Better Late Than Never, Brett Favre is a Packer Forever

Growing up a Vikings fan, I had many opportunities to see Brett Favre play. More times than not, it was to victory over my team. When I moved to Indianapolis in 2004, the first Colts game I ever attended was against the Packers. I watched Peyton Manning go play for play against Brett Favre. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was watching two of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.

Then there was the time, it still seems surreal, that Brett Favre actually became a Viking. I admit it was fun to watch. But let’s be honest, it never looked right. It never felt right. It just wasn’t right. You can put Brett Favre in purple and call him a Viking, but I knew what you knew and what he knew as well, that Brett Favre was a Packer. And he always would be.

Even as the enemy, I loved to watch Brett Favre play football. I know all players say they love the game, but none of them showed it on the field quite like Favre. He played with such passion, such enthusiasm, and such unadulterated joy. Every time he strapped on his helmet, he was like the boy back in Kiln, Mississippi, playing for his hometown team. Whether or not the NFL changed him, it never changed the game for him.

When Brett Favre retired (for the fifth time), it never felt real. Probably because he came out of retirement four of those times and most of us were waiting for him to do so again. But also, because he was estranged from the Packers, it never got the attention it deserved. It never felt final.

That is, until now.

On July 18, 2015, Brett Favre returned to Green Bay, Wisconsin. He passed through the tunnel at Lambeau Field one more time. Greeted by 67,000 fans in green and gold, they thanked him with a four-minute-long standing ovation. And Favre thanked them back in his speech.

“If there were any doubts before, there’s not any. I truly thank you.”

-Brett Favre

Still holding NFL records, including consecutive starts, quarterback wins, passing yards, and completions, Brett Favre was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame on Saturday night. His number 4 jersey was officially retired. And at long last, his storybook career got the fairy tale ending it deserved.

Better late than never, Brett Favre is a Packer forever.

And life in Green Bay is just as it should be.

 

The Tale of the Bandwagon Fan

Once upon a time, there was a little boy. He was six years old and lived in Minnesota. He may or may not have been my nephew. Let’s call him…Schmaiden.

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One day, for reasons no one knows, Schmaiden decided he was a Green Bay Packers fan. All he would say is, “Because they win more.” No one in his family was a Packers fan. They were all Minnesota Vikings fans. They didn’t even know any Packers fans in Minnesota. But that was alright. They loved him just the same.

One day, something big happened. The Packers came to play the Vikings in Minnesota. Schmaiden’s uncle got tickets for him, his dad, and his cousin to go to the game. How exciting!

He tried and tried, but no matter what he did, Schmaiden’s dad couldn’t get Schmaiden to wear a Vikings jersey to the game. In fact, Schmaiden wanted to wear a cheesehead. But as it turned out, cheeseheads were very hard to find in Minnesota. Schmaiden’s dad was kind of relieved.

So, off they went to the game. Schmaiden’s dad, uncle and cousin all in Vikings jerseys…Schmaiden in his white shirt and Packers pajama bottoms. But it was all good…

Until, they got to the game. You see, things didn’t quite go as expected for the Packers. The Vikings quarterback, who was newly married to a beautiful TV reporter, seemed to have grown into a man overnight. He didn’t look like a second year rookie without much first year experience. The Vikings were leading! In fact, they dominated the first half of the game.

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Schmaiden’s dad (who may or may not be a lawyer) decided to take advantage of the opportunity. With the aid of a hot dog and a little ginger ale, he was able to bribe Schmaiden into wearing a Vikings jersey for the second half.

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Oh, what fun it was to be a Vikings fan and cheer for the winning team!

Image 3The Vikings beat the Packers and everyone went home happy. Everyone who was a Vikings fan, that is.

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But our story doesn’t end here. Because with that win, the Vikings made the playoffs…and now they go to Green Bay to play the Packers again! Schmaiden’s family hopes he stays a Vikings fan forever. But when asked who he’ll cheer for this weekend…he says, “I don’t know yet.”

For now, let’s call him confused.

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My money is on the team that’s leading at the half.

To be continued…

XO

 

Twelve Days of Pigskin | Day One: Mustard Girl All-American Mustard

Mustard Girl All-American Mustards

On the first day of Pigskin, give your true football fan…mustard. That’s right, mustard is a must have at any game day celebration, whether you’re tailgating or sofa surfing. And Mustard Girl All-American Mustards are the perfect stocking stuffer. They are all natural, gluten free, fat free, and come in a variety of fabulous flavors. And…they don’t need to be refrigerated!

Along with adding flavor to our favorite grilled fare, adding mustard adds health benefits as well. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic qualities and may even prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

So…stock up, wrap up, and give the gift of good taste and good health to the true football fans in your life. And just in case you need more convincing…Green Bay Packers star Donald Driver is a big fan!

You can find Mustard Girl All-American Mustards at participating Whole Foods. You can visit their website to find other locations or shop their estore at: http://mustardgirl.elsstore.com.

Happy Holidays!

Game Winning Interception

It was the longest five minutes in NFL history.  The Monday night game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks was over.  The clock had run out.  And we were waiting…to see who won.

Rookie Quarterback Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary with seconds left on the clock and both Seahawks Wide Receiver Golden Tate and Packers defender M.D. Jennings appeared to come down with the ball.  One official ruled it a touchdown.  The other, an interception. After reviewing the play, the replacement officials went with the touchdown.  Touchdown it was.  Only…it wasn’t.

Upon further review, it looks like Tate not only didn’t have control of the ball, but may have taken both hands off of it at one point.  It’s history now.  The Green Bay Packers were victims of the worst call in NFL history and Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson became the first quarterback to ever throw a game winning interception.

Fans were left stunned, outraged, and disappointed.  The NFL replacement officials may make for bad football, but they make for damn good Twitter:

The players chimed in as well.

Yes, Lang will probably get fined for his tweet.  But maybe the officials will pay it for him with the raises they are now sure to get.

Golden Tate says he knows he had the ball.  Packers Receiver Greg Jennings says he doesn’t think Tate’s claim would pass a lie detector test.  Well, that would be one way around paying the refs.  Hopefully it doesn’t come down to that.

It is time to end the lockout with the NFL officials.  For the record, I am not in favor of paying part time employees of the NFL a pension when pensions don’t exist for full time employees.  Pensions don’t really exist at all in real life.  Not anymore.  But there is a compromise.  And they need to find it.

I leave you with this:

https://twitter.com/NFLJesus/status/250450093784825856

Amen.

XO

 

 

 

On Sacred Ground

“Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another and of strength to be derived by unity.”

~ Vince Lombardi

Lambeau Field.  The Frozen Tundra.  Titletown, USA.  Home of the Green Bay Packers.  Holy ground for football fans.  And site of holy matrimony for my dear friend Kelly and her sweet Phil.

Saturday, July 7, 2012 felt less like the Ice Bowl and more like the Rice Bowl.  The stadium was quiet, the bleachers were empty, but still there was an energy.  It was a feeling of anticipation, a new beginning.  We were there to witness it from the start.  Yes, the first time I stepped out onto the bleachers at Lambeau Field, I had heels on.  And a dress.

It was more than that though.  This was the uniting of two families, divided by two teams.  You see, the bride is not just any Packers fan.  Kelly is a diehard, shareholding Green Bay Packers fan.  The groom Phil, a lifelong Minnesota Vikings fan.  The bridesmaids wore Packers green and carried flowers of gold and white (with a touch of purple).  The groomsmen wore purple ties and boutonnieres.  They vowed to love, cherish, and cheer for each other’s teams.  They cited passages from the Bible.  And Vince Lombardi.

The themes: truth, loyalty, passion, teamwork, commitment, sacrifice.  The very things that make for a successful team, also make for a strong marriage.  As Lombardi put it, “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

Congratulations, Kelly and Phil.  I wish you more victories than defeats, more laughter than tears, more sunshine than rain, and the love and support of family and friends to carry you all the way.  In football.  And in life.

XO