Friday, September 15, 2006


As my eyes scanned the sports pages on Monday, I felt the weight of an entire state’s collective disappointment settle onto my shoulders. Unlike some other NFL teams, including my adopted Cleveland Browns, my home state’s Green Bay Packers do not just have one city to report to. They are the sports avatars for the whole of the Dairy State, and by the end of this season’s opener, something had happened for the first time in 233 consecutive games that caused the pedestal we Cheeseheads put the Packers (and most especially quarterback Brett Favre) on to teeter precariously.

The Packers lost 0-26. It was Favre’s first shut out playing in his 16-year NFL history.

And… to the Bears, no less.

I did not see the game, but my two younger sisters and I had chipped in to buy my parents, as a 35th wedding anniversary gift, two tickets to Lambeau for this very game. This was their first NFL game, and apparently they had fun, but still…


I had just finished reading an article on “Cleveland is No. 1 in rankings of NFL fan loyalty” which talks about what teams fans continue to support, despite the fact that said teams may not be doing so well. The Packers were there as well, and no one expected them to be a great team this year (new coach, young team, aging quarterback.) But still, although I support the Browns and am so proud of Cleveland for being there for them (and, hey, the city still hasn't won a major sports title dispite having professional football, baseball and basketball), I still couldn't worry for the psyche of Wisconsin at this loss.

Follow up:

As an added moral to this strange twist of fate, a furniture store owner promised free furniture if the Bears shut out Green Bay, and has since given away $300,000 worth of his goods. He had taken out an insurance policy to cover offers with high odds.

I blame all this on the exorcism of Pluto as a planet....

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