Monday, January 21, 2008

Brrrrr Green Bay!

Super Bowl XLII's lineup is finally set, and ESPN and much of the east coast-based national media (this means you, ESPN) got its wish with the Giants and Patriots set to play in the Arizona desert on Feb. 3.

It was a fun ride Sunday as both games were pretty good, especially the NFC Conference Championship on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Since the Patriots were pretty much a foregone conclusion to make it to the big game, let's focus instead on what we could the upset of the month:

It was a crazy week in Green Bay leading up to Sunday's game. Maybe that snow storm that the Pack and the Seahawks played through on Jan. 12 was an indication of things to come, but it started getting a little weird up there in Cheeseheadland.

-- There was that little incident during that playoff game against the Seahawks where a man was arrested for taping a Packers jersey on his son after the boy apparently refused to wear it. According to WTMJ radio out of Milwaukee, the incident might have been the end result of something domestic brewing for some time.

Now I've joked about disowning my son if he ever becomes a Packer fan or begins to root for the University of Iowa, but there are limits. And needless to say, football is just a game.

-- But it was becoming more than a game for WLUK-TV, the Fox affiliate in Green Bay. After learning that "Seinfeld" is Giants QB Eli Manning's favorite show, station management decided to preempt its regular 5:30 p.m. showing of a "Seinfeld" rerun with something of the fan's choosing (my understanding is they opted to air a special on Packers coaching legend Vince Lombardi instead), all to disrupt Manning's preparation (since he would likely be relaxing in his hotel room before a team meeting) for the NFC title game the next day.

"We don't want to give any comfort to the enemy whatsoever when they come into town," WLUK general manager Jay Zollar said to Newsday. "We know laughter is good medicine, and we decided we're not going to give that to him."

It didn't work, as Eli was "master of his domain" (sorry, couldn't resist the joke) in beating the Packers the next day.

-- Some of that insanity must have seeped down from Cheeseland into Chicago, as Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn wrote on Thursday "Five Reasons for Bears fans to root for the Packers." Zorn, a product of the University of Michigan and native of the Detroit area, according to his Wikipedia entry, cited division pride, tradition, "Favre fancy" and "transitive triumphalism." as reasons.

He was widely scorned for the thought, with some of the more creative comments as:

Eric, Sometimes it's so obvious that you didn't grow up in this area.

Posted by: Tom | Jan 17, 2008 12:44:20 PM

Where is the "Who cares" option?

I live in WI, and I'm already sick of hearing about the Packers. Every time Brett Favre has so much as scratched himself this week, we have 45 minutes of news coverage about it. What was he scratching? Did the itch go away? What do his teammates think? What do the fans think? Oh look, it's some lady who has a dress made out of Packer logo toilet paper. And so forth.

I'm glad people are excited, but there's such a think as overkill.

Posted by: Spike | Jan 17, 2008 12:54:11 PM

There are 0 reasons to root for the Packers. Favre? Please, is is a receord setting QB - most interceptions in the history of the NFL. I became a Giants fan after the Cowboys lost last weekend. I am a Bears fan through and through, so this weekend I am rooting for the red and blue. Maybe Favre will cry like a sissy after the game like he did after the Bears game last year.

Posted by: DJG | Jan 17, 2008 12:54:25 PM

The thing is, I'm not sure which is more disturbing: the column itself and the poll that ran with the column had 64.1 percent of the respondents saying, yes, Bears fans should pull for the Packers.

Personally, I think a bunch of Wisconsinites filled the ballot box on the poll, and as far as rooting for a division rival since it reflects good on the Bears, I can't do it. As far as the NFC North is concerned, I can't stand the Packers (I can respect their attempts to uphold tradition in a small town in an increasingly corporate league and world, but it doesn't mind I have to like them), and I can't stand the Vikings. I'd say the same for the Lions, but they've stunk for so long, you just can't hate them.

Besides, how can you root for a team that's dressed in colors that, as my dad puts it, are like moldy cheese.

So thank you to the Giants for making it an easy decision on who to root for on Super Bowl Sunday.

To end, for your entertainment and amazement, here is Eddie Murphy's take on the NFC Championship game...20 years early:

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