Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Walk Like The Packers

@ Packers 22
As soon it was announced that Calvin wasn't playing last Sunday, this one was more or less a lost cause. You may win in Washington without Reggie Bush, but you're not taking down the Packers at Lambeau without Calvin Johnson. I'm not going to get into too much detail about the game itself, but for me there were two main takeaways from the latest in a long and well documened series of lambastings at Lambeau, the first of which involves an old pal from my days at Shay Elementary school. The second was the, kinda weird pre-game incident featuring my least favorite Lion, whom I'll nevertheless sort of be sticking up for on this occasion.

LB gets me yet again

In third grade, I had a friend named LB who was a big Packers fan. In fact, there is an annoying amount of people living in northern Michigan who are Packers fans. I'll excuse the yoopers, who kind of have a point since most of them do live closer to Green Bay than they do Detroit (but this does not excuse Bitts for that time that he made me and my brother listen to his dad's Da Yoopers cd in his garage for about 4 hours straight), but as for the lower peninsula Packers fans, I can only chalk it up as a case of regional bandwagonry. They want to cheer for the local team, but the local team isn't historically a winner, so they shamelessly choose the next closest winning team in the area. My limited sample size indicates that the type of people who pull crap like this are also likely to attend the non-denominational churches and play a lot of ultimate frisbee.

So what does this have to do with LB? Maybe nothing, but there was a period during the 1996 season where he started wearing this Brett Favre jersey to school quite a bit and talking a fair amount of trash. To discredit him, I once loudly pointed out that the name on the jersey was spelled wrong, and had a good laugh about it. F-A-V-R-E. Years later, to my great embarrassment, I found out that though pronounced 'Farve', LB's jersey was right along, and the true idiot was me. At least at the time, most of my classmates had enough trouble spelling their own names, so I never got called out on it. But I knew, and that was enough. LB and the Packers had won all along. I still can't believe it's actually spelled like that. This was the same guy who once took a big bite out of a brown crayon that was shaped like an animal, because he thought it was chocolate. This was the same guy who had once worn an Isiah Thomas Pistons jersey to school, told our teacher to call him "Isiah", and even wrote "Isa Toms" as his name on our homework assignment that day. If anyone was going to have jersey with a misspelled name, it was going to be LB.

In the cafeteria, LB used to do what he called "walking like the Packers" in the lunch line. This was a move where he would imitate the large high steps that some of the defensive players would do after a big play. After paying for his food, he would high step over to the trays and continue walking like the Packers all the way until he had his plate loaded up with some nice crunchy hot dogs. I preferred to walk like Barry Sanders; sprint 80 yards down the hallway, calmly hand your lunch money to the ref, and act like you've been there before.

Throughout the Fall of that school year, LB would frequently come in bragging about how the Packers were going to win the Super Bowl. I told him that he didn't know anything about football and probably didn't even know who the Packers were until his parents bought him that stupid 'Favor' jersey a month ago. In fact, he knew so little about football that he once tried to call back a recess interception that I took to the house, waving his arms in the incomplete pass signal and citing the rule of "Injury Before Touchdown" after one of his uncoordinated little buddies had tripped over their sambas trying to chase me down. So of course, the Packers went on to win the Super Bowl, led by the correctly-spelled Brett Favre. Shockingly, LB and the Packers had gotten me again, and have continued to get me at Lambeau Field every single year since. My sports knowledge had been outsmarted by fricking ISA TOMS. Every time I think we finally have them (i.e. coming off a big win against Chicago and facing a struggling Packers team), something happens to mess it up somehow (No Calvin, no chance). He did eat that brown crayon though--there's no getting around that one.

"The Dom is OUT ON THE FIELD!!"

It's no secret that Dominic Raiola does some rather questionable things at times. Like all those times that he's chased down a play, jumped onto the pile at the tail end, and got himself a late hit penalty. Or the time he got called for illegal procedure on a crucial 4th and 1 against the Bills because he was messing around with the ball, trying to fake the Bills D into thinking he was going to snap it. Well, the Dom on the offensive side of the ball was at it again before the game last Sunday, getting into some "verbal abuse" with some overly-sensitive tuba players from the Wisconsin band. Said Wisconsin tuba players then made a big deal about it and wah-wah-wah. I'm sure it was a completely unprovoked incident because I'm sure the Wisconsin tuba players would never in a million years taunt NFL players when they're at Lambeau Field.

Without either trying to justify of condemn Raiola's little tirade, I will point out a few more facts about the University of Wisconsin marching band and fanbase that may or may not offer a little more perspective this is incident that ended up on the front page of ESPN.com. I'd also be interested to see a direct quote of the comments that "called into question the sexuality" of the poor tuba player whose feelings got hurt, because if it was "blow me", that's actually a kind of a good one in this case.

-In 2006, the Wisconsin band got put on probation by the university following a road game at Michigan, where a bunch of them engaged in some lewd antics during the trip.
- In 2008, the Wisconsin band got suspended by the university for pretty much the same type of thing.
- During every home football game, the Wisconsin student section upholds a sacred tradition where
they all come together in unison to create a stunning effect throughout the stadium and show everyone just how they do things in Wisconsin. You may think I'm referring to their overrated "Jump Around" spectacle, but in reality I'm talking about their less famous chant of "EAT SHIT!/ FUCK YOU!" that all the students yell back and forth to each other.
- Nebraska, Dominic Raiola's alma mater, played their first ever Big Ten conference game at Wisconsin in 2011. Nebraska, it should be noted, has the general reputation of having a highly passionate yet also respectful fanbase. After that game, former Nebraska coach and athletic director Tom Osborne, had a few things to say regarding the general profanity and vulgarity shown by the Wisconsin fans.  All things considered, I think the Wisconsin tubas would probably be lying to themselves if they've never suggested that anyone else choose to dine on some feces.

With a track record as pure as this, I have to say, I really don't feel too sorry for the--let's see, I think  "fat bleeps" is how the USA Today describes them, in the Wisconsin tuba section. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but Doms will never hurt you.


  1. Sumthin' tells me I'd like to meet this LB quack! Any dude that's high-steppin' through the caf before he hits double digits has gotta have some STORIES to tell by now.

    1. Nitch, let's just say I wouldn't mind being a fly on the wall for a roundtable discush between you, LB, and Marshall Henderson