David from Niedernberg, Bavaria, Germany
To perhaps help against your confusion on Oktoberfest in September, it goes back to the early 19th century and started as a party for the wedding (I think 12th of Oct) of Princess Therese and Prince Ludwig. Because it was so nice they repeated it the year after and prolonged the festivities. It is thought that because of the weather it slowly moved into mid/end of September. And nowadays the last day is always first Sunday in October. Hope that helps.
As long as Therese and Ludwig lived happily ever after, I guess I can deal with it.
Jesse from Adel, IA
Have any teams that have played a regular-season game internationally won the Super Bowl for that season?
The Giants played the first London game in 2007 and won the Super Bowl that year, while the Chiefs played in Mexico City in 2019 and won it all. The Patriots also played in Mexico in 2017 and reached the Super Bowl.
Mike from Cascade, ID
Good day, II. Well, it appears that most folks are expecting a decision from AR on Tuesday. No matter what the final decision is, it has a huge impact on where the dominos fall. It could influence the combine, the draft, the salary cap, a whole host of contracts, etc. Has there ever been one player on a team that holds this amount of influence on the present and future of an NFL team?
I can't say I've recalled a situation quite like this one, but these days in the NFL it feels like that qualification comes up in different contexts more frequently than it used to.
Susan from Oak Creek, WI
Is the NFL trying to turn the combine into a moneymaker? I saw that they are taking bids for where it will be held next year, and I believe for the first time ever they allowed fans in the stand this year.
They've been selling tickets to fans for a few years now. The league is absolutely trying to turn the combine into a moneymaker and moving it from Indy would be for that very reason, and would be a huge mistake. The city is built for an event like that, logistically speaking. LA or anywhere else simply is not.
Gary from Sheboygan, WI
Morning chaps, on one of the morning talk shows an NFL player complained how when he was at the combine and rehabbing a bad knee, just about every team's doctor poked and prodded his knee until it was sore and swollen. With the one height and weight measurement at the combine, why don't they have just one or two MDs evaluate the injured players for the whole league?
Because injury evaluations are highly subjective. Heights and weights not so much. I don't envy the prospects having to go through multiple medical checks over and over for the same injury (scans are shared amongst the teams, by the way). I'm sure it's not fun. But when teams are looking at investing several millions dollars in a prospect, I don't blame them for wanting their own docs to provide a medical report.
William from Speedwell, TN
The legend Aaron Nagler had a tweet early to midseason about the Packers needing to draft a DT. I replied "I hope it's this guy" with a GIF of Jordan Davis looking like Godzilla about to attack Tokyo. I recently saw him mocked to the Packers in the upcoming draft and my thoughts were a man can dream. Today, that dream died. 6-6, 341 and a 4.82? Just stop it. Jordan Davis is ridiculous!
It was adjusted to 4.78 officially. Ridiculous doesn't begin to describe it – 340 pounds moving that fast.
Ronald from Panabo, Philippines
Insiders, it seems that memorization is a key tool for a player to have, as from year to year and week to week the verbiage of the plays change. Is this tested somehow? Can you recall a player that had all the physical skills, but couldn't mentally handle the playbook or all the changes that happen to it during the course of a season?
In my experience, the larger mental challenge for players isn't so much learning the playbook, per se. It's more understanding the pre-snap, on-the-fly adjustments – such as option routes versus certain coverages, pass protection schematics that shift based on the defensive front, defensive assignment changes due to the offensive personnel/alignment – that take a significant amount of on-field experience to master and become second nature. "Memorization" doesn't really engrain those the way live reactions can.
Mick from Decatur, IL
If AR and DA stay and get their big contracts, how do we afford to field a competitive team? Bargain basement players.
Some tough decisions would have to be made, but I don't think I'd categorize all the non-free agents sure to return this season such as David Bakhtiari, Kenny Clark, Aaron Jones, Jaire Alexander, Darnell Savage, Elgton Jenkins, Rashan Gary, Jon Runyan, Yosh Nijman, AJ Dillon, Krys Barnes, Eric Stokes, Josh Myers, Royce Newman – and before anybody reads too much into this list, there are at least a few others who may need their contracts reworked but I fully expect to be Packers in '22 – as "bargain basement players." And not every pending free agent is as good as gone, either. Perspective, please.
Lucas from Oakdale, CA
Good morning. I was wondering what your thoughts were on the power structure in the NFC North should we lose Mr. Rodgers. There are a lot of new coaches and players but who is at the top should Green Bay lose Aaron Rodgers? Which team has the best supporting cast?
I would expect the Packers to have the best supporting cast, frankly. It would all depend on the level of QB play they would get, which would be the big unknown.
Preston from Tallahassee, FL
For obvious reasons, a ton of questions about the cap and why/how "we" are where we are. Even "Murphy Takes 5" fielded one. Just an observation...A large part for why we have a good problem of a LOT of valuable players with cap ramifications is because Ted Thompson and Brian Gutekunst have done their jobs very, very well. I think Gutey's work since his promotion has been greatly overlooked.
Maybe in some national media circles, but not within Packer Nation and league insiders as a whole. Gutekunst is highly respected amongst his NFL peers.
Bruce from Jackson, WI
I liked Tom from Fairfield Glade, TN's lead-in "Que the slings in arrows," Mike. History shows? While a few QBs have made Super Bowl appearances separated by years I think it shows a higher prevalence of QBs with repeated SBs in consecutive years. Bart Starr (2), Bob Griese (2 of 3), Terry Bradshaw (2)), Joe Montana (2), Troy Aikman (3 of 4), John Elway (2), Tom Brady (3 of 4) and (4 of 8 every other year). Of course the greatest SB loser was Jim Kelly with 4 in a row. And now we know...
I never said the QBs who overcame long Super Bowl droughts were more prevalent. Of course there's greater evidence on the other side. The original submission – "History shows that he will not win a Super Bowl" – made it sound as though there was no chance or no example from the past, which is nowhere close to the truth, and in fact there are multiple instances. That was my point.
Richard from Caledonia, WI
Good morning! Has LeRoy Butler decided who will introduce him for his induction at the Pro Football Hall of Fame? A well-deserved and long overdue recognition!
I haven't heard. According to Butler's Twitter account, there's a HOF celebration for him this coming week in his hometown of Jacksonville, but I don't know if he's planning to announce anything.
John from Hutto, TX
If Rodgers does not return to Packers should they draft another QB to back up Love or sign an available veteran?
I'd think Kurt Benkert would get a shot at the backup job, but more competition would be brought in one way or another.
Nathan from New York, NY
Glad to hear good news about Elgton Jenkins. Will he be ready for Week 1 next season?
Nobody's promising Week 1. That would be a Bulaga-like recovery which, while not impossible, would not be the norm.
James from Ottawa, Canada
I'd just like to give a special shout-out to Coach Clements. I know his coaching acumen and resume speaks for itself, but he was a heck of a football player. He started his pro career in my hometown (then the Ottawa Rough Riders) in the mid '70s and promptly won Rookie of the Year before bringing us home the Grey Cup the following year. His play in that game, especially his TD throw to TE Tony Gabriel (aka "The Catch"), is still revered in the city by football fans to this day. A hometown hero!
I wasn't familiar with the CFL's version of "The Catch" until I saw your note, so I looked up some articles and the highlight online. Very cool. It's wild that Clements got stopped on a QB sneak on the 1-yard line on Ottawa's previous possession, then got the ball back and won the game with the TD pass to Gabriel. Thanks for the little historical trip.
Dave from Comer, GA
Mike, I have been catching up on some missed IIs. I'd like to add my two cents worth regarding ties. I was at the MLB All-Star game in Milwaukee that ended in a tie. As we were walking out I heard one obviously drunk fan say, "I paid to see somebody win!" My unspoken thoughts were these: "No, you paid to watch the game. Your expectation was that one team would win. You are disappointed because of your expectations." The score didn't bother me. It's cool to say I saw a tie in an MLB game.
I was at that game as part of the Gannett media corps and was assigned to write a story on the game MVP, and one wasn't chosen. So I wrote – on deadline – about how the MLB All-Star Game record book would now have this permanent void for 2002. One of the strangest stories of my career.
Sergio from Minden, NV
Wait, what? I'm not a baseball or a basketball fan, but the NHL regular season is far from meaningless. It's a dogfight at the end of the season for the teams to qualify for the tournament, and the first round is usually some of the best hockey of the entire season. As far as the NHL playoff structure goes, I wouldn't change a thing.
I don't deny it's a dogfight at the end of the NHL season for teams to qualify, or that the first round is some great playoff hockey. But those last 10 regular-season games for the potential 7-8 playoff seeds don't make the other 72 any more worthwhile. There's no reason to tune in until the snow starts melting. Do they really have to play 82 to allow 16 of 32 teams into the playoffs? The NBA plays 82 so 16 of 30 can get in, and now baseball is going to play 162 (next year anyway) so 14 of 30 get in. It's too many meaningless games, period. Make it stop, please.
David from Cable, WI
Nate's idea is the best I have ever heard. The overtime problem is just another example of the law of unintended consequences. Rules were tweaked to help the offence because that was what the average fan supposedly wanted. But it created an imbalance that shows in how the strategy plays out. Most teams want the ball to start the second half hoping to get an extra possession. But in overtime someone has to get the ball first.
Brad from Kohler, WI
Mike, I know you are SO over the overtime debate, but as much as Nate from Hartford deserves credit for creativity, I can't embrace a system where theoretically the entire league could go 0-17.
Oh, trust me, if you were in this chair every day you could. Happy Monday.