Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I understand that a lot of folks are a little indifferent to the Superbowl and all the festivities, which is probably why there is such an effort to bring people in with the commercials. There are tons of folks that only watch for those 2 minute breaks. I, however, am not one of them.

I pulled this jacket out of the closet for only the second time this season. Last year I only wore it once and it was on Monday at the Metrodome when the Packers got their asses handed to them by Favre and the Vikings. This year I wore it again when the Packers played a Sunday night game but I said I wouldn't wear it again until they got to the Superbowl. I really didn't think it was going to be this year.

I'm not one of those guys that has a cheese head, jerseys, jackets or t's that wear the garb sporting their team every week. On big games you're much more likely to find me watching in my living room, taking in every snap because I don't like the noise of the bar or a big party to get in the way. The only Packer paraphernalia I have is a t-shirt that was given to me by a Viking's fan and this leather coat that was my Dad's.

I grew up in Minnesota but was born in Eau Claire, WI. We moved from Wisconsin when I was three--that was plenty of time to instill the Packer fandom in me. The many years I spent in Minnesota afterwards just further instilled my hatred for the Vikings. I was tormented as a kid for being a fan and often found myself taking swings at the color purple. (Which is a little ironic because I love grape pop...) Anyway, the more torture I endured, the more I supported my Packers. Much of that devotion came from my dad.

To get an idea of how important the Packers are in my family, one can look at December, 2000. My father passed away in early December. He had been sick for quite sometime but no matter how it happens, it's still a shocker when a person dies at only 65 and it still sucks. Like I said, my dad was a HUGE Packer fan and everyone from our little town of Brainerd, MN knew it. Instead of putting a suit on him when he was buried, we dressed him in a tie and a Packer sweater and all the Paul Bearers dressed in Packer jerseys. I'll be honest, I wasn't really sure I liked the idea myself as I thought these occasions should be morned a certain way in which suits and ties just seemed a little more appropriate. But that's what was decided so I went along with it despite my reservations.

When the doors opened to the church to let friends and family in I didn't really pay much attention to those folks walking in and what they were wearing. I mean, it was December in Minnesota and it was cold so most everyone was pretty well bundled up. I was busy anyway with my family and really wasn't in the mood to take note of everyone else; and quite honestly, I was in a Packer jersey and to some degree, was feeling that same defensiveness I would have felt in grade school had I been wearing a Packer t-shirt then.

The service started and everyone settled down. I took my position staring straight ahead in the front row, still focused on losing my dad and that I would never see him again in that sweater he wore on most Sundays in the fall. Living in my own numbness, the service flew by until it was time for communion. It was the first time I really looked up and realized the display of affection and respect the community was displaying for my father.

As the congregation walked slowly in a line to the alter to receive communion I noticed a constant theme from most of the people there. They were almost all sporting green and gold out of respect for my dad. Many had even went out and purchased Packer jerseys. I couldn't believe it. In a town that was almost exclusively Vikings fans, on that day out of respect for quite literally one of the biggest Packer fans in the state, the expression by dawning the green and gold by those folks was quite moving.

The game starts in a little more than three hours. I would love to be able to watch it with the old man but I guess I'll just have to settle for the leather jacket and remember what a huge fan he was. Go Pack Go!!

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