November 20, 2014
It’s funny how the experiences of your childhood never leave you even at a later stage in life. I was born and raised in Wisconsin and lived and breathed the Green Bay Packers. There is an old saying in the Badger state that fall is the season for deer hunting and watching the Packers.
Well I am now here in the Bay State for nearly fifty years and root for the Boston teams, but I just can’t get those Wisconsin temas out of my head. Our daughter Laura is headed to Lambeau Field in Green Bay next weekend to cheer on the Patriots in front of 70,000 friendly but rabid Packer fans. She is a brave Patriots fan and I am sure will survive the catcalls of the home town folks as she yells for Brady and the Bunch.
She will be sitting with my godson who got the tickets and of course is one of those rabid Packer fans; he even has a piece of the frozen tundra from the famous Ice Bowl of the 1960s in his basement Packer shrine.
I certainly will be watchiang the game, which is likely to be a tune-up for the playoffs and perhaps the Super Bowl. But my problem is that nagging childhood support for the green and gold. In my head will be a little voice that cries out for the Packers, while in my heart will be a little throbbing in support for the Patriots. Which way to go is the question?
I kind of hope for a Patriot blow-out, which will for a time silence the Packer in me, but if the score is close or controversial than I know I will be torn apart inside as I try to take a side and justify my tortured fandom.
Of course, what happens on next Sunday in Green Bay, the little town that could, is only a game and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. But the issue is not so much the game but how I watch the game and how I think about the victors and the defeated. You just can’t get rid of childhood memories that easily. Here’s to the Patriots, or maybe the Packers.
September 26, 2012
No matter where you end up in life, you rarely lose those connections of your youth. In my case it is Wisconsin and the Green Bay Packers. So when I saw that bogus call by the replacement refs in the final seconds of the game, I started yelling at my flat screen.
I continued my rant when I heard of the NFL’s final decision to uphold the bogus call, and joined Aaron Rodgers in wondering why a multi-billion dollar enterprise can’t settle a basically petty dispute with the real referees.
But it gets a little more complicated because as a newly minted New England Patriots fan and the father of a daughter who gives new meaning to the term Patriots fanatic, I was equally upset when the Baltimore Ravens took away a Patriots victory in a highly suspect field goal that was called good by again the replacement refs.
So to make a long story short, my life as a Packer and Patriots fan is filled with a mix of anger, sadness and anger ( and let me add anger to the mix). Labor disputes that drag on for weeks and weeks always create inconvenience, name-calling and huge voids in services that are taken for granted.
The real refs want more money and pensions, but who doesn’t. The NFL is trying to hold the line on costs and views the refs as incidental employees who are not important to the show. Boy were they wrong. This dispute will end, perhaps in the next 24-48 hours, but the losses by the Packers and Patriots are on the books and who knows may come to haunt both teams down the road.
I really don’t have sympathy for the replacement referees, since they certainly must have known what they were getting into, but of course saw the dollar signs. Now as a result of their incompetence, they will go down in NFL history as labor scabs, petty opportunists and lousy football officials. Not much of a legacy for a few extra bucks.
As for the Packers and the Patriots, I am on my knees praying to the football God that the Super Bowl has these two teams fighting it out on neutral ground with real officials.