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.
Here are some highlights from the Week 7 Dope Sheet:
THIS WEEK'S NOTABLE STORYLINES:
- Green Bay returns to the site of its most memorable 2004 win, a Christmas Eve clash that clinched the Packers' third consecutive division championship.
- The Packers, fresh physically after their bye week, also are fresh mentally, remembering that just nine months ago a "struggling" Vikings team came to Lambeau Field and ended Green Bay's season in a Wild Card playoff, 31-17. Then, as it is this week, pregame momentum seemed in the Packers' favor.
- The Packers will see Darren Sharper on the other side of the line for the first time since he signed as a free agent with the Vikings in March. Sharper, a two-time Pro Bowl safety, spent his first eight seasons (1997-2004) in Green Bay.
- The Packers have won eight of their last nine following bye weeks. Under Mike Sherman, they've won four in a row. This marks the third straight year the league slated Minnesota as the Packers' first foe out of the bye.
TELEVISION: FOX Sports, now in its 12th season as an NFL network television partner, will air the contest to a regional audience. Play-by-play man Sam Rosen joins color commentator Bill Maas, who also serves as the Packers' preseason television analyst after closing his 10-year NFL career on the Green Bay defensive line in 1993. Jay Glazer is on the sidelines while producer Mike Burks teams up with director Rich Russo in the truck.
PACKERS RADIO: Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 62-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 50 markets in the upper Midwest. The broadcast also is available to NFL Field Pass subscribers on packers.com.
NATIONAL RADIO: The Sports USA Radio Network, with Howard David (play-by-play), Terry Donahue (analyst) and Eric Nelson (sideline), will air the contest to a national audience.
FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE, AGAIN: Despite their records, both the Packers and Vikings are just one game out of first place in the NFC North. With Detroit at Cleveland, and Chicago hosting Baltimore, the winner of this game could own a share of first at the close of business Sunday.
- While that accomplishment wouldn't rank among the greatest achievements in sports, it would go a long way toward resurrecting the season of the victor.
- And, the fact that media in both locker rooms during the week will even bring up "first place" is significant. It's sure to add another chapter in the richness of this rivalry.
- This marks the fourth time in their last five regular-season meetings the Packers and Vikings have met with first place at stake. The only instance in that span when first place was not on the line was Nov. 2, 2003. That night, Green Bay moved to within one game of North-leading Minnesota. The Packers' 30-27 win was pivotal in their eventual division title.
- Last season, each of their regular-season clashes were for first, including a 34-31 Packers win on Christmas Eve in Week 16 that immediately decided the NFC North.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings:
All-time regular season: 44-42-1
All-time postseason: 0-1
All-time, Lambeau Field: 14-15-1
Streaks: Packers have won three straight and four of last five in regular season
Last meeting: Jan. 9, 2005, Lambeau Field; Vikings won, 31-17 (2004 NFC Wild Card playoff)
Last meeting, regular season: Dec. 24, 2004, Metrodome; Packers won, 34-31
Mike Sherman: 56-35-0, .611, sixth NFL season, sixth with Packers
Mike Tice: 25-31-0, .446, four-plus NFL seasons (all with Vikings)
Head to Head: Sherman 4-3 vs. Tice
vs. Opponent: Sherman 7-4 vs. Vikings; Tice 3-4 vs. Packers
MIKE SHERMAN...Is in his sixth year as the Packers' 13th head coach.
- Is no stranger to adversity, having overcome several hurdles each of the past three seasons to win a trio of NFC North titles. Adversity is again in the Packers' path this season.
- Since the 1993 collective bargaining agreement, teams have made 84 coaching changes and only Sherman's tenure has produced winning records in each of its first five seasons.
- Over their first five regular seasons as an NFL coach, since 1970 only Chuck Knox, George Seifert, Joe Gibbs and Mike Ditka produced better records than Sherman (53-27, .663).
- In 2004, his team became only the ninth in NFL history to reach the playoffs after a 1-4 start. In 2005, is attempting to steer his club to the playoffs after an 0-4 start; since 1990, only the 1992 Chargers have accomplished that feat.
- Has led the Packers to three straight division titles and four consecutive playoff appearances.
- Is 6-0 against teams in the Super Bowl the previous season.
MIKE TICE...Officially named the Vikings' sixth head coach Jan. 10, 2002.
- In 2004, led the team to its first playoff berth and first postseason victory since 2000.
- Has been associated with the team since 1992, playing tight end from 1992-93 and 1995, coaching the tight ends in 1996 and the offensive line from 1997-2001. Tice added the title of assistant head coach for the 2001 season and was made the interim head coach for the Vikings' last regular season game of the 2001 season against Baltimore.
- Tice is the first Vikings alumni player to hold the title of the franchise's head coach. In five seasons coaching the offensive line, Tice guided five players to 10 Pro Bowl appearances.
- Played quarterback at the University of Maryland from 1977-1980.
THE PACKERS-VIKINGS SERIES: Few, if any, rivalries in sports have exhibited more parity. These clubs have nearly split 88 meetings overall (Green Bay leads 44-43-1).
- Of late, the Packers have held a slight edge, 7-4 since Mike Sherman took Green Bay's reins in 2000.
- In 2003, the home clubs in the series were 0-2. The last time that happened was 1991.
- Over the last 11 seasons (1994-2004), these teams have accounted for nine division championships (NFC Central 1994-2001, NFC North 2002-04).
Notable connections...Fifth in Packers history with 36 interceptions, Vikings safety Darren Sharper spent his first eight NFL seasons (1997-2004) in Green Bay...Minnesota coverage coordinator Chuck Knox Jr. spent the '99 season as the Packers' defensive assistant/quality control...Packers DT Colin Cole originally signed with Minnesota as a rookie free agent in 2003 and spent separate one-week stints on the Vikings' 53-man roster that season...Packers RB ReShard Lee spent a few days with the Vikings at the end of the 2005 preseason...Packers CB Joey Thomas and Vikings WR Nate Burleson were childhood friends...Green Bay TE Donald Lee and Minnesota CB Fred Smoot were teammates at Mississippi State...Green Bay director of research and development Mike Eayrs (similar capacity, 1985-99) previously worked for the Vikings...T Bryant McKinnie (Vikings) and TE Bubba Franks (Packers) were college teammates at Miami (Fla.)...Minnesota's head trainer Chuck Barta and Packers assistant trainer Kurt Fielding were classmates at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse...Vikings running back Michael Bennett rushed for 1,681 yards in his only season as a Wisconsin starter, 2000, second in Badger history; a former Milwaukee Tech High School star, Bennett's uncle is former Packer Tony Bennett...Other Wisconsin Badgers ties include Vikings RB coach Dean Dalton (assistant 1986-87) and All-American DE Erasmus James (2001-04).
LAST MEETING (AP): Jan. 9, 2005, Lambeau Field; Vikings won, 31-17.
- Randy Moss caught two TD passes and the Vikings rolled to an upset victory over the stunned Packers. Green Bay had swept the season series, including a last-second victory at the Metrodome two weeks prior to clinch the NFC North crown.
- But Daunte Culpepper threw four TDs - giving him 11 and no interceptions against Green Bay on the season - and the Vikings picked off four Brett Favre passes after managing only 11 interceptions all season.
- Minnesota scored on its first three possessions, jumping out to a 17-0 lead in avenging two 34-31 losses to the Packers, who entered the playoffs as the NFC's hottest team.
- The Packers lost Pro Bowl receiver Javon Walker to a shin injury in the first half and left tackle Chad Clifton in the third quarter, but pulled to 24-17 on Najeh Davenport's 1-yard plunge with 13:37 left. Then two costly Packers infractions set up Culpepper's 34-yard touchdown toss to Moss, giving the Vikings a 14-point cushion with 10:18 remaining.
- The Packers were feeling good after winning nine of their last 11 and drawing the Vikings, who had lost 20 of their past 22 games outside of domes. Green Bay pulled to 17-10 on Ryan Longwell's 43-yard field goal and Bubba Franks' 4-yard touchdown catch, and it appeared to catch a huge break when Morten Andersen slipped on a 29-yard field goal attempt.
- Later, after the Packers drove to the Vikings' 8, Favre was whistled for an illegal forward pass when he scrambled and flung the ball to Walker in the end zone over the line of scrimmage. Then, Longwell missed a 28-yard field goal.
LAST MEETING, MINNESOTA (AP): Dec. 24, 2004; Packers won, 34-31.
- Brett Favre guided a 76-yard drive to set up Ryan Longwell's game-ending 29-yard field goal, lifting the Packers to a 34-31 victory and clinching a third consecutive NFC North crown.
- The Packers trailed 31-24 with 8:18 left after Favre's third-down throw from his end zone was intercepted by Chris Claiborne and returned 12 yards for a touchdown. But Green Bay answered when Donald Driver - who had 11 receptions for 162 yards - made a nifty, falling-down catch of Favre's pass on fourth-and-goal at the 3 to tie it at 31 with 3:34 remaining after an 80-yard drive.
- Minnesota appeared on its way to retaking the lead, but a holding penalty wiped out a 16-yard run by Michael Bennett that would have given them the ball at the Green Bay 40 before the 2-minute warning.
- After a punt, Favre got the ball at his 13 with 1:35 left. Twelve plays later, Longwell's kick sailed through the uprights, sending the Packers into celebration on their biggest rival's home field.
- Favre finished 30-for-43 for 365 yards, three TDs and the INT.