I’m going to be called an even greater number of derogatory names during this NFL season than perhaps in any season in my lifetime. I know it, and I welcome it. Some of them will even be true, and I don’t mind that either.
I’m getting ready to enter my first full NFL season living in Green Bay. By the time I got here last year, Aaron Rodgers had already been injured, and my long-time favorite team, the Cleveland Browns, were already convincingly on their way to an 0–16 season. That, combined with an interstate relocation on my part, was the fast-track to not giving a damn about the rest of the season.
GETTING BACK IN THE GAME
That was last year, though, and to be honest, I’ve regretted it ever since. You see, I’m not one to quit something, even when continuing it is punishingly brutal. Hell, I’ve followed the Browns closely and faithfully since the new team started there in 1999. Before that, I was a Colts fan when they were going “0 and a billion” prior to the arrival of Peyton Manning.
So, I’m rededicated this year, but in a new place. Sure, I’ll still follow and root for the Browns. That trainwreck of a relationship will probably never end. That, however, is a struggle I covered in a previous piece. I’ve not totally abandoned the Browns, but I do have a new interest now, and it’s the Packers.
HARD NOT TO LOVE
You’d have to be a pretty contrary person, in general, not to get caught up in Packers fever while living in downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin. My girlfriend cares more about the exact species of carp in the Fox River than she cares about NFL football, and even she is excited about being part of the Packers party.
For one thing, I’ve never seen a team and a community interact so much. I know what you’re thinking, “That’s because you’ve never been to [blank]!” Maybe that’s true. I will tell you, though, that I have lived in many different states and within an hour’s…