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Packers 30-second rant: New-wave style vs. old-school substance

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Jan. 18, 2011 @ 5:04 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Are you ready for the most highly anticipated sporting event ever in the city of Chicago? I can’t unequivocally say the third Packers-Bears showdown this season warrants the same top-dog status in Green Bay sports history, but at the very least, it’s got to be right near the top of the list, right?

How big is this battle for Super Bowl honors? Big enough to warrant TWO rants this week, with another one scheduled a few days from now.

My major premise today is the striking contrast I find between the old-fashioned, fire-and-brimstone, blood-and-guts mentality that is such a driving force in pro football’s longest rivalry and Green Bay’s sleek, cutting-edge, new-wave offense with Aaron Rodgers at the controls.

What I’m trying to say is that, contrary to what the history of this rivalry would lead one to believe, the team that wins Sunday will not necessarily be the one that lands the most punches, smashes the most mouths and, quite simply, kicks the most tail.

While power will no doubt be important, speed is of the essence, with the team that does the best job of thinking on its feet and reacting to all the different disguises and change-ups that will be on display from both teams on both sides of the ball most likely to emerge the winner.

While the emotion in the Bears and Packers nations is old-school to the max at the moment, building in intensity by the minute, the football itself on Sunday will be super state-of-the-art, particularly Green Bay’s Rodgers-led offense. It goes without saying that Rodgers is playing at an elite level at the moment. Former NFL QB and current Chicago-based football commentator Jim Miller called the Green Bay QB “Robo-Rod” yesterday in one interview I heard because of the absolutely flawless mechanics Rodgers is currently displaying.

I agree. The guy does suddenly seem like a robot, effortlessly distributing the ball to an endless array of weapons out of an endless array of formations, making every kind of throw. It’s an act that never gets old because it’s designed to keep changing, with different featured attractions, as evidenced by the four Packers wideouts (Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones and Jordy Nelson) who each had at least 75 yards receiving against the Falcons last Saturday night.

I have yet to mention the Packers’ equally creative and multifaceted defense, choreographed so masterfully by Dom Capers and his simply amazing defensive staff. But I suppose I can rant about that on Thursday — unless some other NFC championship subplot suddenly strikes my fancy.

God knows there are enough of them!

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