Greetings, friends, from the muddy and politically hostile Tundra.
Wait, that's not right. Greetings from the frozen, somewhat muddy, politically hostile Tundra. Yes, that's about right. Wisconsin's weather has improved, thankfully, but it has not improved my, or other's, moods. While the weather is warmer, and spring is just around the corner (I have been told anyway...), we still have no agreement on a new CBA. My patience is wearing thin, friends.
In the great state of Wisconsin, the memory of the Packers' Super Bowl win is still fresh.
The agony of the third quarter, where feverish calls of "Go, Pack, Go!" were screamed throughout the state to urge on our team. The disbelief and worry of seeing Charles Woodson and Donald Driver leave the game injured. The anticipation of waiting to see who would be victorious in the final minutes. The joy of Clay Matthews' forced fumble. The fierce pride of seeing Aaron Rodgers win MVP. The unearthly vision of a nearly six-foot tall fat, furry Norwegian woman with wild hair howling with glee over a sleeping Manpig when the Packers won...
Yes, Manpig will be in therapy for years, if he ever gets out of the fetal position from under the bed and can do more than whimper. He will never be the same.
The memory of football on Sunday is still fresh, too. The joy of watching the Packers with loved ones, and sometimes strangers. Hey, it's Wisconsin and we watch football in bars, taverns and stores. We watch football wherever. We sit on frozen lakes with generators, watching the Packers play. The anticipation of super nachos, without the hot and spicy, please.
The agony of realizing that Manpig slipped the hot salsa and Caribbean Red Hot peppers under the cheese and sour cream, causing your mouth to feel like molten lava may just shoot out of your orifice. The delightful payback that occurred after you consumed the hottest pepper imaginable, which caused Manpig to laugh with maniacal glee before he realized that his beloved wife, who is normally a shy, delicate flower, can turn into a deranged wildebeest within one flame shooting breath.
Did you not read the third paragraph, friends? After consuming said hot nachos, is there any reason why I wouldn't run into the bedroom, stand over a sleeping (and quite possibly drunk) Manpig and scream, "THEY WON! THEY WON, THEY WON, THEY WON! WOOOO!!!!"
In turn, this may have caused Manpig to sit straight up in bed, with his eyes nearly popped completely out of his head, while throwing devil cats and beloved hounds to the floor.
Ahh memories. They are an integral part of marriage, friends. I remember with great joy tormenting Manpig, and he remembers, if only briefly, that if he is messing with his wife (a.k.a the bull), he may see the horns.
And you wonder why he's still in the fetal position nearly two weeks later...
So, the question that I have for all parties involved in the NFL Lockout is this: Why would you want to be cause of scenes like this to end? Why would you want to take away the one thing in the world that I, as many of my fellow fans, look forward to every year, which is the football season?
The anticipation of football season begins as soon as the players return to training camp, in my world. Who is playing? Who are the rookies, and how are they doing? What are the expectations for the year? Is there a shot that they could go all the way? And that's in training camp!
In Wisconsin, if you have been following the national news, we are seeing the effects of having collective bargaining agreements collapse on a state level. Teachers are calling in "sick" to school, which has caused numerous school districts, including the Madison school district (the second largest in the state) to close schools for the past two days.
The Democrats in the State Senate have left Wisconsin to stall the vote on the budget repair bill. An estimated 25,000 people, including teachers, prison guards and public employees, flooded the Capital in Madison to protest the end of collective bargaining with union employees. And, current and former Packers players signed a letter stating they supported the AFL-CIO's efforts.
And this is just this week, friends. While there may be protests in the streets of Wisconsin, the NFL, owners and players have the opportunity to work things out before there isn't a 2011 NFL season. It is my hope that all sides can reach an agreement quickly so fans can continue to focus on what is important: the future. It is with that hope that I will continue to wait patiently.
I hope you all are doing the same.