Football Panic!

Football season is upon us (as in, tomorrow!), and I totally forgot that I have no way to watch football this year!

My football watching has slowly been declining for years. With the kids, I don’t have time to watch football just to watch football, so my viewership was already down to basically just watching Packers games after the kids were in bed.

As if that weren’t enough, we got rid of cable, which meant I was missing a significant number of games. For example, I couldn’t watch any Packers games on Monday night, Thursday night, or any time they were playing at the same time as the Bears. We also downgraded to a tiny tv that was too small to see the scoreboard or time left on the clock.

As if THAT WEREN’T ENOUGH, if you recall, we lost our Tivo last year. At that point, we just got rid of our tv altogether. The experience was getting pretty shoddy to begin with, and who arranges their lives around the tv schedule anymore? If I can’t watch it when I want to, then I probably just won’t watch it. These days, we mostly watch Netflix on the tablet if we’re going to watch anything.

But what about football? I mean sure, I was missing a lot of games and all, but to not watch any at all?

I had some half-baked, cockamimi plan to get the tiny tv up and then buy a VCR from Goodwill and set that up to record. That used to be a thing, right? We used to do that? (Make sure you use SLP mode if you want to fit the whole game on one tape, kids!)

The advantage is that I think it would be a relatively cheap solution. I can’t justify getting cable (much less paying $250 for NFL Sunday Ticket) just for a couple of football games. Even so, this wasn’t the best solution in the world, since I would still have my tiny tv, and still miss all of those games (not to mention having to program a VCR every week).

Well, I think I have found my solution.

It turns out that the NFL offers something called Game Rewind, which allows you to watch every game after it is played. The cheapest package allows you to pick just one team (so you’d pick the Packers, natch) for only $30 for a whole year.

So not only does that allow me to see every game, even the Monday and Thursday games, commercial free (!) for only $30, it also allows me to watch them in HD on the tablet. Furthermore, they offer “condensed games”, that only show the part of the game from “snap to whistle”, cutting out all the commercials and commentary and reducing the game down to 30 minutes.

This has got to be the best value for your $30 ever.

The downside, of course, is that you can’t watch the games live. However, I already basically gave that up a long time ago. So this doesn’t seem like as big of a downside to me as it would have a few years ago, before I had kids.

Now I just have to decide if I’m going to continue trying to stay in a cone of silence until I watch the game, or if I’m just going to bite the bullet and see who won, knowing that it’s nearly impossible to prevent myself from knowing the outcome anyway.

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Bad Lip Reading

Football players have a bad reputation for not being the sharpest crayons in the box, possibly from taking too many hits to the head. That reputation is clearly unfounded. Let’s let the players themselves respond in (I assume) their own words:

I am literally crying at work I’m laughing so hard.

(Bonus link for more bad lip reading!)

Link via Sylvain

Quote Monday has gone soft

Me: “Can you teach me to purl? I want to knit tonight when I’m watching football.”
Sara: “Quote!”

In case you’re worried I’ve gone soft, I’ll have you know it wasn’t all knitting…I also folded some laundry. Then, when everything went bad, I even consoled myself with a ginger beer.

You have no idea how many statements in this house are followed up by, “Quote!”, “Now there’s a quote!” or “Put that on your e-blog daddy!”

Me: “I thought I’d make some oatmeal for breakfast today.”
Evie: “Looks like we’re back to our natural habitat!”

Sara: “Who’s that actor who was in that movie where he was a violin teacher?”
Me: “No idea.”
Sara: “He’s older, black, super famous…sort of rotund?”
::me throwing out every possible suggestion::
Sara: “Never mind, I’ll find it.”
::Internet searching::
Sara: “Finding Forester!”
Me: “Wait a minute…wasn’t that Sean Connery? Your rotund black man is Sean Connery??”

The Blackest Man in America

Superbowl Champions

Superbowl XLV is in the books, and the Green Bay Packers are officially the world champions!

The sun is brighter, the air is sweeter, traffic was lighter, and there were even Bears fans complaining on the radio. Life is good!

What a game it was. I don’t even know if I could say that I enjoyed the game, because it was so nerve wracking. In retrospect, now that everything is said and done and the Packers won it all, I can say that the last 6 weeks or so were about as fun of a ride to the Superbowl as anybody could ever want.

Having to beat the Giants and then the Bears the last two weeks of the season to squeak into the playoffs. Coming in as a 6th seed and beating both Philly and Atlanta on the road. Beating the Bears AGAIN in the NFC championship game. And finally winning the whole shebang, and putting up awesome numbers against a very good Steelers team.

The game itself was a nail-bitter for me. After all the injuries this season (15 guys on IR! Many of them starters!), then to see Woodson and Driver leave the game, along with Shields and Collins (who both ended upcoming back), was almost too much to bear. I told Sara, “Thank god this is the last game of the season…I couldn’t take another one.” Watching the Packers jump out to a 21-3 lead and then slowly squander it away through dropped pass after dropped pass. Just writing this paragraph is raising my blood pressure.

Evie caught my excitement and was pretty excited:

Evie: “Go Packers! I’m so excited I let some drool out of my mouth!”

I might have been a little overly enthusiastic myself, especially in terms of high-fiving:

Evie: “Ow, you  hurt my hands!”

Overall, what a good year for football! I won my survival league, I finished the regular season in 1st place in my fantasy league, and even though I only ended up in 3rd after the playoffs, it still payed out. And now, the Superbowl of course. You cannot beat the trifecta of football wins!

In fact, I can only thing of two football related things to complain about:

  1. Due to some setting on either my Tivo or my digital converter box, the score board is off the side of my tv, making it impossible to see the score or the game clock. The score isn’t a big deal, but not knowing how much time is on the clock at the end of the game is a very bad thing!
  2. The Packers have a sore lack of a theme song of some sort. There are plenty of songs out there, generally of the one off, super-cheesy (no pun intended) variety. But I’m talking an official, Packers’ authorized chant or song, similar to Fly Eagles Fly, Bear Down Chicago Bears, or even J-E-T-S-Jets-Jets-Jets. Preferably something old and classic. Some kind of rallying cry that every Packers fan everywhere would know. The closest we come are the ultra-generic, “du-duh-duh-ch du-duh-duh-ch GO PACK GO” and playing “I want to bang on the drum all day“, which is used by several other football teams. You’d think a team with this much history and tradition would have picked up some sort of unique fight song somewhere along the way!

One more funny quote during the game:

Sara: “Don’t have another [diet caffeine free] pop. You’ll be up peeing all night.”

Am I really that old?

Bacombardi Trophy

The only thing more awesome than the actual Lombardi Trophy (what you get for winning the Super Bowl, for you non-football types), would be if someone figured out a way to have the Lombardi Trophy made completely out of bacon:

This is from BBQ addicts, the same people as the bacon explosion. That’s two ridiculously awesome bacon products, and counting. For serious, some people are destined for greatness. Some people are destined for saint hood.

Brett Favre vs. the Green Bay Packers

I think I do a pretty good job about not talking about football on this blog, but I would be remiss if I failed to mention the big game last night. Of course I am referring to Brett Favre playing against the team he played for for 15 years.

I think I’ve made my feelings on the whole Favre thing pretty well known, so I won’t go into all that again. But I sure was excited about this game. I was listening to some of the pre-game coverage on the radio in the morning and I literally got chills. I even bumped all of our Monday night shows off the TiVo in anticipation.

In regards to all the hype, I’ve noticed that some people seem to have their facts a little mixed up. I kind of think they know that and did it on purpose to make it a better story. But let’s be quite clear – the Packers did not run Brett Favre out of town. The Packers begged him to come back. The disagreement was over when exactly Favre was going to decide if he was going to play or retire. Remember every football fan in the universe? You were all pretty annoyed with that too. I’ve even heard McCarthy’s now famous “that train has left the station” quote used out of context to imply that he was referring to Favre’s ability. So it’s a good story to pretend like the Packers told Favre, “You’re washed up, we don’t want you anymore!” but that’s not really how it went down.

So the actual game began and I was very excited. Everything quickly went downhill. The Packers put the “offensive” in “offensive line”, taking 8 sacks. They had many, many opportunities in the red zone that they didn’t convert. Overall, however, with the exception of the o-line, they played pretty well. They contained the best RB in the NFL. They moved the ball fairly easily. In fact, between the two, I think Rodgers might have played better than Favre, considering he was scrambling for his life the entire night. At the end of the day, Minnesota was just clearly the better team in almost every aspect, so the fact that they managed to pull within a touchdown at the end was quite impressive.

Watching Favre play against the Packers was not nearly as painful as I thought it would be. In fact, I felt really good for him when they pointed out that Favre became the first person to beat every team in the NFL (obviously he had never beaten the Packers before). I felt good about that, the same way I felt when he got most wins, most yards, and most touchdowns. Like somehow I was a part of that. And quite frankly, I think I am! I might not have caught any passes, but don’t tell me all the positive vibes I’ve sent his way for 15 years didn’t amount to something cosmically.

But man-oh-man did I want the Packers to beat him! Still, everyone is saying, “Oh, Favre really showed them!” I don’t see it that way. The only thing you can compare Favre to is Aaron Rodgers, because that is the only consideration you have if you’re thinking about whether you need to appease Favre or not. And I think anybody watching that game could see that Rodgers is a pretty good QB. The Vikings’ o-line being better than the Packer’s o-line has nothing to do with it.

Every great football unit needs a great nickname. So, in the spirit of the “Gang Green” of the late 80’s Eagles, the “Steel Curtain” of the 70’s Steelers, or the “Purple People Eaters” of the 70’s Vikings, I am now nicknaming the Packer’s offensive line the “Wet Napkins“. Hopefully this new nickname will give them something to aspire to.

Misc.

I just have a lot of random miscellany to update on, so here you go, in no particular order:

Some Norwegians came to visit. Meg, I really appreciate the effort you put into keeping in touch with me. I can’t count the number of friends that I’ve regrettably lost contact with since college. And giving me bacon / cheese popcorn doesn’t hurt either (although it wasn’t all that bacony, mostly just tasted like cheese popcorn).

Evie finally learned how to jump on Friday. She’s a little behind schedule on that one, so I was working on it with her. I’d like to think that my excellent advice to “put your feet together, bend your knees, and push with your toes” are what put her over the top. She’s going through a bit of a trying phase at the moment, so, after our initial giggling and hugging fit, the fact that we wanted her to jump again pretty much guaranteed she wouldn’t. She did jump some more on Sunday though.

Everyone was sick, back to back. It took each of us about 4 days to shake it, so we had a rough patch for about 12 days.

American History X, good movie!  Really good! Has anyone seen it? Oh yeah, Sara and I were the last people on earth who hadn’t.

We finally checked out the Harry Potter exhibit at the MSI. It was pretty cool, and well done, but not exactly what I expected. It’s pretty much a tour through a bunch of movie props. Since it was in the museum of SCIENCE and INDUSTRY, I kind of thought it would be like explaining about the special effects, or like “real life invisibility” exhibits or something. Not just, “Here’s the clothes Ron wore in this scene…” Also, our scheduled time was before the museum opened, which was pretty confusing to begin with, but they had a lot of trouble getting people lined up for the right times and stuff. You’d think for the money they’re pulling down, they could have invested in a couple of signs or something. Still, it was fun. I can’t say if it was worth the price of admission or not, since it was free for us.

Football is officially underway, and what better way to start the season than to beat the Bears? And the best part? I get the double win in the morning when I get to ride to work and listen to Chicago sports talk radio rehash the game!

We had fun at the 57th Street Children’s Book Festival over the weekend. Every year that we go, Evie enjoys it a little bit more as she gets old enough to appreciate the events. We listened to a story teller, made a crown, dug for pirate treasure, attended a music class, watched a dance troupe, painted and glued a paper box, and danced to some music (including jumping on some bubble wrap). Side note, Sara said, “Jeeze, there sure are a lot of pirate themed things here.” When will people realize, it is not me who is obsessed with pirates, but rather all rational human beings who are obsessed with pirates when confronted with their awesomeness.

Finally, the other day I opened the back door to discover an enormous spider web over the opening, trapping us inside. Right in the middle of the web, directly at eye level, sat Lillith the spider queen, bigger’n a quarter. I quickly slammed the door shut before she could spray venom in my eyes. Now I ask you, what could that mean with the web directly across the door opening like that, other than this enormous spider was trying to catch humans? Finally I took it out with a broom, shrieking and cursing the whole time. The spider sat for a while on the porch, memorizing my face before slowly sauntering under a potted plant. I could have squished her with the broom (at least so I told myself…that was a big spider) but do I really need the wrath of all the spiders in the world for killing their queen? No sir, I do not. So I let her go and the next day she had spun her human trap over Evie’s chair on the porch. That’s right, I put a little fear into her and she decided to try for smaller prey. Me 1, spider queen 0.