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Erick Torkleson played six years with Green Bay.
Erick Torkleson played six years with Green Bay.
During the '70s, John Brockington was a mainstay in the Packers' backfield.
During the '70s, John Brockington was a mainstay in the Packers' backfield.

Good memories of bad Packers teams

I became a Packers fan during the dark years...the mid to late 1970s. It was after Lombardi was long gone, yet way before anyone had ever heard of Holmgren.

I only knew Bart Starr as a coach. It took me a long time to learn that he was someone to revere, not curse.

I was around 10 or so when I was first introduced to Packers and NFL football.

And it was love at first site.

Despite all the losses, even to this day the names of the guys on those teams bring back good memories.

Join me in a walk down my Packers-memory lane. These are some of the guys who were my original Packers heroes, along with a sentence or two about what I remember most:

John Brockington, RB (1971-77) -- Best running back on the team when I discovered the Packers.

Terdell Middleton, RB (1977-81) -- Took over for Brockington.

Estus Hood, DB (1978-84) -- At my high school, if you were playing defense back and you got burned, we called you Estus.

Dave Roller, DT (1975-78) -- First guy I remember having a sack-dance.

Eric Torkleson, RB (1974-79, '81) -- Seemed to be around forever. Played fullback too, returned a few kicks.

Lynn Dickey, QB (1976-77, 1979-85) -- Great passer, but with the mobility of a fire hydrant. Multiple broken legs.

David Whitehurst, QB (1977-83) -- Dickey's backup, became the starter every time one of Dickey's legs snapped.

Barty Smith, RB (1974-80) --  Always got confused with...

Barry Smith, WR (1973-75) -- Meanwhile...

Mike P. McCoy, DT (1970-76) -- Always got confused with...

Mike C. McCoy, DB (1976-83)

Steve Odom, WR (1974-79) and Ken Payne, WR (1974-77) -- Seemed like they were the main Wide Receives forever.

Steve Luke, S (1975-80) and Johnnie Gray, S (1975-83) -- See Odom and Payne above, except in the secondary.

Willard Harrell, RB (1975-77) -- Mid-career pronunciation change of his last name from HAR-rell to Har-RELL.

Rich McGeorge (1970-78) -- Was the main reason I wanted to play Tight End in high school.

Willie Buchanon, CB (1972-78) -- Reall…


Two sides of the TV weather debate

I think we can all agree that over past five years or so, weather coverage on local TV stations has ramped way up.

I used to be squarely in the middle of this as my former employer and the other Milwaukee television stations adopted a strategy of extensive (excessive?) coverage of snowstorms and thunderstorms. Upon recognizing that extensive (excessive?) weather coverage leads to high ratings, stations have made weather a more prominent part of the news any time snow or rain is expected.

Over the past year or two, there's been blow-back. A growing number of vocal viewers are making noise about there being too much hype for weather situations that don't warrant it.

At least one of our local TV stations has been trying to capitalize on this. You may have seen commercials for Fox 6 weather with the line, "Be prepared, not scared." To me, there's little doubt that this is a subtle (blatant?) attempt to win over viewers who think that weather coverage on the other stations has gone too far.

Now, a counter-punch has been thrown. TMJ4 is airing a new commercial, which, in essence, says "weather IS a big deal, and we don't apologize for how we cover (over-cover?) it."


On the one hand, I've heard from countless people who believe local TV news has played the "this is going to be a HUGE storm" card far too often. On the other hand, I am a personal witness to how ratings spike for newscasts that play up weather events. For all of the hand-wringing about overdone weather coverage, there are a large number of viewers out there whose hands remain un-wrung.

I can assure you of this: ratings are king. As long as something, anything, gets high ratings, it's not going away. So for those of you who think that our local TV stations over-hype weather, the question is: are you watching anyway? If you are, you are feeding the beast from which you are trying to escape.

Fox 6 is betting that it can convince those who think TMJ4 goes overboard that it is the st…

Stacy London and Clinton Kelly of "What Not to Wear" weren't nearly as obnoxious as expected.
Stacy London and Clinton Kelly of "What Not to Wear" weren't nearly as obnoxious as expected.

Man-Card violation?

"This information cannot leave this room. OK? It would devastate my reputation, as a dude." -- Anthony Michael Hall as "The Geek" in the movie "Sixteen Candles"

I have a confession to make.

I watched the TV show "What Not to Wear."

And I didn't hate it.

In fact, (gulp), I might have liked it.

I know, I know. I'm as surprised as you are.

One day I'm a man-card holder in good standing. The next, I'm breaking down the pattern on some woman's new skirt.

For the uninitiated, "What Not to Wear" is a TV show on TLC. It's one of those makeover shows where they take a frumpy-looking woman and go all "My Fair Lady" on her. The woman gets nominated to be on the show by her friends because she has bad clothes, bad hair and bad make-up.

In doing so, her friends are essentially telling her, "Look girlfriend, you're a mess. Either you get some new clothes and do something about your mop and your grill, or you're not kickin' it with us anymore."

I walked in on Koplien daughters No. 2 and No. 3 watching this show last week. I thought I'd take advantage of the opportunity to have some father-daughter bonding time in front of the TV.

They took advantage of the opportunity to introduce me to Stacy and Clinton.

Stacy London and Clinton Kelly are the hosts of "What Not to Wear."

I didn't want to like these people. But I did.

I found them to be smart and funny. Most importantly, they weren't nearly as obnoxious as the people on most of the crap-ola my kids watch.

The first thing Stacy and Clinton do is go through the frumpy-looking woman's whole wardrobe. They literally throw most of her clothes in a garbage can. Then, they hook her up with $5,000 to go shopping for new clothes in New York City. Finally, they send her to the salon for a 'do re-do and some makeup.

When the transformation is complete, they send the woman home for the big reveal in front of her friends. Everybody then hugs and cries because the woman no longer looks like a total troll.

How could I not think t…