sun­day’s reg­u­la­tion time game has no bear­ing on the over­time. In the over­time . . . we are start­ing es­sen­tially a brand new game, but in this game the process is stacked by a coin toss.

Why does the NFL use this rule when all other sports have bet­ter ways of end­ing tie com­pe­ti­tions (look no fur­ther then the NCAA for an ex­cit­ing and fair way to end tie games)? The NFL wants to con­trol broad­cast time, fair com­pe­ti­tion or not: so as to max­i­mize the sched­ule of view­ers (and there­fore rev­enue) tun­ing on to the next game.

Re­gard­less of which team you were pulling for in the NFC Cham­pi­onship, all NFL fans were de­nied the po­ten­tial for the prob­a­ble MVP to even play in over­time. This is a rule that must change. Ed Gard­ner Roswell, Ga.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Some Pack­ers fans are un­happy with Mike McCarthy’s play call­ing.

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