Greetings from the frozen tundra, my dear friends!
It's almost August, as of this writing, and the dreaded NFL lockout has been lifted. Being that the weather has been such a hot, steamy beast here in Wisconsin, Manpig and I have decided to forego the grill and just put the brats out in the sun for five minutes to cook...I cannot wait until fall!
Football fans around the world now have balance restored back into their lives as players, coaches and staff have returned to their training facilities in order to start working towards the 2011 NFL season.
Ahh, life is good, my friends.
I know, I know. Mark Tauscher has had a lot of injuries during his time with the Packers. He has had a great career, but now it's time for him to go and let someone else fill his position.
To this, I also say, I know. However, he will be remembered and he will be missed.
For those of you reading this who don't reside in the great state of Wisconsin, allow me to to explain why the release of Mark Tauscher is so sad for the citizens of Wisconsin.
We live in a state that is covered by snow about eight months out of the year. As we cannot venture forth from our homes during the winter, unless layered up in long underwear (which causes us to not be able to put our arms down for the most part) and we are riding snowmobiles, we watch football.
The football fans in Wisconsin, those who root for the Packers or any other team, are a devoted crew who know what's what due to their lack of socialization during the winter months. Even people who don't watch football know a little about the players and the football culture itself from their family, friends and neighbors. (I have a friend who refers to Lambeau Field as Packer Stadium...She has been corrected, don't worry.)
Additionally, here's a little refresher course on the culture that is Green Bay Packers fandom. We tailgate, and we do so with pride. If you are driving past my house on a Sunday afternoon, and it's raining in December (also known as freezing rain and/or ice), you will more than likely see Manpig dressed in an insulated pair of camo bib overalls, boots, stocking cap, gloves and a winter coat, standing before a blazing grill, cooking brats, with an ice-cold Old Milwaukee in his frozen hand.
We do things like that here. Don't be alarmed, as he has not lost his mind, and he is not the Abominable Snowman. He is Manpig. He loves to grill and he loves the Packers.
Yeah, and if you talk him out of taking off his "grilling clothes," plan to have some cash on hand for the show. And don't be surprised if you run out of money from all the layers of clothes that he is wearing during the strip show prior to his great reveal that he is wearing a Packers T-shirt and/or jersey under all the layers. Oh yes, we most certainly make it rain in the club, I tell you.
Ladies, keep your hands off the Manpig. He is not a people person, therefore he may attack if touched. Consider this your warning.
Do you get the picture that we love football here? And that we may have a slightly twisted sense of humor?
This brings me to my main point. Mark Tauscher is a Wisconsin guy. He was born in Marshfield, Wisconsin, attended school in Wisconsin and played football for UW-Madison. When Tauscher was drafted to the Packers, and after he showed that he could play, fans could say, with pride, that he was from Wisconsin.
For those of you who don't understand this, you need consider the extremely sad case of Tony Romo.
Tony Romo was also raised in Wisconsin, my friends. And while Mr. Dallas Cowboys himself has made disparaging comments about his former home team, it makes me believe that the Cowboys didn't so much as draft Mr. Romo to Dallas, but Wisconsin may have traded him for more "Packers friendly" people.
Now, before you start jumping on the above statement, Mr. Romo stated in an interview with OnMilwaukee about watching the Packers, "It's still going to be enjoyable...I still root on the Packers whenever I watch 'em, because I grew up rooting them on, but lately, I've been rooting against them. But I think it's just part of your process as you grow up. You kind of start to love another team a little bit, too--the team you're playing for."
That is simply crazy talk, Tony!
I would personally like to apologize to the Cowboys fans, as I think that you all probably got the short end of the stick with this trade. While he is a good player, when not injured, he seems to be quite "confident." A translation, if I may, from passive-aggressive Wisconsin speak to English? Confident is a synonym for conceited. We like a sense of humility in our football players here in Wisconsin.
Oh, and it probably doesn't hurt that when we have Wisconsin guys playing for the green and gold that we can say, "Hey! So-and-so is my cousin and plays for the Packers!" While this does not automatically guarantee Packers tickets, it doesn't hurt your chances of going to a game. The waiting list for season tickets is a couple of generations, you should probably know. Any "in" to go to Lambeau is an "in" regardless.
No, I am not related to Mark Tauscher. One of my football-rabid friends is a cousin to Mr. Tauscher. She has not obtained tickets, either. That family reunion should be interesting...
So, yes, Mark Tauscher will be missed by fans of the green and gold. He joins the ranks of past Wisconsin citizens who grew up watching the Green Bay Packers, and, for many, who had the childhood dream come true to play for the Pack. Best wishes to you, Mr. Tauscher, and thank you for 11 seasons of your hard work.
Have a good week, all! On to Packer Family Fun Night!
"Will A Cheesehead cause heartbreak for Packers?" http://onmilwaukee.com/articles/tonyromo.html? viewall=1 Drew Olson, OnMilwaukee.com