Just A Beer


Sunday December 15th, 2013 – Kenosha, WI

I have a friend I have known for probably thirty years who is unfortunately an alcoholic. He’s a nice person and we get along well, but after all these years he’s still drinking. He’s tried to give it up countless times, but he always goes back. It will probably end up killing him, and he knows it.

On one of his attempts to dry out years ago, he made a point to let everyone know how he was bound and determined to quit once and for all, and it was the most gung ho the rest of his friends and I had ever seen him. We all hoped he would be able to turn his life around and quit boozing.

About a month later I saw him at a restaurant with a beer. I couldn’t help seeing it in his hand, and he saw the puzzled look on my face and tried to explain himself. “Oh THIS? It’s just a beer. Those don’t count.” I didn’t say another word, and he has since slid back into his old lifestyle.

It’s not up to me to judge him or anyone else, but from where I sit I don’t see him ever making a permanent change. He might stop and start and pretend as if he is going to give it up once and for all, but he always goes back. He may be able to fool a few people, but never really himself.

That’s how I feel about my addiction to the Green Bay Packers. I go weeks without watching a game, but then I get an invitation to a friend’s house and I’m right back where I don’t want to be. It kills me when they lose, and despite all my attempts to not care I can’t help it. They’ve got me.

Everyone has left them for dead this year, and I see why. They have had devastating injuries to several key players including star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and they have been humiliated by several teams they likely would have ground into soup meat had they been playing at full roster.

My friend Mark Gumbinger lives in Kenosha, WI and has one of the best man caves anywhere. He’s got a basement that has a huge screen TV with Surround Sound, and there’s a fridge packed with food and drinks behind the bar. There’s a bathroom within 20 feet, and he’s a fabulous host.

That’s about as good as it gets for football watching, and he always sends out invitations for all his friends to show up whenever there’s any kind of sporting event going on. It really is a blast to hang out there, and I often go just for the company. I’ve grown to know and like the main core of guys that tend to show up, and it’s laid back and relaxed. Any guy would feel like he fits right in.

I spent the night in Milwaukee after two performances of “Schlitz Happened!”, and had to pass right by Mark’s house on my way home so I decided to stop and say hello. It was a late game and I ended up getting there right on time. They were playing Dallas in Dallas, and that’s a team they have traditionally had trouble beating. I didn’t hold out much hope, nor did the rest of the guys.

The first half was beyond our worst nightmare as the Packers got smoked like a picnic ham. It killed us to watch, but we’re all hooked so we sat there like idiots and stewed. I intended to leave at halftime, but we started talking and before we knew it the second half was starting so I stayed.

It was like two different games as the Pack came out like gangbusters and took it to the Cowboys from the start. They ended up winning by one point, and it was one of the most exciting halves of football any of us could recall. Just when I thought I was out…I’m IN. It’s “just a beer”. Right.

Any time the Dallas Cowboys and Darth Owner lose in humiliating fashion it's a good day - but it's especially sweet when it's the Green Bay Packers. This is a game for the ages.

Any time the Dallas Cowboys and “Darth Owner” lose in humiliating fashion it’s a good day – but it’s especially sweet when it’s courtesy of the Green Bay Packers. This was a comeback for the ages.

Dez Bryant is another smug punk I couldn't enjoy seeing it get stuck in his face any more. He walked off the field early - good riddance.

Dez Bryant is another smug punk I couldn’t enjoy seeing get it stuck in his face any more. He slithered off the field early like a crybaby. Good riddance!

First it was "The Ice Bowl" in Green Bay. This was "The Ass Bowl" with Jerry Jones and Dez Bryant. What a comeback! It was one for the ages.

First it was “The Ice Bowl” in Green Bay. This was “The Ass Bowl” with Jerry Jones and Dez Bryant. The villains get foiled, what a happy ending.

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