2012-10-04 / Views

From the Braver Institute

Fall is officially here and that means we are in the thick of football season, and I couldn’t be happier with the way it has gone to this point. Yes I know that there has been great controversy over the substitute referees or whatever they are calling them, but that controversy had been fueling my joy.

Up until recently there had been some sort of referee strike, or lockout, or whatever politics of professional football caused the removal of the real refs from the field, but I didn’t care about it at all since I never watch football. I have no use for the game, and I wouldn’t shed a single tear if the whole works was packed up and shipped off to Mars, but I feel that way about professional sports in general.

What I had been truly enjoying to this point was the near-constant whining of football fans about the ineptness of these replacement referees. I hadn’t been hearing much about who won or who lost the game (which was a real nice change of pace). It was all about the refs.

For me, the icing on the whole “I can’t stand football” cake was the Seattle Seahawks dubious victory over the Green Bay Packers. I didn’t see the game (as usual), but I did watch a clip of the gameclinching play.

If you happen to live in a deeper anti-media hole than I do, you may not have heard about what was clearly a pass interception on the part of Green Bay being ruled as a touchdown for Seattle by the referees sent over from the temp agency. This was also the final play of the game. There was no chance for Green Bay to score any more points. I was so happy about this bad call that I wanted to shake the ref’s hand.

I have countless friends who are Green Bay Packer fans, and I knew that I would be witness to endless amounts of weeping and gnashing of teeth after watching that play, and I was not disappointed. I had never heard such rage and anger from this bunch. It truly warmed my heart seeing them in such angst.

Those readers who are not in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan may not realize this fact, but up here there is a disproportionate number of Green Bay Packer fans. Even though the Upper Peninsula is the greatest part of the state of Michigan, there is an insanely high number of Packer zealots. I suspect the reason is that these fans failed miserably in geography, and don’t realize that Green Bay is in Wisconsin—another state entirely. That is the only logical reason I can think of.

Remember, I am not a football fan, and I don’t really care about any of this, but it would seem to me that there should be a higher number of Detroit Lions fans since they are the pro football team from Michigan—the state we reside in.

I have heard it said by my many people that the reason there are so many Green Bay fans in the Upper Peninsula is because we are closer to Green Bay than Detroit. If distance to the city where the team hails from is all that it takes to generate fans, the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula should have a higher ratio of Detroit fans, and it just might, but once again if distance is all it takes there should also be a higher ratio of Minnesota Vikings fans in the western end of the peninsula, since they are almost as close to the Twin Cities as they are to Green Bay. Using the same logic, the entire populace of Western Wisconsin should be Vikings fans as well, because they too are “closer” to the Vikings. I have serious doubts that this is the case though.

The bottom line is that while I cannot stand football, I hate the Green Bay Packers. Hate is a strong word in my book, but growing up surrounded by such misplaced fanaticism is truly nauseating, and I pretty much hate things that are nauseating.

Now I know my countless Packer fan friends along with my Packer fan readers will hate me for writing this, but hey, I hate their team, so that makes us even-ish.

I suppose after reading this, countless death threats will be composed in haste by the Packer loving populace for daring to print such blasphemous words, but irrational rage is exactly what I would expect from people who can’t read a map.

While they are composing those death threats, they should be thinking about this: by their logic, Milwaukee residents (geography note: also in Wisconsin) should be almost exclusively Chicago Bears fans. They are closer to Chicago than Green Bay after all.

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Waye Braver can be contacted on Facebook or by e-mail at waye@braverinstitute.com. Visit the Braver Institute at www.braverinsitute.com.

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