By Drew Olson Special to Published Sep 11, 2006 at 12:02 AM Photography: Allen Fredrickson
As a service to those who missed the Packers’ season-opener Sunday, and those who watched and don’t feel they’ve suffered enough, we offer this running commentary of the Chicago Bears’ 26-0 victory.


15:00 -- On the opening kickoff, Packers safety Marquand Manuel is flagged for a facemask penalty. That’s neither a good start to his Green Bay career nor a good omen for the game.

13:12 -- On third and 6 at the 36, Chicago quarterback Rex Grossman completes a pass to Mushin Muhammad. It looked like the pass might have been tipped by Al Harris, who also was whistled for pass interference. Viewers were left wondering what happened on both counts, because Fox whiffed on the replay.

12:12 -- Manuel strikes again! Bernard Berrian blows by him to haul in a 49-yard touchdown pass from Grossman. Could Manuel have looked slower? Bears 7, Packers 0.

12:05 -- Packers back Samkon Gado receives the kickoff and gets slammed to the turf by Chicago linebacker Jamar Williams. That begs the question: When was the last time a Packers special teams player punished a return man like that? It might have been the Super Bowl year.

10:59 -- The Packers give the ball to Ahman Green on third and one and he gets blown up trying to go over left tackle. That’s not a good sign.

10:24 -- To the shock of many, Packers defensive back Ahmad Carroll makes a special teams tackle for a loss.

7:52 -- On third and three at the Green Bay 33, Grossman completes a quick slant to Muhammad. How come other teams occasionally jump that route for an interception and the Packers never do? It might be early, but Grossman looks cool, calm and collected.

5:10 -- Maybe Grossman is human, after all. Facing pressure from Aaron Kampman, he lofts a jump ball into the end zone and the ball is picked off by Packers linebacker Nick Barnett, who pretty much plucked the ball from the hands of teammate Nick Collins. Give the Packers credit for not screwing up the interception.

(Overtime) -- Does that voice on the General Motors commercial belong to actor Matt Dillon? If it’s not him, it might be his brother, Kevin, who plays Johnny Drama on "Entourage." I think I heard Ed Norton doing a commercial read not long ago, too. Somewhere, there are some nameless, faceless voiceover guys who are losing out on work.

5:02 -- Packers receiver Donald Driver catches his first pass of the day and gains 17 yards. The announcer tells us that Driver has caught at least one pass in 65 straight games. The guy is definitely underappreciated.

3:59 -- Fox color analyst Tim Ryan asks: "Have you ever seen Ahman Green physically look better?" Well, Green looks pretty good, but most Packers fans would probably answer thusly: "Um, yeah. How about when he rushed for 1,883 yards back in 2003?"

3:21 -- A third-and-2 play disintegrates when Jason Spitz steps on Favre’s foot. While flat on his back, Favre looked like he was still going to try to throw a pass, but didn’t... Random thought: Thank (insert God of your choice) that John Madden wasn’t announcing this game.

3:04 -- The Packers drop back to punt, but Carroll is whistled for a false start. When the punt goes off, Ryan gets off a low line drive without a lot of hang time. The young man from Canada better step up.

Overtime -- In an ad for the DVD release of the movie "Lucky Number Slevin," the film that didn’t make much noise at the box office is described as "the best thriller of the year." If that was true, wouldn’t more people have heard of the film?

1:38 -- Bears tight end Desmond Clark beats linebacker Brady Poppinga for a 33-yard gain. It’s amazing Poppinga is even playing after suffering a severe knee injury last year, but that wasn’t a great moment. Random thought: The Bears hold about a 3 to 1 edge in offensive plays run. If that doesn’t turn around quickly, it’s going to be a long day for the Green and Gold.

Overtime: ESPN anchor Dan Patrick is a very cool guy, but it’s hard to be cool when you’re acting in a commercial with a guy dressed as a sub sandwich.


13:48 -- Robbie Gould’s 40-yard field goal puts the Bears up, 10-0. Going to commercial, Fox shows Packers highlights. Chicago fans may complain about that, but things are going pretty well for them so far. Bears 10, Packers 0.

Overtime: The trailer for "School for Scoundrels" looks promising.

13:39 -- Packers tight end Donald Lee gets open over the middle and catches a 26-yard pass from Favre. With nobody around him, Lee falls down. Why? Because he’s a Packers tight end and that’s what they usually do.

Overtime: Bears running back Thomas Jones’ brother just scored a touchdown for Dallas. Millions of fantasy players are delighted (or mad) at this development.

11:54 -- Facing third down on the Chicago 44, the Packers give the ball to Green and he is leveled by Brian Urlacher. On fourth and inches, Mike McCarthy decides to go for the first down. What seems like a solid, gutsy decision by the rookie coach backfires when Brett Favre is stopped short. This play has "potential turning point" written all over it. If McCarthy really wants to instill some "Pittsburgh macho" into this team, his crew had better find a way to gain a lousy yard and a half over two plays.

11:02 -- On the first play of the possession, Muhammad beats Al Harris for 17 yards. Again, not a good sign. The defense is going to be dragging if the Packers don’t start making first downs.

8:43 -- Random thought: The Bears are dominating the game, but the Packers need just a touchdown to be in position to cover the 3 ½-point spread.

Overtime -- A candidate for Dumb Commercial of the Day goes to the Schick Quattro Razor for mean. Yeah, the shave is so close that fit, attractive women get knocked off treadmills in laboratories. Sign me up!  

8:07 -- On fourth and 1 from the Green Bay 22, the Bears call a sneak and Rex Grossman makes a first down. While Favre dove down right away, Grossman stayed higher and ended up pushing the pile far enough for a first down. That’s a momentum changer and a pretty good indicator of the difference between a first-place team and a last-place team. First-place teams convert big plays like that. Last-place teams don’t.

6:34 -- Green Bay’s defensive stiffens, but Gould kicks a 39-yarder. Bears 13, Packers 0.

6:23 -- Packers running back Noah Herron fumbles the ensuing kickoff. McCarthy challenges the ruling, which the boys in the press box should have warned him was a waste of time. Chicago takes over and the Packers burn a timeout that they might need later in the half.

Overtime -- There is a commercial for Wendy’s. It’s impossible to watch it without thinking of a Detroit Lions assistant’s naked trip to the drive-thru. I have nothing against Wendy’s, but those people could use a break. Wasn’t it just a few years ago that a lady made up a story about finding a finger in her chili?

6:23 -- No matter who is coaching them, the Bears always seem to try some kind of razzle-dazzle play. On the first play after the fumble, running back Thomas Jones tries to throw on option pass. He ends up completing a pass, illegally, to Grossman. McCarthy seems like the kind of guy who might spring a trick play once in awhile.

4:22 -- Gould hits a 28-yarder. Bears 16, Packers 0. Overtime: The Fox boys point out that Lambeau Field opened on Sept. 29, 1957, and that the Packers christened the joint with a victory over the Bears. That had to be a cool time in the state, what with the Braves winning the National League pennant and heading to the World Series. Double overtime: When the Bears kick off again, Herron is on the field. Previous Packers coaches might have buried him after such a brutal mistake. McCarthy must be long on patience or short on alternatives.

2::04 -- McCarthy DOES like the trick play. Ryan throws a wobbly pass to Herron, who avoids being released by making a juggling catch and running for a first down. The Packers are now in position to get on the board before halftime, but that burned timeout might end up costing them.

1:57 -- The Packers are so fired up by the first down that their next three plays result in an 11-yard sack, a five yard pass and a 10-yard gain. As the clock runs down to :04 seconds, the Packers take a time out and send kicker Dave Rayner on to try a 53-yard field goal.

:04 -- The Bears take a time out to "ice" Rayner. Why do teams do that? It never works.

00: Oops. It worked. Rayner’s kick isn’t even close.

Overtime, halftime edition: Three thoughts while running to the fridge. First, the Bears controlled the ball for 18 ½ minutes of the first half. That’s not a good sign for the Packers. Second, who is the Bears’ punter, anyway? We didn’t see him in the first half. Third, it’s Week 1 for announcers, too. At halftime, Fox’s Curt Menefee made a mistake or a lame joke (couldn’t tell which) about being on the Weather Channel. During a local news break, I swear I saw the usually smooth Tom Pipines take a toss from the weatherman and say "Thank you, Timmy." Now, I didn’t pay enough attention to notice whether the weather guy was Vince Condella or Bart Adrian, but I pretty sure it wasn’t "Timmy."

Halftime score: Bears 16, Packers 0.


14:55 -- The Packers start strong, with Favre hitting Driver for 24 yards, Where would No. 4 be without No. 80?

13:12 -- Favre’s second-down pass glances off the hands of rookie wide receiver Greg Jennings. In his first half of regular-season pro football, Jennings was virtually invisible. It’s also beginning to look like Chad Clifton, who was slowed by injury during camp, is having a subpar game.

13:01 -- Ryan’s punt trickles into the end zone despite the Packers’ best efforts to down it. Again, good teams make plays like that. Pinning the Bears back at the one would have set a positive tone for the half.

Overtime: After resisting the urge earlier, I flip to CBS to see that Roger Federer and Andy Roddick are tied at a set apiece in the US Open tennis final.

12:16 -- Muhammad beats Woodson for 23 yards. Unlike the preseason, Woodson doesn’t look disinterested. Today, particularly on that play, he looks slow.

10:51 -- The Bears do have a punter. His name is Brad Maynard. With Woodson deep, Maynard hits one to the coffin corner. The Packers take over at their own 5. Again, good teams get breaks like that.

Random thought: The Bears have three of the cooler names in football on their defense -- Brendon Ayenbadejo, Hunter Hillenmeyer and Adewale Ogunleye.

10:43 -- Packers tackle Mark Tauscher is called for a rare holding penalty. It’s the second one of his career, following a bogus call against New Orleans last year.

10:22 -- Driver catches a pass from Favre. You have to love the way he springs up after taking a hit. He’s always smiling.

9:03 -- Favre throws a deep ball that lands outside Jennings’ reach. We’re not in the preseason anymore, Toto!

8:58 -- Just when you rip a guy... Favre hits Driver for 24 yards and Jennings helps the cause with a strong, sustained downfield block. No wonder everybody likes this kid.

7:43 -- On third and 13, Favre dumps a five-yard pass to Gado. In the preseason, Favre said the team was still looking for a "go-to" play to run when things got tight. Obviously, the search continues.

Overtime -- Two more contestants for Dumb Commercial of the Day: People talking to their Toyota Corollas. And how about those fake Coors Light press conferences with a bunch of sloppy fan-boys asking questions of former NFL coaches Dick Vermeil and Bill Walsh? Call me a media snob, but I don’t get it.

1:50 -- A 30-yard field goal by Gould caps a 10-play scoring drive. At this point, the only drama remaining is whether the Packers will be shut out. Bears 19, Packers 0.

0:14 -- Tauscher gets hit with another holding penalty. What’s wrong with the universe?


15:00 -- Fox points out that the Packers haven’t been shut out since 1991. That’s 233 games, the second-longest active streak in the league. It’s in serious jeopardy of ending today.

14:06. -- The much ballyhooed Devin Hester runs back a punt for a touchdown and a 26-0 Chicago lead. Random thought: What is Corey Rodgers doing today? He was supposed to add zip to Green Bay’s return game, right?

11:46 -- Favre forces a ball down the middle and it gets intercepted. The final gun is a formality. This game has been over for awhile.

9:32 -- Maybe there is some gas in the tank, after all. Woodson returns his first punt for 28 yards. He gets demerits for being knocked out by the punter!

8:31 -- Favre throws another interception. Maybe it’s time to look at Aaron Rodgers.

0:21 -- Green drags the pile for nine yards. The fact that he’s now over 100 yards would qualify as one of the few bright spots of the day for Green Bay.

Final score: Bears 26, Packers 0.
Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.