After nearly a week of agony, turmoil, and deliberation, the greater Green Bay Packer nation has arrived at conditions and terms for punter Jon Ryan's due penance.
Partly to pay for his participation in last Sunday's da-Bear da-bacle in Chicago, and partly to prepare for future encounters with extreme weather conditions at Lambeau, the following description outlines the steps necessary for Mr. Ryan to get off the Cheeseheads' dip-list.
(Please note: no part of this may be altered or substituted; and full completion of all requirements of the penance is mandatory.)
Mr. Ryan will arrive at the Don Hutson training field across the street from Lambeau at o-dark-thirty. He may not be late. Mr. Ryan will be allowed to wear shorts and a t-shirt—regardless of how many degrees below zero it happens to be—socks, and his football cleats.
Ryan will be forced to bear the ultimate symbol of shame—a Chicago Bear helmet, since he played for the Bears last Sunday.
He will walk out onto the practice field in the snow. If the field has been plowed, he must get a snow shovel and cover the field with snow again.
He will then engage the power of the sixteen ultra-high-velocity wind machines delivered from NASA's wind tunnel to the field; one for each point he gave the Bears, one for the mis-handled punt, and one for the pooch-kick off his shin. The wind machines will be set on high and aimed directly at him. He may not turn his back to them at any time.
Situated in a line, multiple lines, or a mob behind Ryan will be 70,000 Green Bay Packer fans, who may, at each one's discretion, hurl snowballs at Ryan to simulate the possibility of playing in a driving snowstorm.
Beers may also be hurled at the punter, as they were hurled at Terrell Owens when he tried to do an unauthorized Lambeau Leap at Lambeau Field a few years ago, so that Ryan understands the social category that his play has landed him in.
To simulate flying objects in the wind and to underscore the importance of Ryan concentrating on the vital single objective of the football, Packer fans will also be allowed to chuck cheeseheads at the punter at any time.
Mr. Ryan will then receive snaps from the Packers long-snapper and punt the ball. But there's a kicker...actually, there's thousands of them.
When the ball is snapped to Ryan and he catches it, he must then pause in a slouched position, so that Cheesehead #1, who will be situated behind him, can apply a robust kick to Ryan's rear. Once Ryan has absorbed the kick, he will then execute his steps and actually punt the ball.
If Ryan drops the snap—that is, if the ball falls out of his hands—he will walk over and bend down to pick up the football, where he will say one 'Hail Vince', but will remain in that position until Cheesehead #1 walks over and gives Ryan a bonus robust kick in the rear.
When punter Ryan has sufficiently finished this task with Cheesehead #1, he then can move on to Cheesehead #2. He will continue to repeat this process with all the Packer fans in line until Cheesehead #70,000 has applied sufficient boot-leather to Mr. Ryan's behind.
Furthermore, Packer coach Mike McCarthy will supply sideline heaters for Packer fans, warm drinks, and his nice, fluffy, down-filled green Packer jacket if anyone needs it.
All other team members of the Green Bay Packers must stay outside in the frigid weather for the duration of this act of penance, so that they get used to adverse weather again—and eventually reclaim such an environment as their own domain, instead of reeling in shock in such climates.
When Mr. Ryan has received his due diligence, he must then apologize to Canada, his home country, where he was groomed to be a bad-weather punter. He may then throw the Bears helmet in the trash, where it belongs.
When this penance is fully completed, Jon Ryan may resume his duties as the punter for the Green Bay Packers. The wrath of the Cheese will have been appeased.