Well, the Packers made it all the way to the NFC championship this year, but they couldn’t quite get over the hump. In retrospect, I feel like there is one missing, crucial ingredient that is holding them back from going all the way.
I am talking, of course, about their lack of a fight song.
You know what I mean. The cheesy big band songs from the 1920’s with the awful lyrics, like “We’ll never forget the way you thrilled the nation / with your T formation!” and “We’re gonna do it for our super fans!” While the songs are groan inducing when taken at face value, there is something about having a shared song or go-to chant that makes a universal bond between fans. Get a group of Boilermakers together, and there’s going to be a “Hail Purdue”, regardless of the race/gender/income level/background of the participants. It’s literally the one thing they have in common (also, it’s legally required by the ritual blood oath performed at all graduation ceremonies).
I’ve lived in two places with great fight songs, and I’m here to tell you what a difference it makes. If you get at least 2 Philadelphians together, you might not get the full “Fly, Eagles, Fly”, but you will at least get an, “E-A-G-L-E-S-EAGLES!” I am not kidding, you would not believe how often this comes up. I’ve heard it at fast food restaurants (during the offseason!). I’ve heard it while waiting in line to get into a haunted house. I’ve heard it basically every time I’ve gone for a cheesesteak. In Chicago, nobody really sings “Bear Down, Chicago Bears”, but I do hear the music quite a bit, and I’m sure any Chicago football fan would recognize the opening few bars of music.
Where is our “San Diego SUPER CHARGERS!”? Our “J-E-T-S-JETS-JETS-JETS!”?
The main thing the Packers have is shouting, “Go, Pack, Go!” Not very inspired. Some might say they have the “Beer Barrel Polka”, which is definitely played prominently in the stadium during game days. However, that is not Packer-specific; quite frankly there are a lot of places in Wisconsin you might hear the “Beer Barrel Polka” (including church).
Now, before you jump down my throat, I am aware that there is an official fight song, it’s exactly what I was talking about, and it even mentions bacon. However, there are a few problems with it. First and foremost, the original lyrics say, “On you blue and gold, to glory” which, you know, is a bit dated since they haven’t worn those colors since the 1930s. Second, and most importantly, have you ever heard anybody actually singing this thing?
If we ever hope to make another superbowl appearance, I’d say we have two options: embrace the “official” fight song, and start playing it non-stop until every Packer fan knows it by heart (possibly, also a blood-oath, I’m just saying), or two, we make up a new one.
I know, I know, it’s kind of cheating. You can’t “invent” a tradition. But honestly, you can. All traditions have to start somewhere. Create something that sounds timeless, something simple, a little cheesy (see what I did there?), “find” an old tape somewhere at Lambeau, hire a couple of bands to play in the parking lot before games…I’m biased, but maybe a little accordion perhaps? Next thing you know, you have people singing it at the stadium, listening to it on the radio, greeting each other with the secret handshake…
Boom, superbowl all the way baby.
“sharktopus colouring in pages” – Like, for kids to color? We’re still talking about this thing, right? That’s what you want your kids to be coloring?
“are zombies allergic to pee circles” – Well? Are they? Because that sure could simplify my zombie apocalypse plans quite a bit…
“what if a praying mantis sees himself in a mirror” – Indeed. What if.
“pipe manners meth” – You know, I’d hate to be impolite when I’m SMOKING METH.
“animated gifs allergic reaction” – An animated gif of an allergic reaction, or a person who is allergic to animated gifs?
“stomp on my glasses please” – WHAAA?
“bowling mustache” – Isn’t that redundant? Is there any other kind of mustache?
“president riding a dinosaur” – Yes please! You show me a president riding on a dinosaur, and I show you my vote, no questions asked.
“how to make baby stuffed quilts” – I’d go for wool myself, but I suppose babies would work too.
“how to draw the green bay packers logo” – IT’S THE LETTER G
“why u-shaped toilet seat pee on floor” – I know, right?
“negative points of putting sandhood and milk on face” – Because, I see the positives of rubbing sand (hood?) and milk on your face, but I just can’t see what the negatives are?
Ah, that magical moment in every little girl’s life, when she first sees a naked homeless man.
We had only recently arrived at a park we don’t normally go to, when Evie insisted that she needed to go to the bathroom. “Why didn’t you go before we left?” I asked. “Because I didn’t have to go then!” replied every child since the dawn of time. Luckily(?), there was a small stone building of the kind that can only mean ‘Outdoor Public Bathroom that is Semi-Occasionally Cleaned’, so I started in that direction, daughter in tow.
As we got closer, I heard the distinctive noise of a shower. “Hmm, that’s kind of weird, they have showers in the park bathroom?” I thought. In retrospect, this was probably ridiculous, but the bathrooms reminded me of nothing so much as the bathrooms at a campground or state park, which do often have showers. So my brain failed to send up the proper warning flags. “Hmm, that’s kind of weird, there’s shoes and socks in the open doorway?” I wondered. But we find all kinds of clothes all over the place all the time in our neighborhood, so that didn’t jump out at me either. There was a bright pink girls shirt that sat in our parking lot for two weeks until I threw it in the dumpster. There used to be a power line down the street with an entire collection of shoes hanging on it. So again my brain failed to send up the proper warning flags.
“Hmm, that’s kind of weird, there’s a naked man standing in the bathroom even though there is clearly no shower in here, and the door which leads outside to the public park is standing wide open where anybody could walk by or even walk right in holding the hand of a 4 year old girl.”
To give him credit, he seemed more surprised and embarrassed than we did. I find that odd. I mean, if I were taking a shower in the sink completely naked in a public bathroom with the door open, I would probably be nervous and jumpy, expecting someone to walk in at any minute. On the other hand, maybe the people who frequent this park know better than to go into the bathrooms, so maybe he takes a nice relaxing sink-bath every day with no fear of anybody barging in on him. And anyway, I guess I shouldn’t really try to put myself in his mindset, because probably if I were taking a shower in the public bathroom sink, I would probably just remove my shirt or something, and not get completely naked. But that’s just me.
We beat a hasty retreat and found the women’s bathroom instead. Of course this meant I had to wait outside while Evie went in to take her sweet time. You would think this might be the end of the story, but unfortunately the man quickly put on his shorts and then came outside to chat with me, sans shirt.
“I’m really, really sorry about that.”
“Oh, that’s okay, no problem.”
“Well, did she see anything?”
::please tell me I’m not having this conversation::
“No, I think she’s okay.”
“Well, as long as she didn’t see anything.”
::please oh please oh please let this conversation end::
“I think she’s fine.”
I have no idea if she saw anything or not. And I mean really, what’s the worst case scenario? Her life will not be ruined by seeing a naked man. Her mind will not be shattered. Let’s not forget that for the past three quarters of a year there has been a naked boy running around the house every evening, and she’s been able to cope with that.
Suddenly, the man looked at me with deadly seriousness. “If this were football season, I’d have to have words with you.”
Realization dawned on me that I was wearing a Packer’s shirt and ball cap, and this man did not approve. “Evie, please hurry it up in there, I do not want to be knifed by a homeless man!!”, I thought. I mean, look, he probably wouldn’t have knifed me. He was barely wearing any clothes, so he probably didn’t have his homemade shiv on him at the moment. Besides, the Bears/Packers rivalry is just good natured fun, right? It’s not like we’re in Philly. On the other hand, this is a man who was standing naked in a public place. He probably isn’t the last word on proper behavior.
(Side note, I would think that if you had a place to watch the Bears’ games, you would have a place to take a shower, no?)
I found some excuse to dart into the women’s bathroom on the pretense of helping Evie (“What’s that honey, you need help reaching the soap?”), physically speeding her out of the bathroom. I gave him a nod as I dragged Evie by the arm back to the safety of the playground as fast as I could go and still maintain my “oh yeah, I’m totally cool with chatting with half-naked dudes I don’t know (who a very short while ago used to be completely-naked dudes I don’t know) outside of public bathrooms about our favorite sports teams” nonchalance.
This is one of those parenting moments they don’t teach you about in books.
Me: “We should get rid of the George Foreman.”
Evie, distraught: “But, then how would we make bacon??”
Evie: “Can you keep reading from your brain?” – In other words, “Can you keep telling me a story?”
Evie: “I wonder what Uncle Nathan is doing right now? Probably boasting that the Packers won the big game.”
Evie: “She lived long ago, back when pretend things lived, like fairies and dragons.” – She understands that pretend means they don’t exist. At least not now. Maybe she’s not so clear on the definition of pretend after all. Oh well, I’d rather live in a world where fairies and dragons at least used to exist.
Evie: “I wonder what it looked like!”
Sara, not paying attention: “Mmm hmm, me too.”
Evie: “No you don’t.”
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:
- 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!
- 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?
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.
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.