Most of you know by now I live in Packers country. I grew up on Long Island a Giants and Mets fan, and moved away in 1992. I've lived in Cleveland, Ohio; Nashville, TN; and now Madison, WI. Both blue team colors have always flowed through my veins--the dark Giants blue a bit more than the Mets' version, just because of how much I love football. I was in Nashville in 2008 when the Giants had that amazing Super Bowl run, which included a win in the NFC title game in Green Bay. So when we moved here in April 2010, and I started to tell folks I was a Giants fan, most of them thought that was cool, but some of them groaned. They groaned not because the Giants won that game and stole what they thought was their Super Bowl berth, but because old Number 4 threw that pick to Corey Webster to set up the game-winning field goal. On that subject, this YouTube clip never gets old.
That was a little over two years before we moved here, and nearly two years later we are back there again--the Giants and Packers in a January playoff game in Green Bay. The weather is teetering between really cold and really f***ing cold. And while for the most part it is Badgers country here, it's a Packers town too. Most of my neighbors are Packers fans, and most of my wife's co-workers are too. I work from home, but have a few Madison based clients, a few of which are Packers fans.
So the momentum for this has been building for a while. I'd say it started last December 26 when the Giants were virtually knocked out of the playoffs by the Packers, who whipped the crap out of them that day, and then went on to beat the Bears and snatch the final wild card spot before rolling to the championship. One of our friends here texted me a "ha ha you suck" type text and from there, a bit of venom welled up inside me. Not Eagles or Cowboys venom, but venom. A small disclaimer though. I root for Green Bay when they play anyone else. If I lived in Philly or Dallas, or even Washington, that would not be the case.
This week has been fun for the most part. My wife's co-workers are putting notes on my Facebook wall like "Go pack!" and some of the folks I talk football with, such as one of the teachers at my son's preschool, are suddenly saying things like "Good luck Sunday, but not too much." And when Ed asked me to write this, I wasn't sure I could pull much out of my butt based on real experience, but I guess I just did. Then the moment it was on was this--I was driving yesterday, listening to the local sports talk station. The host pulled out a copy of the New York Post and it had Eli on the back cover (I hope this is correct, I didn't have a chance to fact check that image). And he said something like, "Everyone is saying we should be afraid of the Giants. They are the ones who should be afraid of us." Well, yeah, you have a 15-1 juggernaut. But your juggernaut has a horrendous and extremely leaky defense, Dom Capers or not. Our defense, meanwhile, has been playing out of its collective mind, and for that, you should be very afraid.
Joking aside, this is war, and I have my game face on. I'm not able to get to Green Bay tomorrow, but I'm wearing my Number 10 jersey, and I plan on going to the grocery store, dammit, just to show these people what's up. It's GO time, Big Blue. Let's do this thing.