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Coach Matt LaFleur: Welcome to Green Bay. We’re certain you’ll find that Packers fans are more passionate, more dedicated to the local team than most of the people you encountered at Los Angeles Rams games during your time there.

Speaking of the Rams: We hear you come to Green Bay on the recommendation of another young NFL coach, Rams head man Sean McVay. We’d certainly welcome some of that point-a-minute offense the Rams have been scorching the league with the past two seasons. You see, your new starting quarterback … well, you probably don’t need to be told who Aaron Rodgers is. The two-time NFL Most Valuable Player had one of his worst seasons in terms of productivity in 2018, and we don’t think it’s because he suddenly became just another quarterback.

We’re excited at the prospect of you getting No. 12 back to that MVP form. By the way, he’s 35 years old now, so the clock is ticking a little louder each day. We don’t want another first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback to leave town with just one Super Bowl ring on his hand. Also, if you could make sure he doesn’t turn up in a Minnesota Vikings jersey at the end of his career, we’d really appreciate that, too.

Thanks, Coach. Good luck, and the 2019 season has already begun, if you catch our meaning.

Speaking of football: We know there are Chicago Bears fans here in Racine County. Since your neighbors are mostly Packers fans, trust us when we say we know how you’re feeling this week. (We’ll get to that in a moment.)

What seemed like a sure postseason victory, a step closer to the Super Bowl, came to a soul-crushing end at Soldier Field on Sunday. But we’d advise you to stop sticking pins in that Cody Parkey voodoo doll you stitched together Sunday night. Yes, he missed what would have been a game-winning field goal in the final seconds, enabling the Philadelphia Eagles to advance to the next round. But answer this question, please: Was that field goal the only play in the game? No, of course it wasn’t. There are numerous questionable decisions and failures to execute on offense, on defense and by the coaching staff in the 59 minutes, 50 seconds before Parkey’s kick.

Singling out Parkey for social-media abuse and outraged calls to Chicago sports talk radio programs ignores the fact that this is a team game: The whole team wins or the whole team loses. The reason we know this? Some of you Bears fans remember the name Brandon Bostick from four years ago this month and a game in Seattle. Yes, Bostick leaped in front of Jordy Nelson — the Packer who was supposed to field the onside kick late in the NFC Championship Game against the Seahawks — and bobbled the ball, enabling the Seahawks to recover the kick and go on to a memorable comeback victory.

Just as Bostick isn’t the one and only reason the Packers lost that day, Parkey isn’t the one and only reason the Bears lost on Sunday. It’s human nature to seek a scapegoat, but that doesn’t make it fair.

Something to howl about: The new Wisconsin Humane Society facility at the corner of 16th and 90th streets in Mount Pleasant is coming one step closer to reality thanks to an anonymous donation. The Humane Society on Thursday announced a $500,000 matching gift challenge to help complete fundraising efforts for the organization’s new animal shelter that would replace the space-challenged facility on Chicory Road.

WHS has secured $4.9 million toward the project goal of $5.9 million. This includes public funds raised of $2.9 million and a commitment by the WHS board of directors that allows up to $2 million of WHS invested funds to be used toward the project. With $1 million remaining to raise, an anonymous donor has committed to matching all monetary donations and pledges dollar-for-dollar, up to $500,000, made through Oct. 31.

For more information about the project or to make a gift, contact Jenny Mueller, vice president of Development, at 414-431-6128 or jmueller@wihumane.org. To donate online, go to www.unleashthepotential.net. The Humane Society offers a very important resource for the community and it’s a very worthy cause to support.

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