Green Bay Packers

Brett Favre soon to earn acknowledgment for Hall of Fame career

This summer, Brett Favre will be inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

Some of you may know Favre as the old guy on the Wranglers commercial holding a football for no reason. Or you may know him as the Jets quarterback for one season. Or you may even know him as the Minnesota Vikings quarterback, who was the targeted player by the New Orleans Saints “Bounty Boys.”

But to the NFL, Favre is the legendary Packers quarterback that led the team for 16 years, the quarterback with two NFC titles, 11 Prop Bowl appearances, three NFL MVP titles, and a Super Bowl win. 

But there's more. 

Favre collected nearly 72,000 career-passing yards, 508 career touchdowns and a career passer rating of 86.

Yes, he is the guy who retired twice, but that should not be his legacy. Maybe that is what we remember because it is what happened recently, but there is so much more to Favre.

Not only will we remember Favre for the way John Madden said his name, but also for the legend he was. For those 16 seasons on the Packers, he played in every single regular season game except for one game in his first season.

Prior to Favre’s arrival in Green Bay in 1992, the Packers achieved relatively little on field success for about 24 years after the departure of Vince Lombardi. Favre led where needed and took the team back to prominence. The Packers team seen today is because of Favre.

So next time you see a Wranglers commercial, I hope you notice the legend in the yard wearing jeans and throwing a football. Salute Brett Favre in your best John Madden voice.

Two rookie running backs you can expect to put up big fantasy numbers in 2013

Here are two rookie running backs whom I believe will put up huge numbers next fall:

1. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers

The Packers drafted Eddie Lacy late in the second round, which is much later than most experts had projected he would be selected. Nonetheless, this was an excellent pick by the Packers, who filled a serious need in the running back position by drafting Lacy. He is a downhill runner who can break tackles and punch the ball into the end zone at the goal line. At 5 feet 11 inches and 231 pounds, Lacy can still switch gears and pick up speed quickly in the open field, so he will be a load for even the best NFL defenders to take down. Lacy may not be a huge big-play threat in the NFL, but he is an every-down back that can carry the ball 20 times a game. The Packers will most likely use him as their red zone back as well, so he will surely have many opportunities to put up big fantasy numbers.

2. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

Le'Veon Bell was a mid-second round selection for the Steelers, and just like the Packers selecting Lacy, this pick helped fill a serious need for the Pittsburgh team. Bell is a big back, listed at 6 feet 2 inches and around 240 pounds, and he fits the Steelers' running back brand perfectly. With the departure of Rashard Mendenhall, Bell should see immediate playing time, which means quality opportunities to shake the NFL learning curve early on and start producing. If Bell can learn to use his size and become more of a downhill runner, fantasy owners can expect him to rack up goal line and red zone touchdowns and put up monster fantasy numbers. If the Steelers use him the right way he will definitely produce some big stats for a rookie.

Both of these guys are big backs that may not produce a huge amount of rushing yards, but like I mentioned above, they will both get a number of opportunities to score touch downs at the goal line, which in the end accounts for the most fantasy points. In addition, I believe these two players have more fantasy potential than other running backs selected in the draft because they fell to the right teams — teams that are in desperate need of production in the running game. 

Suspended Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly cries as he testifies in court on Thursday in Houston, sentenced to six years in prison for violating the terms of his probation on a drug charge.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

HOUSTON — Suspended Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday for violating the terms of his probation for a drug conviction.

State District Judge Denise Bradley imposed the sentence despite tearful pleas from Jolly and his mother, Phyllis Jolly, to allow the 6-foot-3, 325-pound lineman to be treated for his addiction to codeine instead of going to prison. Jolly’s aunt, agent and drug counselor also testified on his behalf.

“I want to go to rehab to get help,” Jolly told the judge as he wiped away tears with a tissue.

Jolly, 28, was charged with possession of a compound containing codeine, a controlled substance, after a traffic stop in Houston in October. He also was charged with tampering with evidence for attempting to conceal the substance from the investigating officers.

Jolly’s truck was pulled over after he was seen throwing a bag out the window. The bag wasn’t recovered, but Jolly was seen dumping a cup believed to contain codeine on the floor. Two bottles believed to contain codeine were recovered from the vehicle.

The arrest put Jolly in jeopardy of receiving prison time because in April he had pleaded guilty to a codeine possession charge in a deal that wiped out an earlier charge and spared him from prison unless he stumbled again.

After the hearing, Jolly’s attorney, Letitia Quinones, told The Associated Press that the player spent eight weeks in court-ordered rehab after his second arrest, but has only recently faced up to his codeine addiction.

“I don’t look at Johnny as a criminal,” Quinones said. “I look at him as an addict.”

Jolly, who grew up in Houston, was a sixth-round draft pick of the Packers in 2006 after playing at Texas A&M. He was a starter for the Packers in 2008 and 2009. However, he sat out the 2010 season after being suspended by the NFL indefinitely the previous July.

Aaron Rodgers has turned the Green Bay Packers into Super Bowl champions once again.

ARLINGTON — Aaron Rodgers has turned the Green Bay Packers into Super Bowl champions once again.

Rodgers threw three touchdown passes and Nick Collins returned an interception for another score, leading the Packers to a 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

This was Green Bay’s fourth Super Bowl title. The Packers won the first two Super Bowls with Vince Lombardi coaching Bart Starr, and captured another with Brett Favre in January 1997.

The Steelers trailed 21-3 before halftime. Ben Roethlisberger got them within 28-25 midway through the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass and a nifty 2-point conversion. The Packers answered with a field goal, giving Roethlisberger one last chance.

Needing to go 87 yards in 1:59 with one timeout left, Roethlisberger couldn’t make it across midfield.

As the Packers ran out the clock, fans chanted, “Go Pack Go!” Rodgers — who was named the game’s MVP — wound up with the ball, bouncing up and down. He hugged Clay Matthews Jr. near midfield as confetti shot out of cannons and silver streamers dropped.

“This is a great day to be great, baby,” said wide receiver Greg Jennings.

“We’ve been a team that’s overcome adversity all year,” he added. “Our head captain goes down, emotional in the locker room. Our No. 1 receiver goes down, more emotions are going, flying in the locker room. But we find a way to bottle it up and exert it all out here on the field.”

This was only the second time Pittsburgh lost a Super Bowl. The Steelers still have the most wins with six and are tied for the most appearances with eight.

The crowd at Cowboys Stadium was 91,060 paying attendees, or 103,219 counting “credentialed attendees.” It fell short of the record.

Green Bay led 21-17 after three quarters, but the Packers were without cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Sam Shields and receiver Donald Driver.

The Steelers had the momentum, the experience and the crowd — tens of thousands of fans twirling “Terrible Towels” and making things tough for Rodgers to bark out signals at times.

But on the first play of the fourth quarter, with Pittsburgh possibly driving for a go-ahead touchdown, Rashard Mendenhall fumbled on a hit by Clay Matthews Jr. The Packers took over at their own 45.

Jennings caught his second TD pass of the game to give the Packers a 28-17 lead with 11:57 to play — their third touchdown following a takeaway.

The Packers’ final points came on a 23-yard field goal by Mason Crosby with 2:07 left.

Christina Aguilera got the game off to a rocky start by flubbing a line in the national anthem. The Steelers didn’t do much better at the outset.

Green Bay jumped ahead 14-0 with touchdowns on consecutive plays: a 29-yard touchdown catch by Jordy Nelson, then Collins’ interception, which featured a weaving return, a dive into the end zone and hip-swiveling dance toward the Pittsburgh sideline by B.J. Raji, the Packers’ jumbo-sized nose tackle.

Rodgers stretched the lead to 21-3 by drilling a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jennings. The ball whistled past safety Ryan Clark, with Jennings making a tough catch look easy just before getting popped by Steelers safety Troy Polamalu. That drive also was set up by an interception, a pickoff at midfield by Jarrett Bush.

Roethlisberger’s miserable first half turned a little better at the end.

Taking over deep in his own territory after Jennings’ touchdown, he threw a 37-yard completion to Antwaan Randle El. That started a seven-play, 77-yard drive that ended with an 8-yard touchdown catch to former Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward.

Also on that drive, Woodson hurt his collarbone diving for a pass. He spent the second half in street clothes, with his left arm in a sling, appearing quite uncomfortable. Driver was out with an ankle injury, and Shields hurt a shoulder.

With two defensive backs out at the half, everyone expected the Steelers to come out throwing in the third quarter. Nope. They gained all 50 yards on their opening drive on the ground, with Mendenhall bowling in from the 8 for the touchdown. He jumped up and flung the ball into the stands with a two-handed basketball chest pass.

The first Super Bowl held at $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium came following a week of ice and snow that caused all sorts of problems. Hopes for an uneventful gameday were ruined when several sections of temporary seats — holding about 1,250 people — were deemed unsafe.

Celebs were everywhere: from former President George W. Bush to baseball slugger Alex Rodriguez, who was seen having popcorn shoveled into his mouth by actress Cameron Diaz. Hollywood stars John Travolta, Harrison Ford, Calista Flockhart, Mark Harmon, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas were in attendance, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson was seated near new Cowboys coach Jason Garrett; on Garrett’s other side was Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.

Football stars were sprinkled around, too. The newest Hall of Fame class, chosen Saturday, took part in the pregame coin toss, with Deion Sanders handling the flip. 

Superbowl XLV

The cheers of Packers supporters rang through Jester West on Sunday as football fans celebrated the Super Bowl win. As Arlington hosted Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium, which opened in 2009, Longhorns divided themselves into Steelers and Packers fans Sunday with watch parties on and off campus to celebrate the football game. Jester West held a watch party in the front lounge, and establishments around West Campus — including Pluckers, Cain & Abel’s and Cuatros — broadcast the game on big screen televisions. Government junior Ricardo Capuano said the majority of football fans at UT are Packers supporters. Capuano, who grew up in Mexico City, rooted for the Steelers at Pluckers. “I went to a game long, long ago in Mexico City where the [Dallas] Cowboys played against the Steelers, and the Steelers won,” he said. “I picked the Steelers. I have no connection to Pennsylvania or Pittsburgh.” Pre-journalism sophomore Luke Winkie watched the Super Bowl with Capuano at Pluckers. Winkie watched his first Super Bowl in 2002, when the New England Patriots won against the St. Louis Rams. “I remember vividly watching the halftime show where Bono came out with the American flag on the inside of his jacket,” he said. “It was right after 9/11, so patriotism was really high and watching Bono pull out this American flag while he was doing ‘With or Without You’ or something is burned into my skull.” Another component of the Super Bowl’s entertainment value is its commercials, which are some of the most highly ranked on the Nielsen Rating scale, a scale that determines commercials’ audience size and composition, according to nielsen.com. According to a 2010 survey of 25,000 households, 51 percent of viewers preferred the commercials to the actual Super Bowl. “This year, the Doritos one where he resurrects his grandpa was pretty good,” he said. “The commercials are a part of the Super Bowl culture.” The Black Eyed Peas, along with four North Texas high-school drill teams, performed in a Tron-themed halftime show, said studio art sophomore Iva Kinnaird, whose little sister performed in the show. “She got to be in the halftime show with the Black Eyed Peas, which is really cool,” she said. “They wore light-up suits that change color and stuff. You know how at the Olympics in Beijing, they had the suits that changed colors? The costumes are kind of like that.” The Packer’s came out on top with a 31-25 victory, and the win was not surprising, said pre-journalism freshman Chelsea Norcom. “I was a little nervous toward the end because it was pretty close, but I was excited for that,” she said. “I wanted it to be a close game.”