Greetings from the Frozen Tundra, friends!
What an interesting week it has been, in both Wisconsin sports and Casa Moen-Kadlec. First, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers allegedly had a positive drug test for performance-enhancing drugs (via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). While Braun is appealing, a consequence including a 50-game suspension looms on the horizon if the test results stand.
Braun has declared his innocence in the press, but 50 games make Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh's two-game suspension look like a walk in the park on a sunny day with an ice cream cone.
Montee Ball of the Wisconsin Badgers was nominated for the Heisman Trophy but did not receive the honor. While this is not the outcome many Wisconsin fans wanted, to watch Montee Ball play football and an upcoming appearance in the Rose Bowl, leads many fans in Wisconsin to salute Mr. Ball with glasses of Old Milwaukee held high.
Congratulations, Montee, for being nominated.
Aaron Rodgers (who may be the most discussed person in the world other than Justin Beiber)! Charles Woodson! Clay Matthews! Donald Driver! Jordy Nelson! The talent! The drive! The dedication!
Happiness abounds in Wisconsin, my friends, and throughout Packers fans homes the whole world over.
Except in Casa Moen-Kadlec.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "Jackie, how can you not be happy with the Green Bay Packers? With the exception of an at times spotty, at times brilliant defense, they are doing awesome!"
And yes, friends, that much is true. I am very happy with the Packers in general. However, it's the stock sale that has created chaos in my household...
In case you've been living in a cave for the past few years, or only recently started following football, here is some very basic information about the Green Bay Packers' stock sale. The Packers are a community-owned team, which means that instead of having one wealthy owner, the Green Bay Packers have thousands of owners, all of whom become owners by purchasing stock in the Green Bay Packers.
Even though people own stock in the Packers, it doesn't mean that they receive season tickets or any dividends from being a part owner of the team. Essentially, stock in the Green Bay Packers has only one major purpose: owning a part of a historic team with strong ties to their community.
The Green Bay Packers play at Lambeau Field, in beautiful Green Bay, Wisconsin. Lambeau Field, without being said, is iconic in the sports' world. You may not know who the defensive coordinator is for the Packers, but I'm pretty sure that you have heard of Lambeau Field.
Dom Capers, by the way, is the defensive coordinator for the Packers.
Therefore, whenever the Packers' organization would like to make renovations to Lambeau Field, or if there is a need to get the team out of bankruptcy (which occurred in the early years of the Packers' history), the team will offer a stock sale. The Packers wish to add 6,700 seats to Lambeau Field, which won't even begin to make a dent in the 90,000-plus people who are currently on a waiting list for Packers' season tickets.
So, enough history...let's get to the present day, shall we?
I am a Packers fan, who was born of a Packers fan (Mom) and a Minnesota Vikings fan. My beloved Dad, who shall remain nameless in order to protect not only his identity but his basic well-being as a Vikings fan who LIVES IN WISCONSIN, is a fiercely proud, even during this season, Vikings fan.
As the Christmas season has started to sneak up on us, I have fielded phone calls from family members which have included the question, "Well, what would you want for Christmas, Jackie?" And normally, I say what I say every year: "Whatever. I'm not picky."
However, this year, upon being notified of the Packers' stock sale, I had an epiphany. Instead of getting "stuff" that I will never use or never wear (i.e., anything with a cartoon character or pink, for goodness sake), I decided this was the Christmas to "go big or go home." It was time to bring out the big guns, and they were going to be aimed at my dear ol' Dad.
The idea of asking my Dad for ONE SINGLE STOCK in the Green Bay Packers occurred to me while I was getting ready for work one day. While at work, I realized that asking my Dad for this gift would take finesse and ninja-like skills.
Initially, I would have to rely on my charm and wit. Then, move on to cajoling and humor. And, the coup de grace, bullying if necessary, with just the right amount of blunt force. With my plan developed, I waited until the late evening hours to make the call.
One thing that you have to know about my Dad is that when I say he is a Vikings fan, it means that everything that doesn't run away from him is painted purple. If he showed up on my doorstep driving a purple truck, hopped out of said truck wearing Vikings related apparel (horned Helga helmet is optional), blowing the Vikings touchdown horn, I wouldn't be shocked.
I might hurry him into the house, however, for fear that he would be run out of Wisconsin by an angry mob shouting "UFF DA!" and other fun Norwegian exclamations.
I called him around 8:30 at night. While others might exclaim that this is not a "late" phone call, in my family, any time after 8:00 pm better mean that someone is hurt or else there's going to be a "discussion" about proper Midwestern phone etiquette, which may include "Don't call after 8 pm unless you are bleeding or in jail—or both."
And yes, while there is a limit to the latest evening calls accepted, there is no real limit to the EARLIEST calls. I've called family at 5:30 in the morning, thinking that this was too early, and have been told, "Why, I've been up since 4:00 am, I will have you know! I'm on my second pot of coffee! You're calling late!" Which leads me to the conclusion that Norwegian coffee may be a legal form of amphetamines...
While I knew this was a late night call, my first line of attack included asking for Packers stock when I knew my Dad would be the most vulnerable. After all, at 8:30 pm, Dad COULD potentially be napping after a long day's work.
When he answered the phone with a hearty "WHAT?!", I knew I was going to have to bring my "A" game. After a few seconds of polite phone conversation, it was time. Dad was lulled into a false sense of well-being. We were, after all, not discussing football, which means that we were seeing eye to eye.
While most of our conversations do, indeed, involve football, it usually ends up that I say something about the Vikings ("Hey Dad! The Vikings only lost by TWO touchdowns today! They're getting better!")
This leads my Dad to scream "BAH!" and growl curse words before saying, abruptly, "I have to go. I'm done talking to you." I usually get to say, "I LOVE YOU, DAD!" before he hangs up.
If I don't get to say it, I call back, much to his chagrin. You would think that he would catch on to this after all these years. Nope, no dice.
It was time to make my pitch...
"Dad, for Christmas, I would like one single solitary stock in the Green Bay..."
"NO! I WON'T DO IT! I WILL NOT!" howled Dad.
"Dad, it would make me happy—truly happy. You would never hear me speak another ill word about the Vikings if you would buy me a single stock..."
It was time to regroup. This was not going according to my dastardly plans... Hmm...
"But Dad. Think of the history. I could go to stockholders meetings. Just think about it..."
"NO! You know, there are a LOT of Packers fans who are sick of hearing about the Packers. AND, there are A LOT more Vikings fans in Wisconsin that you don't know about. Just the other day, I was talking to someone who I thought was a Packers fan, and it turns out he's a Vikings fan!" said Dad, his voice trembling with his devotion to the Minnesota Vikings.
I pictured him, sitting in his easy chair, dressed in his Vikings finest, his little dog wearing a Vikings sweater, in disbelief that his football-loving gene pool has been polluted by his oldest daughter, who just happens to be a Packers fan.
"I don't believe that is true, Dad. No true Packers fan would say that they are sick of hearing about how good the Packers are." I sighed, admitting defeat.
"BAH!" howled Dad. "I gotta go do some stuff. No stock!" Click...Dial tone...
And that was when I decided that Dad, who is not a Christmas-y sort of fellow, would now be known as the Minnesota Vikings Fan Who Stole Christmas.
Never fear, friends! Never, EVER, underestimate the devious mind of a 6' tall, furry Norwegian woman who is a devoted Packers fan!
Christmas gifts this year will be all Packers-related merchandise! Instead of Christmas carols, we will be enjoying the musical stylings of Cheeseheads With Attitudes (C.W.A., keeping it old school, yo), "Aaron Rodgers Seems Alright" by The Republicates and "I Could Be Your Jordy" by Sleeping Berries Three!
We will listen to Slayer songs, just to remind us of the disruptive and destructive element of play that Clay Matthews brings on the field! We will raise a glass of Charles Woodson's wine at dinner and toast to the general health and well-being of family, friends and the Green Bay Packers.
I must say, I am looking forward to the holidays!
Dad, probably not so much...
Go, Pack, go!