Sunday November 15th 2009, Lambeau Field. The team I love to hate is coming to town.
I have been a Packers fan for the last twenty years and for the first 10 there was only one team I actually feared to see on the schedule.
Or, inevitably, in the playoffs.
Oh, those damn Cowboys.
Granted, the last 10 years or so hasn't had the same level of nastiness shown in the early to mid-'90s (oh I hate you Nate Newton!). I have to say I prefer these days to those gone by.
The Cowboys were the team the Packers could never beat. To all you Cowboys fans—I have to give you that.
It is indisputable.
Our only chance at redemption was in '96 and you wouldn't even give us that. Do you see why I hate?
Please do not misunderstand me—I wouldn't ever say the Packers didn't do everything right in '96 and absolutely deserved to win the Super Bowl that year. They did and they did and I love every player on that team for it (except one—think "Chewbacca"—yeah, uck right?).
But oh, how sweet it would have been to finally, finally, face the hated Cowboys in the NFC Championship in Green Bay! Oh, to beat Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith and all those hated names from those hated teams!
But no—they had to go and lose to the Panthers in the semis. The Panthers! Come on!
To be fair, conspiracy theories don't fit. I'm sure the Cowboys would have won that game if they'd been able to and honestly, judging by Favre's history against the 'Boys at that point I would have been genuinely concerned over Green Bays chances of a win that day.
It just stung that's all.
It still stings.
What did I want more from that season, really?
A Super Bowl in Titletown? Or a chance to see my boys shut Michael Irvin's big fat mouth for 10 minutes (all right, this is Michael Irvin, two minutes tops)?
I will just have to settle for the sublime pleasure of the Lombardi trophy heading back home for one amazing year.
Which brings us to November 15 and what I hope will be a decisive victory by the Pack over my most hated of NFL teams.
Leon Lett is long gone but I think a certain Mr. Jones is still signing the checks. If that ever changed maybe my attitude would, too.
Will the Packers be victorious? Come on—it's mid-August; who knows?
So many things can happen in the next three months it's impossible to tell.
What I can tell is how excited I am for this upcoming season; not only as a Packer fan but as a fan of the NFL.
Dynamics are shifting, the NFC is quickly improving and dynasties can still be made or broken in the AFC.
Peyton Manning is playing football for gosh sakes! Do you know how lucky that makes us?
What a glorious time to be alive!
Hey Cowboys fans, good luck this season. What's done is done, let's let the bygones be bygones and we'll see you on November 15.
You better be ready.