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Happy New Year from all of us at the NFC North blog! If you're anywhere in the upper Midwest, you rang in 2009 much as you sent out 2008: Shivering. Oh well. I suppose cold weather isn't exactly breaking news in this area.
Things already are ramping down a bit around the division with three teams finished playing games until September. But the blog will continue to roar on, starting every day with the "Black and Blue all over" feature that gets you up to date with what local beat writers are reporting in each NFC North city.
The volume of locally produced stories will ebb and flow during the offseason, but be sure to check here every morning for the best of what is out there.
I've gotten some questions about why I haven't included fan blogs and other media outlets in this roundup. The answer is simple: While there are strong takes on each team all over the Internet, there is no substitute for access. And beat writers are the only media members whose companies put them in position to cover the team daily from inside the team's facility, ferreting out information through firsthand interaction with coaches, players and other sources.
With that said, let's get it started for 2009: