Bitterness Running High, and Silly, in Green Bay


It’s no secret that Packer fans harbor a ton of bitterness in their hearts over the way Brett Favre turned his back on them (after the Packers organization turned their backs on him in favor of the unproven Aaron Rodgers). It would be hard for them to insist otherwise, given the open demonstrations of scorn they have made in the weeks since Favre signed with the hated Vikings.

Ah, the demonstrations.  Some of them have actually been amusing.  Others have been more-or-less pathetic.

The latest – Green Bay’s Minnesota Ave. being renamed Aaron Rodgers Drive – hovers somewhere between goofy and vaguely pitiful.

All have had one thing in common:  they make Packer fans look like a bunch of buffoons who don’t know how to move on from the past.

Of course most of this buffoonery is harmless, because the people perpetrating it are mere clueless hicks.  But then there’s the buffoonery perpetrated by the mayor of Green Bay, who ought to know better.

Now don’t get me wrong:  I have nothing against a government official having a good time with a sporting event.  Silly wagers between governors of states whose teams are squaring off in the Super Bowl?  Fine.

Barack Obama doing a goofy pick-the-NCAA-brackets segment for SportsCenter?  No prob.

But when the mayor of Green Bay goes so far as to ask Packer fans for suggestions on “clever” ways to make Brett Favre feel less-than-welcome when he returns to the village, and settles on encouraging residents to wear flip-flops in honor of Favre’s legendary indecisiveness?  That goes beyond good-natured fun and into the realm of genuine civic irresponsibility.

A sane community would denounce a mayor who behaved like that, and look for ways of removing him from office.  Legal ways at first, and then, barring that, illegal ways involving pitchforks and torches.

The community of Green Bay, being both insane and inebriated, is of course perfectly fine with its leader’s lameness.  They think the crap is hilarious.  The more cans of Miller they slam, the funnier it gets.

The rest of the world, however, sees through these allegedly harmless shenanigans to the all-too-harmful anger that lies behind them.  The sad thing for the Packer faithful is that this anger, in the end, hurts only them and the ones who are unfortunate enough to love them.

But there is hope.  There is a way to end the cycle of bitterness once-and-for all.  There is a means by which Packer fans can take back control of their lives, and rejoin the human race:

Just f***ing get over it already.

Yes, it’s that easy.  Just forget about Brett Favre and all he once meant to you.  Leave the past where it belongs – in the past.

After all, he is only a football player.  He is not a god.  He is not a demigod.  He is not even a Demi Moore.  He’s a guy who has thrown a bunch of touchdowns, won one Super Bowl, and made fans snicker with his tales of farting in the huddle.

He is only an obsession if you are Jon Gruden, John Madden, SportsCenter or a Packer fan with a hopeless case of nostalgic yearning for the late 1990s.  For the rest of us, he is just a guy who plays football, sometimes well, sometimes badly, sometimes only after agonizing for months over whether to retire.

You, crazed Favre-hating Packer fan, could be one of the fortunate many who have kept their sense of perspective throughout the Favre drama, and not allowed themselves to sink into alcohol-fueled crankiness.  And it doesn’t take a miracle to make it happen.  It just takes opening the door, walking outside, breathing the fresh air, puking out the poison and realizing that there’s a whole world out there, a whole great big beautiful planet that doesn’t give a rip about Favre, or the Packers, or football or sports or anything except flying around and eating and screwing.

Just think of yourself as the caterpillar creeping along the tree branch, waiting to weave its cocoon so it can begin its transformation into the beautiful butterfly.  Don’t you want to be a beautiful butterfly?  Wouldn’t you rather float across the world on delicate, multicolored wings than drag yourself across the dirt leaving a disgusting slime trail?

Of course you would.  We all would.  And some of us do, every day.  We let the wind carry us where it may.  And sometimes we give our purple wings a flap and fly to a higher plane, from which we may gaze down upon all the poor caterpillars with their slime trails and their six-packs of Bud and their Aaron Rodgers jerseys and their misspelled “Go to hell Brett” signs.

We feel for you.  We want you to be among us.  Not all of the time, because you’re really annoying and you smell like urine, but some of the time.  For a few minutes anyway.  As long as you don’t drink all our liquor and try to have sex with our dog.

What I’m trying to say, Packer fan, is that I care about you.  I don’t want you to spend your life wallowing in bitterness.  I don’t want you to remain trapped in the past forever.

I want you to take my hand and walk with me into the future.  The beautiful future, where Brett Favre leads the Vikings to the Super Bowl while the Packers sit at home with their 8-8 record wondering what the heck went wrong.

Don’t be afraid.  He’s only Brett Favre.  There’s no reason to reach for that bottle of cheap whiskey or start loading that shotgun.  He can’t hurt you.  Unless you break onto his property and he runs you over with his Toro.

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Tags: Aaron Rodgers Brett Favre Demi Moore Green Bay Packers John Madden Jon Gruden Minnesota Vikings