17 Sep

Struggles for Packers

first_imgRebuilding.It’s a term fans of Wisconsin sports have become used to hearing. The Bucks have spent the better part of the last three years rebuilding their program — and it seems to be paying off early this year — the team looks damn good. Milwaukee Brewers fans have been dealing with rebuilding for over a decade, holding out hope that the Nick Neugebauers and Ryan Andersons of the world would bring them out of the cellar. Well, it took a little longer than advertised, and it wasn’t Neugebauer or Anderson that brought the Brew Crew to glory — but the days of rebuilding appear to be over in Milwaukee.Although the Bucks and Crew have been rebuilding the past few years, there’s always been one constant for the Wisconsin football fans — the Green Bay Packers. Well, at least until this season.A 1-7 start wasn’t exactly what anyone — fan or pundit — expected from the Packers this season. They were an aging team, and their defense was suspect, but with Brett Favre at the helm and an offense solid at the skill positions, much more was expected of the Packers this season.After all, this was a team that went 10-6 last year, with the only major offseason losses coming at the two guard positions on the offensive line. This team was supposed to find a way to get into the playoffs with Favre’s Hall-of-Fame career winding down. But it has just not materialized.Obviously injuries have taken their toll. It’s hard to put points on the board when you lose three of your top five wide receivers and your top three running backs for portions of the season. Let’s face it, names like Chad Lucas and Samkon Gado don’t exactly strike fear into opposing defenses.Which brings about the question — is it time for rebuilding in Green Bay? Well, I’m not jumping off of any bandwagons yet, so I’m going to have to answer “no” to that question.For starters, it’s hard to believe the Packers would be where they are right now if it weren’t for the injury bug. I realize it’s pretty much a copout to blame injuries — after all, shouldn’t teams be deep enough to overcome the inevitable?That’s true, but replacing a Javon Walker is just not the same as replacing, say, an injured Bill Schroeder when he was a starter for Green Bay. The same can be said for replacing a tailback like Ahman Green (though I realize he wasn’t exactly tearing it up before his injury, he’s still a better option the Packers’ current starters).These players are Pro Bowl-caliber individuals in the NFL and for any team to replace them with players of comparable talent is nearly impossible. Not to mention the backups that stepped up in each case, Robert Ferguson for Walker and Najeh Davenport for Green, who both suffered injuries as well. If Walker and Green were healthy all year, it’s plausible the Packers could be at least a .500 club and challenging for the NFC North crown.Plus there’s still Favre. Is it fair to him to start rebuilding while he’s still rebuilding? Absolutely not. Favre has been the face of the Packers for years and is arguably the greatest player in franchise history, not to mention the guy is never willing to lose.Favre brought Green Bay its first Super Bowl win since the late 1960s and has led the resurgence of a franchise that was a perennial NFL doormat prior to his reign. If for no other reason than out of respect for the Kiln, Miss., native, Green Bay should do everything within its power to field a respectable team while he’s on the field.Not to mention, when was the last time the Brewers, Bucks and Packers were respectable at the same time? Wouldn’t that be something?last_img read more

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20 Jul

Ancient Crude Graffiti Placed by Roman Soldiers Found on Hadrians Wall

first_imgGraffiti marks made by Roman soldiers near Hadrian’s Wall are being recorded for posterity — and what the marks reveal is that all those centuries ago, the soldiers enjoyed a laugh over a smutty joke. Thanks to modern technology, their words and explicit drawings from the past will be captured in 3D. The inscriptions in a quarry near Brampton were made by Romans who researchers believe were repairing the wall. Hadrian’s Wall, a 73-mile-long stone frontier stretching across England, was completed in 128 AD for Emperor Hadrian. In what is believed to be 207 AD, the army conducted repairs on the wall at Gelt Woods in Cumbria.Known as the Written Rock of Gelt, the markings include a caricature of the men’s commanding officer. They were discovered in the 18th century. The R-rated carving depicts “a certain anatomical feature still gleefully doodled on walls today,” was how CNN put it. The phallus also denoted good luck in Roman culture.Hadrian’s Wall and Walltown Crags near Greenhead in Northumberland.Rob Collins, lecturer in archaeology at Newcastle University, told the media that this phallic inscription isn’t unusual. He said he has catalogued 57 similar examples along the wall so far. Because the carvings appear similar to the images “boys tend to scribble in textbooks or walls,” he told CNN, “it is easy to project a similar meaning on the Roman examples.”Capturing the markings before they are lost to the elements is not proving easy. Archaeologists from Newcastle University are working with climbing experts to drop 30 feet down the quarry face to capture the markings using structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry.This famous statue of Hadrian in Greek dress was revealed in 2008 to have been forged in the Victorian era by cobbling together a head of Hadrian and an unknown body. For years, the statue had been used by historians as proof of Hadrian’s love of Hellenic culture. Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen CC BY 2.5 Other carvings at the quarry have helped experts determine a date for the inscriptions. One of them describes “APRO ET MAXIMO CONSVLIBVS OFICINA MERCATI,” which is a reference to the consulate of Aper and Maximus. This apparently dates the inscription to 207 AD, a time when Hadrian’s Wall was undergoing a major renovation.“These inscriptions at Gelt Forest are probably the most important on the Hadrian’s Wall frontier,” said Mike Collins, Historic England’s inspector of ancient monuments for Hadrian’s Wall, in a statement.Related Video: Pagans & Druids Welcome Winter Solstice“They provide insight into the organization of the vast construction project that Hadrian’s Wall was, as well as some very human and personal touches, such as the caricature of their commanding officer inscribed by one group of soldiers.”Hadrian’s Wall on Walltown Crags at sunset with dramatic clouds.The quarry has been enjoyed by locals and archaeologists alike, but unfortunately up-close access to the inscriptions ended in the early 1980s when the path to the site collapsed into the gorge of the River Gelt.Since then, inspection of the inscriptions has been nearly possible. However, capturing the marks became a priority when the gradual erosion of the soft sandstone into which they were cut was discovered.The Roman Quarry in the woods at Gelt near Brampton, Cumbria. Photo Courtesy Historic England“These inscriptions are very vulnerable to further gradual decay,” said Ian Haynes, Professor of Archaeology at Newcastle University. “This is a great opportunity to record them as they are in 2019, using the best modern technology to safeguard the ability to study them in the future.”The wall was built under the command of Emperor Hadrian, who traveled extensively across the Roman Empire, making improvements to its defenses and consolidating its borders.Reconstructed section of Hadrian’s Wall. Photo by Andrew Curtis CC BY SA 2.0In Britain, some measure of security and demarcation was seen as important. Numerous warring tribes already lived there. Some rebelled against the Romans, while others became their allies.Read another story from us: A Tour of Britain’s Most Intriguing Roman Archaeological Site and its Recent FindsHadrian’s Wall became a complex system of communications and defenses. Besides the wall, there was an earthwork, a ditch, two major roads, and numerous forts, castles and turrets along the 73-mile frontier.last_img read more

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