Monday, January 24, 2011

The Aftermath

This post comes from a little different perspective than my normal work, but the fact that the Packers are going to be playing in the Super Bowl in less than two weeks combined with the fact that I may be a dad by the time the game kicks off is still sinking in. By the way, it feels really fucking nice to be able to write "the Packers are going to be playing in the Super Bowl," and the baby finally on the cusp of being born is beyond exciting. Big two weeks coming up here in the Gonzalez household.

I've never been more nervous for a sporting event in my entire life than I was yesterday. I was a wreck in January 2008, but I had been gambling in Vegas all night the night before and immediately started drinking the next morning.

Flash forward 3 years and I was coming off the mother of all hangovers after an impromptu midweek trip to Palm Desert for the Bob Hope celebrity golf tournament, some gambling with Sugar Ray Leonard, hibachi dinner with some random people from Boston, and way too much drinking. This excessive midweek fun caused me to still have the "binge jitters" less than 48 hours after consuming the last of 48-50 drinks in 36 hours. Ouch.

I digress. Not many words need to be devoted to the game itself. It was ugly as expected, but in 20 years we will be talking about Aaron Rodgers dominance of the entire month, not a tough game in which he had a low qb rating (his opponent in 2 weeks' rating was much worse). Furthermore, even though I told myself I was going to remain sober throughout the game I found myself drinking my first beer 1.5 hours before kickoff and didn't have my last until the game was over.

I still wish the Packers could pick up a 3rd and 1 without some clusterfuck taking place at the line, and I still wish McCarthy would run the entire playbook when the Packers have more than a one score lead. All things considered, we got some horrific breaks (ball off Driver's toe), but still managed to gut out a tough win on the heels of Masthay, Raji, Shields, and Rodgers. Nobody thought it would be easy.

On a positive note, at least the team we are playing next doesn't have any recent Super Bowl experience. Ouch. Seriously though, column on Roethlisberger is forthcoming, but I do think the Packers can and will beat him.
Paul, (one of my best friends from college whose part-time job is creeping out every 21-40 year old girl in Denver) is also an obsessed Steeler fan and even he thinks this is a tough matchup for Ben. He said this sober, which should give us all some serious confidence.

Finally, Packer fans really are the best in the country. You meet such interesting people through this football team. Angie and I were at a Los Angeles area Packer bar I've been hitting for the playoffs, and yesterday there were about 150 people there straight from Wisconsin. It felt like we were back home. This is reason number 1000 why I need to move back as soon as possible.

The best story of the day came right after the Packers were presented with the Halas trophy. A guy I had been talking with before the game came up to me and gave me a huge hug. He said he could tell that I was a true fan based on my passion during the game and my knowledge of the team and its history (not to mention we had been looking at pictures of the 20-odd games I've been to in the past 8 years on my phone). After the jubilation died down, I saw this man's 21 or so year old son balling in the corner. I went up to the son, put my arm around him, and said "it's ok, we won!!!" (or something to that effect).

The dad came back up to me and told me his son was crying because he didn't think he'd ever get to watch a game with his dad again. This guy proceeded to tell me that he had watched pretty much every game with his son since he was born, but had to tell him during the 2007 playoffs that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma. He next told me that after the drama that happened in 2008 his son told him that he didn't think he'd ever get to watch a Super Bowl with his dad again, much less with the Packers in it. Well, he gets to watch a Super Bowl with his dad, and Angie and I might get to watch the first one possible with our son.


I'll be back with a more typical post later in the week just to prove to my readers that I haven't gone soft.

1 comment:

linda said...

Wow...what a nice post...unexpected...thanks for the tears in my eyes at work here this a.m.

I like how the Pack fans represent around the country, and I generally haven't heard a bad thing about any of 'em.

I'm heading up to Green Bay for the super bowl, I was there for SB 31 and 32, but the elation of being downtown after the big win far outweighs trying to go to dallas, shockingly...unless of course, someone wants to give me tickets...