Green Bay Packers: A Training Camp Guide for Fans of the Green and Gold
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Greetings from the Frozen (albeit HUMID AND MISERABLY HOT) Tundra, friends!
I know, I know. The 2011 football season is still questionable at this point in time, you don't need to tell me. However, this is the time of year Packers fans normally start to look at training camps, draft pick selections and what the future may hold for the upcoming season.
As I have stated many times before, I live in Wisconsin. A lot of people in Wisconsin believe the Green Bay Packers walk on water and heal the sick. A lot of people live and breathe for the Packers.
Anticipation for football season starts around this time of year, usually as soon as we get the first real hot and humid weather. Football season gives Wisconsinites, who are a cold-climate people, the opportunity to look forward to cooler weather spent indoors on Sundays watching football.
Why, you may ask, would you look forward to cooler weather in Wisconsin?
Why, Jackie, would you not enjoy the summer?
The simple answer: I do enjoy the summer and all of the fun that occurs. What I do not enjoy is waking up every morning with the craziest hair in the world. Imagine a nearly six-foot tall woman with a brown Marge Simpson hair-do that will not be tamed, and you will understand yet another one of my many, many issues.
But I digress.
In Wisconsin, we have bands that write and record Packers-related songs. These songs are played on the radio to pump people up for football, and these songs are played in taverns PRIOR to football season. I have even heard Packers-related songs played at graduation parties and weddings, people.
This is a business here in Wisconsin, made with the typical Wisconsin sense of humor and devotion to the Green and Gold.
When Aaron Rodgers first took over the reins at quarterback, the Replicates' "Aaron Rodgers Seems Alright" was played.
During hunting season, "Da Thirty Point Buck" by Bananas at Large talks about how moving out of Wisconsin is discouraged because you couldn't watch Packers games.
Gosh, I love the Packers.
So with that being said, how do we prepare for football in Wisconsin? Being there are no fan training camps,—that I am aware of, that is—there are many different approaches. This is not an all-inclusive list, but is a general guideline to how we prepare for the football season at Casa Moen-Kadlec.
Step 1: Prepare Your Chair
Since you are going to be sitting in your favorite location for the football season, it is important to prepare your chair.
You've probably been out mowing your yard, working in your garden or spending time outside of your house for a few months now. The chair you watch football in has been seriously neglected during this time period.
You shouldn't feel ashamed about this, friend. However, you can't just jump back into the chair when football starts, as this could lead to injury to both yourself and the chair.
You must slowly work your way up to sitting in the same chair for at least seven hours a day.
You must consider the pregame show to the late game postgame show, right? And that's not including SportsCenter!
So if you plan your Sundays around football, like I have been known to do, you must come up with a training regimen.
First step? Sit in your chair. Find a position that is natural and comfortable to you, as this will likely be the position you sit in for the duration of football season. Keep the position for 15-minute increments, while gradually increasing the time spent over the course of the next few months.
By the time football season starts, your chair will have your permanent impression, your body will be trained to sit for that extended period of time and you will not face injury.
Football players train themselves to move, football fans train themselves not to move until the next commercial break because they know something awesome is going to happen when they go for a snack, beer or potty stop.
See the dichotomy here?
Step 2: Prepare Your Television
In the summer, you're busy, right? You don't watch television because it's all reruns.
Besides watching Old School whenever you can (because it's hysterically funny), you haven't really turned the television on since the Super Bowl—that is, unless you know the ESPY's are on, just so you can get your Packers fix or see Clay Matthews on yet another awards show.
So when you are breaking in your chair, it is a prime opportunity to also break in your television set.
Might I suggest Manpig's method of breaking in the television by watching a marathon of the same television show?
Here is a true scenario for you:
This morning, Manpig burst from the Manpig-cave, refreshed and chipper. Manpig grabbed a cup of coffee (the Norwegian version of the nectar of the Gods, I might add), said "good morning" to his hound (And by default, his wife; imagine having your spouse pet the dog on the head, then pet your head, and you have the mental image of how my morning has gone so far. He loves the dog and tolerates his wife, as his dog has not been known to torment him as much as his wife has.) and turned on the television.
I knew what was on just by hearing Manpig's scream of, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!" followed by "SHOOT, ELIZABETH, SHOOT!"
Yes, Manpig is addicted to Swamp People, the alligator hunting show on the History Channel.
Yes, Manpig starts yelling these two phrases at random.
If you are in Western Wisconsin and hear someone yelling these things just because, look around and you may experience a Manpig sighting. He is as elusive as a Sasquatch and twice as aggressive, so approach with caution.
Manpig plans to watch Swamp People all day today, or for as long as it on television. Therefore, by default, I also get to participate in this marathon.
While my thoughts on the subject contain such epiphanies as, "Wow, that looks like hard work and must be avoided," Manpig's thoughts are, "Let's move to Louisiana and hunt alligators!"
Please see the above statement about not wanting to move out of the state of Wisconsin, due to not being able to watch the Packers play.
As Manpig cannot wrestle his hound to the ground to clip her nails, I believe we are safe to assume he would not be successful in wrestling alligators into a boat.
One can hope he isn't serious, right?
Step 3: Prepare Your Gut
Yeah, you know you are going to eat and drink a lot of bad stuff in the upcoming months.
Flaming hot nachos that make you beg for antacids. Tap beer. The annoying tequila shots when the Packers aren't winning (it does happen).
Yup, you need to prepare for gastrointestinal battle, my friends.
Again, it is important to start slowly.
First, you must think about your football-watching experience and the menu you wish to prepare.
Second, prepare the grill, as you will be grilling into January—possibly even February if the Packers are fortunate enough to go to the Super Bowl again.
Third, you must stock up on all of your supplies.
Meat sale at your local grocery store? Stock up.
Cheese sale the following week? It freezes, stock up!
Extra paycheck from vacation payout? Beer is never cheap, my friends.
And, if you live in the great state of Minnesota and are a Packers fan who drinks Miller products, you may have to go over state lines to purchase your favorite beverage.
Hello, government shutdown!
Prepare, prepare, prepare!
Well, friends, you now have a mission to accomplish, if you choose to accept it.
With these three tasks, you will face hardship, and you may face harsh conditions.
But if you succeed, you will accomplish the ultimate goal: watching football in the comfort of your own environment with your loved ones.
And with that being said, I'm off to watch Swamp People—I mean, prepare for football season.
Have a good week, all!
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