P.J.R.: Packers weren't only fools from that Guliford game
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The previous P.J.R. post this morning compared the failure of the Vikings' special teamers to notice the presence of Cleveland's Jordan Cameron on the sideline last Sunday, with a failure of the Packers' secondary to notice the presence of the Vikings' Eric Guliford at the decisive moment on Sept. 26, 1993 in the Metrodome.
The Packers' failure to find Guliford might be more understandable, since Eric was 5-foot-7, weighed maybe 160 pounds, and never caught a pass for the Vikings before or after he set up a game-winning field goal 20 years ago. Cameron is 6-foot-5, 254 pounds and a main ingredient in the Browns' offense (impotent though it was before Sunday's upset in the Dome).
Sadly, on occasion when a sportswriter of long service looks back for details of previous events, he can find not only some athletes who were foolish at the time, but also said sportswriter.
One of the story lines entering that third game of the season in 1993 was that coach Denny Green had fired offensive coordinator Jack Burns. The Vikings' offense had been feeble during a 1-1 start, Green and Burns got into a feud over the form the offense should take during the bye week, and bam ...
Burns was out and young coach named Brian Billick was given more authority with the offense.
Green Bay was the first opponent after Burns' firing. The Packers also were 1-1 and coming off a bye week.
Brett Favre was the quarterback. A year earlier, Don Majkowski suffered torn ligaments in an ankle in the season's third game and Favre took over as the quarterback.
Favre thus was making his 16th start for the Packers, and his second against the Vikings, both in the Metrodome.
It would appear that the always-witty Minneapolis sports columnist wasn't impressed with either of those efforts. This was a passage in my Strib column on Sept. 27, 1993:
''I'll tell you what: Jack Burns had a go-for-the-throat, bombs-away passing attack compared to the abomination presented by Green Bay coach Mike Holmgren and his quarterback, Brett Favre.
"I'm not another Don Majkowski,'' Favre had said.
No, kid, but you might be another Jim Del Gaizo, because you have been a joke on the two occasions you have brought your act to the Metrodome.
Capsule report on Brett Favre: Can't pronounce a five-letter name, can't pass more than 5 yards down the field.
Last December, Favre had 23 completions for 187 yards vs. the Vikings. Yesterday, he had 20 completions for 150 yards. Felton Spencer makes longer jump shots than this guy completes passes.
Poor Sterling Sharpe is going to have more rheumatism than your average 95-year-old, if Green Bay's idea of a passing attack continues to be this: "Sterling, you go down there 4 yards, catch the ball and then have two safeties, a cornerback and a linebacker stick you in the neck, ribs and lungs with their helmets.''
OK, I might have been wrong, but as we old, beat-up sports columnists often say about the task:
"Sometimes you get the ba'r, and sometimes the ba'r gets you.''
--PATRICK JAMES REUSSE