Saturday, February 5, 2011

What about Them Packers, eh?

Yippee!! The Packers made it to the Super Bowl for the fifth time (the Steelers for their eighth)!

So Sunday, February 6, I’ll try to figure out how to turn on my old TV, which will probably be like turning on an old guy—just walk past with food and beer and press a button. I expect to see lots of action worth hootin’, hollerin’, and tootin’ for.

I’m an annual football viewer, only at Super Bowl time, and this year the game actually means something to me. I’m a Wisconsinite—born in Wausau, schooled in Eau Claire. Although I lived in Minnesota for seven and a half years in the late sixties to early seventies, the Vikings never elicited any emotion in me. Being a 26-year Coloradan, I’d root for the Broncos over the Vikings. But if the Broncos play the Packers, Green Bay definitely has my support.

While I was on my hike today, I thought, Aside from what Ed taught me a couple of Sundays ago, I know almost nothing about football, downs, defense, or offense. All I know is that a player needs to carry the pigskin across the goal.

From an amateur’s point of view, football appears ridiculous. A herd of huge guys dressed in pads and tights struggle to gain control of an oblong ball that each can easily crush with his hand. Then one guy grabs the ball and runs like hell while the other guys chase him.

So as I hiked, this amateur called her dad in Wisconsin. “So what about them Packers,” I said in my best Wisconsinian when he picked up the phone.

“Hey! Yeah!” I knew we were heading into a good conversation.

After talking about his beloved Vince Lombardi and listing all the old players and their jersey numbers, he filled me in on the rules. The good thing is, he replicated what Ed taught me, so the facts have less of a chance of escaping my skull. At our lesson’s conclusion, he mentioned that learning about football’s defensive strategies and each player’s job are important slices of information too. For another day.

So even though some entrepreneurial guy, Ralph Bruno,* concocted a foam cheesehead that crazy Packers fans wear, I’m not offended. Those folks have balls—something I also have. Mine just need a good pumping.

*http://www.npr.org/2011/02/02/133424492/Cheese-Head-Hat

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