I'm far enough removed from looking at games as a fan that when I hear an otherwise reasonable person say fiercely, "I hate the Packers,'' I'm wondering what that's based on.

OK, the Vikings play them twice a year, and they play in the neighboring state, and there might be a Packer person or two in your workplace who likes to agitate, but that's the fun of going to work, right? A little healthy agitation.

What's to hate about the Packers as a franchise? They have a general manager in Ted Thompson who avoids the limelight and works efficiently, they have a coach in Mike McCarthy who is a low-key leader and respectful of opponents, and a quarterback in Aaron Rodgers who worked mightily to turn himself into one of the all-time greats. I like to see the Packers win in situations like Sunday's, if only for the manner in which that organization carries itself as opposed to Jerry Jones and his organization.

If you're in the crowd that "hates the Packers'' and figure they are 9-1-1 against the Vikings in this decade because "Rodgers and Green Bay get all the calls'' ... well, you keep thinking, Butch, that's what you do best.

Patrick +: startribune.com/sports