Even Bears fans can appreciate the talent of Aaron Rodgers.
So in the words of Usher, these are my confessions...
I watched the Green Bay/Baltimore Monday Night game and thought to myself, this is a really fun Packers team. How can I hate them?
Maybe fantasy football plays a roll. Aaron Rodgers was my quarterback last year and I started him Monday in my "Pay the Fan" league.
Whatever the case, I was envious of my neighbors to the north in many areas.
At this point, Rodgers is more polished than Jay Cutler. It still should be a good battle for supremacy over the long haul, and many experts, including Waddle, tell me that Cutler has the better tools, but Rodgers' decision making and confidence is better than our guy. Even when consistently pressured, Rodgers gets the ball out quickly to the right guy in the right spot.
Speaking of that, how do you not love the Packers wide receivers? I drooled on myself when the "Monday Night Football" crew showed the graphic of Sterling Sharpe passing the torch to Robert Brooks, who passed it to Antonio Freeman, who passed it to Donald Driver, who passed it to Greg Jennings. I must admit, though, I have a drooling problem in general.
On defense, instead of hiring a buddy, and sticking with a tired, ineffective system, the Packers overhauled their unit and found great success. Their Dom Capers-led 3-4 defense is a top unit in the NFL. No excuses when they lose the dependable Al Harris and Aaron Kampman, they just keep making plays. And Charles Woodson is playing as well as he has ever played -- though I disagree with Jon Gruden saying he's a better "ball puncher" than Charles "Peanut" Tillman.
The team is owned by the fans, their stadium renovation was better than ours, and their field is actually NFL worthy -- not full of divots.
So, as Green Bay comes to town, I have Packer envy. Send your "move to Green Bay hate mail" here. I know, I'm sorry to admit it. I grew up hating the Green and Gold. I took it personally when Forrest Gregg's teams would take cheap shots on Walter Payton, Matt Suhey, and Jim McMahon. I loved seeing the Fridge run for a touchdown against the Packers on MNF at Soldier Field and catch one at Lambeau later in the year. I nearly punched a hole in my dorm room wall when the Bears lost the "replay game" 20 years ago. This was the team I disliked the most. Now, I enjoy watching them play. Benedict Silvy?
I rooted for the Rams to score a touchdown when they had the ball late and trailed by eight. A defensive meltdown followed by a two-point conversion and an overtime Bears loss to perhaps the worst team in football would have exposed how bad things are to ownership. You know how bad it really is. I know how bad it really is. But sometimes, people need to be smacked in the face to have their eyes opened. This would've done it for the McCaskey family. While I feel shame for rooting against a team I love, I did it with only a brighter long-term future in mind. The only way this organization gets better is if they clean house. The sooner the better.
That wasn't the only time in the last week I was rooting against a team I love.
A part of me was also excited that the Bulls lost to the lowly Nets. While I wanted to see Derrick Rose take over and make a game winning shot, this team will not improve much with current coach Vinny Del Negro. I hope Jerry Reinsdorf, John Paxson, and Gar Forman were convinced the only way to go forward is without Del Negro. The Nets loss caps an embarrassing four-day stretch. Lebron danced all over the Bulls on Friday. The shoe-tying incident got plenty of national publicity during the Raptors 32- point win. Thirty-two points! At home! Before that game, Toronto had lost 5 of 6 and played an overtime game the previous night. And now this. Falling behind a 1-19 team by 10 going into the 4th. John Salmons taking a fade away three-pointer to win the game? Hiring Del Negro was a mistake to begin with -- do not compound it by keeping him any longer. The house must be in order when you pursue one of the 2010 free agent stars. Jeff Van Gundy anyone? Avery Johnson? Call Doug Collins and apologize. There are options available. Del Negro never had a chance. He was the third choice in a botched search. He never had any coaching experience, not even as an assistant. Del Negro has no presence. His game management is poor at best. And now guys aren't listening. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Other thoughts that I have that I don't feel dirty about...
My favorite Blackhawk, Kris Versteeg joined the show on Tuesday. When asked about new contracts for Kane, Toews, and Keith, Steeger said Kane is the cheapest. Didn't we already know that? Versteeg also disclosed that Brian Campbell was the only player not to bring a gift to the team's Christmas party. Versteeg bought "the total gym" which was claimed by Adam Burish.
I still don't know if Ryne Sandberg will be the best candidate when Lou Piniella leaves the Cubs, but how can you not give him credit for what he has already accomplished? Sandberg has done the grunt work to become a Major League manager. How many Hall of Famers have done that? Good luck Ryno at Triple-A Iowa.
Congrats to my Saluki football team for another outstanding season. SIU fell short in its quarterfinal game with William and Mary. Playoff appearances are becoming commonplace in Carbondale and Dale Lennon hasn't missed a beat after Jerry Kill left for NIU. I look forward to the opening of our new football stadium in 2010 and an eventual National Championship.
Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson are fun to watch. Illinois will have bumps in the road like they did vs. Bradley, but the future couldn't look any better. We've always known Bruce Weber can coach, now he can recruit. I predict a Final Four appearance for the Illini in either 2011 or 2012.
Lyla Garrity was finally back in this week's episode of "Friday Night Lights." In real life, Minka Kelly is Derek Jeter's girlfriend. This transition season of Friday Night Lights has been pretty good. So far, a solid B. I don't love all of the new characters yet and it's really heavy on the drama.
Just read that Mayor Richard M. Daley is still steamed over getting snubbed by the IOC and losing the 2016 Olympic bid. Daley claims Chicago never had a chance and complained it was "all politics". Really? A Chicago mayor was shocked by this? A Daley crying foul over "politics??" That's how everything has been decided in our town for years.
Thank you to all and to all a good night.
Marc Silverman is a co-host of "Waddle & Silvy," mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on ESPN Radio 1000. Send comments, questions and feedback by clicking here.