By Gregg Hoffmann Special to Published Jan 14, 2002 at 4:58 AM

Sunday's 25-15 win over the San Francisco 49ers will go down as the last game at the "old" Lambeau Field. A renovation project will be far enough along by next season that the stadium will look significantly different.

"We were well aware this was the last at old Lambeau," said fullback William Henderson Sunday. "We didn't want them (49ers) celebrating on our field, in the last game."


The Packers rallied in the fourth quarter to pull out their 11th straight playoff win, without a loss, at Lambeau. They now advance to the second around against the Rams in St. Louis next weekend.

Two keys to the win were a fourth quarter interception by Tyrone Williams and a subsequent drive for a nine-yard touchdown by Ahman Green.

The Niners were driving with the score 18-15 in the Packers' favor in the fourth quarter. Jeff Garcia lofted a long pass that looked to be headed for Terrell Owens. But, Mike McKenzie tipped the ball, and Williams intercepted it.

"I was able to close on him in the last couple yards and got my hands up," McKenzie said of the tip. "Ty was alert and picked it off."

Brett Favre then moved the Packers 93 yards for the touchdown that put it out of reach for the Niners. Green rambled the final nine yards.

"Brett got us going when we really needed it," said coach Mike Sherman. "That's what makes him such a great quarterback. We had the big pick, and he used it to march right down for the score."

Henderson expressed great appreciation for Lambeau Field and the fans. "The fans respect us, and give us great crowd noise," he said. "They provide the 12th Man on the field as we call it.

"It's just a wonderful place to play. When we have playoff games here, we play well. I wish we could have some more."

But, the Packers won't this season. Instead, they will go to St. Louis to face the Rams, MVP Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk.

"We'll have to play better to beat the Rams," Favre said. "Kurt Warner deserves the MVP. They are playing real well. It is at their place, in a dome, on artificial turf. Everything is in their favor."

Then, Favre grinned in a manner that said, "Don't count us out."

Get over it!

A lot of buzz continues among the New York-based national media over Favre taking a dive in the last regular season game so the Giants' Michael Strahan could get the sack record.

I can tell you nobody west of the Hudson River gives a damn anymore. (It should be noted that late last week, Milwaukee's daily paper ran at least two columns about the play. -ed.) Fans at Lambeau Field Sunday were much more into the playoffs than one play from a couple weeks ago.

As for Favre disgracing himself and the sport, he has demonstrated over the years that he has guts and competitive spirit. He has played just about every play to the max throughout his career. Taking it easy on one play on purpose hardly makes him a disgrace.

MJ returns

Few athletes can still create a buzz like Michael Jordan. You could feel the electricity Friday night when M.J. and the Washington Wizards came to the Bradley Center.

It was a perfect night for Bucks' fans, as Jordan scored 22 points, but the Bucks won. Air Jordan doesn't put as much air between his sneakers and the floor as he once did. In fact, both Tim Thomas and Ray Allen, despite his ailing knee, beat Jordan on more athletic moves early in the game.

But, Jordan still is a magnificent basketball player who almost single-handedly has made a bad basketball team much better.

By the way, the Bucks are a good basketball team that is getting even better. Not only did the Bucks beat M.J. and the Wizards, but also they pulled out a win against the Knicks the very next night in Madison Square Garden, always a tough place to play.

The Bucks are doing this with Allen and Sam Cassell still hurting, and Glenn Robinson out entirely. You don't hear coach George Karl ripping his players much these days, because there really is no reason to do so.


The King Holiday Hoopfest Celebration, hosted by Karl's Friends of Hoop organization, has been expanded this year. The Celebration begins Friday, with a dinner at the Hyatt followed by the Bucks vs. Orlando Magic game at the Bradley Center.

Events on the weekend include the King Academic Bowl and the Sankofa Treasure Hunt on Saturday and a breakfast on Sunday.

The Hoopfest tournament lineup on Monday pits Milwaukee Pius vs. Kettle Moraine (girls) at 4 p.m., Waukesha West vs. Milwaukee Bay View (boys) at 6 p.m., and Milwaukee Rufus King vs. Whitefish Bay Dominican (boys) at 8 p.m. Karl and a Bucks player are scheduled to address the crowd prior to the 8 pm contest.

Welcome progress

Some progress on cooperation between the boards of the Wisconsin Center and Bradley Center was reported after a "summit" was held at Turner Hall last week. Any effort to get the two organizations to coordinate their efforts on improvements to their respect facilities is welcome.

Now, if they will only take the effort to build a soccer stadium as serious. That still will likely require Tim Krause and his group to look for another downtown site for their stadium.

Gregg Hoffmann writes The Milwaukee Sports Buzz on Mondays and The Brew Crew Review on Thursdays for OMC. His new column of commentary on Milwaukee area politics can be seen on and will start weekly in April.

Gregg Hoffmann Special to
Gregg Hoffmann is a veteran journalist, author and publisher of Midwest Diamond Report and Old School Collectibles Web sites. Hoffmann, a retired senior lecturer in journalism at UWM, writes The State Sports Buzz and Beyond Milwaukee on a monthly basis for OMC.