Go, Packers!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Yes. My favorite Super Bowl remains last year's, when I got to see my childhood home team, the New Orleans Saints, win the Super Bowl, but I had a great time watching the Green Bay Packers win Super Bowl XLV.

For one thing, the golden arm of the Packers' quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, helped me check, "Win it all in fantasy football," off my bucket list this year. I normally play fantasy football with a group of friends I made in grad school. That league is twelve years old, and we're all pretty casual players. I was more casual than even most of them until this year, though. That would change...

The NFL was to begin play in a week or so, and I'd heard nothing from my old league's commissioner. I didn't want to spend enormous amounts of time on fantasy football, but I did want to play. So, when Brian Phillips emailed the folks from the Houston Objectivism Society about starting a league, I joined. Then, about three days before the start of the "real" season, I found an email I'd missed from my usual league's commissioner, who was too busy with a baby to run the league and wanted to hand it over. Not wanting to see our old league fizzle out (and satisfied that I wouldn't be consumed with the task), I took the job -- and decided that, now that I was commissioner, I'd do something novel this year: I would try. Until this year, I'd had a few barely-winning seasons here and there, but never made the playoffs.

Neither team exactly had a dominating record, but both were good enough to make the playoffs. One was 8-6 and the other 8-5, but I'd made some shrewd pick-ups from waivers and, most important, didn't let being at or below .500 late in the season cause me to throw in the towel. My Boston Night Riders (a character-limited play on "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere") won the HOS championship and my other team came in second in my usual league. (Commissioners went 0-2 in those games.) But enough of that...

I also have, for quite a while, liked the Packers, anyway. (And, even if I didn't, their fans roasting a bear before the NFC title game with Chicago might have won me over.) So the wife and I donned green and yellow and headed over to another couple's house to watch the game. That couple has a young son that we sometimes baby sit, and we all noticed during the game that he would join me in shouting, "Go, Packers!" So I started hamming it up. I shouted more gruffly and began to shake my fist in the air. And I didn't let commercials get in the way, either. Someone got such a kick out of that she either took pictures or a short movie clip of it on her phone.

Two great Super Bowls in a row! Last year offered lots of suspense for me, and I marveled at how much work went into the Saints' win. This year, I had a great time as a more casual fan.

Go, Packers!

-- CAV


Mike said...

I'd go further than that. I would suggest we've just had the best half-decade of Super Bowls ever.

2007 - Peyton Manning finally wins his ring in a rainstorm over the aggressive defense and explosive special teams of the Chicago Bears. The Colts put on a clinic on execution, especially along the offensive line, and end up winning 29-17 even after Chicago returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

2008 - The 18-0 Patriots are denied immortality in the final minutes thanks to an impossible fourth-down helmet catch by a player who never caught another NFL pass. You can't make this stuff up; no reader would believe it. AND it was the first Super Bowl played "on the tray," the consensus best field in the NFL.

2009 - Despite some questionable refereeing mumble mumble clipping on Harrison's return, the Cinderella Cardinals take the lead with two minutes left on an aerial strike from 1st-ballot HOFer Warner to 1st-ballot HOFer Fitzgerald... only to have the Steelers manage a thrilling comeback with what little clock still remained.

2010 - The Saints intercept and it's returned for a touchdown! Onside kick to start the second half! The surprises just kept coming, and for a while it looked like whoever had the ball last would be sure to win.

2011 - The Steelers commit three turnovers but limit the Packers to only a few dozen rushing yards, resulting in a down-to-the-wire thriller that wasn't over until Roethlisberger's fourth-down pass in the final minute was swatted away incomplete.

I grew up always having Super Bowls be Super Duds, blowouts almost every time, so much so that it was like a joke... the biggest and most watched game of the year was generally a letdown and an excuse for a "who cares!" party and a TV commercial promenade. But lately? Lately you had better not leave before the 4th quarter or you might miss out! The last dud was Steelers-Seahawks, and that because of the abysmal officiating.

Gus Van Horn said...

Yes. I do recall all those Super Duds. Thanks for reminding me!

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, I agree, it was a demmed fine game, what? I went to a Superbowl party with a friend of my wife's family, and I had great fun watching the epic struggle. The Steelers almost had it even after an 18-point deficit at the half--now that's what I call determination not to give up. We also had fun with Aguilera's weird gaffe on the national anthem; the only response I can repeat here though is, "You know, what's really sad is she was lip syncing." Heh!

Gus Van Horn said...

And: Holy freaking melisma, Batman! Would've hated even a delivery of the correct words!

Anonymous said...

And: Holy freaking melisma, Batman! Would've hated even a delivery of the correct words!

I wonder, Gus, if we'll ever hear another national anthem sung that doesn't sound like;

A. The singer is being hit by multiple cattle prods on each note

B. The singer is being punched in the stomach at least 3 times on each note

C. The singer is actually attempting to sing while tied to a mechanical bull

Actually, I'm doing the three options a bit of an injustice. A singer subjected to these would still lay out a better performance than Ms. Aguilera did.

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...

Indeed! And that's even without her rather unfortunate choice of improvised lyrics.