Why Ahman Green was never good for the Packers

Don’t get me wrong, I think Ahman Green is a talented running back, I really do. Obviously he has the ability to be a solid running back. And I was always more than happy to have him on our team more than others, because at times he was a difference maker for us. However, I was never quite happy with him as our running back despite his obvious talent for a number of reasons. After watching the Packers offense so far this year, I actually feel somewhat justified by this now.

I know the Packers currently rank last in the league in rushing in every category. However, if you look at the Packers over the past two games, they are getting better and better. This week will probably prove to be our best defense we are facing since Philly came to town so it will be a good mark as to how good they really are progressing, but they seem to be really getting into a stride. They have become much more controlling offensively over the last 6 quarters than they ever were with Green. So why is this when they are doing it with virtually no running game whatsoever? (In fact, last week they didn’t even bother to run most of the time).

Well first of all there is the fumbilitis of Green. Everyone knew it, we knew it, our opponents new it, he likely dropped the ball and lost it in at least 50% of the games, more than that usually. Now normally I think a decent team can cope with it, but when you are a team who has a QB like Favre who throws from 1 to 2 interceptions per game, you are looking at nearly 3 turnovers per game through these two players alone… this is harsh and most defenses can’t overcome this kind of deficit that the team is facing almost from the start. I think having one of either would have made a better team, but overall Favre is the better player.

Second is that I think the Packers just relied on Green far more than they should. The team was predicated on the run. Sherman was in love with the guy and he became extremely predictable with many of his plays that were used with Green because it seemed like their running game was essentially a one-trick pony (the U51). Even Favre I think became reliant on him which was bad, I will note that his best season with Green came when he had Walker… he no longer could carry the team anymore, he almost seemed to force the ball more when Green was around than was without… Green became Favre’s crutch and when Green inevitably became injured in the season, Favre was lost without him. In fact, I could point to the first game and the preseason as further proofs that Favre just forgot what it was like to be Favre without Green… I can almost point exactly to those scramble plays in the middle of the Giants game as the point that Brett Favre returned from his slumber because since that point, he has been stellar… he looks BETTER now than he did in 96-98 when he won 3 straight MVPs.

Another reason I never really cared for Green was that he never really was a west-coast guy. I mean he was a great back, but not in a west-coast system. In the west coast system, you need a more complete back… someone who can not only run but also catch passes and block if need be as well. Green could make some pretty good chip blocks, but he wasn’t great against it… likely cause he was scared of being injured. But he didn’t catch worth a lick, if it was thrown at him he’d miss half the time and fumble the other half. As such, the screen game died completely. I found it interesting that against the Chargers the screen made a come back and in a pretty large way. It was often a difference maker just like it was under Holmgren. Really for the type of system west coast is, you need a more complete back like Dorsey Levens (who I think would have been a lot better had it not been for the injuries), Marshall Faulk, and Reggie Bush (does NO even run a west coast offense for him?).

Again, it is no slight against Green. He is a great back, he just never fit in with what our offense was about. It is no surprise to me that our offense is doing better all around despite the fact we are with a worse offensive line than when he was around with nil of a running game… go figure.

NBC Mondays

I was going to just put a quick little review of one of last night’s new shows, but I decided instead that I should write up a little bit on each program just to kind of sum up my thoughts. So with that in mind… my review of the new NBC Monday night programming schedule. ***Spoilers may be coming if anyone wants to avoid them, in particular… Heroes***

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I have long hated laptops. They have been a huge fad over the past few years where more and more people are getting them for apparently no reason. I mean unless you actually travel a lot, most people don’t actually need a laptop. I mean, in this age you do need a computer, but you get a much better computer for a comparable price when you actually buy a real computer… laptops are essentially a waste of money for all those who aren’t hardcore travelers… and a lot of people buy them even though they aren’t. So now, I am thinking of being a lemming and buying a laptop… but why?

Well the initial reasoning is to help my note taking… a lot of people these days bring laptops into class to take notes in class, and even record the class on webcams and microphones. I cannot deny that this in itself would be worthwhile, especially considering I have about 4 hours between classes on Tuesdays in which I am sitting doing homework. Well if I had a laptop I could be working on essays as well. However, this logic is very low as I am in my last semester of school and the purchase of a laptop is more worthwhile when you have more than a year left.

The secondary reason I’d buy one is to help me with my writing. Now let me explain. When I am home, I get super distracted. Something that I don’t think is uncommon for writers. I sit around and play games or watch TV or other things when I’m home and before I realize it the day is gone and I haven’t done anything.  My thought process is that I could bring the laptop out to lounges or coffee shops or libraries, or even take vacations out of town where I could more easily work on my writing without getting distracted by household things.

So the idea is appealing to me… but it is $600 I don’t have to spend on frivolous things. On the other side, if it helps write books which make me more than $600 can I afford not to? But what if I don’t use it ever? What if, even though the thought is good, I never go out of the house to use it as I say I would. After all, I am very good at making promises to myself (like going out every day/week to go exercise) and not fulfilling these promises. So what makes this one different?

It doesn’t help any that my roommate has decided to quit her $18 an hour job because she doesn’t like her boss and now I may need to help pay for more of the rent than we originally planned….

Still… it could help me get a book published…

EQuinox reviewed

I got my copy of EQuinox a few weeks ago and have read through most of it… I haven’t read two of the fan fictions within the magazine but now that school has started I don’t think I’m really going to have time to get to it for awhile, so I’m just going to review it without those two pieces.

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Amazon.com’s fall

I was an early adopter of Amazon.com. I was one of those people who in the mid-90s was looking for a way to monetize his site, even if it was just a little and at the time, the only real thing to do with sites is to throw the Link Exchange banner up (a service I think is extremely missed btw). Then, amazon came along, giving people something like 10% of the profits for linking books on their site and all was great. People bought, and though it wasn’t much money, in those days it wasn’t too much to expect somewhere around $10-20 per year.

Then Amazon became a big money making machine at some point, and not for the websites that made it grow. It started slowly first adding movies and music which in all honesty were welcome. But sooner than later they started adding products left and right. To me, the more disturbing thing was that originally Amazon somehow provided their own products… they were the ones that sold everything, not another store… But even this changed at some point… It started by merging with CDNOW.com which was a great site in its day who now provide itse music and movies, Borders provides books, Target provides a ton of stuff, Toys R’ Us provides toys, etc… What once was the internet’s first superstore soon became one of the internet’s many super malls.

On top of this, at some point they kind of ninja’d in a lowering of the commission that they handed to their website parters, first with anything that wasn’t books but then to books… I think it is currently at 4% (it actually wasn’t bad that they had a lower percentage for electronics as even at 1% if you sold 1 item you’d general make more from it than you would off a book at 10%). In addition to this, they also took many of its discounts off the site… it used to be that in general most items at amazon were between 20-40% off the market price, this difference made it ok to shop through them as this discount made up for the shipping costs and still often made it cheaper than going to the store… no longer. Now if you go there you are often lucky just to get 10-15%, many times it is at 0%.

As if all this wasn’t bad, I went to Amazon earlier this week and it seems that they have stopped altogether being a single store. Before, at the very least, while the music was provided by cdnow, books by borders, etc… if you bought a book, a cd, and a shirt, they’d all come in one package for one price. This isn’t even possible anymore as in addition to these sponsors, it has essentially become like eBay where the entire store is now dominated by individual sellers.

I attempted to buy birthday presents for 3 children, and two packs of underwear earlier from Amazon and ended up with items coming from no less than 5 different stores, only 2 items from the list of about 7, would come from Amazon at their shipping cost. NONE of the items barring one from amazon had any sort of discount. So I canceled the order… we tried again with only the amazon.com items and another which we have been having a difficult time finding. So down to two stores… we looked at the price… $90. The item from the other store sold for $4, but its shipping cost $8. What was worse is the only way we figured this out was by taking the item out of the cart as Amazon is smartly not even posting the shipping cost breakdown anymore… but essentially you pay $8 per store at least… that means that first order would have cost nearly $50 just to ship to my house! You can’t even search Amazon without having these other stores in the search results which would have been fine, but now I can’t even fully tell what amazon has without them… their searches of results is full of crap I refuse to buy due to additional shipping costs.

Amazon, far and away is no longer the deal it was originally and it is no where near being convenient which was the other early draw. It is no wonder they keep trying to come up with new ideas other than the store to keep afloat such as a search engine and a digg machine… because I have a strong feeling that their sales are dropping on average and the only way they keep it up is by adding new stores and new side features… I personally am blacklisting them as an online seller after this last experience, even though I have generally bought between 6-10 items per year for the last 10 years from them. I am also not going to be listing their advertisements on my site any longer, and they have been a premier advertiser for me largely because they provided many different products that I could place with a single plan. I don’t know who is going to replace them in any way, but I know they need to be replaced so I will look.