Alright gumshoes, here's a fun little mystery to solve. In his live chat today, Rob Demovsky was asked which Packer was the worst interview in his time covering the team. (He mentioned Butler as his favorite, so we know he's been around at least 12 years.)
His answer: "He's currently on the roster, but ask me again next year and he might not be."
My initial thought was Raji, but what are some other guesses?
Thankfully we have been blessed for over 20 years with some very good QB play.
As painfully as it sounds - think of life without ARod....what if Pakrzboi mancrush Bobby "Bushea" McClellin had knocked ARod out of foosball.
Which QB in this years draft would you take in the first round if the packers had a desperate need...and you were forced to make a QB choice.
Here's the thing I love about Emery. When he sees a problem or deficiency, he attacks it via multiple angles. He doesn't just sign one FA, he drafts the position as well. I think the Trestman/Emery duo are going to have a fantastic run in Chicago.
16 year old hops a fence at San Jose International airport, climbs into the wheel well of a 767, flies at 39,000 feet and 50 below zero for 5 hours and then climbs out in Maui. If your an NFL team that's struggled keeping guys healthy you have to find a spot for the human equivelant of a cock roach. This kid is indestructible.
What other feats of strength is this kid capable of? He should have his own reality show and do crazy stuff like this every week.
1. Aaron Rodgers, QB (No. 24 overall pick in 2005)
Critics of Thompson say he got lucky when Rodgers fell into his lap after so many other teams passed on him. But it took guts to make the selection when Favre was still playing well. It didn’t help the Packers in the short term but set the table for their Super Bowl title nearly six years later and continues to keep them in playoff contention every year.
2. Clay Matthews, LB (No. 26 in 2009)
The normally conservative Thompson shocked the NFL world by trading a second-rounder and two third-rounders to New England to move into the first round to grab Matthews, who was perfectly suited for Dom Capers’ 3-4 defense. One of the third-rounders the Packers dealt had been acquired in the Favre trade with the New York Jets the year before. It was a bold and spectacular move by Thompson.
3. B.J. Raji, NT (No. 9 in 2009)
Raji has started every game he has played the past four seasons — 70 in all — and was a key piece in Capers’ defense on the Super Bowl-winning team in 2010. His pick-six against the Chicago Bears in the NFC title game was as big as it gets. Although Raji’s production fell off in 2013, the Packers brought him back for another year and plan to line him up over the center where he is most effective.
4. A.J. Hawk, LB (No. 5 in 2006)
Hawk doesn’t make the splash plays expected of such a high first-round pick and to some has been a disappointment. But he is reliable, assignment-sure and always available, playing in 137 of a possible 139 games in eight seasons with 133 starts. He had perhaps his best season in 2013 at age 29.
5. Bryan Bulaga, T (No. 23 in 2010)
He has missed the last year and a half with injuries, including a season-ending torn ACL suffered last August in the Family Night scrimmage. He was slated to be the Packers’ starting left tackle before the injury and assuming a full recovery will be a strong contender for the starting right tackle job.
6. Nick Perry, LB (No. 28 in 2012)
Injuries have sidetracked his first two seasons, with 17 games played and 11 starts. But the Packers haven’t given up on Perry, who might be suited for the new elephant position that will include lining up as an outside linebacker and defensive lineman.
7. Datone Jones, DE (No. 26 in 2013)
He made only a modest contribution as a rookie, with no starts and limited action in defensive subpackages. He showed flashes early in training camp but was never the same after injuring his ankle in August. He has the potential to move up the list.
8. Derek Sherrod, T (No. 32 in 2011)
Can he overcome the effects of a severely broken leg suffered as a rookie? Even before the injury, he couldn’t beat out Marshall Newhouse for a job at tackle, raising questions about his ability to rise above backup status.
9. Justin Harrell, DT (No. 16 in 2007)
This was Thompson’s low point in the draft room. Harrell was injury-prone and inconsistent coming out of Tennessee but Thompson picked him anyway. Lo and behold, Harrell didn’t change his ways in the pros. He never recorded a sack and started just two games in his failed NFL career.
Welcome to another edition of Fedya's "Movies to Tivo" thread, for the week of April 21-27, 2014. I know everybody's breathlessly waiting for the Champions League semifinals this week, hoping that Bayern München can beat the crap out of Real Madrid. While waiting for that and the return leg next week, why not relax with some good movies? There's a lot of interesting stuff this week that I don't think I've recommended before, and not just on TCM. As always, all times are in Eastern, unless otherwise mentioned.
White Witch Doctor, Monday at 11:15 AM on FXM/FMC. Susan Hayward stars as a woman who shows up at a remote outpost in the Belgian Congo circa 1909, which is the last stop before she goes to work as a nurse in a bush hospital for the natives. There she meets Robert Mitchum, who's ostensibly making a living capturing animals for zoos, but is really looking for gold, with his more unscrupulous partner Walter Slezak. There's only one province left to look in, but that's controlled by a tribe that rightly hates the white man and would have no compunction about killing them. Mitchum thinks Africa is no place for a white woman but takes her to the hospital, where the old lady doctor has died leaving Hayward all alone. When the son of a chieftain in that rival tribe gets attacked by a lion, Slezak sees a chance for Mitchum to do a bit of surreptitious exploration. But by this time, he's begun to fall for Hayward.... There's some nice establishing shots in color, but the main action was all done on the Fox lots.
With a week of Fan Programmers and the anniversary salutes to MGM and to TCM itself, TCM decided to do something different with its Star of the Month, John Wayne: instead of one night a week every week for the month, TCM is having a five-day marathon of John Wayne's movies. So I hope you like John Wayne, or this week is going to be pretty slim pickings. The marathon starts at 8:00 PM Monday with The Big Trail. John Wayne's first screen credit is in this movie, which has him playing a guide guiding pioneers along the Oregon Trail, to a bright new future out west. There's a love interest for him in the form of Marguerite Churchill, but mostly the movie is about the difficulties the pioneers faced in going west: the threat of attacks by the Indians, forbidding forests, difficult rivers to ford, and cliffs, which is where things really get harrowing. The movie was made in an experimental wide-screen process called Grandeur which is great for the nature scenes but not so good for the closeups. That lack of closeups, along with movie theaters not wanting to convert to widescreens what with the Depression, helped sink this movie financially, and keep Waynve from becoming a star at a big stuido until Stagecoach (Tuesday at 8:00 PM) in 1939.
Before the John Wayne movies begin, there is some other stuff on TCM on Monday, that being a bunch of beach movies, and their adopted sibling Ski Party, at 7:30 AM Monday. Frankie Avalon returns, but this time as a young man who with his friend (Dwayne Hickman) sees their would-be girlfriends (Deborah Walley and Yvonne Craig) go off on college break not to the beach, but to a ski resort. So the two young men follow their girls there in the hopes of winning them over. One of the scenes involves Frankie and Dwayne going in drag to get lessons from a Swedish ski instructor, only for it to backfire. Lesley Gore shows up to sing a song, as does James Brown doing "I Got You (I Feel Good)". Frankie Avalon's oftentimes screen partner Annette Funicello has a small role, playing a sex education instructor.
I mentioned above that with the failure of The Big Trail, John Wayne had to spend the 1930s making westerns on Poverty Row, or playing small parts in big-studio movies. An example of the latter is The Life of Jimmy Dolan, at 7:00 AM Tuesday on TCM. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. plays Jimmy Dolan, a boxing champion (yeah right) who puts out a public image of being squeaky clean that's not exactly the truth; when a reporter confronts him with that truth, Jimmy socks the reporter, accidentally killing him. This leads him to make a getaway out west to Utah, where he winds up on a farm run by Aline MacMahon and her niece (Loretta Young), who have taken in several orphans. The orphans take to Jimmy, but the farm needs more revenue, and the only way to get that is for Jimmy to box again -- something that would bring attention to him and the detective still on the case (Guy Kibbee). If all this sounds familiar, it's becuase I've recommended the remake before, 1939's They Made Me a Criminal.
John Wayne's production company, Batjac, produced Cast a Giant Shadow, airing at 3:15 PM Thursday on TCM; Wayne has a small part in it as well. It's based on the true story of David "Mickey" Marcus, a US Army colonel in World War II who was approached by the nascent state of Israel to be help command the Israeli forces in their struggle for independence against the Palestinians. Marcus, played by Kirk Douglas, doesn't exactly feel himself Jewish by belief, but takes on the job, becoming Israel's first general in the process. Ultimately, Marcus would be killed by friendly fire. Angie Dickinson plays Mrs. Marcus; Senta Berger an Israeli woman with whom Marcus develops a relationship; as for John Wayne, he plays a World War II general who is clearly modeled on Patton. Marcus had served under Patton but they couldn't have Patton suggesting Marcus take up the Israeil job since Patton had died back in 1945.
A movie that's often derided out of hand, but it's nearly as bad as it's generally made out to be, is Big Jim McLain, at 3:45 PM Friday. Wayne plays Jim McLain, a lawyer and ex-Marine working for the House Un-American Activities Committee. Those evil Communists are everywhere, and Jim gets sent to Hawaii (still a territory so under clear federal jurisdiction) with his colleague Mal (James Arness) to investigate a ring of Communists who are trying to infiltrate the shipping unions -- shades of On the Waterfront. The two men are almost immediately met on landing by lovely Nancy (Nancy Olson), who takes a liking to Jim even though he's not supposed to tell her what he's really doing. The communiists (led by Alan Napier later of the Batman TV series) are cardboard, while the HUAC lawyers are heroically virtuous, making this play out like a sub-par episode of Hawaii Five-O. It's not great at all, but it's not the unbelievably bad film it's often claimed to be simply because of its obvious anti-Communist message.
Once all the John Wayne movies are done with, we get things like this week's TCM Essential: Beauty and the Beast, at 8:00 PM Saturday. This isn't the Disney version with anthropogenic teapots, but a 1946 French version directed by Jean Cocteau with a screenplay by him based on the 18th century story by de Beaumont. Belle (played by Josette Day) is the good daughter who helps her father while her two evil sisters squander the familiy wealth. Dad is taken prisoner when he steals a rose for Belle at a castle, but the owner of the castle (Jean Marais) accepts Belle in exchange. The castle owner is of course the Beast, and he falls in love with Belle, asking her once every day to marry him. She refuses, but it turns out that the Beast is actually a wealthy prince, and that could solve all of the financial problems that Dad has. And the two evil sisters wouldn't mind getting some of that money either....
For those of you with the Cinemax package and HD, you have a couple of chances to watch the excellent thriller The Day of the Jackal: at 3:55 AM Friday on Movie Max, and at 5:00 AM Sunday on Thriller Max. In the early 1960s, France had just lost Algeria to a war of independence, and there were supposedly elements in the French military who didn't like Charles de Gaulle for losing the war. This movie posits that these shadowy figures tried to kill de Gaulle, ultimately hiring a killer named the Jackal (Edward Fox) to do the deed; the rest of the movie focuses on the Jackals meticulous preparation for the scheduled assassination day, while French intelligence, having goten wind of the plot, are trying to find the Jackal, led by Detective Lebel (Michel Lonsdale). Of course, we know in real life that de Gaulle was never assassinated, so we know the plot doesn't work, but seeing how it ultimately fails is part of what makes the movie so interesting. Fox is excellent as the Jackal, and Lonsdale is quite good as the detective doggedly pursuing him.
Our final feature movie this week is The Wizard of Baghdad, at 8:50 AM Sunday on FXM/FMC. Dick Shawn, the mama's boy from It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, plays a genie who looks nothing like Barbara Eden. In fact, he's terribly incompent, and this incompetence has resulted in the head genie making him mortal. That is, unless he can get a would-be royal couple out of a jam. Prince Husan (Barry Coe) is supposed to marry Princess Yasmin (Diane Baker), but she's coveted by the evil Sultan (John Van Dreelen), who's ruling Baghdad. If genie Shawn can save the princess from the sultan and get the prince to marry her, he can become an immortal again, and return Baghdad to its rightful place. Unfortunately, the last time FMC showed this, it was a panned-and-scanned print, which doesn't help the fact that the movie is essentially a time-filler and nothing special.
In amongst the John Wayne movies are a couple of documentaries not about John Wayne. I mentioned that Wayne really became a big star with Stagecoach in 1939, which is on at 8:00 PM Tuesday. Just before that, at 6:30 PM Tuesday, there's a documentary on how 1939 was the best year Hollywood ever had, with one after another of the greatest films of all time having been made. Perhaps more interesting, although not particularly related to John Wayne, is Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin, and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood, at 4:00 AM Tuesday. Or, it's just after Baby Face, in which John Wayne has a small role as one of Barbara Stanwyck's conquests as she sleeps her way to the top. Compared to nowadays, when you could make a film with full frontal nudity and dialog that's nothing but the F word, pre-Code movies are relatively tame. But there's a refreshing frankness in their discussion of the fact that yes, people had sex, as well as criminals getting away with there crimes; this documentary covers such topics.
And finally, on to a short film or two. First, in between the documentary on 1939 and Stagecoach is a Traveltalks short from 1939, Natural Wonders of Washington State. There's an even earlier Traveltalks short, Historic Mexico City from 1935, at about 4:50 PM Tuesday. Another popular series from the 1940s is John Nesbitt's Passing Parade, which shows up this ween in the form of A Lady Fights Back, at about 2:45 AM Thursday, or just after The Fighting Seabees at 1:00 AM Thursday. This one tells the story of the Normandie, a luxury liner (at least by 1930s standards) that was nearly destroyed in a fire, but was at the time of filming in 1944 being converted for use in the Allied war effort. There's only so much they can show for reasons of military security, and because this was an ongoing renovation. In fact, by the time the short was finished (it was released in November 1944), the military authorities realized they were going to be able to win the war without converting luxury liners for war use, and the Normandie wound up on the scrap heap.
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