Season preview, 2009

Jeepers creepers, folks. Preseason game number one is just around the corner!

As Ike reported earlier this week, I’ve been relaxing at the cabin lately, doing some fishing and some minor upkeep projects. I managed to avoid electro-cuting myself when installing some new outlets (yep, I’m goin’ soft with fancy electricity and a cabin phone!), but the fishing wasn’t as good as previous Augusts. You win some and you lose some. All the busy work has kept me from the Packers, but you don’t really learn as much from the first week of training camp as you’d like to think.

We still need a punter. The new defense is new. Blah blah blah. So and so broke an arm. Everyone’s optimistic. And so forth.

Much as I’d like to dissect the early position battles, such exercises don’t really stack up against sitting in a boat in the middle of the night with the August full moon overhead. There were no walleyes to be had on this night, but that’s OK. I had my cousin Walter’s company and we saw a flock of birds as big as black-bears flying over the tree-tops and in front of the Big Moon – it was truly an image from a strange and wonderful dream. Now if I could only figure out a way to play some toe-tapping organ music or a polka in the boat.

A project for another summer, I guess.

Back at home now, I planted two new Hydrangea ‘Trees’ in the backyard. My neighbor poked his head over the fence and said he thought hydrangeas were ugly. What kind of thing is that to say? Jeeper creepers! He countered that his wife liked them, though, and that I was going to make him look bad. He offered me two railroad spikes to bury beneath them. Said they’d give the flowers a blue tint.

Do you have any spikes that will turn them Green and Gold? I asked. No such luck, FG. No such luck. So I planted them both underneath the tree on the north side and now I’m doing a science experiment. How much do you like the extra iron, little flower tree? Time will tell.

Hopefully the neighbor wasn’t just trying to kill my new trees. Maybe he’s a secret Bears fan. You never know, folks. People are crazy at heart.

Old Dom Capers is working on his big experiment over on the practice field, but those results will have more people talking than my baby-blue, bird-eating, blood-thirstin’ hydrangeas.

The fate of the new 3-4 defense is what all us Packers fans are really thinking about these days, even if we say we’re unconcerned and staring at the big moon in a rowboat. For 14 years we’ve run the 4-3, and for 14 years before that or so we ran the 3-4, and before that they just called it defense and things were simpler. These days nothing is simple except for fishing, and even that is a questionable statement.

You folks know me. I’m gonna predict a Packer’s victory every week of the season once it gets under-way, but at least in August I can try to be realistic. How many wins we get will depend entirely on that new defense and whether or not it can offer a drastic improve-ment over last year’s mess. I am hopeful, but like fishing at night, sometimes things don’t work out quite how you planned. Sometimes the witch-fishes put a spell on your baits.

Preseason is a time for bold predictions, though, so I’ll knock it off with the hocus pocus and the humble pie. You folks wanna see some pea-cocking, right?

This is probably a make-it or break-it season for Coach McCarthy and the polarizing Ted Thompson as well. As I said at the end of last year’s disappoint-ment, I still have faith in both gentlemen, and that optimism extends to our Top Gun, Ronnie Rodgers. And I don’t see any reason why we can’t win the North in 2009. So, after much deep thought and research and just a tinge of mysticism, I’m ready to make my prediction:

The Packers will finish up 11-5 and win the North by a nice margin. Ronnie Rodgers will go to the Pro-Bowl and the defense will succeed in wreaking havoc.

The Hydrangeas will rejoice, winter silently, and come back a brilliant mix of Green and Gold next summer. And somewhere along there, I’ll get another big fish.

Until next time, then.