*Two years after he co-founded the Packers with Curly Lambeau, George Calhoun began writing a piece called The Dope Sheet, which served as the official press release and game program from 1921-24.
Honoring Calhoun, the first publicity director, the Packers are running this weekly feature as their release, which is being made available to fans exclusively on Packers.com.
A complete edition of the Dope Sheet will be available each week during the season in PDF format, located in the Packers.com Game Centers.*
THIS WEEK'S NOTABLE STORYLINES:
-The Green Bay franchise embarks on its 86th NFL season, and 88th overall since Curly Lambeau and George Calhoun decided to start up a team at a local pub in 1919.
-Mike McCarthy, the 14th head coach in a Packers coaching geneology that includes four Pro Football Hall of Famers, makes his NFL debut.
-Classic foes in one of the richest rivalries in sports history, the Bears and Packers square off for the 171st renewal in their series - the 19th time they've opened an NFL season in Green Bay.
-Lovie Smith, now the dean of NFC North coaches in his third year with the Bears, has defeated Green Bay in three of his first four meetings after declaring upon his 2004 hiring that his program's No. 1 goal was to beat the Packers.
-Brett Favre, who has 396 career touchdown passes and 221 straight starts, authors the foreward for his 16th NFL season - his 15th in Green Bay. Only Bart Starr (16) and Ray Nitschke (15) have played as many campaigns in a Packers uniform.
TELEVISION: FOX Sports, beginning its 13th season as an NFL network television partner, will air the contest to a regional audience. Play-by-play man Sam Rosen joins color commentator Tim Ryan in the booth. Producer Mike Burks teams up with director Rich Russo in the truck.
-The contest also is available to DIRECTV(r) subscribers on Channel 714.
PACKERS RADIO: Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 57-station Packers Radio Network, with versatile Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (color). Spanning five states, the network covers 47 markets in six states throughout the upper Midwest.
-The broadcast also is available to NFL Field Pass subscribers on packers.com. Those with SIRIUS Satellite Radio can listen to live play-by-play as part of the network's NFL Sunday Drive.
NATIONAL RADIO:Westwood One Radio Sports will air the game across the country, with Mark Champion (play-by-play) and Trev Alberts (color). Tommy Tighe hosts the pregame and halftime shows.
NOTE OF THE WEEK: Green Bay rookie Greg Jennings led the NFL with 328 preseason receiving yards, the third-most for any NFL player in non-league action from 2000-06 (Elias Sports Bureau):
409--Randy Moss, Min--2000--16--3)
331--Mark Bradley, Chi--2005--17--1
328--Greg Jennings, GB-2006--12--1
315--Johnnie Morant, Oak--2005--15--0
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Decatur Staleys/Chicago Bears:
All-time regular season: 78-86-6
All-time, Lambeau Field: 27-20-0
Streaks: The Bears have won the last two meetings and three of the last four.
Last meeting, regular season: Dec. 25, 2005, at Lambeau Field, Bears won, 24-17
Playoff meeting: Dec. 14, 1941, Wrigley Field, NFL Western Division playoff; Bears won, 33-14
Mike McCarthy: 0-0-0, first NFL season
Lovie Smith: 16-17, .485, 3rd NFL season, 3rd with Bears
Head to Head: (first meeting)
vs. Opponent: McCarthy 0-0 vs. Bears; Smith 3-1 vs. Packers
MIKE McCARTHY...Is in his first year as the Packers' 14th head coach.
-Was named Packers head coach on Jan. 12, 2006, his first head coaching job after 13 years as an NFL assistant.
-One of those previous 13 years was with the Packers, as quarterbacks coach in 1999.
-Has never been a head coach at any level, having begun his coaching career as a college assistant at Fort Hays State (1987-88) and the University of Pittsburgh (1989-92) before breaking into the NFL as a quality control assistant with the Chiefs in 1993.
LOVIE SMITH...Is in his third year as the Bears' 13th head coach.
-Named the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year in 2005, posting the most victories (11) and first division title by a second-year coach in team history.
-Led a worst-to-first revival in the NFC North as the Bears' six-win improvement from the previous season was tied for the biggest in the NFL in 2005.
-In two seasons under Smith, the Bears' defense has ranked second in the NFL in points allowed (16.7 per game) and first in opponent passer rating, opponent third-down, fourth-down and red-zone touchdown percentage.
-Came to Chicago from St. Louis, where he served as defensive coordinator from 2001-03, helping the Rams return to the Super Bowl in 2001. Prior to that, he coached linebackers for Tampa Bay from 1996-2000.
THE PACKERS-BEARS SERIES: These teams mark meeting No. 171 in another chapter of one of sports' greatest rivalries.
-The Bears' two wins in 2005 marked the first time Chicago swept the season series since 1991, before Brett Favre became Green Bay's quarterback. With those two wins, the Bears have extended their lead in the NFL's richest rivalry to eight games, 86-78-6. The last time the gap had been as close as seven was the end of World War II and the Don Hutson era, 1945, when the Packers trailed, 27-20-5.
-The last time Green Bay led the series? On the heels of its three straight NFL championships, 1932, when the Packers led 11-10-5. Two months after Babe Ruth allegedly called his shot at Wrigley Field in the '32 World Series, the Bears stole from Green Bay a fourth straight title (which at the time was determined by league standings). Chicago barely finished atop the league standings, which unlike today did not count ties. Had the league counted ties in standings, the Packers would have won. The next year, 1933, the NFL began determining its champion with postseason games.
-The Packers meet Lovie Smith for the fifth time as Bears head coach. Smith on Jan. 15, 2004, elevated one of sports' top rivalries to another level, saying his No. 1 goal, ahead of winning the division and Super Bowl, was to beat Green Bay. He won on Sept. 19, 2004.
-The Packers went 18-2 against Chicago from 1994-2003. On only four occasions in NFL history has a team enjoyed a better 20-game stretch against a single opponent.
-Green Bay against Smith during his career as an NFL coach is 9-8 (all Favre starts).
NOTABLE CONNECTIONS: Green Bay running backs coach Edgar Bennett finished his playing career in Chicago (1998-99)...Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera interviewed for the Packers head coaching job this past offseason...Bears running backs coach Tim Spencer played with the late Reggie White, the Packers' all-time sacks leader, with Memphis of the USFL in 1985...Bears defensive quality control coach Gill Byrd served as the Packers executive director/player programs and community affairs from 1999-2001...Green Bay's No. 3 QB Ingle Martin was a reserve behind Rex Grossman at Florida in 2001, when Martin also punted and lined up at receiver for the Gators...The late Mark Hatley, the top personnel executive for Chicago (1998-2001) and Green Bay (2001-04), also coached Lovie Smith in 1976 at Tulsa...Smith was a Wisconsin assistant in 1987...Long-snapper Rob Davis held that role for the Bears in 1996...Bears LB Hunter Hillenmeyer was taken by Green Bay in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft...Second-year pros Samkon Gado (Green Bay) and Airese Currie (Bears) are products of Columbia, S.C., high schools; Gado graduated from Ben Lippen High School, Currie from Richland Northeast...Gado and his family actually lived in Wheaton, Ill., a Chicago suburb, briefly during the running back's infancy, before returning to Nigeria...Bears quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson joined the Falcons in 1992, after Atlanta dealt Brett Favre to Green Bay.
INDIVIDUALLY VS. CHICAGO: Favre in his career against the Bears is 21-7, the most wins he has against any single opponent. He also has more TD passes against the Bears (51) than any other opponent...Donald Driver's career-long catch was an 85-yard TD reception in Champaign, Ill., on Oct. 7, 2002, on Monday Night Football...Other single-game career highs set against the Bears include Robert Ferguson's seven receptions (Dec. 7, 2003) and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila's four sacks (Jan. 2, 2005)...The only two-interception game of Charles Woodson's career came at Chicago on Oct. 5, 2003, while playing for Oakland.
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON: Dec. 25, 2005, at Lambeau Field; Bears won, 24-17.
-Rex Grossman made his first regular-season start in nearly 15 months and helped Chicago clinch the NFC North and a first-round bye as the Bears completed their first sweep of the Packers since 1991.
-A 12-yard TD pass from Grossman to Muhsin Muhammad, a 2-yard TD run by Thomas Jones, and a 10-yard interception return for a score by LB Lance Briggs gave the Bears a 24-7 lead.
-But Antonio Chatman's 85-yard punt return for a TD midway through the fourth quarter made it 24-14, and Ryan Longwell added a field goal just after the 2-minute warning to bring Green Bay within a touchdown.
-The Packers got the ball back with 1:26 left, and Favre hit Donald Driver on a 56-yard completion to put the Packers on the Bears' 35-yard line with less than a minute remaining. But a spike and consecutive sacks led to a fourth-down desperation pass that was picked off by Chris Harris, his second INT of the game, as the clock ran out.
-Favre finished 30 of 51 for 317 yards and four INTs. He also extended his career-long streak of games without a TD pass to four.
-Jones had 105 yards rushing on 25 carries for the Bears. Grossman was 11 of 23 for 166 yards, one TD and one INT.