Are you ready for some football?
It seems like an eternity since the Packers left the field about three minutes before the end of the NFC championship game for an earlier than expected off season. It was only back in January. Since then, we had to go through the woulda, coulda, shoulda phase before the Super Bowl (at least karma was kind for Packer backers) then wait with all football fans during mild off season diversions such as the combine, draft, free agency and contract drama. This year, we had Deflategate to feed into our love of or hatred for the Patriots.. And there were training camps, practices and pre-season.
But now it is all for real! Can I get an AMEN!
For the next 17 weeks, you will find me parked in front of the television on Thursday night, Sunday afternoon, Sunday night or Monday night rooting for the Packers. I’ll cheer, probably with a beer or two. I’ll revel in the wins and fret with the losses. Hopefully, I’ll be doing more reveling … into Super Bowl 50.
Of course, other fans in other cities will be doing the same for their teams. That’s why they play the games.
I’ve been a Packer fan for years — including some of those lean years. My affinity to the team started when I watched the Ice Bowl (1967 NFC Championship against Dallas). Now, that, my friends is football weather to the extreme. Even before that, I was drawn to the rough and tumble, mud and blood games played on real grass in all kinds of weather. The rainier — or better yet — the snowier it was, the more I could get into the game.
Even as a reporter, I preferred rain and cold to sunshine and 80 degrees. I often requested games up in Sussex County (NJ) because of that 5-10 degree difference. As a sideline reporter, I injured my back at a Sparta-Franklin game when I couldn’t get out of the way of a sweep and became the tackling dummy. It was so cold, I didn’t realize how badly I was hurt for two days. But I would do it all again. Can I get an AMEN!
As a sports reporter and later sports editor in New Jersey, I covered a lot of football games from high school (my favorite) to college and even the pros (Giants). Last Friday night in Maine, I stopped to watch some of the Foxcroft Academy-Mount Desert Island game with Kenny Chesney’s The Boys of Fall dancing in my head. My one grandson played varsity in Ohio until he decided to give his all to baseball in his senior year. Another grandson played in Midget League and now suits up for the high school modified squad.
Last year, I went to the Packers NFC Divisional game against Dallas and was privileged to take my grandkids to the Brett Favre Packer Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in July. And I look forward to seeing the new Titletown project unfold in Green Bay in the coming years
And, so they say … Let the games begin! Can I get an AMEN!
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.