2011 NFL Offseason: For the Love of the Packers, Let There Be Resolution
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Greetings from the Frozen Tundra, friends.
Week three of the offseason has provided limitless activities for this Wisconsin girl, none of which have resulted in any great joy. Political unrest still reverberates through the Capitol Building in Madison over the budget reform bill, the Democrats are still on the lam in Illinois, "Governor" Scott Walker has promised layoffs if his budget reform bill is not passed and it has snowed repeatedly, and continuously....
And still, I am not curled up in the fetal position, sobbing. Although, I have found myself sniffling every once in a while.
On the other hand, Aaron Rodgers appeared on "Ellen," and revealed, yet again, that he has a pretty good sense of humor. The local teachers have returned to work, which means that the local children are no longer running amok in the streets. And if you lived where I lived, seeing hordes of school-aged children running in the streets is not something that you should be comfortable with. I was one of those children at one point, and let me tell you, any free time should be monitored. And, while it is still cold, it is not 30 degrees below zero. There may be hope yet, I tell you! There just may be something to look forward to!
And then reality hits again: Thursday is the big deadline for the collective bargaining agreement between the player's union and the NFL owners. After seven days of negotiation, there has been no news, per the request of the federal mediator. Talks are scheduled to resume on Tuesday, but since there has been no discussion about what is on, or off, the table, the cold, harsh reality is that there could potentially not be a 2011 football season.
I cannot tolerate the thought. Have I not made this point clear?
As many of you are well aware, I have been going through football withdrawals for the past few weeks. As any devoted fan of the Green Bay Packers would tell you, I did the "normal" things after the Packers won the Super Bowl. Did I watch all the interviews I could? Yes, sir, I did. Did I go out and buy all the "commemorative" magazines? You betcha! Did I call all the people who doubted that the Packers were going to win? Yup, I did that as well. I have proudly worn my Packers gear at every available opportunity: work, community, and home.
I have also purchased a commemorative Packers Super Bowl coffee mug with Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson, Aaron Rodgers, Donald Driver and Greg Jennings proudly displayed on the cup. Additionally, I have reverently placed said coffee mug on the desk of my coworker, who just happens to be a VERY salty Minnesota Vikings fan. I have happily slurped coffee while reviewing something on his computer, with a small smile on my face as he snorts and stutters about his dislike of the Packers. I have also been a party to comments about pounding snow somewhere where snow should NEVER be during the very boisterous discussions about the Super Bowl. While I do not recommend violence at any time, sometimes a heated discussion can lead to further investigation as to how a shy, delicate flower, such as myself, can physically remove someone from their presence while maintaining a sense of decorum.
Anyway, a void remains, friends. Manpig and I have both lamented on the fact that there isn't anything to watch on television during the weekends anymore. The main point seems to be "We have one hundred channels and there isn't anything on!" With that being said, it is any great surprise that I have turned my attention, yet again, to tormenting Manpig? And that I have finally worked out a collaboration between myself and our Devil Cats, after nearly eleven years of bargaining?
Yes, friends, a (true) scenario: Inform your Manpig that he leaves lights on in the house all the time and it is unacceptable. After living in the same house for the past ten years, Manpig should know by now that there are no dangers in the (amply lit) hallway that he needs to be aware of when he ventures down the hall. There are no caged berserkers in the hallway that he should not touch. There are no gaping holes filled with snakes. There is no danger, I tell you! As Manpig will agree that there is no danger, he will venture down the darkened hall. However, what he does not realize is that your black cat, who has a twisted sense of humor, is laying in the hallway. As the hall is dark, the cat blends into his surroundings. As Manpig passes, the cat (I'd like to think he is smiling while doing this) reaches out and touches Manpig's ankle. Great hilarity ensues as Manpig shrieks. Great discussion occurs after the laughter dies down, as Manpig has finally reached his limit of what he will tolerate from both the cats and his wife.
Needless to say, Manpig will never venture down the hallway without a light on ever again. The added electricity was well worth the laughter, I guess.
So, let us revisit the collective bargaining agreement. If I, as an untrained negotiator, can convince my cats that they should torment Manpig after only a decade of trying, shouldn't the NFL owners and players, who are well versed in contracts and disputes, be able to reach a common outcome that will guarantee a 2011 football season in a shorter period of time? While they are still talking, the date of the deadline is looming large on the horizon.
If Thursday comes and goes, without resolution, I offer my mad negotiating skills to both the players and the owners. As a fan of football, I will do nearly anything to assist in the bargaining process to ensure that there is a 2011 NFL season, short of committing a crime. And if I cannot help the players and owners to reach a deal, I will bring the Devil Cats, with Manpig on exhibit to show how just one person's life can be made easier if there is football on.
Have a good week, all!
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