Monday, September 30, 2013

My Favorite 'F' Word

In all fairness, I also like to say the real "F" word...and my last name starts with 'F', so that's pretty high up there too, but football, my friends, is fan-fucking-tastic and the season is upon us!
The NFL season started last night, but it doesn't really count because I couldn't watch any of it. So my perceived real kickoff is this Sunday. In my eyes, the greatest, most magical team in the world is the Green Bay Packers. I've been a fan my entire life. When fall arrives and football starts, I'm filled to the brim with joy, green and gold and beer dip.  But there's also a dark side to this cheese product filled momma. Everyone who knows me, and probably some people that don't really know me, describe me as a "die-hard" fan. I would up that word a notch and call myself "die-hardiest". As in, don't cross me on Sundays after a loss man, because I will end you, hard. While I may enjoy being balls deep in the season, it's not always the most pleasant for those around me. I am trying to be somewhat open and honest (because if I was completely honest, I would scare people) as I outline my illness. Not only do I suffer from Chronic Bitchy-Resting Face, but I also suffer from Seasonal "I Will Cut a Bitch Who Speaks Ill of the Packers" Syndrome, both which are new in the DSM-V.
As in all things that are wrong with people, I blame my parents for this one. Every Sunday, we would sit and watch the Packers with fervent dedication. We had a routine of standing together in a huddle during kickoff. We would then shut our mouths and watch silently until commercials. Cheering, jeering and throwing of objects were allowed, obviously, but no talking. I once voiced my sadness at Dan Dierdorf's lisp and I got my ass chewed out. Goddamn Dan Dierdorf. At half time, we would eat and then repeat for the second half. We even had a list of rules that were posted for visitors. We did not get many visitors by choice. We hosted a big Super Bowl party during the Packers '96 run. The day of, I remember as if it were yesterday, I sat quietly and nervously reflecting my concerns: What if they lost? What if no one came to our party? What if my favorite Trapper Keeper was no longer cool? I asked my mom what would happen if we lost. "Don't worry", she said, "we won't". Long story short, after being raised in this environment, is it any wonder I turned out this way?
Throughout the Years
This was all several years, a few lb's and 2 chins ago. But yes, I did have my wedding pictures at Lambeau Field and had a Packers themed wedding. My choice, of course. I wanted a field goal post brought in the reception, but the room wasn't tall enough and I couldn't figure out how to kick it into the uprights in a heavy wedding dress.
Passing on the Tradition

What can I say? One of the girls middle names is after a player after a bet I made with Brad. Plus, they were born during a bye week, so they obviously have their shit together. Oh, and they were born 9 months, 1 day after the Super Bowl. Tara for the win.

Social Situations and Relationships
Social situations become difficult. When I lived at home when I was older, my parents didn't really like to watch the games with me and I preferred it that way. I also have just recently been able to watch with other people around. There is nothing worse than sitting in a bar watching a game with several types of jackass surrounding you. There's always ONE person who is intolerable and my bullshit bar is very low. On the flip side, I don't care for my "own kind" that would watch the games with me and watch (or worse, egg on) my reaction to every bad play. One instance was when I was watching the 2010 opener with my dad and Brad and some bad play happened. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my dad staring at me to see if I'd freak out. Without looking at him, I told him to stop staring at me. He laughed until I told him he made me this way.
And then there are relationships. I made sure to choose a husband that was a Packer fan, because if he was any other kind of fan, especially of a team within our division, he wouldn't have gotten any from September until February, if at all. I can be as frigid as the Frozen Tundra if needed. Brad knew what he was getting himself into. About three years into our relationship, the Packers were in the NFC Championship against the New York Giants. It happened to be my midnight birthday (the day before your birthday when you went out and drank until your actual bday. Thank you college). Well, old man winter, Brett Favre (whom I am still struggling to forgive) ended his career with the Pack with a big, fat loss due to an interception. Brad came over to comfort me. "Just leave me alone" I said as I cried for the next two hours. I cried in my vodka that night. Well, several vodkas. People are also afraid to talk to me after a loss. I have gotten much better within the past few years, so people can stop putting the concerned facebook posts up worrying for Brad's safety. "I'm not going to doooo, what you all THINK I'm going to do and FLIP OUT MAN".
It's like the beer commercial, "It's only weird if it doesn't work". I'm not sure when this all happened, but the first superstition I recall is my dad rubbing the belly of troll doll that I made into a green and gold cheesehead wearing badass. I eventually developed my own superstitions. Now I know, being a rational person, that nothing I do can affect the outcome of the game but I feel off if I don't perform several of my rituals. Now I can't tell you what they are, because it's bad luck, but I can say that some of them are obvious (at least I think they are) and some are pretty hidden. Don't try and figure them out, because that will only piss me off. People try, oh yes they do. But don't. It's bad luck. I will say that one of my rituals may have been in "The Silver Linings Playbook", I may have geeked out when I saw it and Brad may have looked at me immediately and slow shook his head. Hey, if Bobby DeNiro does it, it must freaking work.
Now I may seem a little "obsessive" or "crazy" or "awesome", but this is my passion. I love talking about football and I (usually) know what I'm talking about. I do enjoy watching other teams play, but I won't root for anyone else. Even whatever teams playing the Vikings/Bears/San Fran/Giants/Cowboys/Seattle/Atlanta/Patriots/Lions, etc, etc. I will give credit to a great play by other players, but I won't cheer for anyone. And that's why Fantasy Football can go to hell. 
NOTE: Some of this was written before the season began, so I was hopeful, optimistic and the Pack was 0-0. Then we lost to San Fran and I didn't feel like writing it. Then we won against Washington and I was all gung-ho and happy. Then we lost against Cincy and I become grumpy again. So, it was only natural that I finished it up during a bye week, so I'm all balanced out.