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Cheese Curds, 11/21: Can LeRoy Butler gain traction as a Hall of Fame candidate?

Butler is now a semifinalist for a second time, but can he finally break through into the finalist category?


Fans of the Green Bay Packers in the 1990s might think of Brett Favre or Reggie White first when looking back on the Ron Wolf-era teams, but one player consistently shows up in the minds of fans of the team despite getting little attention outside of the Green Bay community. Safety LeRoy Butler was truly a dominant player, a Swiss-Army Knife for defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur.

Butler was equally as adept in blitzing the quarterback as he was in run support and pass coverage, and his numbers bear that out. A four-time first-team All-Pro player, Butler actually started his career as a corner before moving to safety, where he was free to affect offenses in myriad ways. His finest season probably came in 1996, as the Packers went on to win Super Bowl XXXI. That year, Butler recorded five interceptions and the only pick-six of his career, while totaling a whopping 6.5 sacks.

Furthermore, Butler deservedly earned a spot on the NFL’s all-decade team for the 90s. So why can’t he seem to break through in the minds of Hall of Fame voters? This year he took another positive step, but those voters have a lot of work to do to acknowledge one of the most versatile defensive players in recent memory. Here’s hoping he is able to make it through to the next round of voting in a few months.

We’ve got a handful of items on Butler and much more in today’s curds.

LeRoy Butler named a Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist |
Congratulations to a great Packer for his second straight year on this list of 25 modern-era players. It will still be a tough task for Butler to make it to the finalist round of 15, but he absolutely deserves more attention than he gets at this point.

Ranking 2019 Hall of Fame semifinalists: Tony Gonzalez No. 1 -
In the justification for ranking LeRoy Butler 22nd (criminally low, if you ask me), Adam Rank says this: "Packers fans like to tell you that they didn't have a defense during the Brett Favre years." What Packers fans are he talking to? Everyone knows the defense -- especially in 1996 -- was very much the equal of the offense.

Packers have 2 straightforward paths to the playoffs | Packers Wire
If the Packers win out, there's virtually no chance they are left out of the postseason, and about a 70% chance of winning the NFC North. But believe it or not, the Packers could lose one more game -- even Sunday's game in Minnesota -- and still make the postseason by winning their final five.

Kevin King’s potential return could be game changer for Packers’ defense |
If for no other reason than the fact that the Packers’ cornerback depth is being hit hard with injuries, King needs to get back on the field. If he can go, that gives the Packers three healthy corners — along with Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson — and hopefully a fourth in Bashaud Breeland if his groin cooperates. If not, we’ll see a lot of Tony Brown again on Sunday night and although I think he has a lot of natural ability, he still has a ways to go to be a reliable player.

Rams coach Sean McVay remembers every coverage the Chiefs threw at him - SBNation.comt
Imagine being a fan of a team whose head coach gives these kinds of press must be exciting!

People living in colder regions drink more alcohol, study finds | The Independent
A full study by the Pittsburgh Liver Research Center mentions two places as being homes to heavy drinkers: Russia and Wisconsin. It seems Lewis Black's rant about the state (note: it’s Lewis Black, so expect harsh language) isn't just anecdotal -- now it's backed up by science.