Vandermause: What a year to be a Cheesehead
By Mike Vandermause, Green Bay Press-Gazette
~2011 should go down as the greatest year in Green Bay Packers history.
How can it get any better?
In one glorious calendar year, the Packers won a Super Bowl championship and produced an all-time best 19-1 record.
Their starting quarterback enjoyed the finest season of any signal caller in NFL history.
They announced contract extensions for their coach and general manager to ensure a promising future.
They were the beneficiaries of a newly signed 10-year collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players union that keeps a salary cap and the draft in place and guarantees the Packers will remain prosperous and competitive despite playing in the league’s smallest city.
They began work on another expansion of Lambeau Field and raised more than $60 million to help pay for it through a wildly popular sale of team stock.
On or off the field, the Packers possessed the Midas touch and became the envy of the league. Their biggest problem will be trying to stage an encore performance.
Here are the top 10 Packers stories from a magical year to remember:
1. Lombardi Trophy comes home
The year began with a hard-fought 10-3 victory over the Chicago Bears on Jan. 2 that enabled the Packers to win a tiebreaker with two other 10-6 teams and slip into the playoffs as a No. 6 seed. They proceeded to win three consecutive road playoff games at Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago to set up their Super Bowl XLV triumph over Pittsburgh at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. The Packers became just the second sixth-seeded team to capture a championship. It was the Packers’ 13th overall title and fourth Super Bowl crown.
2. Historic start to season
The Packers burst out of the gate with an all-time team best 13-0 start this season and extended their overall winning streak to 19 games, second longest in NFL history. The Packers went 364 days without a loss. The streak finally ended on Dec. 18 at Kansas City. The Packers, who shattered the team’s single-season scoring record, earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the first time since 1996. The only other calendar years when the Packers suffered just one loss (with no ties) were 1919 (10-1) and 1962 (14-1).
Rest of story from Vandermause here