If it's Sunday it must be football. I am an incurable football fan. I will watch almost any game that is televised whether college or pro. (I draw the line at the Lingerie Bowl usually broadcast during the Super Bowl Halftime. It's not that I don't appreciate semi-naked, twenty-something gorgeous babes cavorting with the old pigskin. They just don't hit hard enough for me.) So on any given Sunday during the football season, when the Green Bay Packers are on the field, I am tuned in body and soul.
I grew up watching the Packers. My Dad always had their games on way back in the fifties before it became almost a religious obligation to watch the games. And I came of age during the Glory Years of the sixties when the Packers were the dominant team in pro ball. With a background like that, is it any mystery that I live and die each week when the Packers play? I take it personally when they lose, and strut with the cocky confidence of a touchdown scoring receiver when they win.
So this season so far has been a real excercise in patient loyalty. After suffering through a horrendous 4-12 season last year, we, the fans, could only look for any improvement to bouy our expectations for a better year this season. After losing the first two games in humiliating fashion, we could only hope to escape embarrassment today against the Detroit Lions, who showed they were every bit as woeful as our beloved Pack in their first two games.
Somehow the Packers found a way to take the lead and hold on to it deep into the fourth quarter. Then, while trying to hold the ball and run the game clock down to preserve their imminent victory, with just under a minute left, what does Ahman Green do. He freakin FUMBLES THE FUCKING BALL. And those ridiculously opportune Lions recover the ball with more than enough time on the clock to score the tying points. Now, the Green Bay defense is not one to inspire confidence in their ability to actually prevent the other team from scoring. So at this point, I have leaped (such as my impaired leaping ability will allow) out of my heretofore comfy recliner, and, steam blowing from every available orific, I scream and shout and hurl all sorts of horrible imprecations on Green's head and vow to make him suffer the most humiliating and tortuous suffering I can imagine for causing the Pack to lose the game, if that should, in fact, occur. Had I been armed, I would now have a very dead TV.
I am a picture of all that is wrong with the most demonstrative of football fans--you know, the guys and gals who paint themselves in team colors and stomp and roar and cheer anything that even remotely involves their team. My screams and wailing at the unexpected, but seemingly inevitable turn of events, has Mary, who is sitting outside on the deck, begging me to tone it down before the neighbors call 911. Of course I am embarrassing her. The fact that I am embarrassing myself never really registers in my consciousness.
What is the most ridiculous part of all my screaming and carrying-on, is that at the moment I am doing all that ranting, I truly believe that those tiny little figures running around inside my TV can actually hear me, and that what I am yelling about will actually make a difference to them. I have taken leave of all common sense and have totally lost any semblance of dignity that I might still have left. But none of that matters, because as the final Hail Mary pass by the Lions falls harmlessly to the ground in the endzone, the Packers have indeed finally won the game.
All is well and all is forgiven. My blood pressure has returned to normal. Until next week.
God, I am pathetic.