The Packers 2014 schedule was released on Wednesday and it contains five night games. If the Packers have another successful season, odds are another night game or two could happen due to flex scheduling.
Night games are a good thing in my situation. My son is going to turn 1 year old in early October, so I’ll have to watch Packers games with one eye while making sure my boy isn’t putting his fingers in a light socket or trying to open the front door and run out into the middle of an intersection.
Night games mean my son should be sleeping before kickoff. So that gives me five games where I shouldn’t have to worry about him tumbling down the stairs or eating the dog’s food while I yell at my TV about Mike McCarthy calling a John Kuhn fullback dive on an important 4th and 1.
Five night games also might not be a bad thing for the Packers. After the Thursday night season opener, Green Bay gets a 10-day mini bye to savor a victory over the defending Super Bowl champs. Then again, if the Packers lose, it means a week-and-a-half of doom and gloom from the more worrisome sector of the fanbase.
The schedule is fun to talk about now for a couple of reasons: 1) There’s literally nothing else in the NFL world to talk about; and 2) we can begin making plans around Packers games. Throwback Weekend is set for Oct. 18-19 when the Packers play Carolina. Speculation has started about when and if the Packers might retire Brett Favre’s number (Thursday night against the Vikings? Sunday night against the Bears?). Now is the time to try and wriggle out of boring weekend family functions that might interfere with watching the Packers.
But ultimately, while schedule-talk is a fun time filler as we go nuts waiting for the NFL draft that seems like it will never get here, it’s meaningless. We already knew the Packers’ opponents. Does it matter all that much when they play them? It does for our personal plans, but that’s about it.
I can remember talking last April and May (and June, and July and August) about how difficult the Packers 2013 schedule was. You had Washington and RGIII in week two, at the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens in week five, at the always-tough-to-beat Giants in week 10, the perennial contending Falcons in week 13 and the Steelers in week 16.
None of these teams ended up being very good (and neither did the NFC North) and the Packers schedule wasn’t as difficult as many of us feared.
We’ll see what this year brings, and if I can manage to watch the games without my son sneaking away with my iPhone and throwing it in the toilet. Meantime, if my boy decides he wants to stick his finger into a light socket tomorrow, I might join him and see if it helps the draft get here any faster.
Packers news, notes and links
For more on the Packers schedule, check out this post from our friends at Acme Packing Company. While you’re there, be sure to click around and check out Acme’s draft coverage. It covers all of the angles that need covering from this Packers fan’s perspective.
Every draft season we feature some looks at some not-so-obvious prospects for the Packers. Here is a post on some under-the-radar defensive line prospects.
Make sure you’re following Jersey Al’s NFL mock draft picks for the Packers at Drafttek.com.
Remember how I said worrying about the schedule in April doesn’t make any sense? I still believe that, but it doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and make way-too-early predictions about the Packers record like John Rehor does here.
Colleen takes down “Al Davis” in this post at Pocket Doppler.
Many people think Ohio St. LB Ryan Shazier could end up being drafted by the Packers. LombardiAve.com has a Shazier profile that is worth your time.
Why stop at four days? I think the NFL draft should run throughout the entire season. Every night at 8 p.m., a new team makes a selection.
Non-Packers Links and Other Nonsense
I’ve been complaining for the last month about the NFL draft getting pushed back to May and how this is one of the more boring Packers offseasons in recent memory.
Thankfully, Out of the Park Baseball 15 (OOTP) was released on Monday. For those of you unfamiliar with OOTP, it’s the best video game you will ever play. Seriously, it’s that good. I could go into a long description of what the game is, but that’s all you really need to know — it’s the best video game you will ever play.
Go check out the website if you want more details. You’ll find out that it’s a baseball management sim, that you use your brain instead of your thumbs to play it, and that it’s amazing.
With annual sports game releases on the big consoles, you often get the same old game every year with updated rosters and maybe a few minor tweaks here and there to fill up the description space on the back of the box. Not with OOTP.
Every year the developers of OOTP make legitimate improvements to the previous version, and OOTP 15 is no exception. The level of immersion in OOTP was already amazing (sometimes even overwhelming). This year the immersion level is dialed up another notch with seven international leagues featuring real rosters, the ability to retire numbers of your franchise greats, more league options and an improved computer manager.
And the best part of OOTP? The entire game is customizable. You can play it however you want.
Want to create a league filled with teams that only play in Wisconsin cities? You can do it. Want to take over in 1901 and play out the entire history of baseball to see how your league ends up compared to real life? It’s easy. Want to make yourself general manager of the Brewers and see if you can win a couple of World Series rings? You can replace Doug Melvin with yourself in just a couple of mouse clicks.
OOTP 15 also adds 3D ballparks and a revamped interface that makes navigating this monstrosity of a game simple.
I could go on and on about the hours of enjoyment I get out playing OOTP every year. I could even bore you with the details of my current franchise, where after seven years of play my Minnesota Twins have yet to make the world series. But I won’t.
Instead of reading this, take what precious time you have and spend it playing OOTP 15. Believe me, it’s worth your time and $39.99. I would’t be writing about it on a blog about Packers football if it wasn’t.
Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.