Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Moment of Respite: Packers Beat Upon the Williams of Buffalo

Living in Not Green Bay, Not WI it's sometimes difficult to follow my favorite team and, unless I want to go to a bar at 10:00 AM (Of course, being from Wisconsin, I often do), I don't get to watch many Packers games. This disconnect from Packerland (not to mention family and friends) is a bad thing and I often - mostly on Sunday mornings between August and January - pine for days past when I lived within the confines of the Packers' unusually large television market

Of course, last night was not a Sunday morning, but I still found myself in a bad mood because I couldn't watch the Packers beat up on the Buffalo Williams. So I did what I normally do: I waited until the game was over for highlights and recaps to be posted around the interwebs, and I awoke this morning to some great headlines. 
Reading these stories I became excited about a Packers defense that, if it plays even half as well during the regular season as it has these first two preseason games, will be twice as good as the one they fielded in 2008. And you know what that would mean for the Packers? That's right; it would mean at the very least they won't be any worse than 6-10 this year. And that's something Packers fans can get behind. Though it's too early to get very excited, it was nice to read some good Packers news and get my mind off Brett Favre being a Viking. Satisfied, I left the computer desk and headed to the couch to read the Sports section of what I consider to be my local paper. 

Generally, when I open the LA Times I don't expect to see stories from Packerland unless someone there has done something either so incredibly awesome, or so incredibly stupid it becomes national news. So I was surprised when I pulled out this particular edition of the Sports section and was assaulted by this front-page story:

Reporting from Hudson, Wis. - For thousands of Green Bay Packers fans in this waterfront town, Brett Favre has never been closer to their homes. Or further from their hearts.

Just across the St. Croix River, half an hour by car, is downtown Minneapolis and the Metrodome, Favre's new home stadium.

And I thought I had it bad. At least I can't smell the Metrodumb from where I live. Even if I had grown up close enough to the Big Marshmallow to smell it, like most Minnesotans, I wouldn't have had much interest in going to a game. However, if I did want to see the Vikings lose in person I don't think I would have had a problem getting a ticket. At least not until Brett Favre became a Viking:

Already, Favre has had a major effect at the box office. In the 72 hours after he signed, the Vikings sold seats at a record pace -- 4,000 season tickets and 14,000 to individual games.

Read that again, Packers fans: the Vikings sold seats at a record pace -- 4,000 season tickets...

Surely many of those tickets went to Packers fans who still believe in Brett and who just want to see him play again because if nothing else, he's so much fun to watch. This article makes it clear however, that just as Vikings fans may find themselves inadvertently punching out fellow Vikings fans if a TV announcer refers to Favre as a "gunslinger," so too are Packers fans struggling with the cognitive dissonance caused by seeing Number Four dressed in the NFL's most hideous uniform. So what better way to resolve this dissonance than by going to the Metrodumb to cheer against the Vikings?

Agave Kitchen owner Paul Rode is a Packers season-ticket holder who used to routinely make the five-hour drive to Lambeau Field to see his favorite team play. More than that, though, he's a Favre fan.

So on the day No. 4 signed with Minnesota, Rode took a deep breath, drove across the border and bought six season tickets to the Vikings.

Like many of us heart-broken Packers fans this Rode fellow knows he loves to watch Brett Favre play football, and if it means buying Vikings season tickets, so be it. So you might be thinking that he took a deep breath because he was unsure of himself; because he couldn't believe what he was about to do. No, Rode took a deep breath and held it, because you can't get close to the Metrodumb without being bombarded by "something stinky and noxious." After all, nothing stinks worse than the Vikings when they're playing football, and the Metrodumb has been bursting at the seems with their distinctly repulsive blend of Eau du Crapper since 1982. But Favre's appeal to Packers fans is as broad and deep as the Mississippi River, so it's to be expected that some of us may be lured to the Dark Side to do the unthinkable: cheer for half of the Vikings:

"This guy gave everything he had for us -- blood, sweat, tears, time with his family," Rode said. "For us to not respect him, shame on us in Packers Nation."

Try to make sense of this: Rode plans to stand and cheer for Favre when the Vikings are on offense, yet cheer against their defense.

As you know, I can't condone cheering for any fraction of the Vikings team, no matter how small. So what is this guy going to do when the Vikings play the Packers? Funny we should ask:

And when the Vikings and Packers meet Oct. 5 in Minnesota and Nov. 1 in Green Bay?

"I want Favre to throw six touchdowns," he said. "And lose."

How is that going to work? Will he cheer for Brett Favre if and only if he throws a touch down? Or will he actually cheer against the Packers' defense when the Vikings have the ball? Whatever the case may be, the Vikings will lose. But six touchdowns? Has this guy seen the way the Packers defense has been playing?


  1. Love your site!

    Very funny.

    Gotchya linked up on mine.

    (p.s. get Direct TV and the NFL ticket and you won't miss a Packer game)

  2. I live about 20 min from the Metrodumb...the place SUCKS!!! I still can't believe there are people that are undyingly loyal to one particular player...