*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:
-Green Bay plays its first 2006 home game, looking to rebound from a sub-par preseason opener.
-A pair of former 49ers coordinators - Atlanta's Jim Mora and Green Bay's Mike McCarthy, two of the league's youngest coaches - face off.
-Packers offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski, who coached in Atlanta each of the past two seasons (tight ends 2004, offensive line 2005), faces his former club. Jagodzinski has brought with him the zone-blocking scheme he learned from the Falcons' Alex Gibbs. With the scheme, the Packers hope they can enjoy some of the success Jagodzinski and Gibbs enjoyed in Atlanta, where the Falcons each of the last two years led the NFL in both rushing yards per game and rushing yards per carry.
-Atlanta makes its first trip to Lambeau Field since shocking Green Bay with a 27-7 win in the 2002 playoffs, the Packers' first-ever postseason loss at home.
-The Packers play the 57th annual Upper Midwest Shrine Game, one of the NFL's oldest traditions. The Packers have won six of the last seven Shrine contests, including a 10-7 triumph over San Diego in the 2005 edition.
TELEVISION: The Green Bay Packers Broadcast Partners will air the game to an eight-station network throughout the state of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, with CBS network production, personnel and the latest network-quality technology. A top-notch broadcast team that includes CBS's Kevin Harlan calling the play-by-play alongside fellow CBS broadcaster Rich Gannon providing the analysis. WTMJ's Jessie Garcia serves as the sideline reporter, WFRV's Larry McCarren joins the crew for pregame segments, and Ross Schneiderman (producer) and Suzanne Smith (director) are in the truck. In addition to WFRV-TV (Green Bay) and WTMJ-TV (Milwaukee), the game will be televised over WKOW/ABC, Madison, Wis.; WAOW/ABC, Wausau/Rhinelander, Wis.; WXOW/ABC, La Crosse, Wis.; WQOW/ABC, Eau Claire; WYOW/ABC, Eagle River, Wis.; and WJMN/CBS, Marquette, Mich.
-Out-of-state fans can catch the game live on satellite, using coordinates IA6, transponder 14 (audio 6268).
-The contest will re-air on NFL Network Sunday at 7 a.m. CDT, using the television feed of the Packers' broadcast in the first half and the Falcons' broadcast in the second half.
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.
OLDEST FRANCHISE CHARITY GAME: Saturday marks the 57th annual Upper Midwest Shrine Game, one of the NFL's oldest team traditions.
-Each season, the Packers donate a percentage of the gate to the Shriners' Hospitals for Children.
-The Shriners' facilities provide specialized medical services, helping children with birth defects and other injuries, at absolutely no cost.
-To date, the series has raised about $3 million for the Midwest Shrine's burn centers and hospitals for crippled children.
-Designated proceeds from this week's contest will go to the Shriner's Children's Hospital in Chicago. The facility specializes in helping children with orthopedic needs.
-The Packers are 28-25-3 all-time in the series.
-The series is so old, three stadiums have hosted a Shrine game, two of which are no longer standing: Milwaukee's State Fair Park (1950-51), Milwaukee County Stadium (1952-82, 1984-94) and Lambeau Field (1983, 1995-present).
-In 1959, Vince Lombardi's first season as an NFL head coach, the Packers and George Halas agreed to play in the Shrine game annually; Green Bay and Chicago played each preseason at County Stadium from 1959-73.
-Because the charity contest originated in Milwaukee, the Packers annually designate it as the first 'Gold Package' game for season-ticket holders primarily from the Milwaukee area. The Packers created the three-game package after moving all games to Green Bay beginning in 1995.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons:
All-time, regular season: 12-10-0
All-time, preseason: 4-2-0
All-time, postseason: 1-1
All-time, in Wisconsin: 9-4 (5-3 in Green Bay)
Postseason meetings: Dec. 31, 1995, Lambeau Field, Packers won, 37-20 (1995 NFC Wild Card)
Jan. 4, 2003, Lambeau Field, Falcons won, 27-7 (2002 NFC Wild Card)
Streaks: Teams have alternated victories in last five meetings, including postseason
Last meeting, regular season: Nov. 13, 2005, Georgia Dome, Packers won, 33-25
Last meeting, regular season, Green Bay: Sept. 8, 2002, Lambeau Field, Packers won, 37-34 (OT)
Last meeting, preseason: Aug. 9, 2003, Georgia Dome, Packers won, 27-21
Mike McCarthy: 0-0, first NFL season
Jim Mora: 20-14, .588, third NFL season, third with Falcons
Head to Head: (never met)
vs. Opponent: McCarthy 0-0 vs. Falcons; Mora 0-1 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.
JIM MORA...Is in his third year as the Falcons' 12th head coach.
-Set franchise record in 2004 for the most wins by a first-year head coach and became the 11th rookie head coach in NFL history to capture a division title. Directed his team to the second NFC championship game in franchise history, as Atlanta led the NFL in rushing offense (167 yards per game) and quarterback sacks (48) in '04.
-In 2003, in his fifth season as defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers, Mora's unit finished fourth in the NFC in total defense and ninth in the NFL in rushing defense. San Francisco's 42 quarterback sacks tied for fourth in the NFL.
-Served as the 49ers' secondary coach (1997-98) after five years in New Orleans (1992-96), where the Saints twice led the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed (1992-93). Spent seven seasons in the Chargers' organization as a member of the pro personnel department (1985) and coaching staff (1986-91).
THE PACKERS-FALCONS SERIES: For a series that began with the Packers cruising to a 56-3 victory over the then-expansion Falcons in their first meeting in 1966, it has evolved into a closely contested rivalry. The Packers hold a modest 12-10 advantage. They're dead-even in postseason play (1-1).
-Over the last decade-plus, Atlanta-Green Bay clashes have proven memorable. In 1994, the Packers defeated Atlanta in the final NFL game in Milwaukee (Dec. 18). Brett Favre's lunging, 9-yard TD scramble on the game's final play sealed the 21-17 victory.
-A scant year later, the Packers and Falcons crossed paths in the postseason for the first time - on Dec. 31, 1995, in Lambeau Field. With Edgar Bennett rushing for 108 yards, the NFC Central Division champion Packers pulled out a 37-20 victory with the aid of a 76-yard scoring punt return by rookie Antonio Freeman.
-Six years later, Atlanta led all the way in a tight struggle, posting a 23-20 victory with the support of a 352-yard passing performance by Chris Chandler, ending Green Bay's nine-game home winning streak.
-In the '02 regular season opener (Sept. 8), Favre and Michael Vick fought into overtime. Favre guided the Packers to four TDs and three field goals in a 37-34 sudden-death victory. The Falcons, however, delivered a reverberating, 27-7 win in the '02 playoffs (see below).
NOTABLE CONNECTIONS: Falcons college scout Boyd Dowler played in Green Bay from 1959-69, helping the Packers to five NFL championships and two Super Bowl titles under Vince Lombardi...New Falcons defensive assistant Joe Lombardi is Vince's grandson...Ed Donatell served as Green Bay's defensive coordinator from 2000-03...Jeff Jagodzinski, new Packers offensive coordinator, was Atlanta's offensive line coach in 2005 and tight ends coach in 2004...Falcons' senior defensive assistant Emmitt Thomas served as the Packers' defensive coordinator in 1999...Allen Rossum served as the Packers' return man from 2000-01...Falcons defensive back Leigh Torrence spent the 2005 preseason in Green Bay...The Falcons' Jason Webster used to cover Green Bay's Robert Ferguson at Texas A&M practices...The Falcons' Jonathan Babineaux and the Packers' Colin Cole played on the defensive line together at Iowa in 2002...Green Bay cornerback Ahmad Carroll is an Atlanta native and resident; he earned All-America honors at Atlanta's Frederick Douglass High School...Falcons rookie kicker Tony Yelk is a Wisconsin native, hailing from Poynette High School.
INDIVIDUALLY VS. ATLANTA: In addition to Samkon Gado's standout performance in Atlanta last season (see below), defensive tackle Colin Cole had a career-high five solo tackles in that game...Fellow defensive tackle Ryan Pickett, while playing for the St. Louis Rams, topped his regular-season high of 12 tackles by getting 13 against Atlanta in the 2003 NFC playoffs (Jan. 15, 2004). Seven of those tackles were solo, tying his regular-season high...Favre completed 33 passes at Atlanta on Oct. 4, 1992, tied for the second-highest completion total of his career.
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON:Nov. 13, 2005, Georgia Dome, Packers won 33-25.
-Beginning a Cinderella rookie season, Samkon Gado made his first career start on his 23rd birthday and rushed 25 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns, plus one TD receiving, as the Packers got their second win of 2005.
-The Packers' defense sacked Vick three times and forced him to fumble three times, recovering one. Nick Barnett's recovery and long return of a Roddy White fumble in the fourth quarter set up Gado's third touchdown. In all, the Packers forced three turnovers, which they turned into 14 points.
-Ryan Longwell made four field goals for Green Bay, including two from 50-plus yards (51, 53).
LAST MEETING, POSTSEASON: Jan. 4, 2003 (2002 NFC Wild Card playoff), Falcons won, 27-7.
-Atlanta and the gifted Vick swept to a 24-0 halftime lead en route to a 27-7 victory against a Packers team minus Pro Bowl running back Ahman Green and starting wide receivers Donald Driver and Terry Glenn, sidelined by injuries.
-Vick accounted for 191 yards of offense, completing 13 of 25 passes for 117 yards and adding 64 rushing yards in 10 attempts.
-It was the first home playoff loss ever for the Packers, who were the NFLs' only 8-0 home team in 2002 and had tied for the league's best record (12-4).