Next game: February 6th at Super Bowl XLV vs. Pittsburgh
Packers Gameday at 3:00 p.m. on Newsradio 620 WTMJ with coverage on Live at 10 on TODAY'S TMJ4 and Super Bowl Frenzy coverage online here.
MILWAUKEE - With the 45th edition of the biggest sporting event in the world - well, America at least, and the Green Bay Packers playing in it for the first time in 13 seasons, it's a reality that most people connected to this organization - and almost everyone on the team - have never played in this game.
So perhaps some tips are in order to help the team.
Today, and every day from Monday, Jan. 31 until kickoff of Super Bowl XLV, we'll give you part of our list of 45 ways for the Packers to win the biggest of big games.
XVI: Don't do too much partying when you get there. You can party when you win.
Packers players, you'll be arriving in Dallas in three days. You probably have received tons and tons of invitationts to meet up with your friends who'll be going down there, check out the clubs of Dallas (a very happening and club-filled city), and perhaps go to a few places that better judgment says you shouldn't go to.
(Especially considering, as TMZ.com reported, 10,000 more strippers are being requested in the Dallas metro area.)
For many reasons.
1) You don't want your name all over the news for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, a la Ray Lewis at a party in Atlanta during Super Bowl XXXIV that went awry.
2) You don't want your photo being discovered on the Twitterverse for the same reason.
3) You don't want your focus to deviate from what it should be: the task at hand.
4) You don't want to be overtired before the game where you need to be more fresh and rested than you ever have been, the most important game of your life.
You rarely find Super Bowl participants who have gone out all night and won the big game. Max McGee's who spend a night on the town, then perform like a Super Bowl MVP come once in a generation.
Don't test that theory. Rest instead.
Imagine what it's like to win a Super Bowl. It's enough of an excuse to party for the rest of your life.
And as McGee's living teammates from Super Bowl I can tell you, they happily and responsibly do exactly that.
Party after you've won the big one.
XVIII - The Steelers' underbelly may be a little weak.
B.J. Raji, are you reading this? Good.
You may be in position to turn the performance you gave against the Bears into an afterthought, because you might just play the game of your life.
We don't yet know about the status of Pittsburgh's fantastic young center, Maurkice Pouncey.
The guy to his left, Chris Kemoeatu, is also known for not being very quick in changes of direction, failing to pick up stungs, losing one-on-one against big-bodied guys like you, B.J., and committing penalties at the wrong time.
B.J., this could be your chance at stardom, especially if Pouncey doesn't play.
XIX - "When you're invited to the biggest party of the year, you dance with who brung ya."
Those words were said by NFL Films' John Facenda about the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive strategy in Super Bowl XIII, the year where perhaps the greatest of the 70's Steelers teams upended the Dallas Cowboys, 35-31.
Facenda called it a country proverb, but it proved appropriate with the big-play Steelers' attack. They did what they did best, bombed to Swann and Stallworth all day, and won a Super Bowl which they wouldn't have if they had gone conservative.
Sometimes, with two weeks to think of offensive game plans, coaches can get a little fancy with ideas and forget the things that got them there.
Don't do that.
Perhaps there's nothing wrong with an occasional trick play now and then, but the thing that will beat Pittsburgh is not the trick play that might elicit a touchdown.
It's the touchdowns you'll score by doing your thing, or the touchdown's you'll stop Pittsburgh from scoring by doing what you do best.
XX - Your speed will be your advantage in a dome. Use it.
The Packers' offense thrives in domes. They average the equivalent of more than four touchdowns a game when they play in domed stadiums under Mike McCarthy.
As a matter of fact, entering 2010, the Packers had a better record in domes than they had at Lambeau Field. (That certainly changed with the 7-1 mark they claimed on the sometimes-frozen tundra.)
But there's a reason the Packers are fantastic under man-made cover.
The Packers have one of the fastest teams in the National Football League. The players at the skill positions of wide receiver and the secondary positions are among the best.
They thrive in situations where weather is not a factor.
That's exactly what will transpire on February 6th, when the Packers take on Pittsburgh in what's known as "Jerryworld."
Pittsburgh doesn't have as much of a speed advantage. They're a grind-it-out team, running the ball up the gut, in between the tackles, and their defense thrives on what their front seven does.
It's not that a grinding, plodding, control-the-clock team can't win in a dome. They can dominate on any surface if they exert their will.
But the Packers have a bit of a better chance to use the climate-control to their advantage.
They should use it.