NFC North: Drunkenly Stumbling Towards Respectability (A Review, Sorta)

Michael RushtonCorrespondent IMay 11, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 28: Fans of the Green Bay Packers celebrate after hearing the Minnesota Vikings were defeated by the Arizona Cardinals making the Packers the NFC North Division champions during a game against the Denver Broncos December 28, 2003 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Broncos 31-3 to win the NFC North Division. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

I'm scared.  I'm scared of what I'm about to say.  I'm scared for my children and my children's children.  I'm scared that I might be wrong but I'm more scared that I might be right.  I'm scared that I might need to change my pants.  Why?

The NFC North is hot. 

Steamy piles of British tabloid fodder hot. Lindsay Lohan "fauxmo"-level excitement.  Hide your Heineken (and maybe your girlfriend) from Jay Cutler status preparedness is warranted.

"Henry Kissinger To Take Over Defensive Coordinator Position In Detroit"

"Reincarnated Body of Sid Luckman to Fight Shark"

"Naked Cheerleaders At Lambeau (Finally)?"

After an off-season that has rivaled the best drama provided by a Univision broad-casted telenovela, I wouldn't be surprised by any of the above headlines.  Nay.  I would expect them.

The NFC North QB- Joan Rivers Ain't Got Nothin'

Rodgers.  Cutler.  Stafford.  Favre.  Really, Favre?  Again?!

Who are you guys and what have you done with our running backs?  Our 800-pound linemen? Our insistence that 1930's inspired offensive game plans can still work?  The noble notions of "Three (if you're the Lions, sometimes maybe two) yards and a pile of dust"?

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This off-season started with a bang and is so far sizzling like a spicy Louisiana andouille. 

After suffering from "Type 1 Cryabetes" (I'm sooo sorry.  So very, very sorry. My God hates me for that for several reasons), Jay Cutler, depending on who you talk to, either made the greatest stand for social justice, the reinvigorated American labor movement, and all things right in employee/employer relations by forcing his way out of Denver to end up with the forward pass-challenged Chicago Bears

Or he was simply suffering from a severe bout of menstruation.  Once again, it depends on who you're talking to.

Then, the Detroit Lions go for broke in what, oddly, ended up being a controversial decision in Detroit to make Matthew Stafford the overall No. 1 pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. 

I say "oddly" only because Detroit is destined to fail no matter who they pick at No. 1.  They could have picked Moses.  Or Tony Danza.  It really wouldn't have mattered.  He'll get injured or they will fail to properly develop him.  Whoever "him" is.  Count on it.

Then the Packers go and... actually, the Pack have kept their heads throughout this whole process by holding onto Aaron Rodgers and basically having a productive draft while re-hauling their defensive scheme.  Snooze.  Darn them and their infernal common sense based approach to life and sports!  

Which brings me to Minnesota.  They of the high stakes, take no prisoners... flirtation with the 40-year-old virgin. 

After drafting the player with best chances of going to Saudi Arabia with a condom full cocaine in his bunger (I'm looking at you, Percy), they then turn around and initiate CIA-style "fact finding" overtures to Brett Favre.

Or some kind of overture...maybe more of the awkward, pimply faced, pre-teen, under the table, "footsy"-type of overtures.  Maybe tomorrow at lunch, we'll hold hands!

Now, I respect Favre as much as the next guy, but I'll punch his relations if he comes back.  Particularly if he's only coming back to spite Ted Thompson.

(P.S.- I knew GB would get sucked down into the muck along with everyone else.  Ha, HA!)  The man is leaking cache with his fan base like a drunken puppy. 

Not that I would ever suggest purposefully getting a puppy drunk and then videotaping it and laughing at it...I've said too much.


This off-season in NFC North has done a couple seemingly paradoxical things.

1) It's made the North "sexy" again.  OK.  The North has never been "sexy" (except maybe during Chicago's "Rexy" era).  But at least we're looking at a division that might be able to excite its fan base with top-level talent at the QB position in, potentially at least, the entire division. 

2) While better fodder for fan-based media D-Bags like myself, oh, and don't forget the paid D-Bags of the actual media, this division now has three teams capable of winning at least 10 games and one team that might not lose 10 games...if it played for the BCS title.  It's improved its overall quality considerably since last season.

So, here are my predictions for the '09 season, based on all this exciting roster hullabaloo this off season.

1. Minnesota Vikings (12-4)

This is only if Favre mans the helm.  If it's Rosenfels or "T Jack" (which, by the way, is the WORST nickname for a player of all time. It sounds like he should have co-starred in Short Circuit along with Steve Guttenburg. If I'm a Minnesota fan, I'm pissed), you can shave a couple wins off of this and give the division to Green Bay.

2) Green Bay Packers (11-5)

Apparently, there's now something called a "3-4 Defense" in the division.  Now, I don't know exactly what that means, and as a red-blooded American, I fear what I don't understand, but fear is exciting and Dom Capers has a long history of making this "3-4 Defense" work, with a quickness.

3. Chicago Bears (10-6)

Cutler is going to make Chicago fun to watch and a challenge to any team they face.  He'll also have the division's best arsenal of flavor of the week arm candy to parade around. 

I almost want to give the division to the Bears to see which lucky Italian starlet will be accompanying him through the playoffs.  Cause they usually have a high "I've Never Heard of You, To, Wow, There's A Lot Of Topless Photos Of You" Ratio.

4. The Detroit Lions (5-11)

Ummm. Well, you can't lose negative games, can you?  I can confidently say that they won't.  Gulp.