Greetings from the frozen tundra, friends! And what a happy Packer fan I am! Not only were my expectations for the Super Bowl met, they were exceeded! And it appears that the whole state is on a Green Bay Packers hangover that may continue until training camp. It is a good day, indeed, to be a Packer fan.
With that being said, there are a few things that you need to know about me, in case you didn't realize: I am from Wisconsin. Saying you are from Wisconsin, in other states, sometimes will make people outright laugh in your face. People who do not hail from Midwestern states have made comments that we are not as "modern" or as aware of popular culture as other places. For example, I was in Las Vegas a few years ago. I held a door open for a lady, which is just basic manners, right? When she said "Thank you," and sounded very surprised that someone would hold the door, I said "You betcha."
Now, "you betcha" has been a common phrase in Wisconsin prior to Sarah Palin's emergence into the spotlight. This is something that we say, and don't even think about in Wisconsin. It has many meanings, from agreeing wholeheartedly to a sarcastic "yeah, sure, whatever." When it came out of my mouth, the lady turned to face me, laughed out loud and said, "Are you from Minnesota?" My great answer contained at least three snorts before I could sputter out, "I'm from Wisconsin!" She laughed again, said, "Same difference!" and walked away.
No, it's really not, lady. Those are fighting words, to a football fan.
I am a fan of the Green Bay Packers, lady. To say that I am from Minnesota is an offense that cannot, and should not, be taken lightly. Before you get your goose up, gentle reader, I have nothing against the people of Minnesota. I have family and friends from Minnesota. My "beef" with the great State of Minnesota is purely football related, based on the great rivalry between the Packers and the Vikings.
This is serious business in Wisconsin. Our neighbors across the Mississippi River have been known to cross the bridges on Packers-Vikings game days, enter our taverns in one piece and leave our taverns a few pints low of blood. Marriages have reportedly been put on hold during football season, especially two days out of the season (at least). Children who are raised in these households have been called children of mixed marriages, and develop strong allegiances to one team or the other prior to their first birthdays, as parents share their love of football early in these parts.
We are Wisconsinites, and therefore by majority, Packers fans. Case in point: The Green Bay School District dismissed school early on Monday to not only avoid traffic when the Packers returned, victoriously, from Texas, but to allow children the opportunity to welcome home our team. According to local news reports, it has been estimated that 40,000 people lined the streets just to see the team travel from the airport to Lambeau Field. This was not for the parade, people. This was just to see the Packers drive from the airport to Lambeau. The parade today will have more fans.
Did I mention that it is currently four degrees below zero, and that is without the wind chill? It's cold here, people. And yet, I can guarantee that fans are waiting in Green Bay as I write this to make sure that they have a good seat for the parade. Yes, we are that devoted.
We line up outside of Lambeau to shovel snow. We dislike shoveling snow, for the most part, yet there is a line of people outside Lambeau after it snows with people waiting to shovel. And the Packers PAY people to do this!
With that being said, it's time to get to the main point: with all the euphoria surrounding the Packer's Super Bowl win, it is now time for everyone to let go of He Who Shall Not Be Named, the allegedly picture happy former quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. It's time to move on, and has been time to move on for the past three years.
I watched EPSN all day on Monday, reliving the happiest Super Bowl moments. I, along with many of my friends and family, also stayed up late last night to catch Aaron Rodgers on David Letterman. My main thought was that Aaron Rodgers was finally getting the attention that he so greatly deserves. Letterman, as always, was great up until the point he asked about the Other Dude. Was I alone in thinking that Aaron Rodgers started to squirm and fidget more during that line of questions? And he has every right to be uncomfortable.
I realize that he is going to be compared to other quarterbacks. That is just the nature of the beast. However, why should it matter if He Who Shall Not Be Named called him after the Super Bowl to congratulate him, or prior to the Super Bowl to offer advice? It has been made very clear, during the past three years, that The Other Dude has made some pretty bad decisions in regard to the will he or won't he approach to retirement (please see the most recent season). Why should Aaron Rodgers expect a call from him?
Please don't call him! He doesn't need, or necessarily WANT, your advice!
People of the media, please hear me LOUD AND CLEAR: Let Aaron Rodgers, and his teammates, have their moment in the sun, WITHOUT all the past baggage and bitter feelings! Let them have their accomplishments, and celebrate the journey that THIS TEAM, not the 1990's Packer team, had. Please stop, all the way around.
Aaron Rodgers has done a wonderful job of being nice about the questions, to be sure. He has not said one negative word, in public, about The Other Dude. In private, who knows? And who would really blame him if he did comment privately?
With that being said, I have a humble request of the Packer Nation: help your quarterback out. Stop the comparisons to the Other Dude. Let go, friends, let it go. Get the idea that The Other Dude COULD POSSIBLY PLAY ANOTHER SEASON OUT OF YOUR HEAD! It only ENCOURAGES HIM! And I cannot take another year of that.
In closing, congratulations to Aaron Rodgers, and the Green Bay Packers, on a fantastic season. Thank you on behalf of myself and Manpig. We are looking forward to greatness in the future!
Stay warm, and go Pack, go!