Hello there, and greetings from the Frozen Tundra, friends!
Well, it is Week 8 in the NFL season. And the Packers bye week. Which means that even though I thought I was well prepared for a Sunday without Packers football, I found myself blankly staring at the television today, wondering why in the world I was watching the Minnesota Vikings-Carolina Panthers game followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers-New England Patriots game. And while I love football, I just couldn't focus on the games.
They just weren't the Packers.
For the past week, knowing that the Packers were heading into a bye, I tried to prepare. Truly, I did. I worked tremendous amounts of overtime to cut down on my free time (thus cutting out the Packers related thoughts of how to prepare for game day, who the opponent was, and who was injured or just not playing well). I decided that my house would be thoroughly cleaned. I stocked up on books, and read them, to just make it through the week. The dog was prepared for some serious napping time.
Manpig, my husband, took a different route in handling the bye week. Since it is bow hunting season in Wisconsin, Manpig has taken the initiative to go out and sit in the woods during his free time. He also took the initiative to practice shooting his bow.
Picture this: I returned home from work, after one of my late nights, and find the ladder on the deck. Initially, I thought, "Oh great. Something broke on the roof and he had to fix it." I entered the house, looked at Manpig and asked why the ladder was on the deck.
"I was up on the roof." Was his very calm answer.
"And why were you up on the roof?" Dread began to fill my soul, friends, as Manpig looked at me with that extra special look that he has only for me. You know, the withering glare?
"Well, I was TARGET PRACTICING! How else am I going to practice shooting from a tree stand if I'm not up off the ground?"
My response? "Yes, that makes perfect sense, Manpig." My inner thoughts? "Good Lord, if the neighbors are looking out their windows, which I'm pretty sure they were, and saw a 6'2", furry ("It's hunting season! I don't have to shave until January, Jackie!") Manpig dressed in camo, with his bow, they probably thought he snapped over the bye week."
If you drive by my house during the next few weeks, please don't be alarmed if you witness this truly glorious sight. Manpig is fine. Just fine. He has not snapped.
However you spent your bye week, I found that my plan didn't work out as well as I had planned.
It was kind of like a person who has smoked for years that has suddenly decided to quit, but find his or herself fiending for a cigarette, you know? "Just give me one smoke, man, and I swear that will be the last one. Man, I PROMISE!" Except, it was like, "Oh please, just one highlight reel from last week. That will get me through until next Sunday! I swear it!"
Football is an addiction my friends. There is no known cure other than complete and total isolation.
And really? Living in Wisconsin is not helpful to anyone with a football addiction. Even during bye weeks, you have "Inside the Huddle" playing on television, along with "Inside Lambeau" and "The Mike McCarthy Show." Seriously, flip through the guide on your remote control and you will see these Packers related television shows every weekend, even bye weeks. And do fans of the green and gold watch these shows? You betcha. We have to know what is going on, even if there isn't anything going on.
You go to work, if you live in Wisconsin, and your football friends are wandering aimlessly through their days. You start a conversation with someone that you have known for years, and discussed the Packers with for years, and find that other than football, you have absolutely nothing in common.
You go to the store and see Packers fans wandering up and down the aisles, their shopping carts bare as they have no idea what to eat during the week, as they have spent the past eight weeks preparing on Fridays for football on Sundays and now they have no clue what to buy.
The beer cave is empty. And the bars and taverns? Well, the bars and taverns are full. This is Wisconsin, after all.
So, yes. Take heart Packers fans! The bye week is almost over. Just hold on, take deep breaths, and try not to freak out during the next week.
On to San Diego!