Polarized Packer Passion

Sunday January 23rd, 2011 – Galveston, TX

I’m in heaven and hell at exactly the same time. Shouldn’t it start raining or something? On one hand, the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears and are going to Texas for a chance to win the Super Bowl. That’s heaven. On the other hand, I’m out on a cruise ship with a literally thousands of people from The South that couldn’t care less about any of it.

What a thrill and what a letdown, all at the same time. The home port is Galveston, TX and that’s where we stopped today to start a new cruise. I can’t remember ever being here before, and if I was I didn’t get to get out and walk around downtown like I did today for almost two hours. It’s a pretty run down place as a whole, but there is some history here.

I’ll always remember it just like I remember Albuquerque, NM – with disgust. I can still remember being in Albuquerque the day the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI. I waited my whole life to see it, and there wasn’t a TV in the comedy club so I had to watch the end of the game in a Mexican restaurant while a mariachi band was setting up. It was miserable.

Nobody in the joint cared in the least about the game, and they stared at me as I jumped around the bar with my raised fists clenched screaming in delight. They looked at me like I was either crazy or the wildest immigration agent who ever lived, but they left me alone.

What a downer that was, even though the Packers made my football dreams come true. I was going through the horrors of testifying against my best friend Timbo in the infamous bank robbery trial, and football was not on the front burner then. Staying out of jail was.

The next year they lost the Super Bowl, and that one I did catch. Pew. What a repulsive memory that still is also. The snacks don’t taste good, the jokes aren’t funny, nothing will make up for the team of choice losing the big one. Just once, I want to watch them win it.

Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. Pittsburgh is a very solid team, and they have many of the same things the Packers do – a great defense, a young stud quarterback and a player on defense with stupid looking hair but superstar ability. I’m not sure who’s going to win.

Still, it’s a euphoric feeling to see them get to the big one after all the nasty injuries that have plagued the team all year. They came together at the right time, and everything is on a roll. I wish my Gramps could see this, and I even wish I could share the celebration with Timbo the bank robber. He and I were Packer fans since we were 11. We’ve earned this.

I don’t care what the people on the ship think. I mentioned it tonight on stage during my five minute opening night teaser, and got a smattering of applause at best. I just laughed it off, and it is funny in a way, but I also had that same empty feeling I had in Albuquerque.

This could be the last time the Packers ever play in a Super Bowl. The NFL is changing and the revenue sharing that makes every team have a chance may be gone soon out greed by the owners. I’m going to enjoy every single bit of this, and if I can go see it live I will.


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